International Baccalaureate


The IB Program is a challenging four year curriculum for grades nine through twelve. It leads to a qualification that is widely recognized by the world’s leading universities. Students learn more than a collection of facts. The Diploma Program prepares students for university and encourages them to: ask challenging questions learn how to learn develop a strong sense of their own identity and culture develop an ability to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures. All students regardless of gender, race, culture, or family income are eligible to apply.

In the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program 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.

The six IB subject areas and courses offered at Highland High are:

  • Language A: English
  • Language B: Spanish, French, German
  • Individuals and Societies: History of the Americas
  • Experimental Sciences: Biology and Chemistry
  • Mathematics: Math Studies, Mathematics SL
  • Arts and Electives: Studio Art, Music, Film Studies

Students at Highland will move through IB courses in 11th and 12th grade as a small learning community, providing support and encouragement for each other.


The Highland High School Pre-IB course of study is offered to students in 9th and 10th grades as preparation for the two-year IB Program in 11th and 12th grades. Highland High School Pre-IB students take English, world language, social studies, science, mathematics and Fine Arts. The IBO defines the IB student as one who is in either 11th or 12th grade. Thus, it is in the last two years of high school that students prepare specifically for the IB examinations and diploma requirements. Courses in the junior and senior years continue to stress content, writing skills, critical thinking, and the application of concepts in the six subject groups and in a Theory of Knowledge course, which stimulates critical reflection upon the knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom.
IB Diploma Requirements

To be eligible for the IB Diploma, students must meet the following requirements:
Complete course work and IB examination requirements in three higher-level disciplines and in three standard-level disciplines selected from the six subject areas listed above during 11th and 12th grade. Write an extended essay (4,000 words) on a student selected topic in one of the IB subject areas. Complete the Theory of Knowledge course. Complete 150 hours of creativity, action, and community service activities.