The International Baccalaureate® (IB)
Diploma Program

Build confident, globally-minded citizens ready for university with EF Academy's IB program





Next intake

September 2023

English level

IELTS 5.5 or 51/100
on the EF English Test


2 years

Full Diploma and
Course options

The curriculum

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Program curriculum includes six subjects and three core requirements. You will take six classroom courses from qualified IB Diploma teachers, ensuring breadth of knowledge in languages, social studies, science, mathematics and the arts.

The program develops critical thinking, active participation, research and writing skills, which will prepare you for the types of assignments you will receive at university.


subject groups


courses to choose from

The IB Diploma is for you if:

Build your IB Diploma

Students select a total of six courses from the following subject groups – three at higher level (HL) and three at standard level (SL).

Group 1

Studies in language and literature

Appreciate the complexities of language by studying texts in their cultural contexts.

HL = higher level SL = standard level

  • A course that develops comprehension and analytical skills in English. Analyze literary and non-literary texts and learn to appreciate different perspectives, as well as to express your own.

  • A comprehensive literature course to be taken in your native language. Analyze literary texts from a diverse representation of cultures, genres and time periods, and develop critical thinking, communication and presentation skills.

    IB Diploma languages available at EF Academy New York:

    - Chinese

    - English

    - German

    - Italian

    - Korean

    - Spanish

    - Russian

    - Portuguese

    - Vietnamese

    - Self-taught native language (SL only)

    IB Diploma languages available at EF Academy Oxford:

    - English

    - French

    - German

    - Italian

    - Spanish

    - Self-taught native language (SL only)

Group 2

Language acquisition

Learn a new language and discover its culture to gain a new perspective and form of communicating.

HL = higher level SL = standard level

  • Learn a new language of which you have little to no prior knowledge. IB Diploma ab initio courses introduce the grammatical, linguistic and cultural foundations of languages and teach you to communicate in and appreciate the value languages hold in relation to other areas of learning.

    IB Diploma languages available at EF Academy New York:

    - French

    - German

    - Mandarin

    - Spanish

    IB Diploma languages available at EF Academy Oxford

    - French

    - Spanish

  • Improve your fluency in a language of which you have some prior knowledge (2-5 years). IB Diploma Language B courses strengthen your existing communication skills and expand your knowledge through the study of language and cultural texts and themes.

    IB Diploma languages available at EF Academy New York:

    - English

    - French

    - Spanish

    IB Diploma languages available at EF Academy Oxford:

    - English

    - French

    - Spanish

Group 3

Individuals and societies

Become a global citizen and understand the makings of the modern world.

HL = higher level SL = standard level

  • Learn business management theories and evaluation techniques for businesses in local and global contexts. This introductory course to business studies teaches transferrable skills such as critical thinking, planning and decision-making, while always considering ethical implications.

  • Develop an understanding of economic theories and models in micro, macro and global contexts. This course will allow you to explore data sets and learn interactively by applying concepts learned in class.

    Offered only at EF Academy New York and Oxford

  • A comprehensive course on human, societal and physical geography. Learn how to identify trends and patterns to explain the behaviors that make parts of the world different and alike.

    Offered only at EF Academy New York.

  • An interdisciplinary course that explores the foundations of political concepts including power, human rights, sustainability and peace across the world. Learn through real life case studies and debate issues from international perspective.

    Offered only at EF Academy Oxford.

  • A course that covers centuries of world history and encourages understanding through the comparison and investigation of multiple perspectives. Learn how to research primary and secondary sources, and to think critically about events of the past and present.

    Higher Level students take History of the Americas in addition to completing the History Standard Level curriculum.

  • An introductory psychology course on the biological, cognitive and sociocultural approaches to this field of study. Conduct research into human behavior and design experiments to reach your own findings and conclusions.

    Offered only at EF Academy New York.

  • Explore the fundamental questions that people have been asking since the beginning of time and their relevance to our contemporary world. This course develops critical analysis and evaluation skills and provides excellent preparation for further academic study at university.

    Offered only at EF Academy Oxford.

Group 4


Research and conduct experiments to find solutions to global questions using the scientific method.

HL = higher level SL = standard level

  • A course on the science of life that pairs theory and research with practical, hands-on investigation. Design experiments, analyze results and communicate your findings to others.

  • An experimental science course in which learning is done through theory and hands-on practice. Often a prerequisite subject for applying to medicine, biochemistry and environmental science at university.

  • An interdisciplinary course that explores natural systems and social environments to encourage a unified approach when tackling environmental questions. This course can be taken to meet the Group 3: Individuals and societies or Group 4: Sciences requirement.

    Offered only at EF Academy New York.

  • A science course centered on human anatomy, performance, psychology and nutrition. Academic study is enhanced by investigative assignments where you will learn by experimenting with concepts learned in class.

    Offered only at EF Academy New York.

  • Understand the theories and discoveries at physics' core and apply your own knowledge to design experiments. This course covers academic content and teaches you how to collect, analyze, evaluate and examine scientific data.

Group 5


Understand the logic and mathematical structures behind the world we live in.

HL = higher level SL = standard level

  • A course that focuses on mathematical concepts and applying knowledge to a range of problems and contexts. Learn how to solve, justify and communicate your work in algebra, trigonometry, probability, calculus and other branches of mathematics.

  • Learn how to solve modern-day problems and apply mathematics beyond academic study. This course covers pre-university topics including calculus and statistics.

Group 6

The arts

Exercise your creativity and explore cultures through the arts.

HL = higher level SL = standard level

  • Learn the history and cultural representations of performance art while trying your hand at performing, directing, designing and creating. Develop collaboration and independent learning skills through this art where you will learn about yourself and other communities.

  • Engage critically and creatively with music in this course covering diverse musical cultures and contexts. Learn to express your own musical creations, interpret the work of others and analyze musical styles.

    Offered only at EF Academy New York.

  • Gain a lifelong appreciation for the visual arts and experiment to find your own style of artistic expression. This course explores art history, techniques and processes to turn you into an informed critic and an artist with experience in multiple media.

    Offered only at EF Academy New York.

Note: Students have the option to take one additional course from Groups 2-5 instead of an art course.

IB Core

The IB Diploma core components challenge students to apply their knowledge and skills beyond their courses of study.

Theory of Knowledge

Asks students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know.

  • Ways of knowing

  • Critical thinking

  • Personal reflection

Extended Essay

An independent, self-directed piece of research resulting in a 4,000-word paper.

  • Independent research

  • Academic writing

  • Communication skills

Creativity, Activity, Service

Involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies.

  • Creative expression

  • Physical activity

  • Service learning

Your passport to university

Universities worldwide recognize the IB Diploma as a program that yields ambitious and talented graduates. As a student at EF Academy, your designated University and Academic Advisor will provide you with one-on-one guidance on your applications, prepare you for interviews and help you stand out from the crowd.

One diploma – many different goals

IB Courses + US High School Diploma

Students who wish to demonstrate a keen interest in certain subjects can add a selection of IB Courses to the US High School Diploma. With this combination, students receive IB certificates for each course completed and do not need to complete the IB Core.

FAQ - IB Diploma

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we receive about the IB Diploma.