The Diploma Programme

The Diploma Programme (DP) is a course of study designed to meet the educational requirements of students aged between 16 and 19 years (Grades 11-12). It focuses on holistic development, fostering critical thinking, intercultural understanding, and a well-rounded skill set. Through its holistic approach, the IB DP aims to develop well-rounded, globally-minded individuals who are equipped with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed for success in higher education and beyond.

DP Subject Groups

In the DP model, students will choose one class from each of the six subject groups:

  1. Language & Literature
  2. Language Acquisition
  3. Individuals & Societies
  4. Sciences
  5. Mathematics
  6. Arts

Students will also engage with the DP core elements which include:

  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK): TOK is a unique course that encourages students to explore the nature of knowledge across multiple disciplines. Students are asked to think critically about how knowledge is acquired and evaluated. They are also encouraged to reflect on the implications and perspectives of different ways of knowing.
  • Extended Essay (EE): The EE is a 4,000-word independent research project completed by students in any subject of their choice. It offers them an opportunity for in-depth investigation and helps in the development of research and writing skills.
  • Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS): In CAS students will engage in a variety of activities to develop skills, demonstrate initiative, and contribute to their local and global communities.

Several studies commissioned by the IB have concluded that, compared to their peers, IB students tend to go to university at higher rates, go to more selective universities, and perform better once there. For example:

  • Former DP students in the United States (US) are significantly more likely to attend a ‘selective’ or ‘highly selective’ institution compared to the average US college-goer.
  • In the UK, students are more than twice as likely to attend a top 20 university than the average A level student.
  • Minority and low income IB students from Chicago Public Schools were shown to go on to university at significantly higher rates than a matched control group of their non-IB peers of similar academic ability.
  • Feedback collected from a wide range of IB graduates suggests that IB students have an easier time adjusting to university studies.