International Baccalaureate (IB)


The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

© International Baccalaureate Organization 2007


The International Baccalaureate program (IB) was first designed in 1968 to enable international schools to meet the special needs of their frequently mobile student population.  Since the program's inception in 1968, hundreds of thousands of candidates representing over 140 different nationalities have taken the examinations.  Many were full diploma candidates.  Last year alone, IB Diploma students were admitted to more than 3300 universities, colleges, or other institutions of higher education in 90 different countries.

There are currently nearly 4800 IB world school programs (PYP--Primary Years Program, MYP--Middle Years Program, DP--Diploma Program) in 151 countries offering curriculum to more than 1,000,000 students.  The first California high school entered the IB program in June 1982.  John W. North High School was authorized to participate in IB as a Diploma Program in June 1987.  Approximately 911 American high schools are now part of the International Baccalaureate DP, 108 of which are located in California.  Between 2009 and 2014, there was a 46% increase in the number of authorized IB programs worldwide.  Though the program originated only in private schools, public or government schools now represent 56% of all IB programs worldwide and 92% of programs in the United States.


The aim of all IB programs is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

IB learners strive to be:

Inquirers:      They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.

Knowledgeable:        They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.

Thinkers:      They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.

Communicators:        They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.

Principled:     They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.

Open-minded: They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.

Caring: They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others.  They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.

Risk-takers:   They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.

Balanced:      They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.

Reflective:     They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.

© International Baccalaureate Organization 2007