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As a top boarding school, CIS is proud to offer the International Baccalaureate Program, an academically challenging and balanced program of education that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. It is worldwide recognized for fostering global mindedness, and producing caring, compassionate and lifelong learners. Through this rigorous program, you will develop critical and creative thinking skills that will enhance your academic opportunities throughout the world.

CIS's Pre-diploma program offers specially designed instruction to students aged 13-16, preparing them to succeed in the IB Diploma Program. As an international school welcoming students from all over the world, this programme is designed to engage a wide range of learners from diverse educational backgrounds. For non-native English speakers, the Pre-Diploma Years 1 and 2 are also designed to prepare their English language skills for the IB Diploma Program in grades 11-12.
The Pre-DP Program at CIS is a two-year course prior to the actual IB Diploma Programme. At CIS students follow a course of study making it possible for students to become successful in the CIS Program, IB Certificate Program, or the IB Diploma Program. The aim of the Pre-DP Program is to prepare students for the challenge of all three diploma tracks by developing students' academic and English language skills, and research skills.
The Pre-DP Program course offerings and hours
  • English Language and Literature OR English as an Additional Language;
  • German OR Spanish;
  • Humanities;
  • Maths;
  • Life Science;
  • Physical Science;
  • Art/Digital Art;
  • Physical and Health Education;
  • Project-Based Learning;
  • Study Hall.

Students who successfully complete the Pre-Diploma Programme at Carlsbad International School will move on to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP). International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) classes provide young men and women, 16 to 19 years old, with a well-rounded and challenging set of courses in preparation for university and beyond. Carlsbad International School is an IB World School accredited to provide the Diploma Programme where students can earn an IB Diploma or subject certificates. All students in the last two years of School follow the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. CIS and the IB Diploma share the same goal of "preparing students for success in higher education and life in a global society".


All students choose six subjects, one from each of the six groups listed below. Three are studied at Higher Level (HL), meaning in more depth, and three are studied at Standard Level (SL). In addition, all students complete the Core Programme: Creativity, Action and Service, the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge.
Course options
Group 1 – Language & Literature

  • English Language and Literature HL/SL
  • Language A, self-taught and school supported, in own language (if approved)
Group 2 – Language Acquisition

  • English B HL
  • Spanish SL/ab initio*
  • Spanish Literature SL/HL
  • German SL/ab initio
*Ab Initio: no prior knowledge or study required.

Group 3 – Individuals and Societies, Economics, Psychology

  • Economics HL/SL
  • Psychology HL/SL
  • Environmental Systems and Societies SL
Group 4 – Sciences, Environmental Systems and Societies, Chemistry

  • Chemistry HL/SL
  • Physics HL/SL
  • Biology HL/SL
  • Environmental Systems SL
Group 5 – Mathematics

  • Math Applications SL
  • Math Applications HL
  • Math Analysis SL
  • Math Analysis HL
Group 6 – Visual Arts

  • Visual Arts HL/SL
More subjects may be added based on student demand.

If you would like to learn more about the International Baccalaureate Program, please, visit the IBO Website.

The CIS Diploma does not vary greatly from the IB Certificate Program or the IB Diploma Program. Due to our small class sizes and our small student-to-teacher ratio, students are able to obtain the same content as any IB Diploma candidate would. The only difference between an IB candidate and a CIS Diploma candidate is that student would not sit the external assessments, complete the Extended Essay or the Theory of Knowledge Programs as mandated by the IB. Students seeking the CIS diploma are still expected to complete CAS hours to develop community and partake in philanthropic activities.
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