Course Coding System

How to Read Course Codes

The design of the Ontario education system at the secondary level is framed on the concept of students earning credits, in both mandatory and optional areas. The course coding of all programs offered through OVS employs a 5-character system, which is established and recognized by the Ministry of Education; for example:



  • The first digit indicates the major area of study for the course; for example: M for Math, S for Science, E for English.
  • The second and third digit serve as the course descriptor within the subject area; for example: CV stands for Calculus and Vectors, while BI stands for Biology.
  • The fourth digit signifies the grade level; for example, 1 is grade 9, 2 is grade 10, 3 is grade 11, and 4 is grade 12.
  • The fifth and final digit is used to denote the level of intensity at which the course is delivered.
    • In grades 9 & 10, D represents Academic, P represents Applied, W represents De-streaming, while O denotes open level courses.
    • In grades 11 & 12, this digit indicates the intended post-secondary destination of students in those courses: U is for University, C is for College, while M represents mixed-level courses appropriate to either university or college.

Out of Ontario Course Coding

The chart in the link below reflects common equivalencies for grade and subject levels in other provinces and is intended for informative purposes only. This information is not cumulative or historical and may be subject to change without notice. Please contact us for clarification on acceptable subject equivalencies if transferring from a different province. Canadian Course Coding Chart Download