Table of contents

Planning to meet the high school diploma and certificate requirements

Certain courses are mandatory to meet Alberta High School Diploma and Certificate of High School Achievement requirements. Some Grade 10 courses are prerequisites for more advanced senior high school courses. To avoid possible difficulties in later senior high school years, principals should ensure that students planning their Grade 10 programs are familiar with the prerequisites.

For example, a student must successfully complete a Social Studies course at the 30 level (30-1 or 30-2) to qualify for an Alberta High School Diploma. A Grade 9 student wishing to obtain an Alberta High School Diploma should enrol in Social Studies 10-1 or 10-2 to ensure completion of the necessary courses by the end of Grade 12. For more information, see Transfer Points and Course Sequences for Senior High School.

Students with a significant cognitive disability can achieve the Certificate of School Completion. For more information on graduation requirements, credentials and credits, see the Diploma and Certificate Requirements section.

In addition to diploma and certificate requirements, a student’s choice of subjects in senior high school may be governed by requirements adopted by the school authority that has jurisdiction over the student, provided that these requirements do not contravene the provisions in the guide.

Students eligible under section 14 of the Education Act have the opportunity to complete all of their core and optional coursework in French, with the exception of English language arts requirements.

For more information, see Planning in Junior High for Senior High School Programs.

Planning for after high school

To enhance student learning and engagement, senior high school programming and course timetabling should provide students with relevant opportunities to make connections beyond the classroom and in the community, to explore careers, to develop competencies and to transfer learning to other areas of their lives.

School authorities are encouraged to strengthen partnerships with relevant business, community and post-secondary partners to develop high school programming that is articulated with a variety of programs in colleges and technical institutes and that meets diploma or certificate requirements.

For more information, contact the Career Education Branch or the Wellness and Languages Branch. For contact information, see Appendix 1.


All students should be made aware of the requirements for the Alexander Rutherford High School Achievement Scholarship.

Students should also be made aware of Alberta’s High School Apprenticeship Scholarships.

For more information on scholarships and bursaries, see the ALIS website.

General requirements for admission to post-secondary educational institutions

Possession of an Alberta High School Diploma or Certificate of High School Achievement does not guarantee admission to a post-secondary institution. Students who intend to enter a post-secondary institution should be advised, as early as Grade 10, to check the calendars of these institutions for admission requirements, and they should plan their senior high school programs accordingly. Information about post‑secondary institutions can be found on the ALIS website.

Apprenticeship articulation

Admission into apprenticeship programs may not require a senior high school diploma, though attaining one is often desirable for admission. Articulation agreements have been established with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training for several trades. The programs of study for apprenticeships are available at Career and Technology Studies: Apprenticeship.

Information regarding apprenticeship programs is available at Apprenticeship and Industry Training.