IB Diploma Programme

Introduction and History

The IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) is an academically challenging and balanced educational programme that includes final examinations and prepares students aged 16 to 19 for dpsuccess at university and beyond. Designed to prepare for more than just scoring on exams alone, it addresses the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well-being of students as a whole. Tracing its roots back to 1948, it was fully developed in Geneva, Switzerland in the mid-1960s by a group of international educators.  Following a six-year pilot programme ending in 1975, it officially established a bilingual diploma that has, since then, spread to more than 75 countries world-wide. It is now recognized by thousands of universities in the U.S. and abroad for its rigorous, academic preparation for college.

The Curriculum

IBDP students choose one subject from each of five groups (1 to 5), ensuring breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language, additional language(s), social sciences, experimental sciences, and mathematics.  Additionally, students may choose either an arts subject from group 6, or a second subject from groups 1 to 5.  In addition to these subjects, IBDP students also complete the Diploma Programme Core which includes Theory of Knowledge; the Extended Essay; and Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS), the extracurricular component of the programme. 

Group 1-Studies in Langauge and Literature:

IB English HL 1

IB English HL 2


Group 2-Language Acquistion: 

Arabic Ab Initio SL


Spanish SL

French SL

Language B SL Brief (519.72 KB)


Spanish HL 1

Spanish HL 2

French HL 1

French HL 2

Language B HL Brief (520.16 KB)


Group 3-Individuals and Societies:

History HL 1

History of the Americas HL 2

History HL Brief (398.36 KB)
History HL Guide (8.64 MB)


Psychology HL 1

Psychology HL 2


Group 4-Sciences:

IB Chemistry SL

Chemistry SL Brief (401.22 KB)
Chemistry SL Guide (401.22 KB)


IB Physics SL

Physics SL Brief (400.53 KB)


IB Biology SL

Biology SL Brief (400.03 KB)
Biology SL Guide (2.34 MB)


Group 5-Mathematics:

IB Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation SL


IB Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches SL


Group 6-The Arts:

Visual Arts HL 1

Visual Arts HL 2


Film HL 1

Film HL 2

IB Film HL Brief (356.65 KB)
IB Film HL Guide (2.77 MB)


Music HL 1

Music HL 2

IB Music HL Brief (624.07 KB)


Theatre HL 1

Theatre HL2


The Diploma Programme Core

The Extended Essay (EE) asks students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the Diploma Programme subjects they are studying.  The World Studies EE option allows students to focus on a topic of global significance, which they examine through the lens of at least two Diploma Programme subjects (approximately 4,000 words).


EE Brief (557.59 KB)
EE Guide (6.62 MB)


Theory of Knowledge (TOK) develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines.  In this critical thinking course, students inquire into the nature of knowing and address different ways of knowing while they deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction.  At Eagle Rock High School (ERHS), students will take TOK over their junior and senior years in order to assist them with the completion of thee EE and CAS core requirements.

TOK Brief (556.23 KB)
TOK Guide (1.73 MB)



Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme.  Creativity encourages students to engage in the arts and creative thinking.  Activity seeks to develop a healthy lifestyle through physical exertion.  Service with the community offers a vehicle for a new learning with academic value.  The three strands of CAS enhance students’ personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning and enable journeys of self-discovery.

CAS Brief (516.89 KB)
CAS Guide (576.76 KB)



Diploma Programme Assessment

  • Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, which are marked by external IB examiners.  Students also complete assessment tasks in the school, which are either initially marked by teachers and then externally moderated, or sent directly to external examiners. 
  • The marks awarded for each course range from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest).  Students can also be awarded up to three additional points for their combined results on both the TOK and EE essays.  The diploma is awarded to students who earn at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole programme and complete their Diploma Programme core requirements.  The highest total that an IBDP student can be awarded is 45 points. 
  • Assessment is criterion-related, which means student performance is measured against pre-specified assessment criteria based on the aims and objectives of each subject curriculum, rather than the performance of other students taking the same examinations.  The range of scores that students have attained remains statistically stable, and universities value the rigor and consistency of Diploma Programme assessment practices.


  • For a more detailed overview of IBDP assessments see the Assessment Overview tab above.




Why should I become a Diploma Programme candidate?

Aside from the benefits of receiving a balanced, well-rounded education, IBDP earners will have received a degree that is recognized world-wide as preparing students for university studies and life in a global society.  Additionally, IBDP students are highly sought after by colleges and universities.  Similar to Advanced Placement (AP) courses, IBDP students receive credit for IB courses upon admission to many colleges and universities. The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) awards either a diploma or a certificate for individual IB exams.  Students who complete the IB diploma with a score of 30 or above will receive 30 quarter (20 semester) units toward their UC degree.  Students who receive IB certificates with scores of 5, 6 or 7 on Higher Level exams will receive 8 quarter (5.3 semester) units.


If you have questions please contact

Jonathan Malmed, IBDP Coordinator


(323) 340-3819