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Diploma Years (Ages 16 - 18)

Build relationships to boost learning
Teachers and students work together to leverage learning
Learn skills and attitudes for life
Student expresses joy after canyoning
Advocate for change and global citizenship
Student public speaking at a Model United Nations conference

Positioned for success at university and beyond

Grades 11 and 12 are key to positioning students for university success and defining possible career and life paths. Our students benefit from extensive advisory guidance throughout their Secondary years and from engaging in the ambitious, forward-thinking Diploma Years Programme at BIS.

The Diploma Years offer a number of academic options to fit the diverse needs and paths of our students. We know that school will be challenging, so we have the personnel resources available to guide and support students during these important, intense years.

Through our dedicated staff and ample resources, Diploma students have the scaffolding to ensure that they can achieve the goals they have set for themselves and their futures.

Students in the IB Diploma Programme design their own science experiments as part of their final assessment.

The proof of this solid education and the achievement of student goals can be found on our Graduation Statistics page.

To see how we guide students in developing their future plans, visit our Universities and Careers page. This page talks you through the steps necessary for study in Germany, the United Kingdom, United States or other destinations popular with our graduates.

With appropriate recommendations from Grade 10 faculty, students may choose to follow one of three paths to graduation:

IB Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate Diploma is a qualification valued by leading universities around the world and the path of choice for the great majority of our students. The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is a rigorous two-year course of study, meeting the needs of highly motivated and academically oriented secondary students. Universities recognize that a student who has completed the requirements of the IB Diploma is well prepared for the demands of higher education and gladly accept this Diploma as a high quality pre-university qualification. 

We offer a broad selection of subjects and a diverse Co-Curricular Programme, providing additional opportunities for leadership, creativity and engagement.

Our Diploma Years Programme (DP) is based on six subject groups from which students make their subject selections. The subject groups are:

  • Studies in Language and Literature
  • Language Acquisition
  • Individuals and Societies (I&S)
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • The Arts (or a second subject from the other subject groups)

In addition, Diploma Programme students write an Extended Essay, a 4000 word research paper to prepare them for university-level writing. They also complete a Theory of Knowledge course, a unique critical thinking class that explores the nature of knowledge in different subject areas. Students in Grades 11 - 12 also engage in community service.

Students receive an IB Diploma only after completing both years of the programme and passing demanding examinations evaluated by independent, external examiners. 

IB Course Certificates

Students who choose not to pursue the full Diploma Programme may take individual IB subject courses. These students have greater flexibility regarding the combination of subjects and the levels that they choose. They participate in the same classes as students completing the IB Diploma Programme, but are not required to study Theory of Knowledge, or to complete the Extended Essay. IB subject courses contribute towards “Tariff Points” for placement in some UK colleges and universities and may be given equivalency to ‘Advanced Placement (AP)’ courses in USA.

BIS High School Diploma

All students work toward achieving the High School Diploma when meeting specific graduation requirements during Grades 9 – 12. The BIS High School Diploma is the equivalent to high school diplomas awarded in North America and recognized for application to North American universities.

Independent of which academic path a student takes, our graduates leave BIS with skills and attitudes to be successful in their tertiary education and beyond. In our annual survey, we ask for feedback from our graduates about their transition to life after BIS, and particularly their transition to university living and work. Their answers consistently confirm their comprehensive preparation.

If you are interested to learn more about the Diploma Years at BIS, please contact our Diploma Programme Coordinator, Tyler Hafen.

Curriculum Guide

Diploma Year Curriculum covers a two-year course of study in 6 subject areas

Our Diploma Years Programme is a two-year course of study, covering 6 subject areas. Higher level study is demanded in 3 course areas.


Tajana brings a wealth of educational and work experience into the classroom each day. This insight benefits our Diploma students as they develop their Maths skills and conceptualization, and how these can be applied to possible careers.

Tajana is also a talented athlete, having played on the Croatian national handball team. She can be found week nights playing basketball with our sports association team.

Our Secondary Maths Teacher -Tajana

Tajana Vesligaj, Mathematics Teacher

"I started my work career as a professor of Maths and Computer Science and then worked in other industries. I circled back to teaching Maths at BIS because of the satisfaction that I only feel working with young people. When a student tells me that I made a difference in a positive way, it is the best feeling in the world."


Ruby joined BIS in Primary School, as has her brother. Her family is Irish-German.

She values the very strong sense of community at BIS as well as how teachers care about both students' academics and mental well-being. Her experience during a semester abroad sharpened this appreciation. 

Secondary student Ruby

Ruby W, Grade 12

"BIS has an intense and interesting IB course, allowing me to develop organizational, communication, and problem solving skills. I have also become a proactive learner - and develop this skill every day. The community is empowering and has shaped me into the person I am today, and allows me to grow and learn."


Sara is dedicated to assuring that our students are future-ready when they graduate. That may mean acquiring needed skill sets or finding the right university and field of studies for each individual student.

A native of New Zealand who worked in the Middle East before coming to Germany, Sara has an extensive knowledge of tertiary educations systems around the world. 

Our University and Careers Advisor Sara Miletic

Sara Miletic, University and Careers Advisor

"The number one skill our students need this year is adaptive thinking. Things can change at exponential rates, particularly in our digital world. Students must continuously adapt to changing conditions as well as be able to learn new things quickly and efficiently as they progress in life."

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Graduation Statistics

University and Careers

Students benefit from extensive guidance and preparation to find the "right fit" future for them.


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