International Baccalaureate (IB)
In the fall of 1984, Mission Viejo High School was the first high school in Orange County granted full affiliation with the prestigious International Baccalaureate Program. I.B. is a comprehensive program for academically talented and highly motivated students sponsored and administered by the International Baccalaureate Organization. The International Baccalaureate Diploma is awarded to students who complete an intense course of study featuring written internal and external examinations in six academic areas: Studies in Language and Language, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and one elective selection. Students participating in this “school within a school” must also complete a special course in “Theory of Knowledge,” which requires a 4,000 word thesis on a subject of each student’s special interest. Additionally, students must create reflective journals for their required creative, athletic, and social service activity.
The International Baccalaureate Program has been validated by the Ministries of Education in more than 40 countries throughout the world. The International Baccalaureate Diploma and individual certificates are recognized for admission and advanced standing in the United States and throughout the world. Mission Viejo High School students received 45 full diplomas in 2016-17. The three year IB exam pass rate is 92%.
For their efforts, students in the program may receive college credit for each exam passed. Additionally, because the students must become proficient in six academically demanding areas, including a foreign language, they also hold a distinct advantage in gaining admission to the college of their choice. All indications from the universities in the United States now suggest the IB program sets the bar for academic excellence.