International Baccalaureate (IB)

Notre Dame Academy’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a rigorous, college-level, two-year comprehensive curriculum for grades eleven and twelve that emphasizes critical thinking, application of knowledge and an interdisciplinary approach with strong international focus. NDA chose to become northwest Ohio’s only IB World School because the IB curriculum aligns with the Sisters of Notre Dame principles of holistic education and global citizenship and best prepares our students to enjoy lifelong success in a time of fast-paced change.

What makes IB distinctive?

With knowledge everywhere, the ability to glean insights from information and to be adaptable are critical success skills. IB nurtures these by having students lead their own quest for understanding:

  • Coaching approach: Teachers coach you through your own discovery of knowledge and analysis.
  • Cross-disciplinary: IB’s global focus and cross-disciplinary approach cultivates connective insights.
  • Discussion-centered: Wide use of classroom discussions sharpen your ability to discuss and articulate issues.
  • Global: Because all IB students around the world study the same curriculum and are held to the same standards, IB prepares you to compete in the global economy.
  • Multiple opportunities for success: Unlike AP where everything rests on one exam, your success in IB courses will be gauged over multiple assessments.

Through this, you will become a knowledgeable, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-taking, balanced, and reflective inquirer, thinker, and communicator.

IB Course of Study

You have the choice of either taking all IB courses in the IB Diploma Programme or custom-selecting IB subjects to your strengths and goals in the IB Certificate Programme. Often, IB Certificate students take a mix IB and AP classes. Courses are offered in HL (Higher Level) and SL (Standard Level). IB Diploma students study six subjects, three at a higher level and three at a standard level. IB Diploma students must also complete three additional requirements:

  • The Extended Essay: An independent research paper on a topic related to one of the subjects being studied.
  • Theory of Knowledge: A critical thinking course to help you better understand how and why knowledge is gained.
  • Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS): A project applying what you have learned in IB outside of the classroom. Some CAS projects NDA students have done are:
    • Raised $2000 for Syrian refugees by creating and leading a row-a-thon
    • Envisioned and implemented a day-long school-wide Feminine Genius symposium
    • Raised $1200 for an Indonesian wildlife preserve by selling tote bags made of recycled materials at the West Side Buy Local Sale
    • Started a NDA 7th and 8th Grade Drama Club using IB Theater skills to help NDJA students find ways to express themselves in theater
    • Led the NDA varsity softball team in collecting feminine products to send to a women in a low income community

The NDA Course Catalog provides more detail about IB courses.

IB Fact and Fiction

  • Fiction: College admissions views AP and IB credit as the same.
    FACT: IB helps you stand out to college admissions. Notre Dame Academy is the only IB Diploma World School in northwest Ohio and IB signals to colleges that you know how to apply knowledge with college-level critical thinking. 
  • Fiction: Colleges do not offer credit for IB coursework.
    FACT: All colleges offer credit for IB coursework. NDA graduates have earned up to a full year of college credit and even graduate school credit.
  • Fiction: IB is only for the very top students.
    FACT: IB is open to all students. NDA IB Coordinator Mrs. Angie Joseph will start working with you as soon as you come to NDA to help you prepare for IB coursework your junior year.
  • Fiction: IB is all-consuming so you will have not have time to participate in extracurricular activities.
    FACT: Because IB builds strong time management skills, you’ll have time to participate in activities. IB Diploma graduates have held lead roles in musicals, been valedictorians, and have moved forward in collegiate academics prepared.

Learn more about IB by scheduling an appointment with IB Coordinator Angie Joseph at

IB Events

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