Welcome to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at the American School of Bilbao.

In this site you will be able to access information and the latest news related to the program at school.


The International Baccalaureate® (IB)



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


The American School of Bilbao provides an English-based education that inspires students to develop an open-minded and respectful attitude as global citizens. In this nurturing and diverse community, we encourage students to reach their fullest potential, and become life-long learners in a caring and safe environment.

What is an IB Education?


The International Baccalaureate

Diploma Programme


What is the IB Diploma Programme?

The IB Diploma Programme is designed as an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepare students, normally aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. The programme is taught over two years and has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities. Since the late 1960s, the programme has:

  • provided a package of education that balances subject breadth and depth, and considers the nature of knowledge across disciplines through the unique theory of knowledge course
  • encouraged international-mindedness in IB students, starting with a foundation in their own language and culture
  • developed a positive attitude to learning that prepares students for university education
  • gained a reputation for its rigorous external assessment with published global standards, making this a qualification welcomed by universities worldwide
  • emphasized the development of the whole student - physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically. 

The curriculum: Diploma Programme

Diploma Programme candidates are required to study six subjects and a programme core. One subject is chosen from each of groups 1 to 5 and the sixth subject from group 6 or, alternatively, the student can elect to study a second subject from groups 1 to 4, further mathematics HL from group 5 or an IB approved school based syllabus. The core of the Diploma Programme consists of the theory of knowledge (TOK), the extended essay (EE) and creativity, action, service (CAS). Theory of knowledge provides a forum for discussion, reflection and instruction that considers the nature of human knowledge and supports the development of interdisciplinary understanding. The extended essay provides the opportunity to investigate an academic research question of individual interest and in the process to develop the independent research and writing skills expected for further education. Participation in the school’s CAS programme broadens the educational experience by expecting students to be involved in creative, physical and service activities.

Specialization is provided by requiring at least three [and not more than four] of the six subjects to be studied at higher level (HL), breadth is provided by studying three subjects [two if four HL subjects are taken] at standard level. 

Grading and results

A candidate’s examination performance in individual subjects is graded 1 (lowest grade) to 7 (highest grade). Theory of knowledge and the extended essay are graded from E (lowest grade) to A (highest grade). If an “N” appears in place of a grade, no grade has been awarded.

The Diploma Programme candidate’s six subjects can yield 42 points. Three further points are available for the combination of the extended essay and work in TOK. Therefore, the maximum possible score is 45 points. The award of the diploma requires candidates to score at least 24 points as well as meet other standards and conditions including the completion of a suitable CAS programme. Approximately 80% of candidates are awarded the diploma and the IB has maintained consistent standards, with no grade inflation, over the 40 years of its existence.

A bilingual diploma is awarded to a candidate who fulfils one or both of the following criteria:

  • completion of two languages selected from group 1 with the award of a grade 3 or higher in both
  • completion of one of the subjects from group 3 or group 4 in a language that is not the same as the candidate's nominated group 1 language. The candidate must attain a grade 3 or higher in both the group 1 language and the subject from group 3 or 4.

For more information please see: http://www.ibo.org/ 


The Diploma Programme


The DP is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education.

It addresses the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students, and is respected by universities across the globe.

Each of the IB’s programmes, including the DP, is committed to the development of students according to the attributes shown in the IB learner profile.

Read about the IB learner profile 

Research suggests many benefits to choosing the DP. The programme aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge – students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.






Group 1: Language and literature

Language A: language and literature SL/HL

(English and Spanish) 

Group 2: Language acquisition

Language B SL/HL

(English, Spanish and French)

Language ab initio SL (Spanish) 

Group 3: Individuals and societies

Business management SL/HL

Economics SL/HL

Global Politics SL/HL

History SL/HL

Information technology in a global society SL/HL (ONLINE)

Philosophy SL/HL

Psychology SL/HL 

Group 4: Sciences

Biology SL/HL

Chemistry SL/HL

Physics SL/HL 

Group 5: Mathematics

Mathematical studies SL

Mathematics SL/HL 

Group 6: Arts

Visual arts SL/HL 

The core


Creativity, activity, service

Extended Essay

Theory of Knowledge 


Presentation form the www.ibo.org website: The Basics of the Diploma Programme .

..."Our programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right...." 

..."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"...