International Baccalaureate Diploma Program

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is a demanding, two-year program of curriculum and service that meets the needs of highly motivated secondary students. The Diploma Program offers a comprehensive and integrated approach to learning that prepares students for rigorous assessments in six subject areas during grades 11 and 12. Students must also complete a minimum of 150 hours in Creativity, Action, and Service activities,a 4,000-word essay of original research, and a Theory of Knowledge course. The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) awards its diploma to students who perform successfully on the six external examinations and fulfill all other requirements of the program at an authorized IB world school. It is recognized as the highest diploma currently offered by any high school in the world.

How does a student get into the GHS IB program?

Characteristics of a successful IB student

The Six Academic Subjects

Students are required to study both the humanities and the sciences. Diploma Program (DP) students must select one subject from each of the six groups. At least three and not more than four are taken at higher level (HL); the others at standard level (SL). HL courses are taken over two years; SL courses are typically taught over one year. Students are thus able to explore some subjects in depth and others more broadly. Active citizenship and global perspectives are encouraged in each area of the curriculum.


Group 1 – Language A1 English HL

Students ideally develop strong written and oral skills, respect for the literary heritage of their first language, and an international perspective.

Group 2 – Second language Spanish SL, German SL, French SL

All DP students are examined in a second language. The principal aim for the subjects in group 2 is to enable students to use the language in a range of contexts and for many purposes. The courses focus on written and spoken communication.

Group 3 – Individuals and societies History of Americas HL, Psychology SL

DP students will take two years of history. Year 11 will be U.S. History and Year 12 will be examining topics in history including war, Cold War and the Arab/Israeli conflict.

Group 4 – Experimental sciences Biology SL/HL, Physics SL, Chemistry SL

Practical laboratory skills are developed and collaborative learning is encouraged through an interdisciplinary group project. Students develop an awareness of moral and ethical issues and a sense of social responsibility is fostered by examining local and global issues.

Group 5 – Mathematics Math Studies SL, Mathematics SL

All DP students are required to complete a mathematics course, which aims to deepen a student’s understanding of mathematics as a discipline and to promote confidence and facility in the use of mathematical language.

Group 6 – The arts or elective Music SL/HL, Visual Arts HL

Options: Instead of a group 6 subject, a student may select an additional subject from one of the other groups.

The Core Requirements There are three core requirements for students wishing to take receive the full IB diploma.

  1. Theory of knowledge TOK is an interdisciplinary requirement intended to stimulate critical reflection on the knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom. The course challenges students to question the bases of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases and to develop the ability to analyze evidence that is expressed in rational argument. TOK is a key element in encouraging students to appreciate other cultural perspectives. The course is unique to the IBO, which recommends at least 100 hours of teaching time spanning the Program’s two years.
  2. Creativity, action, service In order to educate the whole person and foster responsible, compassionate citizens, IB diploma candidates are required to complete CAS activities . The CAS component encourages students to share their energy and special talents with others. Students may, for example, participate in theatre or musical productions, sports and community service activities. Students should, through these activities, develop greater awareness of themselves, concern for others, and the ability to work cooperatively with other people.
  3. Extended Essay Each student has the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest. The essay requirement acquaints DP students with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected by universities. It is recommended that a student devote a total of about 40 hours of private study and writing time to the essay. It may be written in any IB subject area currently taught at Goshen High School.

Enrollment Prerequisites
There are no prerequisites for entrance into the IB Diploma Program at Goshen High School. However, honors classes are strongly recommended. Interested students should consult with their guidance counselor.

For general information about the IB program, go to