Ontario Secondary School Diploma (O.S.S.D)

OSSD program is designed for students who wish to obtain a high school diploma in Canada. To graduate and earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, there are three requirements that each student must:

  • Successfully complete all 30 of the credit requirements (which include 18 compulsory courses and 12 optional courses).
  • Successfully pass the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test or complete OLC4O.
  • Complete 40 hours of community service.

Optional Credits (Total of 12)

In addition to the 18 compulsory credits, students must earn 12 optional credits. Students may earn these credits by completing the courses that they have selected from the courses listed by their grade in the Academic Program.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)

Each student is required to write an Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test during his/her grade 10 year, or the year (grade 10-12) in which they enrol for the first time in an Ontario secondary school. The student must achieve an acceptable level in both reading and writing to receive his/her diploma. If students do not achieve an acceptable level of achievement in the literacy test, they will be required to rewrite the test until they receive a satisfactory result. The student’s result will be recorded on his/her student transcript. Under special circumstances, students may be granted a deferral or a rewrite. He or she may have completed the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course Grade 12.

This credit course is designed to support at-risk students in improving their language skills and provide them with an alternative way of demonstrating these skills. Students who have had at least two opportunities to write the OSSLT and who have failed it at least once will be eligible to take the course. The successful completion of this course will satisfy the literacy requirement for graduation. Students who obtain a graduation diploma by passing the literacy course will be required to demonstrate a standard of reading and writing skills comparable to those measured by the OSSLT. The OSSLT is the foundation for the design of this course.

40 Hours of Community Service

As part of the diploma requirements, students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community service. These may take place in a variety of settings (business, not-for-profit organizations, public sector institutions including hospitals and informal settings). Students may not fulfil the requirement through activities that are counted towards an academic credit, through paid work or by assuming duties normally performed by a paid employee. The requirement is to be completed outside students’ normal instructional hours.

A variety of activities and opportunities to fulfil these hours will be made available to the students by the school throughout the year. Students are to maintain and provide a record of their community involvement. Such records must be confirmed by the organization or persons supervising the activities and submitted to the Academic Coordinator. These records will be submitted to the Principal for approval upon the completion of the 40 hours.

Substitutions for Compulsory Credits

The Principal of the school may substitute up to three compulsory courses with courses from the remainder of those that meet the compulsory credit requirement. Substitutions will be made to promote and enhance student learning or to meet special needs and interests.


If a course has a pre-requisite requirement, this pre-requisite must be attained before enrollment in the course. Satisfactory achievement in prerequisite courses is crucial to the full understanding and successful completion of subsequent courses. However, following discussion with the student’s parents and teachers, the Principal may allow a student to proceed in a particular course without first obtaining the normal pre-requisite. This decision will be made only if it is in the student’s best interest, and the Principal, the teachers and the parents are all in agreement. Since the pre-requisite has not been met, there may be substantial challenges for the student, and although support from the school is available, it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the course is completed. Appropriate records for waiving prerequisites, showing all of the appropriate permissions, will be maintained in the student’s OSR.

O.S.S.D Requirements:

  • The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC)
  • Compulsory Credits (Total of 18) Subjects
  • 4 English (1 credit per grade)
  • 1 French-as-a-Second Language
  • 3 Mathematics (at least 1 in grade 11 or 12)
  • 2 Science
  • 1 Canadian History
  • 1 Canadian Geography
  • 1 The Arts
  • 1 Health and Physical Education
  • 0.5 Civics
  • 0.5 Career Studies
  • 1 Additional English or a third language or Social Sciences and the Humanities or Canadian and World Studies or Guidance and Career Education or Cooperative Education.
  • 1 Additional credit in Health and Physical Education or the Arts or Business Studies or Cooperative Education.
  • 1 Additional credit in Science (Grade 11 or 12) or Technological Education (Grades 9 – 12) or Cooperative Education.


  • A credit is granted when a course of at least 110 hours is completed with a pass.
  • Each of the courses listed has a 1.0 credit value unless otherwise indicated (e.g. 0.5 credit).
  • A maximum of 3 ESL credits may be counted towards the 4 required English credits.