US High School Diploma and Diploma Programme




The Diploma Programme at ISD

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is one of two pathways for grades 11 and 12 students (ages 16-19). DP candidates graduate with the ISD High School Diploma, accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and are awarded the IB Diploma by the IB in June if the student meets all criteria. 

The DP is an academically rigorous and balanced programme of education.

It addresses the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students, and IB graduates are highly sought after by universities around the world.

Our goal is to develop empathic, internationally minded learners that contribute positively to society.

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ISD IB Diploma Results 

ISD students achieve above world average results. Graduates consistently place in major universities in North America, Australia, Asia, the UK, and Europe.

IB Diploma Students Accepted at Higher Rates to Highly Selective Universities

The DP Curriculum

The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum is made up of six subject groups courses and the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay.

Diploma Programme Courses

Students choose courses from the following subject groups: studies in language and literature; language acquisition; individuals and societies; sciences; mathematics; and the arts.

Students may opt to study an additional sciences, individuals and societies, or languages course, instead of a course in the arts.

Students will take some subjects at higher level (HL) and some at standard level (SL).  HL and 

SL courses differ in scope but are measured according to the same grade descriptors, with students expected to demonstrate a greater body of knowledge, understanding and skills at higher level.

Each student takes at least three (but not more than four) subjects at higher level, and the remaining at standard level. Standard level subjects take up 150 teaching hours. Higher level comprises 240 teaching hours.

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5 Group 6
English A Language & Literature HL/SL English B HL/SL Business Management HL/SL Biology HL/SL Mathematics Analysis & Approaches SL/HL Visual Arts HL/SL
Bengali A Literature HL/SL French B HL/SL Economics HL/SL Chemistry HL/SL Mathematics Applications and Interpretation SL Music HL/SL
School Supported Self-Taught Language A Literature SL Spanish ab initio SL History HL/SL Physics HL/SL Theatre HL/SL
French ab initio SL

DP Core

Three components form the core of the IB Diploma Programme and are mandatory subjects for all DP students. For ISD High School Diploma students, only CAS is compulsory.

CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service)

The heart of the DP, the CAS programme aims to educate the whole student. There is life beyond the books! Although not graded, CAS requires students to prove they have achieved eight learning outcomes in their reflection journals, a sample of which are submitted to the IB. Students gain awareness of themselves and others by committing to projects with authentic needs within and beyond the ISD community. CAS projects have included establishing a football league for local children, constructing water tanks and shelters, teaching music, painting school murals, and organizing competitions. By doing and reflecting on these projects, students develop pivotal life skills and well-roundedness, traits valued by university admissions officers.

TOK (Theory of Knowledge)

What is the nature of knowledge? How do we know that a given claim or judgment is true or well grounded? Questions comprise almost the whole of TOK. Students and their teachers contemplate the diverse ways of knowing, areas of knowledge, and the role that knowledge plays in our world. Students learn about the strengths and weaknesses of knowledge claims made in each of their subject areas. TOK oral presentations and essays are externally assessed against a range of criteria.

Extended Essay

A self-directed mini-thesis of 4,000 words, the Extended Essay prepares students for future university study. Graduates often remember the experience as one of their most rewarding of the IB Diploma journey. Students write on a topic of interest that relates to a DP subject area, frequently focusing on their career ambitions. They learn to work independently, communicate ideas logically in a written form, and effectively manage their time over the 10 months of the inquiry. Essays are externally assessed against a range of criteria.

Learn more about DP Curriculum