The IB Diploma Programme is an academically challenging program that prepares 11th and 12th graders at NOVA for the academic rigor of university studies and beyond. It’s a holistic programme that aims to develop students, who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge—students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically at schools that have been authorized to implement the programme. It’s offered to students aged 16-19 (11th and 12th grade). 

The students have the choice between being full Diploma candidates or Course candidates. IB learners are often seen as avid inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers; they are knowledgeable, principled, open-minded, caring, balanced and reflective students. The program is taught over two years and has gained the recognition of many of the world’s leading universities. NOVA offers a variety of subject choices in each of the subject groups. Course offerings may be subject to change, and an updated chart on offered courses can be found in NOVA’s IB handbook.

Diploma candidates select six courses at either higher or standard level in each of the six groups, thus ensuring breadth of experience in the languages, social studies, the experimental sciences and mathematics. 

In addition to that, the program has three core requirements for obtaining the Diploma: the Extended Essay (EE), the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, and Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS). 


Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is a 3-semester course where students engage in purposeful inquiry into the different ways of knowing and different kinds of knowledge. TOK aims to make students aware of the interpretative nature of knowledge, including personal ideological biases – whether these biases are retained, revised or rejected. TOK also provides coherence for the student, by linking academic subject areas as well as transcending them.

Extended Essay

The Extended Essay is an individual research project undertaken by students over three semesters. By choosing a topic in a subject area they are particularly interested in, students complete a rigorous research project culminating in a 4,000-word essay under guidance of subject mentors.

Creativity Activity Service

CAS is an experiential learning program in which students design projects and engage in experiences related to Creativity, Activity or Service. As part of the CAS program, students are encouraged to set personal goals, develop planning skills and reflect on their out-of-class experiences and impact on the community.