IB CP vs IB DP: A Question That Daring Sophomores Will Have to Answer

A Troublesome Decision: A new IB pathway makes a difficult decision even tougher for North Atlanta sophomores.

Hugh Breeden

A Troublesome Decision: A new IB pathway makes a difficult decision even tougher for North Atlanta sophomores.

Ah, IB. Those of us who have decided to take this path know full and well what the journey to the diploma is like. The International Baccalaureate program is something that students have been enrolled in since as early as elementary school. Yet, after sophomore year, students can choose to drop IB upon the completion of their MYP (Middle Years Program) Project. The daunting continuation of the IB program in one’s junior and senior years is made up of classes with extreme rigor and piles upon piles of homework. The students that decide to face the challenge of continuing the IB program now have three different ways of doing so.

The most popular choice among North Atlanta students is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, better known as IB DP. Students doing the IB DP pathway take at least 6 IB classes en route to try and earn the IB diploma, where they have a list of specific requirements they must meet. Meeting these requirements comes at the expense of other aspects of life, an experience that all IB students share. “I get three to four hours of sleep a night and it has only been a couple of weeks of IB,” junior Wyly Wickland said. “It makes me have to skip out on being with friends and family. It sucks, but I know it is going to be worth it when I walk that stage and receive my diploma.”

A second, less popular option, is known as the International Baccalaureate Career Program, or IB CP. The Career Program focuses on a certain career path like journalism or business that a student has taken multiple classes in, with students having a reflective project and other obligations they must meet. One of the benefits of IB CP is the ability to take fewer IB classes, with two classes being the minimum. Senior Grant Hawkins said, “I choose IB CP to be able to take fewer IB classes and manage my workload better due to the amount of work IB classes give.”

The final option, which is new and now available for the Class of 2023, is IB A La Carte. This allows students to take a few IB classes without actually being in IB and having the extra requirements of those programs. This no-strings attached path may appeal to students who do not want the extra added work of IB DP and IB CP classes. “If IB A La Carte was an option I definitely would have done that over DP,” senior Charlie Haines said. “I could take the advanced level classes I want in preparation for college while not having to do the extra work to get the IB Diploma.” 

The whole International Baccalaureate program is a confusing set of stipulations and difficult classes all for the end goal of a better education and to stand out on college applications. This of course is not the only way to stand out, but it is the path many North Atlanta students take to appeal to colleges when that time comes. With more options than ever, North Atlanta sophomores now face a difficult decision with regards to their future. What will you do?