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International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

IB logo

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) offers programs for students aged 3 to 19 that develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. IB is a non-profit, mission-driven foundation and a recognized leader in the field of international education.

San Diego Unified proudly offers two pathways for IB education.

8 schools participate in the 3 IB programs = 4 elementary schools + 2 middle schools + 2 high schools.

IB Diploma Graduate Quote




Why choose IB?

IB Learner Profile

Ideal Preparation for University

Quotes from College Admissions Counselors


IB Learner Profile

Learner Profile logo
The aim of all International Baccalaureate (IB) programs is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.


IB learners strive to be:


They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.


They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.


They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.


They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.


They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.


They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.


They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.


They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.


They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.


They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.


Ideal Preparation for University

10 Reasons pdf

  1. It increases academic opportunity: Research shows that DP graduates are much more likely to be enrolled at top higher education institutions than entrants holding other qualifications.

  2. IB students care about more than just results: Through creativity, action, service (CAS) you learn outside the classroom  develop emotionally and ethically as well as intellectually.

  3. It encourages you to become a confident and independent learner: For example, the extended essay requires independent research through an in-depth study.

  4. It’s an international qualification: The DP is recognized globally by universities and employers.

  5. Graduates are globally minded: Language classes encourage an international mindset, key for increasingly globalized societies.

  6. The IB encourages critical thinking: Learn how to analyse and evaluate issues, generate ideas and consider new perspectives.

  7. DP students have proven time management skills: Take good study habits and strong time management to further education and the working world.

  8. It assesses more than examination techniques: Learn to understand, not just memorize facts or topics and prepare for exams. 

  9. Subjects are not taught in isolation: Theory of knowledge (TOK) classes encourage you to make connections between subjects.

  10. It encourages breadth and depth of learning: You are able to choose courses from six subject groups and study subjects at different levels.






Quotes About the IB Programme from College Admissions Counselors:


"Connecticut College highly values the IB program as it prepares students for the liberal arts in ways that few secondary school curriculums can. The required senior project and the TOK class's interdisciplinary approach are prime examples of the kind of work students will be expected to do on most college campuses today. In addition, colleges and American universities highly value community service, another important component of the IB curriculum. Students who have graduated from schools with the IB curriculum are extremely well prepared when they arrive on our campus."

- Martha Merrill, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Connecticut College



"In our minds, there is no more challenging curriculum than the IB curriculum. Not only does it prepare students for a demanding college program, but the IB curriculum also instills in students a love of learning and an understanding of the truly interdisciplinary nature of education. Instead of working on each subject in a vacuum, IB students are shown how each of their classes connects both with the other classes and with the world around them..."

- Thyra L. Briggs, Dean of Enrollment, Sarah Lawrence College



"IB is well known to us for excellent preparations. Success in an IB programme correlates well with success at Harvard. We are always pleased to see the credentials of the IB Diploma Programme on the transcript."

- Marilyn McGrath Lewis, Director of Undergraduate Admission, Harvard University



"Students seeking the finest [high school] preparation available for an American college should consider the International Baccalaureate. The IB offers an integrated curriculum that provides students with the skill needed to be world-class scholars and an educational philosophy that prepares them to be first-class citizens. I do not know of a more comprehensive and appropriate learning model."

- Jim Crowder, Director of Admissions, Macalester College



"Send us prepared students a la IB...It is the "best" high school prep curriculum an American school can offer."

- Marilee Jones, Former Director of Undergraduate Admission, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"One of the advantages of an IB curriculum is its structure and quality. It is a coordinated programme, well established, well known and well respected. We know the quality of IB courses, and we think the IB curriculum is terrific."

- Christoph Guttentag, Director of Undergraduate Admission, Duke University

These quotes are from In Their Own Words: Quotes about IBO.