The IB-DP Program

20 March, 2023

What is IB-DP Program? 

IB-DP stands for International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and is the third component of the IB program. The DP is a two-year, comprehensive and rigorous program for students aged 16-19, focusing on a balanced curriculum that prepares students with the knowledge and skills needed for higher education, employment, and life. The DP is internationally taught in 159 countries around the world and  globally recognized by many universities.   

Following the program, students choose six subjects to study, along with the 3 mandatory core subjects. Students studying the program will be awarded the IB DP Diploma.


The IB-DP Model 

In 2022, The Olympia Schools became the first bilingual school in Vietnam to be authorized by the International Baccalaureate to deliver the IB-DP. At Olympia, we have classes DP1 and DP2 for students in grades 11 and 12. Aside from that, we offer students a DP Foundation class in grade 10 for them to prepare their learning journey in the next two years.  As our students step from the DP Foundations class into DP1 and then DP2, we are confident in the support system that is in place to guide our senior students to success. 

Subjects of the IB-DP program 

The Diploma Program is a rigorous academic, 2-year undertaking, wherein students choose the subject compilation from a set of six groups:

  • Studies in language and literature
  • Language acquisition
  • Individuals and societies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Arts 

The first five groups are mandatory, and students can choose another subject from group 6 or from one of the other groups. Currently in Olympia, most of our students are choosing their 6th subject from the group "Individuals and societies" or "Science".

The two-year program of study allows students to take a deep dive into their subject of choice and focus on subjects and content that will support their future pathways in university and beyond. Within each of these groups of subjects, students can choose to take the standard-level (SL) or challenge themselves to the higher-level (HL). Students must choose 3 HL courses. 

At Olympia, students can select from the following subject groups: 


Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature


Group 2: Language Acquisition 


Group 3: Individuals and Societies


Group 4: Sciences


Group 5: Mathematics


Group 6: Arts 


English A 


English B 








Available online 


Vietnamese A 


Other online 


Religious studies 



















In addition to these six subjects, students must complete three essential components of the DP:

  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK) class: students reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know. 
  • Extended Essay (EE) project: an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper. 
  • Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) project: students complete a project related to those three concepts to show their contribution to community. 

In the 2 years of studying DP at Grade 11 and 12, TOK is organized into classes, the latter two of which are done at self-study period or outside of class time with guided support from school. 

In Grade 10 DP Foundation at Olympia, teachers have organized 3 instruction classes about these core components in order to help students to have a thorough preparation to meet the mandatory requirements in Grade 11 and Grade 12 DP.

Curricula and assessments 

The curricula for these subjects are predetermined by IB and at Olympia we have ensured that the content matches the expectations of the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training.

Assessment for DP is done both at Olympia and internationally to assess student performance and student success, and a final exam is given internationally. Each subject is graded out of 7 and to obtain the DP Diploma, students must achieve at least 24 out of 45. Students who do well in two "Language and literature" subjects, or a combination of "Language and literature" and "Individuals and societies" also have the benefit of earning a bilingual diploma. 

Approach of teaching and learning 

One aspect that flows continuously throughout the DP, and for that matter, the IB in whole, is international mindedness. There is continuous effort to connect what students are learning in textbooks to what is happening in the world, both locally and internationally. Through the core components EE, CAS and TOK, students explore what it means to be connected globally and act locally. 


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