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Secondary - the requirements

High school diploma requirements

To obtain the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (DESO), the student must accumulate at least 30 credits. The student obtains a credit after having successfully completed a course lasting at least 110 hours.

18 compulsory credits:

  • 4 credits in French (1 credit per year) 
  • 1 credit in English 
  • 3 credits in mathematics (at least 1 credit in grades 11 through 12)
  • 2 credits in science
  • 1 credit in Canadian history
  • 1 credit in Canadian geography
  • 1 credit in arts education
  • 1 credit in physical education and health
  • 1/2 credit in citizenship education
  • 1/2 credit in cooking and citizenship

Plus 1 credit in each of the following groups:

 1 group  2 group  3 group

French (including the Ontario Secondary School Language Skills Course)

physical education and health science (11th or 12th grade)
English artistic education technological education
indigenous languages business and tradeclassical languages
Humanities and Social SciencesEnglishinternational languages
canadian and world studies cooperative educationEnglish
career guidance and training  Quebec Sign Language as a Second Language computer education
cooperative education   cooperative education
Quebec Sign Language as a Second Language   Quebec Sign Language as a Second Language

The choice of compulsory credits from the three groups above is subject to the following conditions:

A maximum of two credits of English can count as compulsory credits in Groups
1, 2 and 3: one must be from Group 1 and the other from Group 2 or 3.

A maximum of two cooperative education credits can count as compulsory credits in Groups 1, 2 and 3.

The credit for the grade 9 course titled Expression of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Cultures may count towards the mandatory arts education credit.

The Grade 11 French: Discovering Contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Voices course credit may count toward the Grade 11 French compulsory credit.

Credit for a Beginners English course may count towards compulsory English credit in Groups 1, 2 and 3.

A student who has chosen to study an Aboriginal language instead of elementary English may use the credit of an Aboriginal language course (Level 1 or Level 2) towards the compulsory credit of English in Groups 1, 2 and 3.

12 optional credits, chosen from the additional courses available

The 12 optional credits can include a maximum of 4 credits from approved dual credit courses.


Council requirement

 1 credit in religious education, namely:

  • 1 credit in the intermediate cycle or
  • 1 graduate credit