Technically, anyone who is a Junior or Senior enrolled in at least one IB course is a student in the IB Diploma program. However, the Full Diploma Program has some additional specific requirements which students must satisfy in order to be awarded an IB Diploma. As such, the Full Diploma Program is the most challenging academic program offered at St Mary’s. It carries a high prestige, is internationally recognized, and its successful completion opens doors for students at universities around the world.
All IB Diploma candidates are required to offer one subject from each of six groups. The groups are as follows:
- Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature
- Group 2: Language Acquisition
- Group 3: Individuals and Societies
- Group 4: Sciences
- Group 5: Mathematics
- Group 6: The Arts
A student not wishing to take a Group 6 subject can replace it with a subject from Groups 1 – 4. Additionally, a Group 2 subject can be replaced with another subject from Group 1. At least three and not more than four of the six subjects are taken at the Higher Level, the others at the Standard Level. Each examined subject is graded on a scale of 1 (minimum) to 7 (maximum). The award of the Diploma requires a minimum total of 24 points and the satisfactory completion of three additional requirements: the Extended Essay of some 4000 words, which provides an experience of an independent research paper; a course entitled Theory of Knowledge (TOK), that explores the relationships among the various disciplines and ensures that students engage in critical reflection and analysis of the knowledge acquired within and beyond the classroom; and the compulsory participation in CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) extracurricular and community service activities. Bonus points may be awarded for good performance in the Extended Essay and in Theory of Knowledge. The maximum score attainable in the Diploma is 45 points, including the three possible bonus points for the Extended Essay and TOK.