IB Diploma Courses

Group 1- English:

IB English Language and Literature 1 and 2 (a two year course).  IB English Lang and Lit is a four part course that spans from junior to senior year. Students focus on language in cultural context, language and mass communication, literature and culture, and literary analysis. Students develop their skills in critical thinking, reading, writing, and speaking. 

Group 2- World Languages:

B-CC offers IB-level work in all languages studied here.  Students may either study one year of a foreign language or two.  Chinese and Arabic have examination levels beginning at year 4, and Spanish and French in year 5.  Students continue their language acquisition, and by the final year of IB study, move into the study of literature and other texts.  For certificate (partial) IB students, it is highly recommended that students not study IB language unless they can take two years in IB and sit for a higher level examination in their language due to the greater likelihood of college credit for a higher level examination. 

For diploma candidates who come into the program in levels below those described here, or with another language on offer, please speak to the coordinator about special arrangements.

Group 3- Individuals and Societies: 

IB History 1 and 2 (two years) focuses on the period from the Enlightenment in Europe to the end of the Cold War, 1750-1992.  IB History also covers the rise of one-party states so it includes Mao Zedong as well as 20th century one-party states in Europe.  Skills: evaluation of primary and secondary source documents, using them as evidence to build a view of history.

IB Psychology (one year) studies individual human behavior through four major perspectives:  biological, cognitive, and socio-cultural. Students are engaged in a variety of practical activities including observations, experiments, and interviews.

IB Social/Cultural Anthropology (one year) is a course examining human behavior in large groups, with a focus on comparing behavior in cultural groups.

IB World Religions  (one year) is a systematic, analytical yet empathetic study of the variety of beliefs and practices encountered in nine main religions of the world. The course seeks to promote an awareness of religious issues in the contemporary world by requiring the study of a diverse range of religions. (Not offered 2021-2022 school year)

IB Economics-  (one year) is a course that aims to provide students with a core knowledge of economics, encourage students to think critically, promote an awareness and understanding of internationalism in economics and encourage students’ development as independent learners. Alongside the empirical observations of positive economics, students of the subject are asked to formulate normative questions and to recognize their own tendencies for bias.

Group 4- Experimental Sciences:

There are five experimental sciences on offer currently at B-CC:  

Biology (two years, one period each year, Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL)

Chemistry (single period, one year SL, possibility of HL course based on student interest) (Not offered 2021-2022 school year)

Physics (two years, one period each year SL or HL)

Environmental Systems and Societies (single period, one year SL) reflects on the impact of environmental issues on social behavior, on international issues, and on law as well as other subjects.

Sports, Exercise, and Health Science (one year, SL), which is a study of anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, psychology, and nutrition.   

All experimental science courses focus on personal experience in scientific methods and have as a major part of the examination grade a set of completed labs.  Biology; Chemistry; Sports, Exercise and Health Sciences; and Physics students also complete an interdisciplinary science project.

Group 5- Mathematics:

The Math pathways are new for class of 2020 and beyond. Course descriptions will be updated soon!

IB Math Applications SL and HL

IB Math Analysis SL and HL

All students in MCPS must take 4 years of Math. The IB Math course will be a two year course, but students will choose between Higher and Standard Level and will choose between Applications (focus on Statistics) or Analysis (focus on Calculus)

Group 6- Arts Electives:

IB Dance (SL, one year)

IB Visual Arts 1 and 2 (two years) give students an opportunity to both research the artistic heritage of many cultures, and react to that research in the development of a personal portfolio.  Students take the Standard Level or Higher Level examination in this class.

IB Film 1 and 2 (two years) covering screenwriting, film studies and criticism, production, and film history.  It is available for Higher Level only.

IB Music is offered as a one-year Standard Level course, and a two-year Higher Level Course with independent study.  Students are required to participate in instrumental or choral ensemble, or take an instrument class such as piano and guitar in addition to participating in the music course which teaches theory and history of music for Standard Level, as well as composition in Higher Level.

IB Theater 1 and 2 offers a critical study of the history, theory and culture of theater.  Writing, acting, and a critical analysis of theater and performance are part of the course as well.

IB Core Courses (full diploma only):

Theory of Knowledge is a two semester course in the fall of junior and senior years that asks students to reflect on what they know and how they know it, to develop a coherent approach to learning, to question the bases of knowledge, and to be aware of subjective and ideological biases. Extended Essay meets in second semester of 11th grade, allowing students to focus on the process of developing a research question, investigating sources, outlining, writing, and rewriting a 4000 word investigative research paper with support from an essay supervisor.  Provisions are made for student access to special research databases and university libraries. 

To earn the IB Diploma:

  • Students must take one course from each Group. For Group 6, students can choose to take an additional Group 2, 3, or 4 class instead of an Arts Elective.
  • Students must take 3 Higher Level courses
  • Students must take 3 Standard Level courses
  • Students must complete CAS requirements, must pass Theory of Knowledge, and must complete an Extended Essay