IB Diploma Programme
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is an internationally recognized program of studies offered to highly motivated 11th and 12th-grade students. This program provides the academic rigor, structure, and experiences for students looking for the highest degree of academic challenge. IB students are challenged to use their education to "create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect." (IBO Mission Statement)
The IB Diploma Program is a two-year program of studies across disciplines with multiple components. After completing the required IB classes and taking the IB exams, students will receive an IB Diploma in addition to their Virginia high school diploma.
The IB learner profile is the IB mission statement translated into a set of learning outcomes for the 21st century. The learner profile provides a long-term vision of education. It is a set of ideals that can inspire, motivate and focus the work of schools and teachers, uniting them in a common purpose.
To be awarded the IB Diploma students must:
- Completed six IB courses in different subject groups
- Complete assessments and external examinations in each group
- Participate in the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) component
- Complete a Theory of Knowledge course
- Submit an Extended Essay
- CAS, TOK, and the Extended Essay -- required components of the IB Diploma -- stem from the Learner Profile. Students pursuing IB Certificates in individual classes do not pursue CAS, TOK, or the Extended Essay.
- "CAS" stands for Creativity + Activity + Service. Across junior and senior years, diploma candidates accrue at least 50 hours of planned and supervised activities in each category. Such participation is meant to encourage the appreciation of attitudes and values other than one's own, and to enable the student to communicate readily on both a philosophical and practical level. Learn more about CAS.
- "TOK" is the Theory of Knowledge course. This course -- an after-school seminar during junior year and a year-long course senior year -- stimulates critical reflection on the knowledge and experiences acquired both inside and outside the classroom; evaluates the bases of knowledge and experience; and develops a personal mode of thought based on critical examination of evidence and argument. Learn more about TOK.
- The Extended Essay is a 3,500- to 4,000-word research paper on a topic of the Diploma candidate's choice. Development of this essay is guided by a faculty supervisor. Learn more.
- Students opting to undertake the school's most rigorous academic program undertake the full IB Diploma Program, intellectually challenging students both inside and outside the classes in a wide range of disciplines. Students can pursue IB Certificates in individual classes.
Diploma candidates take IB-level courses in each of six content areas: