What is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme?
An academically challenging and balanced course of study, that prepares students for success in college and life beyond. The mission of the program is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better, more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
The IB Diploma Programme is a comprehensive and challenging pre-university course that demands the best from both motivated students and teachers. This sophisticated two-year curriculum covers a wide range of academic subjects and has stood the test of time for over half a million students in 138 countries since 1968. IB Diploma Programme graduates are welcomed by the world's leading universities
What are the benefits of the IB Diploma Programme?
- Higher university and college acceptance rates for IB graduates than for total population applicants
- Increased scholarship and grant opportunities
- A college level academic program that transitions students to university and college standards
- Interdisciplinary instruction to encourage international-mindedness
- Fostering of lifelong learning
- Teacher development using IB strategies
Universities recognize the outstanding qualities of IB Diploma Programme students. Typically, diploma holders are ready to debate real-world issues from an international perspective and to provide leadership and support in the local and global community. They demonstrate a capacity for in-depth study while maintaining a broad perspective of the different subject areas. They are able to ask challenging questions but also know how to research a topic and express their opinion.
How is the IB Diploma Programme structured?
To prepare for the program in grades 11 and 12, freshmen and sophomores take Honors/Pre Diploma Programme classes in English, social studies, and science along with appropriate mathematics and foreign language courses.
As juniors and seniors, students take one course from each of the six subject groups illustrated in the hexagon below.
Group 1 English
Group 2 Foreign Language
Group 3 History
Group 4 Science
Group 5 Mathematics and Computer Science
Group 6 IB Elective/The Arts
Unique Learning OpportunitiesThe IB Diploma Programme is about more than the six subjects that students study. At its heart are three core requirements that are integral to the curriculum and make the IB Diploma Programme unique
What are the core requirements of the IB Diploma Programme?
- Theory of Knowledge, an interdisciplinary course that encourages students to reflect on the nature of knowledge
- Extended Essay, a 4000 word document written by each student relating an independent research project.
- Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), activities that enable students to learn through real world experience beyond the classroom
Theory of Knowledge (TOK) -an internally and externally assessed interdisciplinary component that explores the different concepts of knowledge found in the subject areas. Because IB Diploma Programme students study six subjects simultaneously, TOK teachers can, for example, ask their students to compare a historian's approach to problem solving with that of a scientist or an artist.
Extended Essay - an externally assessed, independent research assignment of 4,000 words in one of the six subject areas. This is one of the ways in which IB Diploma Programme students can specialize in a certain subject area and prepare for university studies.
Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) - a minimum of 150 hours of participation over the two years in creative, physical and service activities in the local community. The CAS requirement allows students to gain real-life experience beyond the classroom
How are IB Diploma Programme students assessed?
Subjects are scored on a 1-7 scale that includes both internal and external assessments, with a further three points available for theory of knowledge and the extended essay. Students who display good levels of performance across all six subjects and achieve a minimum of 24 points (out of a possible 45) are awarded the diploma. All others receive a certificate for each of the subjects completed. Diplomas are awarded to students who take and successfully complete one course from each subject group, earn a minimum total of 24 points, and satisfy the IB core requirements.
Internationally Recognized StandardsThe IB Diploma Programme is widely recognized for its high academic standards. Assessment is varied and takes place over two years, with final examinations in each subject. Students' work is assessed by an international board of examiners, who are themselves rigorously trained and monitored by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO).
How do students apply for the IB Diploma Programme?
Eighth grade students may obtain an application from any PGCPS Middle School Guidance Department, from the IB Coordinator at Diploma Programme sites, or on the PGCPS website.
Prince George's County Public Schools International Baccalaureate Programme Diploma Programme Sites:
What is the IB Middle Years Programme?
The IB Middle Years Programme, for students aged 11 to 16, provides a framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, and become critical and reflective thinkers.
Prince George's County Public Schools International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme Sites:
International Baccalaureate Organization
International Baccalaureate Website