High School Planning

High School Diploma Graduation Requirements

High school graduation requirements ensure students get the basic education they need to do well in their further studies and careers. To receive an Alberta High School Diploma, students must complete a full range of compulsory, core subjects as well as optional courses that broaden their knowledge and skills.

Diploma requirements are set by the Minister of Education and include 100 credits in compulsory and optional courses. Schools are required to provide 25 hours of instruction for each credit. Most courses are worth either three or five credits, and the average course load is 35 credits per year.

Diploma requirements are outlined in the chart below.

ALBERTA HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA GRADUATION
REQUIREMENTS (ENGLISH)
The requirements indicated in this chart are the minimum requirements for a student to attain an Alberta High School Diploma. The requirements for entry into post-secondary institutions and workplaces may require additional and/or specific courses.
100 CREDITS including the following:
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS - 30 LEVEL
(English Language Arts 30-1, 30-2)
SOCIAL STUDIES - 30 LEVEL
(Social Studies 30-1 or 30-2)
MATHEMATICS - 20 LEVEL
(Mathematics 20-1, 20-3 or 20-3)
SCIENCE - 20 LEVEL
(Science 20, Science 24, Biology 20, Chemistry 20 or Physics 20)
PHYSICAL EDUCATION 10 (3 CREDITS)
CAREER AND LIFE MANAGEMENT (3 CREDITS)
10 CREDITS IN ANY COMBINATION FROM:
  • Career and Technology Studies (CTS)
  • Fine Arts
  • Second Languages
  • Physical Education 20 and/or 30
  • Locally developed/acquired and locally authorized courses in CTS, fine arts, second languages, Knowledge and Employability or IOP occupational courses
  • Knowledge and Employability or IOP occupational courses
  • Registered Apprenticeship Program
10 CREDITS IN ANY 30-LEVEL COURSE (IN ADDITION TO A 30-LEVEL ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS AND A 30-LEVEL SOCIAL STUDIES COURSE AS SPECIFIED ABOVE)
These courses may include:
  • 35-level Locally developed/acquired and locally authorized courses
  • 3000 Series; Advanced Level in Career and Technology Studies Courses
  • 35-level Work Experience
  • 30-4 level Knowledge and Employability course or 36-level IOP course
  • 35-level Registered Apprenticeship Program
  • 30-level Green Certificate Specialization

* Students in Francophone programs may meet their Language Arts diploma requirements with Français 30 or 33, but they also must complete English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2.

Certificate of High School Achievement

Students may also earn a Certificate of High School Achievement according to the requirements outlined in the chart below.

REQUIREMENTS FOR A CERTIFICATE OF HIGH SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT
The requirements indicated in this chart are the minimum requirements for a student to attain a Certificate of High School Achievement. The requirements for entry into post-secondary institutions and workplaces may require additional and/or specific courses.
80 CREDITS including the following:
The requirements indicated in this chart are the minimum requirements for a student to attain a Certificate of High School Achievement. The requirements for entry into post-secondary institutions and workplaces may require additional and/or specific courses.
80 CREDITS
including the following:
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS 20-2 OR 30-4
MATHEMATICS 10-3 OR 20-4
SCIENCE 14 OR 20-4
SOCIAL STUDIES 10-2 OR 20-4
PHYSICAL EDUCATION 10 (3 CREDITS)
CAREER AND LIFE MANAGEMENT (3 CREDITS)
5 CREDITS IN
  • 30-level Knowledge and Employability Occupational course, or
  • 30-level Career and Technology Studies (CTS), or
  • 30-level Locally developed course with an occupational focus
AND
5 CREDITS IN
  • 30-level Knowledge and Employability Workplace Practicum course, or
  • 30-level Work Experience course, or
  • 30-level Green Certificate course
OR
5 CREDITS IN
30-level Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) course

Diploma Examinations

A major purpose of a Grade 12 diploma examination is to certify a student's achievement in a course. Each examination is aligned with the program of studies in order to provide a common assessment for students across the province. This ensures fairness to students and allows them to compete equally for post-secondary admission and scholarships. Grade 12 diploma examinations in the following courses are administered in January, June, and August:

  • English Language Arts 30-1
  • English Language Arts 30-2
  • Français 30
  • French Language Arts 30
  • Social Studies 30-1
  • Social Studies 30-2
  • Mathematics 30-1
  • Mathematics 30-2
  • Biology 30
  • Chemistry 30
  • Physics 30
  • Science 30

French translations of the diploma examinations in social studies and the mathematics and science courses are provided.

A diploma examination contributes 50% of a student's final mark in the course, and the school-awarded mark contributes the other 50% of the final mark. This blend of marks provides the most accurate picture of the student's achievement because the two marks are complementary. To pass a course, a student must obtain a final blended mark of 50 per cent or higher.

Should a student wish to improve his or her diploma examination mark, the student may do so by rewriting the examination at a subsequent scheduled administration. When a student rewrites a diploma examination, the student's transcript reports only the highest diploma examination mark, the highest school-awarded mark, and the highest final mark achieved within the current school year or the previous two school years. There is a fee associated with rewriting the examination.

Alberta Education issues transcripts of marks and graduation certificates.