International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Program (DP) and Career-Related Program (CP)

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Program (DP) provides comprehensive rigorous education with an international perspective for 11th and 12th graders.

The IB programs provide a comprehensive rigorous education emphasizing analytical thinking, reading and writing skills with an international perspective. Students may choose to pursue the IB diploma or take individual certificates in IB courses.

The Mission of the International Baccalaureate Program®

The International Baccalaureate® 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 organization 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.

IB Learner Profile

The aim of the IB programs are to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. IB learners strive to be:

  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Open-minded
  • Caring
  • Risk-takers
  • Balanced
  • Reflective

Visit the International Baccalaureate Organization website for more information, including a video.

The IB Diploma Program

The IB Diploma program is designed as an academically challenging and balanced program with final assessments that prepare students for success in college and life beyond. The diploma program is a two-year program for juniors and seniors. College credit may also be earned depending on the subject results and the individual university acceptance policies. The IB Diploma Program:

  • Balances subject breadth and depth and considers the nature of knowledge across disciplines through the unique Theory of Knowledge course,
  • Encourages international-mindedness starting with a foundation in the students’ own language and culture,
  • Develops a positive attitude to learning that prepares students for university education,
  • Requires rigorous external assessments with global standards, and
  • Emphasizes the development of the whole student – physically, emotionally, intellectually, and ethically.

IB DP Courses in Fairfax County Public Schools

IB DP courses can be offered at two different levels – higher (HL) or standard (SL). Most IB DP courses are two-year sequences with a few exceptions among the SL offerings. IB DP courses offered at individual Fairfax County Public Schools vary slightly.


The IB Diploma and Certificates

IB diploma logo

Students can elect to seek the IB diploma by successfully completing the following requirements:

  • One course in each of the six different subject areas with a minimum total score of 24 (out of 45) on the six assessments, Theory of Knowledge course, and the Extended Essay,
  • Theory of Knowledge course
  • Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS), and
  • Extended Essay in an area of interest to the student

Creativity, Activity, and Service

CAS requires that students actively learn from the experience of doing real tasks beyond the classroom. Students can combine all three components or do activities related to each one of them separately. Students are required to reflect upon their activities.

Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is a course designed to encourage each student to reflect on the nature of knowledge by critically examining different ways of knowing (perception, emotion, language, and reason) and different kinds of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical, and historical).

The Extended Essay

The extended essay is a requirement for students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the subjects they are studying.

For more information about the IB Diploma Program call 571-423-4744 or visit the IBO website.

International Baccalaureate Career-related Program (IB CP)

IBCC logoThe International Baccalaureate® (IB) has developed a framework of international education that will incorporate the vision and educational principles of the IB into local programs that address the needs of students engaged in career-related education. In this context the IB wishes to collaborate with a range of agencies, including schools, colleges, career-related providers, local or regional education authorities and national education ministries (providing organizations), to develop this qualification, known as the International Baccalaureate® Career-related Program (IB CP). The IB CP is an academic qualification designed to support schools and colleges that offer career-related courses to their students.

Course requirements include:

  1. Two IB Diploma Program courses.
  2. Two Career-related courses.
  3. The reflective project that emphasizes the ethical dilemma associated with a particular issue drawn from the student’s career-related studies.
  4. The Personal and Professional Skills course that emphasizes the development of transferable skills needed to operate successfully in society.
  5. The community and service component that encourages service learning and emphasizes the affective development of students and concentrates on the concepts of partnership and learning.
  6. The language development component that must be completed in a course of study relevant to the student's background, need and context.