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IB Diploma Program

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is widely recognized as the worldwide standard for high school (pre-university) education. From its student-centered philosophy to its emphasis on depth and breadth of knowledge, independent research, international understanding, and critical thinking skills, the IBDP offers students academically rigorous two-year courses, studied individually as IB Certificates or within an IB Diploma.

ICS Addis has been authorized to offer the IB Diploma since 1982. The philosophy and mission of ICS align closely with the IB Diploma Program and recognizes the need for 21st century high school students to challenge themselves, particularly in their pre-university learning in grades 11-12. For many, this means pursuing the IB Diploma. For a variety of reasons, some students will opt for IB Certificates in individual subjects. We encourage all students—regardless of their previous academic performance—to enter the IB Diploma Program in grade 11, in order to be knowledgeable, well-balanced, and internationally minded citizens when they graduate from ICS.

If considering if IB is right for your child, checkout this overview HERE.

1) Effective Citing and Referencing

2) Academic Honesty in the IBDP

3) Academic Honesty in the IB Educational Context

Mission of the International Baccalaureate

“The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their difference, can also be right.”

Philosophy of the IBDP at ICS

The IB Diploma Program provides a challenging, internationally focused, broad and balanced educational experience for students aged 16 to 19. The IB’s mission statement and Learner Profile capture important aspects of this experience. In their studies, students are expected to make connections between different academic disciplines and to develop international-mindedness from their own perspectives. The Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) component also provides students with opportunities for sustained personal growth.

At ICS Addis, we believe that students of all abilities benefit from this coherent, holistic approach to learning. A student’s past academic preparation and performance are useful when planning a course of studies in grades 11-12, but we do not restrict participation in the IB Diploma on the basis of ability or grades.

“Life in the 21st century, in an interconnected, globalized world, requires critical-thinking skills and a sense of international-mindedness, something that International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme students come to know and understand.”

To find out more about the IB Diploma Program, visit the IBO public website.

IB Diploma Requirements


All our high school students prepare for an ICS High School Diploma. Based on the North American model, this diploma requires students in grades 9-12 to study a series of mandatory and elective courses over their four years of high school, along with completing additional graduation requirements including Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) in grades 11-12. The high school courses offered at ICS Addis include IBDP courses in grades 11-12.

Most of our high school students aim for the IB Diploma concurrently with the High School Diploma. Beyond the ICS High School Diploma graduation requirements, IB Diploma Candidates meet the IB Diploma requirements as well, including a critical thinking course called Theory of Knowledge, an independent research project called the Extended Essay, and a balanced combination of IB courses.


Assessment in the IBDP includes work assessed internally (by the ICS teacher) and externally (by examiners). Internal assessment in each course are assigned, guided, and marked by our IBDP teachers during the course, and may take the form of lab reports, portfolios, oral presentations, research workbooks, or other forms of authentic assessment. This internally assessed work, combined with the student’s results on May examination papers, forms the final IB score awarded in July by the IBO. IB scores range from 1-7, with 7 being the highest.


The IB awards scores for successful completion of individual subjects, studied over two years in grades 11-12, and culminating in examinations. Students who do not choose to pursue the IB Diploma will sit the exams for individual subjects they study. Depending on the student’s university destination, satisfactory scores for IB courses may meet entry requirements or be awarded college credit.

Program Courses
  • IB Diploma students must choose six DP courses, one course from Groups 1-6. At least three of those courses must be studied at Higher Level (HL).
  • IB Diploma Candidates also must complete the Theory of Knowledge course and an Extended Essay, an independent research project in an IB subject with a teacher mentor.
  • IB Certificate students may study any combination of courses at any level, timetable permitting.
Core Requirements
  • Theory of Knowledge
  • CAS
  • Extended Essay


 Group 1:

 Language and Literature

  Group 2:

  Second Language

  Group 3:

  Individuals and Societies

  • English A Language & Literature SL/HL
  • *Other languages A SL Only (School supported Self-Taught)
  • Amharic Literature SL/HL
  • French B SL/HL
  • French ab initio SL
  • Spanish B SL/HL
  • Spanish ab initio SL
  • Independent Second Language SL Only
  • History SL/HL
  • Geography SL/HL
  • Business and Management SL/HL
  • Environmental Systems and Societies SL Only


 Group 4:

 Experimental Sciences

  Group 5:


  Group 6:

  The Arts

  • Biology SL/HL
  • Chemistry HL Only
  • Physics HL Only
  • Environmental Systems and Societies SL Only
  • Computer Science SL/HL
  • Mathematics SL/HL
  • Math Studies SL Only
  • Visual Arts SL/HL
  • Theater SL/HL
  • or a second subject from Groups 1-4)

Click on Course Guide to see full course descriptions.

CAS: Creativity, Activity and Service

All students in grades 11-12 at ICS Addis participate in a wide range of service, active, and creative activities throughout the last two years of high school.

CAS is organized around the three strands of creativity, activity and service defined as follows.

  • Creativity—exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or 

  • Activity—physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle 

  • Service—collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need 

The IB’s CAS framework challenges students to reflect on their own personal growth through the activities they select, by aiming for the following seven CAS learning outcomes. Through participation in CAS activities, students provide evidence that they have:

Identified their own strengths and develop areas for growth

  • Students are able to see themselves as individuals with various abilities and skills, of which some are more developed than others.

Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process 

  • A new challenge may be an unfamiliar experience or an extension of an existing one. The newly acquired or developed skills may be shown through experiences that the student has not previously undertaken or through increased expertise in an established area.

 Demonstrated how to initiate and plan a CAS experience

  • Students can articulate the stages from conceiving an idea to executing a plan for a CAS experience or series of CAS experiences. This may be accomplished in collaboration with other participants. Students may show their knowledge and awareness by building on a previous experience, or by launching a new idea or process.

Demonstrated the skills and recognized the benefits of working collaboratively

  • Students are able to identify, demonstrate and critically discuss the benefits and challenges of collaboration gained through CAS experiences.

Shown commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences 

  • Students demonstrate regular involvement and active engagement in CAS.

Demonstrated engagement with issues of global significance

  • Students are able to identify and demonstrate their understanding of global issues, make responsible decisions, and take appropriate action in response to the issue either locally, nationally or internationally.

Recognized and considered the ethics of choices and actions

  • Students show awareness of the consequences of choices and actions in planning and carrying out CAS experiences.

A good CAS program should be both challenging and enjoyable, a personal journey of self-discovery. Students are expected to be involved in CAS activities each week during the two years of the Diploma program and are encouraged to reflect on their CAS activities on a regular basis.

A schools CAS program is monitored by the appropriate IB regional office.

*information taken from the IB CAS website.

IB Transfer Students

IB students entering ICS during Grade 11 (DP1) or between Grade 11 and 12 (DP1 / DP2):

Changing schools in the middle of an IB program can sometimes be problematic, as schools do not always offer the same IB Diploma subjects and also cover the content in IB courses at different times. However, the IBO is well aware that students sometimes need to transfer from school to school and we all do our best to help students through the transition.

Mid-program transfers involve the sharing of information and IBDP documentation from school to school through the IBDP Coordinators. As a matter of testing security, IBO expects that all assessment documentation to be handled by the IBDP Coordinators, not the student.

Transfer students should request the listed information from their current teachers and/or IB Coordinator. If at all possible, all materials can be sent as a single package to arrive before the student starts at ICS.

Students can play their part by having all their previous year's school work available and the additional listed information for their new IBDP teachers. Please note that it can take months to clear shipments of personal belongings, so subject binders are best carried in for the start of school.