OSSD Requirements

Diploma requirements and granting of equivalency credits

To obtain an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (O.S.S.D.), a student needs to earn 30 credits including 16 or 18 compulsory credits (depending on diploma type).  A credit is earned by attending 90 hours of instruction and obtaining a mark of at least 50% on work completed in the course.  PLEASE NOTE:  To be successful in subsequent courses or higher education, a mark of 70% is often needed, so students should work toward grades higher than 50%.

Adults are eligible for equivalency credits which allow them to earn a diploma without completing 30 credit courses.  Equivalency credits are granted for life experience, work experience, studies completed outside Ontario, training courses, volunteer work, etc.  Students can apply to be awarded these credits after completing one Senior English (grade 11 or 12) at Yorkdale.  A math assessment or a math credit is required as a component of this equivalency evaluation.

There are 2 types of applicants for equivalency credits:

  1. Students who were in high school in Ontario before February 1, 2004:
    • Complete the “Application for Mature Student Evaluation” form
    • Ontario Literacy Course is recommended but not required
    • Successful completion of 16 compulsory credits including 5 English and 2 math credits
  2. Students who began high school in Ontario after February 1, 2004:
    • Apply for “PLAR” – Prior Learning Assessment and Review
    • Successful completion of Ontario Literacy Course or Provincial Test is REQUIRED
    • Successful completion of 18 compulsory credits including 4 English and 3 math credits

Applying to college or university

COLLEGE (www.ontariocolleges.on.ca)

  1. You may apply to college as an Ontario high school graduate or as a mature student.  All applications to college must be sent to the Ontario College Application Centre (address above), not to individual colleges.
  2. You must have the prerequisites and marks for the program you want.  Please check the college websites or come into Student Services to obtain copies of the college calendars.
  3. Most college programs begin in September (Fall start).  Some college programs begin in January or May. (One application is valid for 3 entry times from September to May.)
  4. You may be required to write college entrance or assessment tests for some college programs.  Check with the college and check your e-mail carefully for information once you have applied.
  5. September start: You should apply before February 1st.  Applications received b OCAS after February 1st are considered on a first-come, first-served basis.  Space will be extremely limited and some programs may be full.
  6. January or May start: You can apply at any time as long as you have the prerequisites and there is space in the program.
  7. Please note that having the minimum requirements for a college program does not guarantee entrance into that program.  Your application will be considered but only the strongest applicants will be chosen until the course is full.  Therefore, obtaining the highest marks possible and exceeding the minimum requirements will improve your chances of being accepted.

College Application Workshops are held in November/December for those interested in a September entry to college.  For a January or May entry, or for those who miss the workshops, please come to Student Services to obtain a copy of the instructions on how to apply on-line. A counsellor can assist you if you require help.

UNIVERSITY (www.ouac.on.ca)


  1. You may apply to university as an Ontario high school graduate or as a mature student.  All applications to university must be sent to the Ontario University Application Centre (address above), not to individual colleges.
  2. Ontario high school graduate:
    • You must have earned your Ontario Secondary School Diploma with 6 credits coded 4U or 4M
    • You must obtain a PIN (personal identification number) from Student Services
    • You will apply under the 101 application at www.ouac.on.ca/101
    • The deadline for applications is early January.
    • Student Services will forward your marks to OUAC during the year.
  3. Mature Student:
    • You will not have your Ontario Secondary School Diploma
    • You will have the required prerequisites for your university program of choice
    • You will apply under the 105 application at www.ouac.on.ca/105
    • You do not require a PIN.
    • The deadline for applications depends on the university and the program.  Please check with the university to avoid disappointment.
    • You are personally responsible for sending in your transcript and your marks to each university.
  4. All university programs begin in September (Fall start).  A very limited number begin in January (Winter) or May (Summer).

University Application Workshops are held in November for those interested in a September entry to university.  For a January or May entry, or for those who miss the workshops, please come to Student Services to obtain a copy of the instructions on how to apply on-line. A counsellor can assist you if you require help.