Wow, the world has changed a lot for us old folks who graduated high school in 2010. While you can't get your International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma online, you can take several IB courses online if you are enrolled in an IB World School.
In this article, I'll cover the following:
- Who can take IB courses online?
- Why might you want to take IB courses online?
- Do the online IB classes count toward your Diploma?
- Can you get your IB Diploma online?
- How do online IB courses work?
- IB courses that are available online and where to find them
- IB courses that are not available online
For more in-depth descriptions of what each IB class entails, check out the full IB course list. For a detailed overview of the IB Diploma Programme (which will be quite helpful to understand before reading this article), take a look at our introductory guide to what the IB program entails.
2022 IB Exam Changes Due to COVID-19
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the IB has decided to extend the adaptations which were put in place for 2021 to 2022. May 2022 IB assessments will have two routes, exam and non-exam, depending on which your school chooses. Stay up to date with the latest information on what this means for IB diplomas, course credit for IB classes, and more with our our IB COVID-19 FAQ article.
Who Can Take IB Courses Online?
Pamoja Education, which is the sole provider of online IB courses, only allows students who are currently enrolled in the IB 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 who are actively in an IB program can take IB courses online. If you are currently at an IB World School and would like to take some IB courses online, contact your IB program coordinator for help with the enrollment process.
Why Might You Want to Take IB Courses Online?
Taking IB classes online is a great way to access classes that your IB World School might not currently offer. For example, if you're passionate about film but your school doesn't offer Film SL or HL, you could take Film SL online through Pamoja Education.
Additionally, online IB courses can be a great option for IB students who need a more flexible schedule. For instance, if you need to get out of school early because you also play a competitive sport or have to work a part-time job, online courses can give you that flexibility.
Do the Online IB Classes Count Toward Your Diploma? Can You Get Your IB Diploma Online?
Online IB classes will count toward your IB Diploma. Until recently, no students could earn their IB Diplomas online, in part because there were no online IB science classes available. However, in March 2022, the IB launched a pilot program for an online Diploma Programme. The pilot program is still very small and focused on students who can't earn their Diploma in a brick-and-mortar school setting due to reasons such as illness, commitment to extracurriculars, or moving/displacement.
This means that, at this time, most students don't have the option of completing their Diploma Programma entirely online. However, in upcoming years, a fully online IB Diploma will be an option for more and more students. It's currently unclear if, in the future, students will need to be enrolled in an IB school to get an online Diploma or if they'd be able to sign up for a fully online IB Diploma Programme on their own.
As a refresher, here are the requirements for earning an IB Diploma:
To receive your IB Diploma, you must take one class from each of the six 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: The Arts
You may substitute the group 6 class requirement with an additional course from groups 1-4.
In addition to these classes, you must complete the three "core" requirements:
- Theory of Knowledge (TOK): A class that's essentially a mixture of philosophy and politics. It's the only class for which you do not have to take a written exam; rather, you must write a 1,600-word essay and give an oral presentation.
- Extended Essay: A 4,000-word mini-thesis on any topic of your choosing. You must have an IB teacher to supervise your work.
- Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) Project: A project that encourages students to engage in extracurricular activities. Students must complete a creative project (such as learning to play guitar), an activity project (such as learning to rock climb), and a more traditional community service project (such as feeding people who are experiencing homelessness).
How Do Online IB Courses Work?
To enroll in an online class, you must ask your IB program coordinator. Here's how these IB online classes work, according to the IB: Online classrooms consist of about 25 students from around the world, and teachers will introduce weekly lessons, guide discussion, and provide feedback.
All materials are provided 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 students' work and provide individual feedback. Classes last two years, following the basic IB course guides, and are taught by experienced IB teachers trained in online pedagogy.
IB Classes That Are Available Online and Where to Find Them
The following IB classes are all offered online through Pamoja Education.
|IB Group||Classes Available Online|
|Group 1: Language and Literature|
|Group 2: Language Acquisition|
|Group 3: Individuals and Societies|
|Group 5: Mathematics|
|Group 6: The Arts|
**Though not a class, you can get access to an IB essay supervisor online
IB Classes That Are NOT Available Online
Here are the IB classes that are only available in person at IB World Schools and are not currently offered online.
|IB Group||Classes NOT Available Online|
|Group 1: Language and Literature||
|Group 2: Language Acquisition||
|Group 3: Individuals and Societies||
|Group 4: Sciences||
|Group 5: Mathematics||
|Group 6: The Arts||
Want to learn more about the IB Diploma Programme? Read our guides on what the IB DP curriculum entails and how to find an IB World School near you.
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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.