The International Baccalaureate, a non-profit educational foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland, offers Diploma Programme for students in the final two years of Secondary School. The educational philosophy of the organization is found in its mission statement. Through comprehensive and balanced curricula, coupled with challenging assessments, the International Baccalaureate organization aims to assist schools in their endeavours to develop the individual talents of young people and teach them to relate the experience of the classroom to the realities of the world outside. Beyond intellectual rigour and high academic standards, strong emphasis is placed on the ideas of international understanding and responsible citizenship, to the end that IB students may become critical and compassionate thinkers, lifelong learners and informed participants in local and world affairs, conscious of the shared humanity that binds all people together while respecting the variety of cultures and attitudes that make for the richness of life.
Each examined subject is graded on a scale of 1 (minimum) to 7 (maximum). The award of the diploma requires students to meet the defined standards and conditions including a minimum total of 24 points and the satisfactory completion of the extended essay, Theory of Knowledge course (TOK) and CAS (creativity, action, service) activities. The maximum score of 45 includes three points for the combination of the extended essay and work in TOK.
IB diploma holders gain admission to selective Universities throughout the world. These include well-known European and American institutions such as Oxford, Yale and the Sorbonne along with prestigious centers in Latin America and the Asia / Pacific region.
Theory of Knowledge(TOK) is a required interdisciplinary course intended to stimulate critical reflection upon the knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom.
Creativity, Action, Service is known by its acronym CAS and is a fundamental part of the diploma curriculum.
Click to view: CAS Handbook
Click to view: CAS Booklet for Parents
Diploma candidates are required to undertake original research and write an Extended Essay of some 4000 words. This project offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest and acquaints students with independent research and writing skills.
Candidates can opt for either the IB Diploma or the IB Diploma Programme Course.
The IB Diploma Programme may not be appropriate for some students, given the scope and depth of challenge of the full diploma programme. These students can follow the same excellent curriculum with the reduced ‘core trio’ of ToK, Extended Essay, and CAS requirements. IB Diploma Programme Course is not bound by the stipulated three higher level / three standard level courses. This greater freedom allows the student to focus more intently on his or her areas of strength without overextending him or herself. Certificate students take as many (sometimes up to six) IB exams or as few exams as he or she wishes and complete these worthwhile and interesting courses of study including the IB Exam.
The full diploma is NOT a requirement for most elite United States universities, though a certain number of diploma points scored is often a requirement for students who plan to study in the UK. Despite a common misconception, there are a number of UK universities that accept students without the full diploma. Individual IB Diploma Programme Courses issued may help secure advanced placement credit at certain colleges.