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 about 150 countries and the exam (the Diploma) is recognized around the world as a qualifying examination for a very large number of institutions of further education.
IB students become part of a global community sharing the same learner profile and educated and formed by the same mission statement, saying in its first lines that
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 was established in the 1960s and is now recognised as the worldwide gold standard of education. The programme is academically challenging and well-balanced, requiring the students to work in-depth across a variety of subjects, covering the range from mathematics, the arts, science, language, literature, individuals and societies. The reputation and quality of the programme is among other things based on rigorous external assessment and a strong focus on the development of the whole student, intellectually, ethically, physically and emotionally.
International Baccalaureate Diploma candidates are expected to do IB coursework in six major areas, including literature, languages, social studies, the experimental sciences, mathematics and elective of either arts or an additional course from one of the other subject areas. 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 requirements intended to broaden the educational experience and challenge 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 the nature of knowledge and different ways and kinds of knowing, and a requirement called Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) which requires 150 hours of personally and socially relevant activity beyond the classroom and, in many cases, beyond the school.
IB assessment is both internal, grading of the work during the two years of study, and external with work being 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.