Baccalaureate: In the European sense, a high school diploma controlling the transition from school to university by means of an examination.
The IB curriculum, shaped over the years by educators committed to international education, involves the student's final two years of the secondary education sequence. During that time, study is undertaken in a broad range of subjects, selected under the guidance of a school-appointed IB Coordinator.
The high standards implicit in the IB examinations assume high levels of achievement or preparation at the middle school and pre-IB levels.
The subjects that comprise the core of the IB curriculum are arranged according to six groups; the Diploma candidate is required to select one subject from each of these groups. The student's selection of subjects will depend upon the range of IB subjects offered by the participating school.
Diploma candidates must select three of these subjects to be studied at the Higher level and three subjects to be studied at the Standard level (or a maximum of 4 at the Higher level and two at the Standard level). By arranging the work in this fashion, students are able to study some subjects in-depth (HL), i.e., extensively over a two year period before sitting for examinations, and some in breadth (SL), exploring a range of topics within a subject.