The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) approved Upper Arlington High School to offer the IB Diploma Program, beginning in the school year of 2004–2005. The IBO is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding students understanding of the world. Currently, there are approximately 5,000 IB schools in over 150 countries. Students who have earned the IB Diploma attend universities throughout the world.
The IB Diploma Programme is a rigorous, two-year comprehensive curriculum for grades 11 and 12 that seeks to prepare students for postsecondary study through courses and instructional techniques that emphasize:
- critical thinking;
- effective self-expression in presenting and defending one’s point of view;
- application of knowledge;
- and an international focus.
Students complete course work in IB subjects and sit for examinations, similar to the way Advanced Placement (AP) courses are taught. To receive the IB Diploma, students must successfully take one course from each of six groups, three courses at Standard Level (one- or two-year courses) and three courses at Higher Level (two-year courses).
These courses are chosen from the six different groups prescribed by the IB Hexagon. This requirement ensures a broad exposure across the liberal arts spectrum. Additionally, students will complete a course in Theory of Knowledge, participate in over 150 hours of Creativity, Action, and Service activities, and write an extended essay of 4,000 words (giving students an opportunity to conduct an in-depth study of a topic of special interest). More in-depth information is available in the UAHS Program of Studies.