IB Program Overview

IB students


The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is an internationally recognized curriculum that offers 11th-and 12th-grade students an opportunity to earn the IB diploma. More than 1,228,000 students worldwide, participate in IB programs.  The program is offered in more than 3,914 public and private schools in more than 146 countries around the world. Of those, 1,808 programs are in the United States, and only eight are in Kansas. Nearly half of the state's IB Diploma programs are in Shawnee Mission (Shawnee Mission East, Shawnee Mission North, and Shawnee Mission Northwest).

To earn the IB diploma, students complete and test in six IB subjects; write an extended essay of independent research guided by a faculty mentor, complete 150 hours of creative, action, and service activities (CAS); and participate in a critical thinking course called Theory of Knowledge. This advanced, comprehensive program of study offers an integrated approach to learning across the disciplines with an emphasis on meeting the challenges of living and working in a global, technological society.

A global world. A world class education. 

IB in the news

What are the advantages of The International Baccalaureate Diploma?

The program:

  • Stands recognized by more than 1800 colleges and universities in nations around the world
  • May allow students to enter those universities with sophomore or other advanced standing
  • Permits graduates to fulfill requirements of various national systems of education
  • Provides students the intellectual, social, and critical perspectives needed for college and beyond
  • Increases opportunity for acceptance at highly selective colleges - see here
  • Offers graduates a world-class education called for by an increasingly global world

Is this You?

  • The successful International Baccalaureate Program student:
  • Is self-motivated and driven by desire to succeed
  • Enjoys intellectual and academic challenge
  • Reads at or above his/her grade level
  • Speaks/writes English clearly/effectively
  • Is eager to acquire and develop analytic/critical thinking skills
  • Learns or develops proficient written/oral skills in French, Latin or Spanish
  • Possesses or is willing to acquire good time/stress management skills
  • Is open to new ideas and tolerant of different beliefs
  • Participates in school and community activities