IB Diploma Course Summaries

Click here for detailed briefs on each course offered at B-CC from the IB catalog.

Quick Guide to IB Diploma Course Offerings at B-CC (2016-2017)

Group 1- English:

IB English 1 and 2 (a two year course).  IB English is a literature-based course that covers largely 20th century literature.  Students will read various genres and types of literature: plays, novels, essays, poetry, and short stories. Part of the course focuses on studying literature that has been translated from another language.  Skills:  critical reading, text commentary (written and oral), literary analysis.

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.

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)

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:

There are three math pathways in the diploma program at B-CC:

For students in Honors Precalculus as 10th graders, most will take AP Calculus BC as juniors followed by Math Higher Level as seniors, and take the Math Higher Level exam.  Math HL covers series and differential equations, calculus, and statistics as well as earlier Precalculus topics.

For students in Honors Algebra 2 as 10th graders, most will take Honors Precalculus as juniors followed by IB Math SL as seniors and the Math Standard Level exam.  Math SL includes earlier topics in math, as well as trigonometry, vectors and matrices, statistics, and some basic calculus.

For students in Honors Geometry or on-level Algebra 2 as 10th graders, most will take Honors Algebra 2 or on-level Precalculus as 11th graders, followed by Math Studies and the Math Studies exam at the end of 12th grade.  Math Studies includes Precalculus topics, financial math, and statistics, as well as a general review of prior math topics.

The Math Standard Level and Math Studies pathways are not recommended for certificate candidates.

Group 6- Arts Electives:

There are 4 fine arts electives available:

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