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Diploma Years (Age 16-19)

High School: students graduate with the academically challenging International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

Diploma Options

The Diploma years at BIS are key to positioning students for university success and defining possible career paths. Students at BIS benefit from significant advisory guidance and from following the rigorous International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP). This is a demanding two-year programme that meets the needs of inquisitive, highly-motivated and mobile students. This challenging and comprehensive education provides students with skills and attitudes to be successful in their tertiary education and beyond.

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

IB Diploma Programme

This is a qualification valued by leading universities around the world. 

The DP is based on six subject groups from which students make their subject selections.  The subject groups are:

  1. Studies in Language and Literature

  2. Language Acquisition

  3. Individuals and Societies (I&S)

  4. Sciences

  5. Mathematics

  6. The Arts (or a second subject from the other subject groups)

In addition, DP students accomplish 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. Additionally, DP students fulfill Creativity, Activity and Service requirements.

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. They are awarded grades based on internal assessments and final IB examinations. 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.

Bonn International High School Diploma

All students work toward achieving the High School Diploma by meeting specific graduation requirements from Grades 9 – 12. To be awarded the BIS High School Diploma, a student must:

  • Complete four years of full-time education or its equivalent
  • Take two consecutive years of the same 2nd language
  • Pass 24 total courses, meeting all requirements.
    • Passing is defined as achieving end of year grades 3 or higher
    • Cannot fail more than 6 courses across Grades 9 – 12
    • Cannot fail more than 2 courses in any given year.
  • Successfully complete Service as Action in Grades 9 and 10
  • Successfully complete Creativity, Activity and Service in Grades 11 and 12.
  • Attendance policy: 90% attendance required.

The BIS High School Diploma is the equivalent to high school diplomas awarded in North America and recognized for application to North American universities.


At BIS, all students fulfill Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) requirements regardless of their study pathway.

We invite families to visit our school and directly learn about the Diploma Programme and discuss options available. Our IB Diploma Programme Coordinator, Peter Owen, would be happy to answer any questions you may have.