International Baccalaureate
    Diploma Programme

    The IB Full Diploma Programme

    The Diploma Programme: preparing students for success in higher education and life in a global society.


    What is the Diploma Programme? 

    The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The programme, has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.


    The Diploma Programme prepares students for effective participation in a rapidly evolving and increasingly global society as they:

    ·         develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically

    ·         acquire breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, studying courses from 6 subject groups

    ·         develop the skills and a positive attitude toward learning that will prepare them for higher education

    ·         study at least two languages and increase understanding of cultures, including their own

    ·         make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course

    ·         undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the lens of one or more academic disciplines in the extended essay

    ·         enhance their personal and interpersonal development through creativity, action and service


    The Diploma Programme Core – for students who choose to pursue the IB Full Diploma


    The extended essay asks students to engage in 4,000-word independent research essay through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the DP subjects they are studying.  The world studies extended essay option allows students to focus on a topic of global significance which they examine through the lens of at least two DP subjects.  Work begins junior year and is completed senior year.


     Theory of knowledge develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines. In this course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction. All Full Diploma students are required to take this class for their 2 DP years.


    Creativity, action, service (CAS) involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme. Creativity encourages students to engage in the arts and creative thinking. Action seeks to develop a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. Service with the community offers a vehicle for a new learning with academic value. The three strands of CAS enhance students’ personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning and enable journeys of self-discovery. Students are required to spend 150 hours over their 2 DP years in the areas of creativite, activity, and service.


    The Curriculum – for students who choose to pursue the IB Full Diploma


    IB Diploma Programme students must choose one subject from each of five groups (1 to 5), ensuring breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language, additional language(s), the social sciences, the experimental sciences and mathematics. Student may choose either an arts subject from group 6, or a second subject from groups 1 to 5. Student must take the IB exam in each of these 6 groups (3 HL and 3 SL).



    IB Examinations

    Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, which are marked by external IB examiners. These exams occur in May of the student's junior or senior year. The schedule is dictated by the IBO and the IB Coordinators at Reagan organize the examination process according to IB regulations.


    Internal Assessments (IAs)

    Students also complete assessment tasks in the school, which are either initially marked by teachers and then moderated by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners. Each DP subject incorporates one or more IA into the curriculum. IAs are mandatory for all students participating in the course.


    Exam Scoring

    The marks awarded for each course range from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest). Students can also be awarded up to three additional points for their combined results on theory of knowledge and the extended essay. The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole programme and to satisfactory participation in the creativity, action, service requirement. The highest total that a Diploma Programme student can be awarded is 45 points.


    Assessment is criterion-related, which means student performance is measured against pre-specified assessment criteria based on the aims and objectives of each subject curriculum, rather than the performance of other students taking the same examinations. The range of scores that students have attained remains statistically stable, and universities value the rigour and consistency of Diploma Programme assessment practice.



    For more information contact:


    Diploma Programme Coordinator

    Mr. David Walker

    walkerd5@milwaukee.k12.wi.us, 414-304-6108




    Please click here to download the General Regulations DP Packet document: