Ontario Secondary School Diploma Requirements

In order to award the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), students must earn a total of 30 credits. A credit is defined as a 110-hour course in which the expectations laid down by the Ministry of Education in the Province of Ontario have been successfully completed. Fully 18 of the credits are compulsory, earned in courses from a list of subjects that every student must take. Fully 12 of the credits are optional, earned in courses that the student may select from the full range of courses offered by the school. Students must also complete 40 hours of Community Involvement Activities and must meet the provincial literacy requirement.

If students are currently registered in another private school or public school in Ontario and are simply taking a small number of courses from Victoria School, then they will in all cases, complete the provincial literacy requirement and Community Involvement Activities at the school in which they are registered. Only students who are the sole responsibility of the Victoria School will complete the Community Involvement Activities and the provincial literacy requirement at Victoria School.

Graduation Requirements

Compulsory Credits

  • 4 credits in English (1 credit per grade) *
  • 3 credits in mathematics (at least 1 credit in Grade 11 or 12)
  • 2 credits in science
  • 1 credit in Canadian history
  • 1 credit in Canadian geography
  • 1 credit in the arts**
  • 1 credit in health and physical education
  • 1 credit in French as a second language***
  • 1/2 credit in civics
  • 1/2 credit in career studies

Additionally, students must earn 1 credit from each of the following groups:

  • Group 1: one additional credit in English (including the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course), French as a second language, classical languages, international languages, Native languages, Canadian and world studies, Native studies, social sciences and humanities, guidance and career education, cooperative education
  • Group 2: one additional credit in French as a second language, the arts, business studies, health and physical education, cooperative education
  • Group 3: one additional credit in French as a second language, science (Grade 11 or 12), computer studies, technological education, cooperative education

Note: The following conditions apply to selections from the above three groups:

  • A maximum of 2 credits in French as a second language may count as additional compulsory credits, 1 credit from Group 1, and 1 credit from either Group 2 or Group 3.
  • A maximum of 2 credits in cooperative education may count as additional compulsory credits, selected from any of Groups 1, 2, or 3.

* The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC) may be used to meet either the Grade 11 or the Grade 12 English compulsory credit requirement. The Grade 11 Contemporary Aboriginal Voices course may be used to meet the Grade 11 English compulsory credit requirement. For English language learners the requirement may be met through earning a maximum of 3 credits in English as a second language (ESL) or English literacy development (ELD); the fourth credit must be a Grade 12 compulsory English course.

** The Grade 9 Expressing Aboriginal Cultures course may be used to meet the compulsory credit requirement in the arts.

*** Students who have taken Native languages in place of French as a second language in elementary school may use a Level 1 or 2 Native language course to meet the compulsory credit requirement for French as a second language.

Optional Credits

In addition to the 18 compulsory credits described above, students must also complete to following requirements for their Ontario Secondary School Diploma:

12 Optional Credits: The 12 optional credits may include up to 4 credits earned through approved dual credit courses.

Provincial Literacy and Community Service Requirements

In addition to the credit requirements described above, students must also complete these following requirements for their Ontario Secondary School Diploma:

The provincial literacy requirement: If you entered Grade 9 in the 1999 - 2000 school year or in subsequent years, the student must successfully complete the Provincial Secondary School Literacy Requirement. This test, administered by EQAO, determines whether the student has acquired the reading and writing skills considered essential for literacy. It is based on the Ontario curriculum expectations for language and communication, particularly reading and writing, up to and including Grade 9. Note: See subsection 5.1.4 below for more information.

40 hours of community involvement activities: Students who began secondary school during or after the 1999-2000 school year must complete a minimum of 40 hours community involvement activities as part of the diploma requirements. The purpose of this requirement is to encourage students to develop an awareness and understanding of civic responsibility, the role he or she can play, and the contribution he or she can make in supporting and strengthening communities. The Victoria School Principal will determine the number of hours of community service the mature student is required to complete, based on the grade level in which the student enrolls.