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Which IB Courses Can I Take Online? Can I Get an Online IB Diploma?

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jun 2, 2019 11:14:00 AM

International Baccalaureate (IB)



Wow, the world has changed a lot for us old folks who graduated in high school in 2010. While you cannot get your IB diploma or International Baccalaureate diploma online, you can take several IB courses online if you are enrolled in an IB World School (I'll go into more detail on this below).      

In this article, I'll cover:

  • Who can take IB courses online?
  • Why would you want to take IB courses online?
  • Do the online IB classes add to your diploma?
  • What do you mean you can't get your IB Diploma online?
  • How do online IB courses work?
  • The IB courses that are not currently available 
  • The IB courses that are available and where to find them online.

For more in-depth descriptions of what each class entails, check out our other article on IB Complete Course List of Offerings. For an in-depth overview of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (which will be helpful to understand before reading this article), check out our other article on What is the IB Program, and What are IB Classes?


Who Can Take IB Courses Online?  

Unfortunately at this point in time, Pamoja Education (the only current provider of online IB courses) only allows students who are currently enrolled in the Diploma Programme or the Career-related Programme at an IB World School (a school that offers an IB program) to take their online classes. In other words, only students currently in an IB program can take IB courses online. If you are currently at an IB World School and would like to take IB courses online, contact your IB program coordinator for help with the enrollment process.     


Why Would You Want to Take IB Courses Online?   

Taking IB classes online is a great way to access IB classes that your IB world school may not currently offer. For example, if you are very passionate about Film, but your IB world school does not offer Film SL or HL, you can take IB Film SL online through Pamoja Education. Additionally, online IB courses can be great options for IB students who need a more flexible schedule. For example, if you need to get out of school early because you also play a competitive sport or need to work a job, online courses give you that flexibility. 


Do the Online IB Classes Add to Your Diploma?

Yes, taking IB classes online will help you get your IB diploma. You can take classes from 4 of the 6 required subject groups online, and you can also complete part of the core (Theory of Knowledge class and Extended Essay) online. I will explain this in more detail below. However, at this point in time, you cannot get an IB Diploma online. 




What Do You Mean You Can't Get Your IB Diploma Online?

You cannot get an IB Diploma online yet because you are not able to complete all of the requirements for an IB Diploma online. Some of the required classes (in Literature and Science) aren't offered online. To read more about the requirements, read our article: What is the IB Program, and What are IB Classes?.

As a brief overview, to qualify to receive your IB Diploma, you must take a class from each of these six subject groups: 

  • Group 1: Language and literature
  • Group 2: Language acquisition
  • Group 3: Individual and societies 
  • Group 4: Science 
  • Group 5: Mathematics
  • Group 6: Arts 

You substitute the Group 6 requirement with an additional course from one of the other 5 groups. In addition to these classes, you must also complete the 3 requirements that make up what is known as the Core:   

  • Theory of Knowledge / TOK
    • A class that is a mixture of philosophy and politics. 
    • It is the only class for which do you do not take a written exam. 
  • Extended Essay / EE
    • A 4,000-word mini-thesis on the topic of your choosing. 
    • You must have an IB teacher supervising your work. 
  • Creativity, Action, Service / CAS hours 
    • A project that encourages students to get involved in extracurricular activities. 
    • Students must complete a creative project (such as learning to play guitar), an action project (such as learning to rock climb or play a varsity sport), and a service project (such as feeding the homeless). 




How Do Online IB Courses Work?

To enroll in an online class, you must ask your IB program coordinator. According to Pamoja Education, "In online classrooms of approximately 25 students from around the world, teachers introduce weekly lessons, guide discussion and provide feedback to stimulate critical thinking and promote “lifelong learning” habits... Live lessons stimulate simultaneous interactions in the classroom; forums and blogs encourage students to reflect on their learning; online resources help support students in their learning; news feeds bring subjects alive within the context of current events and issues."

All materials are provided online and saved online. Live lessons are saved and archived so that they can be viewed at any time. All work is submitted online, and teachers review the work and provide individual feedback. The classes are structured into a typical school year. There are 2 semesters with 2 terms in each semester with a short break between the terms. Just as most high schools have 4 quarters split into 2 semesters with a spring (and sometimes fall) break. So, what IB classes are not available online? 


Classes That Are Currently Available Online


Group 2: Language Acquisition

  • Classical languages SL/HL


Group 3: Individual and Societies

  • Geography SL/HL
  • History SL/HL
  • Philosophy HL
  • Social and cultural anthropology SL/HL
  • World religions SL
  • Global Politics SL/HL


Group 4: Science

  • Biology SL/HL
  • Computer Science SL/HL
  • Chemistry SL/HL
  • Design Technology SL/HL
  • Physics SL/HL
  • Sports, exercise and health science (SL only)

The lack of these courses also prevents you from getting your IB Diploma online. You are required to take one of these courses to get your IB Diploma.


Group 5: Mathematics

  • Further Mathematics HL
  • Mathematical studies SL


Group 6: Arts

  • Dance SL/HL
  • Theatre SL/HL
  • Film HL
  • Visual Arts SL/HL
  • Music SL/HL






Classes That Are Currently Available Online and Where to Find Them

All of these online classes are offered through Pamoja Education:


Group 1: Language and Literature


Group 2: Language Acquisition


Group 3: Individual and Societies


Group 5: Mathematics


Group 6: Arts


The Core

These classes/projects are required to receive your IB diploma.


What’s Next?

Are you hoping to squeeze in some extra IB classes? Learn about the IB courses offered online

Studying for the SAT? Check out our complete guide to the SAT. Taking the SAT in the next month? Check out our guide to cramming

Not sure where you want to go to college? Check out our guide to finding your target school.


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Dora Seigel
About the Author

As an SAT/ACT tutor, Dora has guided many students to test prep success. She loves watching students succeed and is committed to helping you get there. Dora received a full-tuition merit based scholarship to University of Southern California. She graduated magna cum laude and scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT. She is also passionate about acting, writing, and photography.

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