The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the IBO works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging Programs of international education and rigorous assessment.

These Programs 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 Six Academic Subjects

Students are required to study both the humanities and the sciences. Diploma Program (DP) students must select one subject from each of the six groups. At least three and not more than four are taken at higher level (HL); the others at standard level (SL). HL courses are taken over two years; SL courses are typically taught over one year. Students are thus able to explore some subjects in depth and others more broadly.  Active citizenship and global perspectives are encouraged in each area of the curriculum.

Group 1 – Language A1
English HL

Students ideally develop strong written and oral skills, respect for the literary heritage of their first language, and an international perspective.

Group 2 – Second language
Spanish SL, German SL, French SL

All DP students are examined in a second language. The principal aim for the subjects in group 2 is to enable students to use the language in a range of contexts and for many purposes. The courses focus on written and spoken communication.

Group 3 – Individuals and societies
History of Americas HL, Psychology SL (2009-10)

DP students will take two years of history.  Year 11 will be U.S. History and Year 12 will be examining topics in history including war,cold war and the Arab/Israeli conflict.

Group 4 – Experimental sciences
Biology SL/HL, Physics SL, Chemistry SL (2009-10)

Practical laboratory skills are developed and collaborative learning is encouraged through an interdisciplinary group project. Students develop an awareness of moral and ethical issues and a sense of social responsibility is fostered by examining local and global issues.

Group 5 – Mathematics
Math Studies SL, Mathematics SL

All DP students are required to complete a mathematics course, which aims to deepen a student’s understanding of mathematics as a discipline and to promote confidence and facility in the use of mathematical language.

Group 6 – The arts or elective
Music SL/HL, Visual Arts HL

Options: Instead of a group 6 subject, a student may select an additional subject from one of the other groups.

The Core Requirements

There are three core requirements for students wishing to take receive the full IB diploma.

Theory of knowledge
TOK is an interdisciplinary requirement intended to stimulate critical reflection on the knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom. The course challenges students to question the bases of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases and to develop the ability to analyze evidence that is expressed in rational argument. TOK is a key element in encouraging students to appreciate other cultural perspectives. The course is unique to the IBO, which recommends at least 100 hours of teaching time spanning the Program’s two years.

Creativity, action, service
In order to educate the whole person and foster responsible, compassionate citizens, IB diploma candidates are required to complete CAS activities . The CAS component encourages students to share their energy and special talents with others. Students may, for example, participate in theatre or musical productions, sports and community service activities. Students should, through these activities, develop greater awareness of themselves, concern for others, and the ability to work cooperatively with other people.

Extended Essay
Each student has the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest. The essay requirement acquaints DP students with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected by universities. It is recommended that a student devote a total of about 40 hours of private study and writing time to the essay. It may be written in any IB subject area currently taught at Goshen High School.


There are no prerequisites for entrance into the IB Diploma Program at Goshen High School. However, honors classes are strongly recommended.  Interested students should consult with their guidance counselor and the IB program coordinator.

There are no additional fees for taking IB classes beyond the normal textbook rental, although students will be expected to pay the fees charged for assessments and exams. However, financial need should not prohibit any student from taking IB exams.  The exam fees for the full diploma is approximately $625.00 (2007-08)

Students who do not wish to pursue the full diploma may take individual IB classes and receive certificates for successfully completing the IB assessments.

College Credit

For information on how colleges award college credit for IB diplomas and certificates, visit “Universities that recognize the IB diploma” at the IBO web site.