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International Baccalaureate Diploma Program

Diploma Program – Grades 11 and 12
IB Program – Grades 9 and 10

What is the International Baccalaureate Program?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program, whose headquarters are based in Geneva, Switzerland, with North American headquarters in New York City, is a rigorous pre-university course of studies that results in internationally recognized achievement. In September 1999, Foothill High School became a fully authorized International Baccalaureate Diploma School and the first class of IB Diploma Candidates was graduated in 2001.

The IB Diploma Program offers students challenging, comprehensive course work in the traditional disciplines. In addition, diploma candidates write a four thousand word extended research essay (EE) and complete 150 hours of creativity, action and service (CAS). The diploma also requires a Theory of Knowledge (TOK) class that examines the relationship among academic disciplines, and investigates how one arrives at knowledge and develops reasoning skills.

The program promotes organization and time management skills, a facility in oral and written communication and a commitment to community service and extracurricular activities. Additionally, the proficiency in six demanding areas (English, Foreign Language, Social Science, Science, Math and an elective) gives students an advantage in gaining admission to the college or university of their choice. In recognition of their efforts, students may receive advanced placement or college credit for each exam passed.

Who is eligible to enter the IB Program?

Although academic excellence is certainly an essential criterion, success in the program also depends to a great degree on motivation and character. Therefore, students considering the program should possess the dedication required to complete a rigorous, four-year program marked by conceptual thinking, creative expression, and writing across the curriculum. Students entering the IB program should have completed Algebra I as a prerequisite to enroll in Geometry as freshmen.

What is the main difference between an IB and AP schedule over the course of four years?

The courses listed below are the only differences found between an IB schedule and a traditional honors/AP schedule:

  IB                                                                AP
9th grade  9th grade
World History Honors-IB World History Honors
10th grade 10th grade
European History AP European History AP
or World History Honors
11th grade   11th grade
English A1 HL 1 English Lang AP
12th grade 12th grade
English A1 HL 2 English Lit AP
History of Americas HL Econ AP/Am Gov AP
Math SL Calculus AB or BC AP or
Statistics AP

Why enter the IB Program?

IB presents students with a challenging and stimulating curriculum. IB emphasizes the philosophy of applied knowledge and the process of learning. IB involves students in an interdisciplinary education with “global” perspective. IB rewards students for being well-rounded and responsible citizens. IB offers the possibility of course credit in many colleges and universities and enhances students’ chances of admission. IB aids students in making a smooth transition from high school to college. Please contact Victoria Owens at (714) 730-7464 x 629 or email for more information on the International Baccalaureate Program.

*FHS 4-Year Plan

IB Diploma Candidates

A diploma candidate is required to take six IB courses. A least three HL courses and no less than two SL courses must be taken for a total of six subjects. In addition, IB Diploma Candidates must complete a 4000-word research paper (Extended Essay) and 150 hours of creativity, activity, and service (CAS). These requirements reflect the IB emphasis on the development of the student as a whole person.

9th grade:

  • English 1 Honors
  • Foreign Language Level 1 or 2
  • World History Honors
  • Biology Honors
  • Algebra 2/Trig/Geometry/Honors
  • Visual and/or Performing Art (UC requirement: Beginning Drama)
  • P. E./Athletics

10th grade:

  • English 2 Honors
  • Foreign Language Level 2 or 3
  • European History AP
  • Chemistry Honors
  • Pre-Calculus/Honors/Algebra 2/Trig
  • Visual and/or Performing Art (if not satisfied in 9th grade)
  • P. E./Athletics

11th grade:

  • English HL 1 IB or English HL 2 IB
  • Foreign Language Level 3 or 4 (Student has option to take the IB SL Foreign Language test on Level 4)
  • *U. S. History AP
  • Biology AP
  • Calculus AB or BC / Pre-Calculus/Honors
  • IB Elective: Advanced Theater Arts SL 1, Visual Arts SL, Psychology AP/SL

12th grade:

  • English HL 2
  • Foreign Language Level 4 or 5 (Student may take Level 5 even if IB test is taken in grade 11)
  • *History of the Americas HL 2
  • Biology HL 2
  • Math SL
  • IB Elective: Computer Science AP/SL, Theater Arts SL (year 2), Visual Arts SL /HL 2, Psychology
  • AP/SL (if not satisfied in grade 11)

*The History of the Americas HL 2 course will include a study of local and state government agencies and issues. Projects would include such activities as taking a political opinion poll, visiting local elected branches of government (e.g. City Council or the School Board), writing letters to representatives, and interviewing attorneys or judges. The remainder of the school year following the IB tests in early May will focus on American Government curriculum.

**It is preferable to leave the summers prior to 11th and 12th grade open for travel, Extended Essay research, and CAS requirements.

The 0 Period in 9th through 12th grade allows students a 7-period day.