The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) has 4 academic programmes targeted at students between the ages of 3 and 19:
- The Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) for children of ages 3 – 12.
- The Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) for students between 11 – 16.
- The Diploma Programme (IB DP) for students aged 16 – 19.
- The Career Certificate (IBCC) for students aged 16 – 19.
The oldest and most enduringly popular is the Diploma Programme (DP). Many of the best international schools in the world teach according to the principles of ‘the I.B,’ as it is commonly known by students, parents, and teachers. In the interest of keeping things simple, we too will refer to the Diploma Programme on this website as simply ‘the I.B’.
The Diploma Programme is a 2-year university preparatory course, generally taken in grades 11 and 12 or the last two years of high school. It has a reputation for being highly demanding and academically rigorous, and has earned itself monikers along the lines of ‘Inhumane Brutality’ from frustrated students.
Nonetheless, numerous students and academics around the world agree that the Diploma Programme is one of the best pathways for adolescents to transition from the relatively happy-go-lucky world of high school to the more fast-paced and challenging university environment.
With a learning and teaching philosophy that aims at inculcating an inquisitive and analytical approach across disciplines, students are expected to take one subject each out of of the 6 disciplines or ‘areas of knowledge.’ But the Diploma Programme’s focus goes beyond mere academics. Balance, both within subject areas and across the Diploma Programme, is key. The Diploma Programme achieves this through the core components of the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and the CAS programme.