The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is an
academically challenging and balanced
programme of education with final
examinations that prepares students,
aged 16 to 19, for success at university
and life beyond.
It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The programme has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.
The Diploma Programme prepares students for effective participation
in a rapidly evolving and increasingly global society as they:
• develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
• acquire breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding,
studying courses from six subject groups
• develop the skills and a positive attitude towards learning
that will prepare them for higher education
• study at least two languages and increase understanding
of cultures, including their own
• make connections across traditional academic disciplines
and explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s
unique theory of knowledge course
• undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the
lens of one or more academic disciplines in the extended essay
• enhance their personal and interpersonal development through creativity, action and service.
IB Diploma Programme students must choose one subject from each of the five groups (1 to 5), ensuring breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language, additional language(s), the social sciences, the experimental sciences and mathematics.
Students must also choose either an arts subject from group 6, or a second subject from groups 1 to 5. DP subjects can be taken at higher level or standard level.
At least three and not more than four subjects are taken at higher level (240 teaching hours), while the other subjects are taken at standard level (150 teaching hours).
In addition to disciplinary and interdisciplinary study, the Diploma Programme features three core elements that broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.
The Diploma Programme core
The extended essay asks students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the DP subjects they are studying. The world studies extended essay option allows students to focus on a topic of global significance which they examine through the lens of at least two DP subjects.
Theory of knowledge develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines. In this course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction.
Creativity, activity, service (CAS) involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme. Creativity encourages students to engage in the arts and creative thinking. Activity seeks to develop a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. Service with the community offers a vehicle for new learning with academic value. The three strands of CAS enhance students’ personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning and enable journeys of self-discovery.
For more general information on the Diploma Programme, please visit the IB's website or