Mature Students

The following describes special provisions for students who are considered "mature" when attempting to upgrade or complete their high school diploma.

A mature student is one who, as of September 1st of the current school year is:

  • nineteen years of age or older; or
  • the holder of a previously awarded Alberta High School Diploma or equivalent.

A mature student is eligible to enroll in any course at the senior high school level (without holding the required prerequisite courses). A mature student is eligible to write a diploma exam without holding the required prerequisite courses.

A mature student who has achieved a standing of 50% or higher in a senior high school course will automatically be awarded credits by Alberta Education for the successfully completed course as well as for that course's prerequisites. The credits awarded for each prerequisite course will be the same as the number of credits achieved for the course completed, unless otherwise specified by the school. However a mature student who completes a lower level sequence and transfers to the highest course in a higher level sequence will only receive credits for the course completed. Mature students are not required to take Physical Education 10 or Career and Life Management to earn their High School Diploma.

Achieving Your High School Diploma as a Mature Student

There are two alternatives for achieving a High School Equivalency Diploma:

Alternative 1

A person, 18 years or older as of September 1 of the current school year, who is deficient in the credits needed for an Alberta High School Diploma and who has been out of school for at least 10 consecutive months and who wishes to obtain a High School Equivalency Diploma should apply to the principal of a senior high school in the community. The principal will forward the High School Equivalency Form to Learner Records and Data Exchange indicating that the following requirements have been met. Copies of all necessary documents should be retained by the principal in accordance with school authority policy.

The candidate shall obtain 100 school credits as set forth below:

A minimum of 60 credits must be gained through classroom instruction in a school or other institution accredited by or acceptable to Alberta Education (for out-of-province students) that offers approved senior high school courses, as follows:

- a high school course in mathematics (5 credits)
- a high school course in science (3 credits)
- English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2 or English Language Arts 30 or 33 (5 credits)
- one other 30-level course, other than English Language Arts (5 credits) - additional high school courses (42 credits).

Additional credits which, when added to those gained according to the above, total at least 100, as follows:

- additional high school courses
- additional approved adult education courses under recognized agencies; e.g., public colleges, institutes of technology, extension divisions of universities, adult evening classes


- a maximum of 15 credits for maturity, according to the following scale:

High School Equivalency Diploma • age 21-24 (inclusive) 5 credits • age 25-29 (inclusive) 10 credits

  • age 30 and over 15 credits

- a maximum of 5 credits for extensive travel
- a maximum of 5 credits for extensive reading or private study.

For more information about Alternative 1, contact Learner Records and Data Exchange.

Alternative 2

A person, 18 years or older, who has been out of school for at least 10 consecutive months, who passes all five tests in the General Educational Development (GED) test battery with a minimum standard score of 450 or better in each test and meets the eligibility requirements will be granted a High School Equivalency Diploma. For more information about Alternative 2 and the GED program, contact the Provincial GED Administrator, Learner Assessment.


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