Diploma Program

IB Diploma Program Coordinator:
Ms. Amber Ripa - aeripa@mpsomaha.org


IBO Mission Statement:

The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end, the IBO works with schools, governments, and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment. These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

An Introduction to the International Baccalaureate Program

In 1965 the International Baccalaureate (IBO) Organization was established at Geneva as a foundation under Swiss law. The IB Diploma Program is recognized as the most academically rigorous high school program in the world. Since the first IB Diploma Class of 1968, the four IB programs have grown to more than 4,000 authorized IB World Schools in 146 countries. Working in three official languages (English, French, and Spanish), the IB programs (PYP, MYP, DP, CC) enjoy the respect and support of governments, colleges, and universities around the world.

The IB Diploma Program (DP) is a rigorous pre-university course of study, which meets the needs of the highly motivated secondary school student. Designed as a comprehensive curriculum that allows its graduates to fulfill requirements of the various national systems of education, the IB DP is based on the pattern of no single country or educational system. It provides students of different linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds with the intellectual, social and critical perspectives necessary for the adult world that lies ahead of them.

All IB Diploma candidates are required to engage in the study of modern languages, sciences, mathematics, and humanities in the final two years of their secondary schooling. This program is a deliberate compromise between the preference for specialization in some countries and the emphasis on breadth often preferred in others. The intent is that students should learn how to analyze; how to reach considered conclusions about people, their languages and literature, their ways in society, and the scientific forces of the environment

Millard North High School IB Diploma recipients have been accepted to prestigious institutions of higher education.

Arizona, American, Arizona State, Baylor, Boston, Brown, Cal-Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Colorado-Boulder, Columbia, Cornell, Creighton, Denver, Doane, Drake, Drexel, Franklin and Marshall, Georgetown, Georgia Institute of Technology, Kansas, Knox, Loyola, Marquette, Maryland, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Miami, Michigan State, Middlebury, Minnesota-Twin Cities, Nebraska-Kearney, Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska-Omaha, Nebraska Wesleyan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oberlin, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Pennsylvania, Purdue, Rice, Rockhurst, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Australia), Rutgers, St. Louis, Saint Mary's (India), St. Olaf, Southern California, Stanford, Texas A & M, Truman State, Tufts, Tulane, Tulsa, UT-Austin, Vanderbilt, Washington, Yale, and others. 

Portions Reprinted with the permission of the IBO

What is IB?

The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end, the IBO works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

An Internationally Recognized Program

The headquarters of the IB programs are located in Geneva, Switzerland. There are 2800 authorized schools in 138 countries. The IB-Americas office is located in Bethesda, Maryland with a second branch in Vancouver, British Columbia. Millard North High School is one of close to 700 schools in the North America Region authorized to teach the IB diploma curriculum. The number of IB DP schools in the US is increasing rapidly.

A Rigorous Pre-University Course of Studies, Leading to Examinations, That Meets the Needs of Motivated Secondary School Students Between the Ages of 16 and 19.

Designed as a comprehensive two-year curriculum that allows its graduates to fulfill requirements of various national education systems, the diploma model is based on the pattern of no single country but incorporates the best elements of many. Study skills, research skills, organization, and time management are taught within the academic area as an aid to student success.

A Program Designed for the Academically Able and Motivated Student

The intent is that students learn how to analyze; how to reach conclusions about people, their languages and literature, their ways in society, and the scientific forces of the environment. The IB Diploma Programme graduates students know for their integrity, motivation, intellectual promise with the skills needed in an interconnected world.

The IB Student 

The ideal IB student combines intellectual potential with motivation and a love of learning. Interested seventh and eighth students and parents are invited to attend IB Application Night in late January.

Students begin the program in the ninth grade and progress through two years of Pre-DP, followed by the two IB Diploma Programme years. As students progress through the four years of study, they will grow in many ways. Successful IB students will:

  • Demonstrate superior performance in higher-level thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
  • Acquire a depth and breadth of knowledge in world literature, history, science, modern language, mathematics, and the elective areas of computer science, music, visual arts, and theatre arts.
  • Develop the ability to communicate in writing with a high degree of competence
  • Become proficient in research and independent study
  • Be leaders in service to others

The IB Learner Profile


They develop their natural curiosity. The acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.


They explore concepts, ideas, and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.


They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.


They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.


They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice, and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups, and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.


They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values, and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view and are willing to grow from the experience.


They show empathy, compassion, and respect toward the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service and act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and to the environment.


They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas, and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.


They understand the importance of intellectual, physical, and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.


They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.

Why Do It?

IB has international acceptability that allows for both flexibility and mobility.

  • IB schools worldwide offer subjects from within six major disciplines.
  • IB teachers worldwide are trained in the IB curriculum.

IB educates the "whole person."

  • In a required segment of IB, Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), students give of themselves to their communities through volunteer activities.
  • In the CAS requirement, students are asked to lead physically active lives.

IB encourages students to appreciate cultures and attitudes other than their own and to be informed, tolerant, and willing to communicate with others.

The IB approach to education is not an encyclopedia. The emphasis is on helping students learn how to learn and how to analyze.

  • The IB curriculum encourages interdisciplinary study.
  • In the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, students study what counts as knowledge in different disciplines. While learning to think critically, they question how we know what we know.

IB provides a broad liberal arts education while still allowing specialized study in areas corresponding to the individual student's particular interests and plans for the future.

  • Students take internationally graded exams in six subjects, at least three and no more than four at the higher level and two or three at the standard level.
  • Students write an independent research paper of 4000 words which is also graded internationally.

IB Diploma recipients may receive up to 30 credits at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

There are many colleges and universities that award scholarships and credits based on the IB Diploma and individual exam scores.

IB students have been shown to have higher SAT and ACT scores and increased success in the first year of college.

Millard North High School graduates from the Classes have been accepted to prestigious institutions of higher education.

For More General Information About the International Baccalaureate Programs

The Website of the IBO can be accessed through:


The IB at Millard North High School

Millard North High School became the first school in Nebraska authorized to offer the IB Diploma Program, beginning in 2001, with the Class of 2004 becoming the first IB Diploma graduates. Since then, the rate at which the IB Diploma has been successfully earned has ranged from 78-100%, with the average being 90% (compared to the worldwide average of 80%).  The program has grown from 18 candidates in 2004 to 50 in 2018. The pre-DP curriculum in 9th and 10th grade includes Honors classes, AP classes, and a second and third year of a world language (or first and second years for Latin). The IB Diploma Program (DP) is a comprehensive two-year program in 11th and 12th grades during which students take predominantly IB DP courses (in 6 DP subjects) and a unique course called Theory of Knowledge (ToK), write a research-based Extended Essay (EE) of 4,000 words, and perform the equivalent of an afternoon per week during 11th and 12th grade (and the summer between) of Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS). 

What are the Admission Criteria?

An IB student is a highly motivated, hard-working, good writer, who enjoys a challenge. Although not a requirement, it is recommended that the IB student take algebra and a foreign language in middle school.

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 the IB coordinator, guidance counselor, and advisor.

The high standards implicit in the IB examinations assume high levels of achievement or preparation at the middle school and pre-IB levels (Grades 9 and 10).

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 for each area.


Millard North High School IB Subject By Group and Level

HL=Higher Level SL=Standard Level

Group 1 – Language A

The students' first language - English (HL)

Group 2 – Language B

A second language - French (SL), German (SL), Spanish (SL), and Latin (SL)

Group 3 – Individuals and Society

Modern World History (SL/HL I)
History of the Americas (HL II)
Psychology (SL)

Group 4 – Experimental Sciences

Biology (SL & HL), Chemistry (HL), or Physics (SL & HL)

Group 5 – Mathematics

Mathematical Studies (including Pre-Calculus and Statistics) (SL)
Mathematics (including Calculus) (SL)
Mathematics Higher Level (including Calculus and Differential Equations) (HL)

Group 6 – Fine Arts or Electives

Film (SL & HL)
Music (SL)
Visual Arts (SL & HL)
or a second subject from Group 2,3, or 4.

The availability of specific courses is dependent on the number of student requests and teacher availability.

Diploma Candidates

IB Diploma students must meet Millard graduation requirements to receive the MNHS diploma. If a student does not receive the IB Diploma, the IBO awards course certificates for any subject receiving a passing IBO grade of 4 on the 1-7 scale. All IB Diploma candidates are required to take one subject from each of the six IBDP subject groups. Three of the six subjects are taken at Higher Level (HL), three are taken at Standard Level (SL). The award of the Diploma requires a minimum total of 24 points and the satisfactory completion of the following additional requirements:

A 4,000 word [research-based] Extended Essay researched and written in 11th grade, 2nd semester and 12th grade, 1st semester (and the summer between).

Theory of Knowledge course (ToK) which explores the relationships among the various disciplines and ensures that students engage in critical reflection and analysis of the knowledge acquired within and beyond the classroom, taken in 11th grade, 2nd semester and 12th grade, 1st semester.

CAS - requires the student to demonstrate and reflect afterward upon the equivalent of an afternoon per week during the 11th and 12th grades (and the summer between) of creativity, action, and service in relation to school and community. 


For more information about fees contact: Ms. Amber Ripa– IB Diploma Program Coordinator

Common Questions

What are the admission criteria?

Highly motivated students who are hard-working, good writers, and who have completed Algebra and one year of a foreign language in eighth grade are encouraged to apply.

Are IB and Pre-IBDP students isolated from others?

No, IB students use the same classrooms and common areas as non-IB students. Elective classes and some foreign language classes include non-IB students. Teachers have both IB and regular classes.

What is the difference between IBDP and Honors/AP?

AP is a series of American examinations in specific subject areas. Honors/AP students may specialize in a subject area and not participate in other subject areas. IBDP is a comprehensive worldwide curriculum culminating in exams. IBDP students are required to engage in all six subject areas, take the Theory of Knowledge course, write an Extended Essay, and participate in service and creative activities. IBDP represents an entire diploma; AP is a single course. Both AP and IBDP programs offer possible advanced placement and credit in college. All three district high schools will continue to offer Honors/AP classes.