Date of Issue: April 14, 2009

Effective: Until revoked or modified

Subject: Ontario Scholar program

Application: Directors of Education
Secretaries of School Authorities
Principals of Secondary Schools
Principals of Provincial and Demonstration Schools
Principals of Inspected Private Schools

Reference: This memorandum replaces Policy/Program Memorandum No. 53, May 25, 2004.


This memorandum provides direction to school boards and schools concerning the designation of a student as an Ontario Scholar. The revised requirements, outlined in this memorandum, apply in the 2008-09 school year and in subsequent years.


A student may be designated an Ontario Scholar if he or she satisfies both of the following requirements:

  • he or she obtains an aggregate of at least 480 marks in any combination of ministry-approved courses listed below that provide a total of six credits, as defined by Ontario Secondary Schools, Grades 9 to 12: Program and Diploma Requirements, 1999 (OSS) and/or Ontario Schools, Intermediate and Senior Divisions (Grades 7–12/OACs): Program and Diploma Requirements, rev. ed., 1989 (OSIS)
  • he or she has been recommended by the school principal for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) in either the current school year or the previous school year

Ministry-approved courses are the following:

  • any Grade 12 university preparation, university/college preparation, college preparation, workplace preparation, and/or open courses authorized under OSS, including locally developed courses approved by the ministry
  • cooperative education courses related to any of the above courses
  • dual credit courses in college-delivered dual credit programs approved by the ministry
  • any Ontario Academic Courses (OACs) authorized under OSIS

Conditions of award

The following conditions will apply:

  • a candidate's mark in any course shall be multiplied by the credit value of the course
  • where a student obtains more than six credits in any combination of Grade 12 university preparation courses, Grade 12 university/college preparation courses, Grade 12 college preparation courses, Grade 12 workplace preparation courses, Grade 12 open courses, dual credit courses, and/or OACs, the highest marks will be used
  • standing in either English for English-language schools or English for French-language schools (i.e., anglais/English under OSIS, English for French-language schools under OSS) may be counted, but not both
  • standing in either French as a second language or français may be counted, but not both
  • a student previously designated an Ontario Scholar is not eligible for a second award
  • a student need not complete the courses in one school year in order to be designated an Ontario Scholar
  • standing obtained at a conservatory or school of music – as outlined in section 2 of Policy/Program Memorandum No. 133, “Music Certificates Accepted for Credits”, January 5, 2004; in section 2 of appendix 4 of OSS; or in section 2 of appendix C of OSIS – may be considered for the purposes of the Ontario Scholar award

Reporting of Ontario Scholars to the ministry

Principals must indicate that a student is receiving the Ontario Scholar award when they submit students' final marks to OnSIS. Principals must also ensure that this information is provided for those students who have qualified for the award by attending summer school.

Ontario Scholar certificate

A student designated an Ontario Scholar will receive an Ontario Scholar certificate.