What is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme? The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a two-year program for 11th and 12th graders who want an academic challenge and a diploma recognized by universities throughout the world. Students earn the Diploma by taking six subjects and doing three special features: an "extended essay," creative, active service to school and community, and a course called Theory of Knowledge meant to stimulate critical reflection on learning and experience.
The IB is called a "diploma" program because students earn a diploma granted by the International Baccalaureate Organization at the same time that they also are earning their Georgia high school diploma. Students are testedin six areas: Language A-1 (your native language), Language B (the language you learn in school), Math, Science, Individuals & Society (History), and the Sixth Area is a subject you choose from several options, including the Fine Arts.
Can I take part of this program? Can I take one or two courses? Yes, we encourage students to do individual IB courses where offered and to take the exams in them. Such courses are called "Certificate" courses because IBO awards you a certificate when you complete the requirements of the course. Colleges and Universities in the United States award advanced standing and credit to students who take higher level (HL) "Certificate" courses in the same way that they do for AP courses.
How do I get into the IB Diploma Programme? First, apply to the International Studies Magnet Program. The 9th and 10th grade honors level courses of the magnet program prepare students for the IB Diploma program. Students apply to the IB Program in the spring of their tenth grade year. Sophomores write an application and submit a transcript, teacher recommendations, and a reference letter from someone outside the school. An interview completes the application process. Students from outside Riverwood may also apply for the Diploma Program in their tenth grade year. The IB program begins at the beginning of the 11th grade year.
Who takes IB Courses? Students who like academic subjects and want to take an interesting and challenging course of study that makes them good candidates for selective universities. This is not a special program for "rocket scientists;" it is a special program for ordinary people who like to learn. The typical candidate for the IB Diploma has taken Algebra I, and a year or more of Foreign Language in middle school, and is enrolled in honors courses in the ninth and tenth grade. Notice that we say "typical." We expect to have - and do have - students who for one reason or another have not done some or all of those things.
Why do the IB Diploma Program? The Diploma Program gives you university preparation that is broad and deep. The six subjects make your education broad: English, Foreign Language, History, Math, Science and a selection from the Arts or an elective. You choose to go in depth in three of those areas, to pursue your own interests. All your work is assessed by teachers at Riverwood and by international boards of examiners, guaranteeing that you have measured yourself by standards accepted around the world.The IB diploma is accepted as a standard of excellence by selective colleges and universities throughout the world.
Will I get college credit for IB courses? Virtually all colleges and universities offer advanced standing or course credit to students with strong IB examination results. You can check out the policies of over 800 colleges and universities by going to www.ibo.org, and then to "Services" and "University Recognition." You will find that both IB and AP courses are rewarded - in the same ways - with advanced standing and college credit. You will also find that admissions offices take the Diploma Program and its courses very seriously.