International Baccalaureate (IB)

The IB Diploma Program is a rigorous pre-university course of study which leads to externally assessed examinations, an independently designed research project, and substantial community service. IB is a two-year course of study for 11th and 12th grade students.

Interested Students:

You are encouraged to read through our presentation slides (see below) and to email the IB Coordinator with any questions (

IB Presentation

Interested 10th grade students should complete an interest form first. You can print one from this site or pick one up in the Office of Instruction in the main office building. After completing your interest form, you will have the opportunity to meet with current IB students and the coordinator to ask any questions you may have. After, you will be provided with an application that will be due mid-April.

IB Interest Form

Brief Program Overview:

IB students take 6 two-year courses (one from each of 6 subject categories) and a two-year Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course which examines the connections between all of the classes. Each of these two-year courses provide much greater depth than traditional non-IB courses. In addition, students will write a research paper of approximately 4000 words and develop and implement a creative volunteer project. Lastly, the IB Program offers students the opportunity to become a part of a small, intensive community of leaders on campus.

The IB teachers at Granada are excited to offer the IB Program because we believe it to be the most comprehensive and rigorous high school diploma in the world today. We believe that, after completing the diploma program, our students will become community leaders who find the transition from high school to college much easier. Because IB students engage in rigorous research and are assessed against international standards, they will be able to adapt to the rigors of college academics. In addition, since IB students focus on developing their creativity and leadership skills, the ability to work with professors, campus leaders, and internship advisors will be strengthened. Overall, we believe our IB students will be very successful in college and later in life.

A student's IB diploma score is determined by a compilation of scores earned through a variety of assessments. Every student enrolled in an IB class engages in a series of internal and external assessments. Internal assessments include oral commentaries, portfolios, projects, essays, and research. External assessments are written exams at the end of the course (usually at the end of year two). Once completed, the external assessments are mailed to IB reviewers who are experts in their field and they are scored according to a standardized rubric which is the same for all students worldwide. Each exam is scored between a 1 (low) and a 7 (high). Students must earn a minimum of 24 combined exam points and complete the extended essay, Theory of Knowledge class, and community service project.

IB exams differ greatly from AP exams. IB exams assess what you do know and are prepared for. For instance, a typical AP exam requires students to answer 50-100 multiple choice questions and respond to free response questions. If, however, you did not cover the topic of the free response question in much depth, you may find that answering this question is very difficult and you might, at best, earn a 3 on the exam. On a typical IB exam, however, students have tremendous choice in determining what questions they respond to. When you take the IB externally assessed exam, you will have the choice to write on one or two of the topics you have prepared for in class and, within each topic you choose, you will have a choice from several questions. Thus, in the end, you have the opportunity to show what your strengths are by selecting questions you are most prepared for; on AP exams, the questions are decided for you. This difference, of course, allows students to take ownership of their study and start to focus their research in greater depth over time.