International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) Overview

Image of front of Del Mar High School with IB World School Sign
The International Baccalaureate Programme is an internationally recognized diploma program, offering rigorous, challenging and advanced academic curriculum, while also developing students into community leaders and global citizens in the 21st century.
The IB Programme offers courses within six academic subject groups.  An IB Diploma Candidate must select one course from each of the six groups and study three at the higher level (HL) and three at the standard level (SL).  Additionally, Diploma Candidates must complete the three core components of the IB program:  Theory of Knowledge class; Extended Essay; and a CAS (Creativity, Activity, and Service) project.  The goal for an IB Diploma Candidate is to pass all six exams with a total minimum score of 24 (with no failing conditions,) and successfully complete the three core components of the IB Programme.  Students may also choose to study IB courses and pass on pursuing the diploma.
As required by the IB Organization, all HL classes are two-year courses.  The IB Mathematics SL and IB Math Studies SL courses are also two-year courses.  All other IB SL courses at Del Mar High School are one-year courses.

All Del Mar High School Juniors and Senior students are eligible and encouraged to enroll in IB courses. There is no application required to be a part of the IB Programme at Del Mar, although a student must receive a C- or better in the IB course's subject the previous year and some IB courses do require prerequisite courses to ensure success - for example, students must have successfully completed Integrated Math 3 before they are eligible to enroll in IB Mathematics SL. Students and their families will need to speak with Del Mar's IB Coordinator and/or their Guidance Counselor regarding specific questions about prerequisites for specific IB courses and pathways toward earning the IB Diploma. Once a student is enrolled in a course, they must maintain a C- or better to be eligible to remain in the course and/or move on to year 2.
The IB Programme offers a rigorous and high quality education to all of its students.  The types of research, writing, thinking and communication of ideas that IB courses require, reflect college-level expectations.  IB helps students get into college, and more importantly, prepares students to be successful in college once they are there.  Recent research provides evidence that Diploma Programme graduates pursue and successfully complete postsecondary studies in higher proportions than other high school graduates (Shah, Dean and Chen 2010; HESA 2011; Caspary 2011; Edwards and Underwood 2012; Coca et al 2012).
The IB Programme is different from other curricula because it:
  • encourages students to think critically and challenge assumptions;
  • develop independently of government and national systems, incorporating quality practice from research and the IBO's global community of schools;
  • encourages students of all ages to consider both local and global contexts;
  • develops multilingual students;
  • encourages students to be active in their communities and to take their learning beyond academic study; and
  • in order to offer and teach an IB Programme curriculum, a school must be authorized as an IB World School.

Throughout their IB experience, students develop approaches to learning skills and the attributes of the IB Learner Profile.  Students are able to take responsibility for their own learning and educational progress, encouraged to try different approaches to learning, and understand how knowledge itself is constructed. (This is further to IB's unique Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course.)

Some IB courses will receive a GPA boost and university credit*.  For a list of which IB courses earn honors designation by the UCs, please visit the following website:  Depending on the IB score earned and individual college policy, IB scores may lead to earning college credits prior to entering the institution and/or advanced course placement, allowing students to skip a lower division course requirement. For example, the UC system awards students, who complete the IB diploma with a score of 30 or above, with 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 may receive 8 quarter (5.3 semester) units at some universities.
* Please visit individual university websites for their IB credit/advanced course placement policy.
Can IB Be For Me? - January 2022
In early January, 2022, current and alumni students presented the annual event, "Can IB Be For Me?" - highlighting aspects of diploma and courses, and a down to earth perspective on what students can expect academically and how to balance IB with extracurriculars. To view a recording of the event, please view the video below.
Is the IB Diploma for me? - A worldwide IBO event featuring our students - March 2021
On March 17th, 2021, our IB students were featured in a world-wide International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) webinar - "Is the IB DP for me?" - where they discussed how IB is an education is for everyone. View the event below and see how IB can be for you!
Curious to learn event more?
The video below from the IBO highlights views from students, alumni, and teachers on how a Diploma Programme eduction is applied in everyday life. (Video Courtesy of the Resources Department of the International Baccalaureate Organization, United Kingdom.
If you have questions and would like more information about the IB Programme, please contact Del Mar's IB Coordinator, Emily Cassie at [email protected].