Skip To Content

Learn About Ontario’s Education System


A group of post-secondary students

Learn About 
Ontario’s Education System

Imagine your education journey as a pathway. It can be straight and direct. It can be winding and take many turns. But whatever pathway you choose, we are here to help you get to your destination!

Education Pathways In Ontario

Understanding education pathways means understanding credentials. A credential is an official document, like a diploma or a degree. When you finish a program in Ontario, you earn a credential. Learn more about different credentials.

This illustration below shows common education pathways, but the possibilities are endless.

transfer opportunities

This symbol indicates transfer opportunities!


As you can see, this means students typically transfer between Apprenticeship, Certificate, Diploma, and Degree programs, between colleges, universities, and Indigenous Institutes.

Education Pathways In Ontario

Are You in High School?

To apply to a college, university, or an Indigenous Institute, you will need to complete a high school diploma (Ontario Secondary School Diploma). If you did not complete these studies, you may be admitted through a GED (or General Education Development), or as a mature student.

There are several factors that influence your admission to a college, university, or Indigenous Institute.



The high school courses that you take matter. Programs at postsecondary institutions have specific, required courses for admissions, called prerequisites. To be admitted, you must complete the program prerequsities. For example, most Biological Science degrees require Grade 11 and 12 Biology.

Course Level

Course Level

High school courses are taught at different levels (e.g., U-, M-, C, and O-). Postsecondary institutions may require courses at certain levels to satisfy admission. For example, many programs require ENG4U and U-level courses.



Postsecondary programs have specific overall grade point average (GPA) requirements. Sometimes, programs have specific course grade requirements. You will have to reach these minimum grade requirements to be considered for admission to a specific program. However, meeting the minimum does not guarantee an offer, particularly in competitive programs!

Additional Requirements

There may be other admission requirements, including reference letters, performance assessment, portfolios, extracurricular activities, and so forth). Always check the details of the program. For more information, please see:

Thinking of going to both college and university?

Learn about collaborative/joint programs.

AP & IB Courses

These courses may be eligible for credit transfer into postsecondary. Get in touch with the school(s) you're looking at apply to learn more.