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What is the IB Diploma Programme?

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) began in the 1960s within the international school community as a way to establish a rigorous academic credential that would be recognized globally. This highly respected program is uniquely aligned with our Catholic, Holy Cross mission to nurture personal growth and foster integrity in young men of diverse talents, backgrounds and beliefs. 

The IB Diploma Programme is a rigorous and balanced two-year curriculum for juniors and seniors noted for developing students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge and flourish intellectually, emotionally, physically and ethically. The program uses instructional techniques that emphasize critical thinking and knowledge application, while also encouraging international mindedness. Today, the IB Diploma Programme is respected by the world's top universities as one of the most comprehensive college preparation programs available.

How Does the IB Diploma Programme Work?

Students choose courses from the six different IB groups: English, Second Language, Individuals and Societies, Experimental Sciences, Math and The Arts. Students have the opportunity to focus in on their strengths and interest by taking at least three and no more than four courses of their choice at the Higher Level, while the remaining classes are taken at the Standard Level. All courses are taught over two-years. In addition to the courses, students will complete all IB Core Requirements.


IB Programme Approaches Art

Core Requirements

College acceptances rate among IB students is 22% higher than the total population and up to 13% higher for Ivy League schools particularly.

The Value of an IB Education

In addition to the depth and breadth of the knowledge that an IB education provides, colleges and universities from across the world regard the IB Diploma Programme as one of the finest college preparatory programs available. Research shows that students who successfully complete the IB Diploma Programme are more likely to be enrolled in the nation's top prestigious universities. See how Stanford University's Assistant Dean of Admissions Debra Von Bargen describes the value of an IB education below:



IBDP Programme Outcomes

The IB program will challenge students to: 

  • Become independent thinkers by challenging assumptions
  • Broaden their cultural understanding through the acquisition of a new language
  • Engage, connect, and collaborate with individuals from different backgrounds and cultures
  • Enter college as strategic researchers

Upon completion, IBDP students are:

  • Prepared for global citizenship and global competition
  • Twice as likely to be admitted to the most selective colleges and universities as non-Diploma students
  • Graduated in 4 years from college at twice the rate of non-Diploma students

Why should I become a Diploma Programme candidate?

Boy working with laser

Aside from the benefits of receiving a balanced, well-rounded education, IB diploma earners will have received a degree that is recognized world-wide as preparing students for university studies and life in a global society.  All IBDP students, whether they earn the diploma or do not, are highly sought after by colleges and universities for having challenged themselves through as rigorous a program as Notre Dame High School offers.  Colleges and universities offer students credit for IB courses upon admission in the same manner as they do for Advanced Placement (AP) courses.  For the UC system, students who earn the IB diploma with a score of 30 or above receive 30 quarter (20 semester) units toward their UC degree.  Students who receive IB certificates with scores of 5, 6 or 7 on Higher Level exams will receive 8 quarter (5.3 semester) units. Most other colleges and universities in the U.S. and around the world also offer significant credit for both diploma and individual exam scores as well.

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