IB Diploma Programme

Grades 11 – 12

The Diploma Program (DP) is an academically-focused curriculum for students ages sixteen to eighteen (grades 11 and 12) who are preparing to enter university. It aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. The programme’s hard-earned reputation for quality, high standards, and pedagogical leadership reinforces its commitment to intercultural understanding and respect as an essential part of life in the 21st century.

ISA has offered students the opportunity to earn IB credentials since 1980. The school’s record of achievement is directly related to the excellent quality of our teachers and programme. With the support and expertise of the faculty, students operate in an academic learning community environment, which stimulates them to explore and excel.

For students planning to enter most European and Commonwealth universities, the IB Diploma is usually the only guarantee for university admission available to international students. For American universities, successful participation in IB courses can promote university acceptance, while successful completion of IB exams can lead to university course credit and/or advanced university placement.

Diploma Programme Academic Areas

The Diploma Programme is presented as six academic areas enclosing a central core. It encourages the concurrent study of a broad range of academic areas. Students study:

    • Two modern languages (or a modern language and a classical language)
    • A humanities or social science subject
    • An experimental science
    • Mathematics
    • One of the creative arts

Extended Essay: students are introduced to and guided in university-level research through the Extended Essay process, culminating in the writing of an approximately 4,000-word essay.

Theory of Knowledge (ToK): ToK is a foundational course that all DP students take, helping them to explore and understand the problematic and holistic nature of knowledge.

Creativity, Activity, Service (C.A.S.): a programme designed to help students develop their creativity, well-being and commitment to serve the communities in which they live and beyond.

IB Diploma Course Offerings at ISA

The following courses (Standard and Higher Level) are currently offered at ISA as part of the DP programme (grades 11 and 12). The school reserves the right to add or delete courses according to student demand and staff availability.

Group 1
Studies in Language and Literature
English A Language & Literature (SL, HL)
English A Literature (SL, HL)
Dutch A Language & Literature (SL, HL)
Japanese A Literature (SL, HL) – availability subject to student numbers
French A Literature (SL, HL) – availability subject to student numbers
School-Supported Self-Taught Languages
Group 2
Language Acquisition
English B (SL, HL)
French B (SL, HL)
Dutch B (SL, HL)
Spanish B (SL, HL)
French Ab initio (for beginners) (SL) – availability subject to student numbers
Mandarin B (SL, HL – from 2015)
Other Tutored Languages (SL, HL – these are offered on a private tuition basis)
Group 3
Individuals and Societies
History (SL, HL)
Geography (SL, HL)
Economics (SL, HL)
Information Technology in a Global Society (SL, HL)
Global Politics (SL, HL)
Group 4
Experimental Sciences
Biology (SL, HL)
Chemistry (SL, HL)
Physics (SL, HL)
Nature of Science (SL)
Group 5
Mathematics
Mathematical Studies (SL) Mathematics (SL, HL)
Group 6
Arts and Electives
Theatre Arts (SL, HL)
Visual Arts (SL, HL)
Music (SL, HL)
Additional Choice from Groups 1 to 4 (SL, HL)
Film (SL, HL)

It is this comprehensive range of subjects that makes the Diploma Programme a demanding course of study designed to prepare students effectively for university entrance.

Personal abilities and future goals usually determine a candidate’s curriculum, but the IB programme is structured to accommodate every motivated, sincere and serious student. In each of the academic areas students have flexibility in making their choices, which means they can choose subjects that particularly interest them and that they may wish to study further at university.

ISA Upper School Administration

The ISA Upper School is managed by Head of Upper School, Mr. Matt Sipple  and two Assistant Heads of School, Mr. Jim Canavan and Ms. Sybille Harth. The Upper School Administration works directly with the School Director to develop and implement the academic programmes for all of ISA’s Middle Years and Diploma Programme students.