The International Baccalaureate Organization's Diploma Programme is a demanding pre-university course that leads to external examinations and is designed for highly motivated high school students aged 16 to 19. The program has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment, giving IB Diploma holders access to the world's leading universities.
Students who participate in the Diploma Programme are well prepared for university work and are accepted by universities in many countries. The program incorporates the best elements of national systems, without being based on any one. Its genesis was the result of a wish to establish a common curriculum and university entry credential for students moving from one country to another. International educators were motivated by practical considerations but also by an idealistic vision. They believed that students should share an academic experience that would emphasize critical thinking, intercultural understanding and exposure to a variety of points of view. The program encourages students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
Students study six subjects selected from the subject groups. Normally three subjects are studied at higher level (HL) and the remaining three subjects are studied at standard level (SL). All three parts of the core, extended essay, theory of knowledge and creativity/action/service (CAS), are compulsory and are central to the philosophy of the Diploma Programme.
Students who pursue the Diploma take six subjects; one each from Groups 1 to 5 (below) with an additional subject from 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6.
- Group 1: Language A1
Generally the student's strongest language, usually English at CA.
- Group 2: Second Language
An additional language, taken either at A1 (HL or SL), A2 (HL or SL), B (SL or HL) or ab initio (SL only).
- Group 3: Individuals and Societies
Humanities and social sciences: such as economics, Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS), geography and history.
- Group 4: Experimental Sciences
Subjects such as physics, chemistry, biology.
- Group 5: Mathematics
The subjects are, in order of increasing difficulty, Mathematical Studies SL, Mathematics SL, and Mathematics HL.
- Group 6: Arts and Electives
Subjects such as visual arts, music, theater arts. A subject from this group can be replaced with another subject from Group 2, 3, or 4.
IB DP Coordinator