The IB Diploma Programme (IB-DP) is a two-year programme for young people who are internationally minded. The programme is recognized world-wide and opens the doors to universities and other institutions of further education. The programme is offered in more than 4000 schools in more than 150 countries and the exam (the Diploma) is recognized around the world as a qualifying examination for numerous institutions of further education worldwide.
IB students become part of a global community guided by the mission statement of the International Baccalaureate Organization, the first lines being:
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect...encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate, and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) was first opened in 1968 and is now recognised as the worldwide gold standard of education. The DP is offered in more than four thousand school worldwide. It is an academically challenging and well-balanced education, where the students work in depth across a variety of subjects: mathematics, the arts, natural sciences, languages, literature, subjects about individuals and societies. All students choose a combination of six subject with all of these groups represented.
The reputation and quality of the programme is based on rigorous external assessment and a strong focus on the development of the whole student, intellectually, ethically, physically and emotionally.
Of the six subjects chosen, at least three and not more than four subjects are taken at higher level; the others at standard level. The Diploma Programme has three additional core elements which challenge the students to apply what they learn in personally and socially meaningful ways. These requirements include a 4,000-word extended essay on a subject of the student's choice; a course called Theory of Knowledge (TOK) that examines different ways and kinds of knowing; and a requirement called Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) where students engage themselves in personally and socially relevant activities beyond the classroom and the school.
The student coursework and exams is assessed by external examiners. The IBO maintains rigorous standards in both the development and grading of the work to secure the quality and recognition of the programme.