International Baccalaureate Programme


We’re excited to announce that Bishop Ludden is recognized as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School authorized to offer the Diploma Programme. Designed for the final two years of high school, the Diploma Program is held in very high regard by colleges and universities.



The aim of all IB programs is 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.


-The IB Learner Profile



What is the IB Diploma Programme (DP)?

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, established in 1968 and recognized as the worldwide gold standard of education, provides an academically challenging and balanced program of study to talented and motivated 11th and 12th graders around the world. IB coursework balances subject breadth and depth with a concern for an understanding of the connectedness of disciplines and intentionally fosters international mindedness. Its reputation is based on rigorous external assessments which emphasize the development of the whole student: physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.


International Baccalaureate Diploma candidates are expected to do IB coursework in six major areas, including literature, languages, social studies, the experimental sciences, mathematics and elective of either arts or an additional course from one of the other subject areas. At least three and not more than four subjects are taken at higher level; the others, at standard level.

The Diploma Programme has three additional core requirements intended to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply what they learn in personally and socially meaningful ways. These requirements include a 4,000-word extended essay on a subject of the student’s choice; a course called Theory of Knowledge (TOK) that examines the nature of knowledge and different ways and kinds of knowing, and a requirement called Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) which requires 150 hours of personally and socially relevant activity beyond the classroom and, in many cases, beyond the school.


IB examinations are taken at the end of the two-year program, and the different exams and assessments are graded by both classroom teachers and external examiners around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What courses do IB students take?

Students who choose the IB Diploma Programme complete 6 two-year courses focused on Language and Literature (English), Language Acquisition (foreign language), Mathematics, Sciences, Individuals and Societies (social studies), and the Arts.

Students must also complete an extended essay, an in-depth research project relating to one of the six courses they take; Theory of Knowledge, a seventh academic course that ties together the other academic disciplines and serves as a capstone class; and Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) hours, which require involvement in athletics, clubs and volunteerism.

Why should my student enroll in the IB Diploma Programme?

Bishop Ludden believes an IB education and a Bishop Ludden diploma will prepare graduates to compete and excel in college and, more importantly, in a global society. The mission of International Baccalaureate aligns with and expands the mission statement of Bishop Ludden. In particular, IB has translated its mission into a Learner Profile of ten characteristics which inspire and motivate the work of students and teachers. IB learners strive to be inquiring, thoughtful, expressive, knowledgeable, principled, open-minded, caring, balanced, risk-taking and reflective.

Participation in IB coursework gives distinct advantage to students in the college admission process. Universities around the globe recognize the rigor and value of an IB education. As evidence, students are asked on the Common Application—the application form used by most students and accepted by most universities in the United States—whether they are IB Diploma candidates, a sign of the value placed on this distinction by US universities. Many universities will also award academic credit for successful examination results in specific subject areas or after completion of the full IB Diploma.
Can my student take IB classes without enrolling in the IB Diploma Programme?

Yes. Students may enroll in certain IB courses without being in the IB Diploma Programme. Upon completion of the two-year course, the student will be awarded an IB Certificate in that subject area.

Who should enroll in the IB Diploma Programme?

Any student is eligible for the program. We welcome any student who wishes to challenge herself with a rigorous academic program that will prepare the student for lifelong learning.


Information for Parents

The International Baccalaurate Orgaization has created a new webpage dedicated to helping parents understand, and make the most of, the programmes it offers. Here, you will find information and FAQs about the programmes, plus recommended resources, research, advice on how to get transcripts, how to help students prepare for the move to higher education, and much more. HTTP://WWW.IBO.ORG/EN/INFORMATION-FOR-PARENTS/


Wondering how the IB Programme is different from AP? Click here for a direct comparison.


For more information on IB and its programmes, visit the IB website.

For more information about the IB Diploma Programme at Bishop Ludden, contact Allen Bidwell, IB Coordinator, at (315) 579-0086.