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What you need to know about High School Programming and Post Secondary

This guide gives you key information about programming in Grade 10, 11 and 12 as well as how to get more information on post-secondary planning as well as the Alberta Education Graduation requirements.



Earning a high school diploma does not ensure a student’s admission into post-secondary institutions. Post-secondary entrance requirements vary greatly depending on the institution, faculty and province. Students should check post-secondary entrance requirements for various institutions and choose their subjects accordingly. Each program has its own requirements. Admission requirements for each post-secondary faculty may be obtained from the post-secondary website, by calling the institution, personal visit to the institution or from the guidance counsellor’s office.

It is the responsibility of the student and parent to ensure that course selections meet the requirements for graduation. Visit the Alberta Education Website (search High School Diploma) or contact our Guidance Counsellor to learn more about post-secondary education requirements, opportunities and local scholarships.

You are responsible to check the accuracy of your high school record of courses, marks and credits.  Any questions regarding your high school record should be discussed with the School Counsellor or administration. As you have all signed up for your own account on myPass, login to check your diploma progression, credit count, and to order transcripts, etc.


Career plans tend to change throughout high school. You should consider taking courses that would maximize your career opportunities while still staying within your limits of what you are academically capable of.

The counseling department offers numerous services to assist students in this planning.   Students should visit the Guidance Office for information dealing with specific careers/post-secondary programs and requirements.  Using the myBlueprint website or other online career interest inventories are a great way to narrow down the choices if you are still unsure.

Your goal should be choosing a timetable that allows you to keep as many doors open as possible.

Selecting Your Courses:

1. Before you can select a course, ensure that you have completed the pre-requisite.

2. Consult administration or the Guidance Department if you are not sure about the course

sequence you should select.

3. Review the courses needed to complete the Alberta High School Diploma

4. Confirm the courses required to meet your post-secondary goals.

Grade 10

  1. It is important for grade 10 students to think in terms of long-range planning since many of the decisions made now will impact the pursuit of certain career opportunities.  Students are encouraged to realistically assess their academic potential, research the requirements for different types of careers, and then choose their courses keeping as many doors open as possible. Remember post-secondary entrance requirements vary from institution to institution (and from year to year) and each program has its own requirements.

  1. To meet high school diploma requirements, your program must include certain courses.   Refer to the attached Alberta High School Diploma-Graduation Requirements, (or Certificate of High School Achievement Requirements), for those courses.

  1. Your grade 10 program should bring your credit count to 40 credits or more (no spares unless you are in Sr. Band, Leadership, Jazz Band, etc. and choose to take equivalent spares).

Grade 11

  1. If you lack credits in any compulsory grade 10 courses, these courses should be taken during grade 11. Depending on your grade 11 schedule, this could change the trajectory or pathway of your diploma progression.

  1. Register in courses to fulfill high school diploma requirements. See attached requirements.

  1. Choose options to bring your credit total to at least 40 (no spares unless you are in Sr. Band, Sr. Leadership, etc. and choose to take them)

Grade 12

  1. If you lack credit in any compulsory grade 10 or 11 courses, these courses must be taken during grade 12.

  1. Register in courses to fulfill high school diploma requirements.   See attached requirements.

  1. You are responsible to check the accuracy of your high school record of courses, marks and credits.  Any questions regarding your high school record should be discussed with the guidance counselor or administration.

  1. Transcripts are to be ordered through your myPass account with Alberta Education.

  1. You must be registered in at least 15 credits per semester to be a full-time student in grade 12 with 30 credits (or more) in total.

  1. If you wish to accelerate your grade 12 diploma completion, you must meet with the school counsellor and the principal to consider the possibility and to make the necessary arrangements.


Generally speaking: University admission is dependent upon a student’s overall average in 5 Grade 12 subjects.  Which 5 Grade 12 subjects is dependent upon the faculty/program of choice and the institution of choice.  However, the five subjects generally include four academic Grade 12 subjects and one option. For university admission, English 30-1 is always required. Although Math 30-1 is an admission requirement for some programs, it is NOT required by all. In many university programs, it may now be required to also have a 30-level Fine Arts Course, (music, band, dance, drama, art, etc.). Students and/or parents are advised to visit the post-secondary website, call their school of choice, or visit the Guidance Office for further information regarding program/faculties of interest and admission requirements.

Our Counselling Department has information on the requirements to transition to the world of work or attend a post-secondary institution, including colleges and trade schools. We encourage you to take the opportunity to explore your options. Choices you make now will have a direct impact upon your diploma progression and your ability to graduate from W.G. Murdoch School.

May you find this phase of your education to be both rewarding and enjoyable!

Alberta High School Diploma Graduation Requirements

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.

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