Students looking to graduate high school in the Durham District School Board by earning an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), an Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC) or a Certificate of Accomplishment (COA) should check their school's website for specific requirements and instructions related to graduation. Further information can be found in the Designing My Future Student Transition Guide, the guide for students entering high school or on the Ontario Ministry of Education website.

General graduation requirements

The general requirements for each graduation option are:

Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

Online Learning Credits

Beginning with the cohort of students who entered Grade 9 in the 2020-2021 school year, all students must earn a minimum of two online learning credits as part of the graduation requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma unless they have been opted-out or exempted.  

Families wishing to opt-out of the mandatory online courses required for graduation must complete the “Opt-Out Form.


Exemption: Remote Learning Credit Earned in 2020-2021

The ministry recognizes the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.  As a result, up to one secondary school credit completed by Grade 9 students in the 2020-2021 school year during the province-wide school closures (from April 2021 to June 2021) may be counted towards the graduation requirement. 


Compulsory credits

  • 4 English (1 per grade)
  • 3 Math (1 credit in grade 11 or 12)
  • 2 Science
  • 1 Canadian History
  • 1 Canadian Geography
  • 1 Arts
  • 1 Health and Physical Education
  • 1 French as a Second Language
  • 0.5 Career Studies
  • 0.5 Civics
  • 3 credits from Group 1, 2 and 3 (1 credit from each group)

Group 1, 2 and 3 credits

Group 1:

  • English or French as a Second Language
  • A Native Language
  • A Classical or International Language
  • Social Sciences and the Humanities
  • Canadian and World Studies
  • Guidance and Career Education
  • Cooperative Education

Group 2:

  • Health and Physical Education
  • The Arts
  • Business Studies
  • French as a Second Language
  • Cooperative Education

Group 3:

  • Science (grade 11 or 12)
  • Technological Education
  • French as a Second Language
  • Computer Studies
  • Cooperative Education

Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC)

  • 14 credits (7 compulsory and 7 additional)
  • Student has not met the requirements for an OSSD
  • Student is 18 years of age or older

Compulsory credits

  • 2 English
  • 1 Math
  • 1 Science
  • 1 Canadian History or Canadian Geography
  • 1 Heath and Physical Education
  • 1 Arts, Computer Studies or Technological Education

Additional credits

Student selects 7 additional credits from available courses.

Certificate of Accomplishment (COA)

The COA is for students who are 18 years of age or older and who have not met the requirements for an OSSD or OSSC. The COA recognizes achievement of students who plan to get further training or employment directly after leaving school. It can be accompanied by a student's Individual Education Plan (IEP), if applicable, and the student's Ontario Student Transcript.

Students working toward a COA may take K-courses— alternative, non-credit courses for students with special education needs. K courses are designed to support self-care, independence, and growth fundamental skills.

K-course examples:

  • Money Management and Personal Banking (KBBAN1)
  • Transit Training and Community (KCCAN1)

Your school's Guidance department can also help you to learn about the community involvement hours you need to graduate, how to apply for scholarships bursaries and awards, and how to continue to start on your next pathway journey as you plan your next steps and initial destination after high school.