Full Diploma Candidate - Resources

Full Diploma Candidates

The Diploma Programme (DP) is a challenging two-year curriculum for students who are in 11th and 12th grade.

Students learn not only the necessary information to be accomplished in any subject area, but they also learn how to deal with new information and situations in those areas. The IB programme teaches them to:

  • ask challenging questions

  • learn how to learn

  • develop a strong sense of their own identity and culture

  • develop the ability to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures.


The DP curriculum contains six subject groups together with a core made up of three separate parts. All three parts of the core — Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) — are compulsory and central to the philosophy of the Diploma Programme. Students may choose to access only those courses which interest them by earning IB individual certificates rather than the full IB Diploma.

Significant features of the IB Diploma Programme are:

  • World-wide standards,based on the best practices of educators around the world, are passed on to teachers in IB training sessions.

  • External Assessments -- all work done at Cooper is sent around the United States and the rest of the world to be evaluated according to the standards set by the IB. This lets a school know how its students are doing world-wide.

  • An emphasis is placed on understanding other points of view and being able to defend one's own.

  • DP is outstanding preparation, recognition and earned credits for colleges and universities.


The three core requirements, explained more fully in separate tabs, are:

  1. Extended Essay: The extended essay has a prescribed limit of 4,000 words. It offers students the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest and acquaints them with the independent research and writing skills expected at university.

  2. Theory of Knowledge (ToK): The interdisciplinary ToK course is designed to provide coherence by exploring the nature of knowledge across disciplines, encouraging an appreciation of other cultural perspectives.

  3. Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS): The CAS program encourages students to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports and community service work, thus fostering their awareness and appreciation of life outside the academic arena.

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