How to Earn the IB Diploma
Diploma Candidates study six courses from the subject groups (1-6). Normally, three subjects at the higher level (HL) and three at the standard level (SL). Additionally, they complete the core requirements that include the Extended Essay (EE), Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and Creativity Activity and Service (CAS).  

1.  To be awarded the IB Diploma, the following requirements must be completed:


Test in six different IB subject areas:

  • Group 1—Language A (English)
  • Group 2—Language B              
  • Group 3—Individuals and Societies
  • Group 4—Experimental Sciences
  • Group 5—Maths
  • Group 6—The Arts*

        Three additional components:

    2. The IB exams are administered on two different levels:

    • Standard Level (SL) - one year of instruction and can be taken in the 11th or 12th grade. Traditionally, these are the subjects in which the student does not feel as strong nor are favorites.
    • Higher Level (HL) - two years of instruction in the same subject but can only be taken in the 12th grade. Traditionally, these are the subjects in which the student feels strongest and are favorites.
    • A student must have a minimum of 3 HL courses and 3 SL courses.
      A max of two SL exams may be taken in the 11th grade year.
    • A student may take more than 6 IB exams; however, the additional exams will be considered “extra”; that is, above and beyond the required 6 exams.

    3. The Courses: Below is the list of IB/DP courses being offered for 19-20 SY in each group area and at the what level (SL or HL) the course is offered:

    ** All Diploma Porgramme course availability is dependent on student enrollment. Students will be provided with alternative options if one or more of their course choices are not offered.


    Group 1 

    Language A

     English Lang & Lit – HL

    Group 2 

    Language B 

     French – SL / HL    

     Spanish – SL / HL

     Please note:  Lang B is a two-year course regardless of SL

    Group 3 

    Individuals & Societies

     History of the Americas (11th grade only...meets CDE requirement)

     20th Century World History – SL / HL (12th grade only)

     Psychology – SL

     Business Management - SL

    Group 4
    Experimental Science

     Biology – SL / HL

     Chemistry – SL / HL            

     Environmental System & Socities - SL

     Please note:  Biology or Chemistry is a two-year course regardless of SL

    Group 5

     Math Studies – SL   *(Last year being offered per IB)

     Mathematics – SL   *(Last year being offered per IB)

     Math Applications and Interpretation - HL

     Math Applications and Interpretation - SL *(being offered SY 20-21)

    Group 6
    The Arts*




     Film – SL / HL

     Visual Art & Design – SL / HL

     Theatre Arts – SL / HL

     Please note: All Group 6 courses are two-year courses regardless of  SL or HL.

     * Group 6 requirement can also be fulfilled by taking a second Group 2, 3 or 4 subject

    ​ 4. The Scoring

    • IB exams are scored on a scale of 1 – 7. A score of 4 is considered passing
    • Students are required to earn a minimum score of 24 points to receive the IB Diploma.
    • Bonus points (3 points maximum) are awarded for “excellent” Extended Essays and TOK Papers
    • The maximum number of points a student can earn is 45 (42 subject exam points + 3 from the core).

    ​     NOTE: A candidate can only receive the overall diploma certificate if none of the following nine conditions below applies. The student will still receive college credit for the courses they pass.  

    • CAS requirements have been met.

    • Candidate's total points are fewer than 24.
    • An “N” (no grade awarded) has been given for TOK, EE or for a contributing 

    • There is no grade E (Failing Grade) awarded for TOK and/or the EE.
    • There is a grade 1 awarded in a subject/level.
    • Grade 2 has been awarded three or more times (HL or SL).
    • Grade 3 has been awarded four or more times (HL or SL).
    • The student has gained fewer than 12 points on HL subjects (for students who
      register for four HL subjects, the three highest grades count).
    • The student has gained fewer than 9 points on SL subjects (students who

       register for two SL subjects must gain at least 5 points at SL).

    5. How the Score is Determined

    • The Internal Assessment (IA): the application of knowledge learned in an IB subject.
    • This may take the form of oral commentaries (English, foreign languages, theatre), written commentaries, investigation papers, projects, dossiers, etc.
    • Each IB exam consists of two or more parts (known as “papers”). The fine arts are assessed through performance review and reflections of the creative process.
    • Each component (the IA and each “paper”) receives a percentage of the overall grade. Each component is assessed by a different examiner located in a different part of the world.
    • In addition, the IB instructor is required to submit a predicted grade (PG); that is, what the instructor believes the student’s final score will be. 

    6. College / University Recognition of the IB Diploma

    • A minimum of 24 hours of college credit will be awarded to any student who earns the IB Diploma and attends a public college or university in Colorado. (HOUSE BILL 03-1108)
    • The student must earn a score of at least 4 on each IB exam taken for the IB Diploma. The college credit earned must be applied to the student’s degree plan unless the college/university does not have an equivalent course available. In that case, elective credit will be awarded. This law also applies to public institutions in multiple states.
    • Additional college credit hours may be awarded depending on institution, number of exams, and scores
    • IB Article: Getting IB Diploma Credit at US Colleges and Universities (May 2018)