About the IB Diploma Programme
The IB Diploma Programme at AHS is an option for students in 11th and 12th grades who:
- seek breadth and depth of knowledge across multiple disciplines
- flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally, and ethically
- desire to study at least two languages*
- excel in traditional academic subjects
Our IB students spend their junior (11th grade) and senior (12th grade) years taking IB courses in 7 subject areas:
- English Language and Literature (HL English Lang/Lit is mandatory for all DP candidates)
- *Language Acquisition (Chinese, French, German, or Spanish) *ASL is not an IB language option at AHS
- Individuals and Societies (HL History of the Americas is mandatory for all DP candidates)
- Science (SL Physics, SL or HL Biology, SL or HL Chemistry)
- Mathematics (SL Analysis or HL Analysis)
- The Arts or Other Elective (SL or HL Psychology, SL Physics, SL or HL Chemistry, SL or HL Biology)
- Theory of Knowledge (TOK)-- see below
Two additional components complete the IB Diploma: CAS and the Extended Essay.
Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
TOK is a two-year course that encourages students to explore how knowledge is constructed. TOK students strive to understand the nature of knowledge and what constitutes good thinking. IB students critically scrutinize knowledge, which helps them begin to understand its moral obligations.
Each IB Diploma Candidate develops skills for civic engagement by completing CAS experiences during the two years he or she is enrolled in the IB programme. CAS experiences help students take on new challenges, work collaboratively with others, and develop new skills while engaging in issues of global and ethical importance.
The Extended Essay
IB Diploma Candidate completes an independent, self-directed piece of research that culminates in a 4,000-word paper called the Extended Essay. Students begin researching their EE topics in the fall of 11th grade, write the draft of their paper in the spring of 11th grade, and submit their final paper in the fall of their 12th grade year.
The IB Diploma
To obtain the IB diploma, students must
- Complete IB courses in the 6 subject areas listed above, plus TOK
- Take 3 of those courses at Higher Level (2 years/240 hours of instruction) and 3 courses at Standard Level (1 or 2 years/150 hours of instruction). One of the SL courses must be two years long if the student is only taking 3 HL courses.
- Alternatively, students may take 4 HL courses and 2 SL courses
- TOK is a two-year, mandatory course, but it does not count toward the HL/SL requirement.
- Complete and reflect on CAS experiences
- Earn a minimum of 24 points on IB exams, TOK, and the EE (Each exam is scored on a 1-7 scale; TOK/EE can earn the student 3 bonus points). Particulars:
- The maximum points that can be awarded is 45 ( (6x7) + 3).
- CAS requirements have been met.
- There is no "N" awarded for TOK, the EE, or for a contributing subject.
- There is no grade E awarded for TOK and/or the EE.
- There is no grade 1 awarded in a subject/level.
- There are no more than two grade 2s awarded (SL or HL).
- There are no more than three grade 3s or below awarded (SL or HL).
- The candidate has gained 12 points or more on HL subjects (for candidates who register for four HL subjects, the three highest grades count).
- The candidate has gained 9 points or more on SL subjects (candidates who register for two SL subjects must gain at least 5 points at SL).
- The candidate has not received a penalty for academic misconduct from the Final Award Committee.
Contrary to popular belief, IB is not just for students wishing to pursue an education outside of the United States! In accordance with Texas Senate Bill 111 (2005), students with an IB diploma who earn at least a grade of 4 on each IB exam will earn a minimum of 24 semester credit hours or equivalent course credit in appropriate subject areas at any Texas public institution of higher education. Private Texas universities and out-of-state public/private universities have varying policies for granting IB credit. The best way to find out how a student's IB exam scores are accepted at a particular university is to visit that university's website.
IB Courses at AHS for Diploma Candidates Only:
Students must be IB full diploma candidates to enroll in these courses:
- IB HL English Language and Literature (2-yr course spanning 11th and 12th grades; mandatory for all IB diploma candidates)
- IB HL History of the Americas (2-yr course spanning 11th and 12th grades; mandatory for all IB diploma candidates)
- IB SL Math: Analysis & Applications
- IB HL Chemistry
- IB SL Physics
- IB SL and HL Psychology
- IB SL and HL Biology
- IB Theory of Knowledge (2-yr course spanning 11th and 12th grades; mandatory for all IB diploma candidates)
IB Certificate Courses at AHS
The following courses are open to any student in 11th and/or 12th grade at AHS. If the student takes the corresponding IB exam, the exam score can be submitted for college credit.
- IB French SL/HL
- IB Chinese SL
- IB German SL
- IB Spanish SL/HL
- IB Art SL/HL
- IB Chemistry SL
- IB Music SL
- IB Math HL: Analysis & Applications (This is a two-year course; the first year of this course is AP BC Calculus. Certificate students are encouraged to sit for the AP BC Calculus exam in 11th grade, as well as for the IB HL Math exam in 12th grade.)