Skip to main content

Through the Diploma Programme (DP) core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that often involves community service.

Through the DP, we develop students who:

  • have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge

  • flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically

  • study at least two languages

  • excel in traditional academic subjects

  • explore the nature of knowledge through the programme's unique Theory of Knowledge course.

Curriculum: the DP core and six subject groups 

Made up of the three required components, the DP core aims to broaden students educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.

The three core elements are:

  • Theory of knowledge, in which students reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know.

  • The extended essay, which is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.

  • Creativity, activity, service, in which students reflect on experiences and complete a project related to those three concepts.

The six subject groups are:

There are different courses within each subject group. 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 are typically one year courses. Higher level subjects, typically extend over both the Junior and Senior year.

Students who earn the IB Diploma or who earn individual course certificates are frequently awarded advanced standing and/or college credit at colleges and universities around the world. In addition, students attending a Colorado public university are awarded a minimum of 24 credit hours for an IB diploma. 

All students enrolled in Diploma Programme courses are expected to take the end-of-course DP exams. Success on DP exams is a strong predictor of success in post-secondary education. For university admission information worldwide, please see the University Policy Index. For more information on IB college credit in Colorado visit the Colorado Department of Higher Education website.