IB Diploma Programme

Introduction and History

The IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for dpsuccess at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well-being of students.  The programme has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.  Though it’s roots trace back to 1948, the programme was developed in the early to mid-1960s in Geneva by a group of international educators.  Following a six-year pilot programme ending in 1975, a bilingual diploma was established.  Since then the programme has spread world-wide and is now present in more than 75 countries and is recognized by thousands of universities as a rigorous, academic preparation for college.

The Curriculum

IBDP students must choose one subject from each of five groups (1 to 5), ensuring breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language, additional language(s), the social sciences, the experimental sciences and mathematics.  Student may choose either an arts subject from group 6, or a second subject from groups 1 to 5.  In addition to the coursework, IBDP students must complete the Diploma Programme Core. 

Group 1-Studies in Langauge and Literature:

IB English HL 1

IB English HL 2

Group 2-Language Acquistion: 

IB French Ab Intio SL

IB Spanish Ab Intio SL

IB Arabic Ab Intio SL

IB Mandarin Ab Intio SL


IB Spanish SL

IB Spanish HL 1

IB Spanish HL 2

Group 3-Individuals and Societies:

IB History HL 1

IB History of the Americas HL 2

IB Psychology HL 1

IB Psychology HL 2


Group 4-Sciences:

IB Chemistry SL

     IB Physics SL


Group 5-Mathematics:

IB Mathematical Studies SL


IB Mathematics SL


Group 6-The Arts:

IB Visual Arts HL 1

IB Visual Arts HL 2

IB Film HL 1

Ib Film HL 2


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).



Theory of Knowledge (TOK) develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academid disciplines.  In this course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and address different ways of knowing while they deepeen their understanding of knowldege 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.



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 exercise.  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 (approximately 150 hours total activity).


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.




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.