The IB Diploma Program Components
- Full IB Diploma students must take five courses—one from each of the first five groups (English Literature, World Languages, History, Science, and Math), plus an additional course, either from group 6 (the Arts) or another course from groups 1-5.
- Typically, Full IB Diploma students take the following courses:
- IB English Literature HL
- IB History HL
- IB Biology HL
- IB French, Italian or Spanish SL
- A 6th class : IB Dance, Music or Visual Arts; IB Environmental Systems & Societies; IB Business Management
- IB Math Studies SL or Mathematics SL
HL = higher level (students must take at least three classes at the higher level)
SL = standard level
- Extended Essay (EE) - a 3,500 to 4,000 word paper describing the results of an original research project. The EE offers students the opportunity to explore a topic of personal interest while learning the research and writing skills required in college.
- Theory of Knowledge (TOK) - an interdisciplinary class that is designed to foster critical thinking while giving students an opportunity to understand and reflect on the interrelationship of knowledge gained in the classroom.
- Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) - an extracurricular component of the program. The goal of IB is to educate the whole individual while cultivating an enlightened and compassionate citizenry. To that end, IB requires students to participate in extracurricular activities that strengthen their creative skills, community involvement, and physical development. Students are expected to complete approximately 150 hours over the course of 2 years.
Earning the IB Diploma:
In order to earn the IB Diploma, students must do the following:
- Earn an average score of 4 (out of 7) for each course. (A score of 4 is considered “passing”.) Keep in mind that you can score a 3 in one subject as long as you get a 5 in another subject to balance it out.
- Earn a minimum total of 24 points. (If you score an average of 4 on each of your 6 courses, that equals 24 points.) At least 12 of those points must come from your higher level courses (English, History, Biology).
- Complete a minimum of 150 hours of creativity, action and service activities from September of their junior year through May 1st of their senior year. These hours are documented in an electronic portfolio. When each type of activity is completed, students compose a short reflection on their experience (for example, one reflection would be done at the end of a sports season).
- Earn at least a “D” in the Theory of Knowledge course.
- Earn at least a “D” on the Extended Essay.
All of the aforementioned requirements must be satisfied in order to earn the diploma. Students who do not satisfy all requirements may still earn certificates in their individual IB courses.