The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a two-year educational programme for students aged 16–19 that provides an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education, and is recognised by universities worldwide. It was developed in the early to mid-1960s in Geneva by a group of international educators. Following a six-year pilot programme ending in 1975, a bilingual diploma was established.
Administered by the International Baccalaureate (IB), the IBDP is currently taught in English, French or Spanish. In order to participate in the IBDP, students must attend an IB school. IBDP students complete assessments in six subjects from the six different subject groups, and complete three core requirements. Subjects are assessed using both internal and external assessments, and courses finish with an externally assessed series of examinations, usually consisting of two or three timed written examinations. Internal assessment varies by subject (there may be oral presentations, practical work, or written works) and in most cases is initially graded by the classroom teacher, whose grades are then verified or modified, as necessary, by an appointed, external moderator.
Generally the IBDP has been well-received. It has been commended for introducing interdisciplinary thinking to students. The United Kingdom regards the IBDP as "more academically challenging and broader than three or four A-levels"; however, a pledge to allow children in all areas to study the IBDP was shelved amid concerns that a "two-tier" education system was emerging as the growth in IB was driven by private schools and sixth form colleges. The United States has seen objections to the IBDP centered on the claim that the program is un-American or promotes values of the United Nations.