International Baccalaureate (IB)

IB Information Night January 2024

IB Parent Night Presentation


IB Program 

  • The International Baccalaureate program offers a rigorous course of study that meets the needs of highly motivated students. It provides students of different linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds with the intellectual, social, and critical perspectives necessary IBfor the adult world that lies ahead of them. IB provides students with perspectives and opportunities that can enable them to succeed in the competitive, modern world.
  • Marshall’s IB Diploma Program is recognized as quite robust because the GCM IB Diploma Program generates a consistently large proportion of the overall number of IB Diploma Recipients in FCPS in addition to encouraging participation among many students taking IB Exams as “Courses Candidates”. Since 1997, numbers of both full Diploma Candidates and Courses Candidates have steadily risen to comprise about 70% of each graduating class.

IB Diploma Program Coordinators

Matt Axelrod
IB Coordination Teacher

Abeer El-Baz
IB Coordination Teacher

IB Curriculum

  • The IB curriculum involves students' final two years of secondary education. During that time, study can be undertaken in a broad range of subjects. The high standards implicit in the IB examinations assume high levels of achievement or preparation in middle school and during freshman and sophomore years.

Learner Profile

  • The IB Learner Profile is at the core of the IB curriculum. "IB Learners" include students, faculty, administrators, and staff; everyone who is part of the Marshall community is in some way an IB Learner.


  • CAS, TOK, and the Extended Essay -- required components of the IB Diploma -- stem from the Learner Profile. Students pursuing IB Certificates in individual classes do not pursue CAS, TOK, or the Extended Essay.
    • "CAS" stands for Creativity + Activity + Service. Across junior and senior years, diploma candidates accrue at least 50 hours of planned and supervised activities in each category. Such participation is meant to encourage the appreciation of attitudes and values other than one's own, and to enable the student to communicate readily on both a philosophical and practical level. Learn more about CAS by visiting the IB website or by reading the CAS Handbook
    • "TOK" is the Theory of Knowledge course. This course -- an after-school seminar during junior year and a year-long course senior year -- stimulates critical reflection on the knowledge and experiences acquired both inside and outside the classroom; evaluates the bases of knowledge and experience; and develops a personal mode of thought based on critical examination of evidence and argument. Learn more about TOK
  • The Extended Essay is a 3,500- to 4,000-word research paper on a topic of the Diploma candidate's choice. Development of this essay is guided by a faculty supervisor. Learn more
  • Students opting to undertake the school's most rigorous academic program undertake the full IB Diploma Program, intellectually challenging students both inside and outside the classes in a wide range of disciplines. Students can pursue IB Certificates in individual classes.


  • Diploma candidates take IB-level courses in each of six content areas:
  • A general course progression for a student pursuing the full IB Diploma is provided in the GCM course description guide. The Diploma program calls for students to take three classes at the Higher Level (two-year courses culminating in a senior-year exam) and three classes at the Standard Level (one- or two-year courses culminating in a junior- or senior-year exam). The course offerings book identifies which classes are offered at higher and standard levels. In addition to meeting with their school counselors, Diploma candidates meet with an IB coordinator in spring of the sophomore year to plan the following year's course enrollment.
  • Students can also pursue Certificates in one or several courses at either the Higher or Standard Levels. Certificate students are not required to take classes in each of the IB groups. Certificate students also do not participate in CAS, TOK, or the EE.


  • In addition to written exams in May, IB courses have a series of other internal assessments (scored by the course's teacher) and external assessments (scored by teachers in other parts of the world) completed at various points of each class.

Important Informational Links