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 or English for beginners
  • 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 arts education
  • 1 credit in physical education and health
  • 1/2 credit in citizenship education
  • 1/2 credit in exploring career options

Plus 1 credit in each of the following groups:

 1 group  2 group  3 group

1 credit in French

1 credit in English ** 1 credit in Egnlish
or in English or in physical education and health  1 credit in Englsih **
or in indigenous languages or arts education (visual arts, dramatic expression, dance or music)  or in classical languages
or in human and social sciences or in business and commerce or in international languages
or in Canadian and World Studies or in cooperative education *** or science (grade 11 or 12)
or in guidance and career development training *   or in technological education
or in cooperative education ***   or in computer studies
    or in cooperative education ***
French language refresher credits (ALF) or the newcomers support program (PANA) can count as compulsory French credits, but the fourth compulsory credit must come from a compulsory French course of 12 years.e year. If a student rolls a 4e credit in ALF or PANA, this credit can be counted as optional credit.
** In groups 1, 2 and 3, a maximum of 2 English credits can count as additional compulsory credits, one must come from group 1 and the other either from group 2 or from group 3. The same provisions apply if, instead of taking English lessons, the pupil is taking English lessons for beginners.
*** A maximum of 2 credits in cooperative education can be counted as compulsory credits.


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