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IB Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

In May of 2017, Notre Dame Academy became an authorized International Baccalaureate World School for the two-year Diploma Programme serving students in grades 11 and 12.

The Diploma Programme (DP) is for students aged 16-19 (grades 11 and 12). This programme is designed to prepare students to succeed in higher education and beyond. The stated goals of the DP are to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge and who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.

DP Subjects

The DP curriculum is made up of six subject groups and the DP Core. The six subject groups are

  • Language and Literature
  • Language Acquisition
  • Individuals and Societies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • The Arts

Students choose courses from among the six subject groups, three at standard level and three at higher level.

DP Core

The DP Core is integral to the DP because it helps to broaden the students’ experiences and give them opportunities to apply what they have learned. The Core is made up of the following three components:

  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK), a course that encourages students to reflect on the nature of knowledge and to explore the question, “How do we know what we know?”
  • Extended Essay (EE), a 4,000-word essay on a topic chosen by the student and related to one of their six subjects. The essay is a yearlong, independent, student-driven research project that is excellent preparation for college.
  • Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) requires students to do a range of activities over the two years of the programme. These activities are not assigned but student-initiated. At least one of these activities should be an extended project requiring teamwork or collaboration.

Assessment and Exams

Students in DP courses are assessed both internally and externally. These assessments combine to determine a student’s score in a course. Internal assessments, completed during the school year, are assessed by the teacher and moderated by the IB. External assessments are examinations given at the end of the course and assessed by outside examiners.

Examples of internal assessments include

  • oral work in languages
  • fieldwork in geography
  • laboratory work in the sciences
  • investigations in mathematics
  • artistic performances

Examples of external assessments include

  • essays
  • structured problems
  • short-response questions
  • data-response questions
  • text-response questions
  • case-study questions
  • multiple-choice questions (rarely used)

Mr. Dan Jewitt
DP Coordinator

10 Reasons - DP

Learner Profile

Additional Resources

International Baccalaureate - DP

IB Graduation Statistics

In May 2011, the IBO sent a survey* to 319 IB World Schools in the United States. The organization received responses from 4,171 graduating high school seniors. Below are a few key points gathered from the 4,171 respondents.

  • IB students have a 22% higher acceptance rate to colleges in the United States than non-IB students.
  • IB students have between a 3% and 13% higher acceptance rate to Ivy League institutions than non-IB students.
  • The average SAT score for IB diploma students is 453 points above the national average.
  • IB diploma candidates scored higher in all four subjects of the ACT compared to the national average.
  • 97% of all students that took part in the IBO survey feel prepared for their future studies.