A Letter from the Coordinator

Hello to all students and parents looking to find out more about our International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. On this page you will find a description of the IBDP, an outline of ways students can be involved in the Diploma Programme, and resources to help you plan your course of study.

I’ve been at Unity Reed and part of the IB community for a decade now, and I cannot say enough about how much this program does to develop inquisitive, global-minded, balanced, and academically-prepared young people.  Our graduates consistently come back to express how well their university studies are going because of the strong foundation they gained at URHS. I also consistently see our graduates continuing to serve their communities, long after it ceases to be a programme requirement. For all these reasons – and so many more – I am a passionate advocate for IB.

I hope you find the resources you need through our website, but please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

Thank you!

Katie Hodgson, IB Coordinator
Katie Hodgson, IB Coordinator (hodgsoka@pwcs.edu)

What does it mean to be a part of the IB Diploma Programme? 

At Unity Reed High School, there are many ways to be IB. For most students, their journey begins in the Middle Years Programme during their 9th and 10th grade years. While all MYP classes are grounded in the IB philosophy, our Advanced MYP courses are designed to prepare students with the academic and learning skills necessary to be successful in the IB Diploma and IB Career Programmes. 

The IB Diploma Programme is for 11th and 12th grade students who are ready to begin collegiate level work. IBDP courses can earn students credits at university, demonstrate strength of schedule for college applications, and carry a weighted GPA. Students can have several levels of involvement, from being a full diploma candidate (taking and testing in 6 or more IB courses), achieving Unity Reed IB Honors (taking and testing in at least 3 IB courses), or being an IB course candidate, by taking even just 1 IB course. 

Students within the IB Diploma Programme are academically prepared for university while also being educated and mentored in the IB Learner Profile. For Honors and Diploma candidates, this includes completing  a portfolio of Creativity, Activity, and Service experiences, as well as taking the capstone IB Theory of Knowledge course. The foundation of the IB Diploma Programme at Unity Reed is developing balanced, caring, and knowledgeable young people who can critically think for themselves as they work towards making a better and more peaceful world.

The IB Career Programme is much like the Diploma Programme and involves the same course offerings, but it pairs two IBDP courses with a career-related study. This path is best for students who already have a career interest in leadership, the military, engineering, cosmetology, teaching, electricity, or business. Please see our IB Career Programme page for more information. 

What does earning the IB Diploma entail? 

The IB Diploma is awarded to students by the International Baccalaureate Organization. It is an additional diploma awarded after students earn either their Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma from the state of Virginia.  It is widely recognized by international universities and provides students attending American schools college credit - sometimes automatic sophomore standing.

While enrolled at Unity Reed, students are referred to as IB Diploma candidates since the diplomas are not awarded until after graduation. 

To earn the IB Diploma, students must fulfill the following requirements:
1. Students must take and test in at least one IB course in each of the 6 subject areas:Studies in Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and the Arts (or an elective in one of the other subject groups). Of these,  3  must be HL classes. 
2. Exams in IB are scored between 1-7, with 4 commonly being accepted as passing. Students must earn a total of at least 24 points from their 6 exams to receive the diploma, including a minimum of 12 points from their HL classes and a minimum of 9 points from their SL classes.  
3. Students must successfully complete their CAS (Creativity, Activity, and Service) portfolio, demonstrating approximately 150 hours of experiences and engagement over two years. 
4. Students must pass (as scored by IB) both their IB Theory of Knowledge course and their Extended Essay, a 4,000 word capstone research project in a subject of choice.

To achieve the IB Diploma, students are supported  by being placed in IB Diploma Cohorts that meet during supplemental periods. In these cohorts students receive research support, time to plan and log CAS activities, TOK connections to the curriculum, and one-on-one counseling on study skills and time management. IB Diploma candidates also have an extended essay supervisor who meets with them individually throughout the process to help guide discovery, organization, and reflection. 

IB Diploma Programme Courses

IB English Literature (SL/HL)
IB French (SL)
IB Spanish (SL/HL)
IB Economics (SL)
IB Geography (SL)
IB History (HL)
IB Psychology (SL)
IB Social and Cultural Anthropology (SL)
IB Biology (HL)
IB Chemistry (SL)
IB Environmental Systems & Societies (SL)
IB Math Analysis (SL/HL)
IB Math Applications (SL)
IB Visual Art (SL/HL)

** SL refers to Standard Level; HL refers to Higher Level. Much like majors and minors at university, these designations refer to breadth or study rather than difficulty of material. All HL courses are two-year studies; SL courses are one-year studies, with the exceptions of English Lit, Spanish, Chemistry, and Math Analysis.