IB Diploma

IB DP header

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) is a comprehensive and rigorous pre‐university course taken in Grade 11 and Grade 12. The program offers students:

  • a balanced and challenging academic experience, which emphasises the education of “the whole person”, thus developing socially responsible citizens of the world.
  • an internationally accepted university entrance qualification into universities.
  • international understanding through shared academic experience and development of global
  • a sense of identity and cultural
  • development as critical and compassionate thinkers and informed participants in local and world

The IB Diploma Program is successful and is growing. The IB works with over 3,500 schools in 145 countries to offer the three IB programs to approximately 1,100,000 students. The Diploma Program for students aged 16 to 19 started in 1968 with first examinations in 1970 and is now offered by 2,417 IB World Schools. Over 5,300 IB World Schools in more than 140 countries teach IB Diploma courses.

IBDP provides the opportunity for all students to challenge themselves

to a higher level of educational excellence through its structure and curriculum that promotes intellectual curiosity and academic rigor.  

Vibha Masand, IB Diploma Progamme Coordinator

The IB Organisation is registered as a foundation with the Swiss Federal Government and holds consultative status with UNESCO. It is funded largely from fees paid by participating schools. The Head Office is located in Geneva, Switzerland, and there are three Regional Offices: Africa/Europe/Middle East (office in Geneva), Asia – Pacific (Singapore) and The Americas (Washington, Buenos Aires and Vancouver).

The IB Diploma Programme is a balance between the desirability of a broad education and the need to allow some specialisation.

In all subjects the emphasis is on the mastery of subject content along with the development of critical thinking and an appreciation of the value and art of learning. To achieve a broad and balanced programme the student must choose one subject from each of these six groups. 

Students must choose three subjects for study in greater depth at Higher Level (HL) and three subjects for study in somewhat lesser depth at Standard Level (SL).

In addition to the above subjects, the Diploma student must complete the IB Diploma core which is made up of three additional requirements.

  • Study a course of Theory of knowledge (ToK).
    This is an interdisciplinary course intended to stimulate critical reflection upon the knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom. ToK challenges students to question the bases of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases, and to develop a personal mode of thought based on analysis of evidence expressed in rational argument. ToK seeks to develop a coherent approach to learning which transcends and unifies the academic subjects and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives.
  • Undertake original research and write an Extended essay (EE) of some 4,000
    This project offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest and acquaints students with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected at university.
  • Actively participate in Creativity, Action, Service (CAS).
    CAS involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme. The three strands of CAS, which are often interwoven with particular activities are characterised as follows;

    :            arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
    Action:                   physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing work elsewhere in the Diploma Programme.
    Service:                  an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student.

    Students are able to use their co‐curricular participation in sport, music and drama productions to fulfil their CAS requirements.


Students who complete the IB Diploma are smart, intellectually curious and creative – prime examples of the skills we expect our students on campus to have. We consider the curriculum to be the most rigorous possible.

Director of Admissions, MIT

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