IB Diploma Programme


The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program offers a rigorous course of study that meets the needs of highly motivated students. It provides students of different linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds with the intellectual, social, and critical perspectives necessary for the adult world that lies ahead of them. IB provides students with perspectives and opportunities that can enable them to succeed in the competitive, modern world. Please contact either IB Diploma Program coordinator if you have any questions about the curriculum. 


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 also pursue IB Certificates in individual classes.


Typical Four Year Plan

IB Course Descriptions


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 + Action + Service. Across junior and senior years, diploma candidates plan, participate and reflect about curricular and extra-curricular activities. 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.

  • "TOK" is the Theory of Knowledge course. This course 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.

  • 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.

The IB Diploma Program calls for students to take three classes at the Higher Level (two-year courses culminating in a senior-year exam) and three classes at the Standard Level (one- or two-year courses culminating in a junior- or senior-year exam). The course catalog identifies which classes are offered at higher and standard levels. In addition to meeting with their school counselors, Diploma candidates meet with an IB coordinator in spring of sophomore year to plan the following year's course enrollment.  For details about IB Courses, click on the Course Catalog or view the subject briefs below.  Students can also pursue Certificates in one or several courses at either the Higher or Standard Levels. Certificate students are not required to take classes in each of the IB groups. Certificate students also do not participate in CAS, TOK, or the EE.

Transfer to Mount Vernon for IB Diploma Program (high school students)