Adventures In IB: IB for All and the inaugural IB Diploma Candidates

September 17, 2020
Purcell Marian is excited to begin our first full academic year as an International Baccalaureate World School. The IB is a worldwide community of schools with the shared vision and mission to empower its students with the skills, values, and knowledge to create a better and more peaceful world. That is the mission of IB. A global educator team will assess the IB Student ability to think critically, conduct research, and demonstrate mastery of the material at the end of their senior year. That, and more, is the IB experience at Purcell Marian.


The IB experience at Purcell Marian is available to upper-level students. They must demonstrate a desire to learn more and dig deeper into understanding why -- whether it’s in math, science, history, literature, a second language, or the arts. IB courses are taught over the students’ junior and senior years, allowing classes to go into greater depth than traditional advanced placement courses.
There are two pathways to pursue those goals:
IB Diploma Program
The IB Diploma Program requires students to study six subjects over two years. Here on Hackberry, Cavaliers will learn English Language and Literature, History of the Americas, Spanish, Math Analysis & Approaches, Biology, and Visual Arts.
Diploma Program students also complete the IB Core:
  • Theory of Knowledge, the class that promotes critical thinking
  • Extended Essay, a research paper on a topic of your choice
  • CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) a service project outside the classroom that positively impacts the community.
Students who complete all the classes and who are successful in the written examinations administered in May of the senior year will receive the IB Diploma.
IB Course Certificate
Students can study an area of interest by taking the IB classes of their choice, without pursuing the full IB Diploma.
  • If math and science are your passion, then the IB Biology and IB Math Analysis & Approaches are the classes for you.
  • The History of the Americas class allows students to examine the forces that shape our world.
  • An interest in literature and a desire to understand what motivates a character will lead you to the English Language & Literature class.
  • If you are interested in creative visual expressions, you’ll want to sign up for IB Visual Arts.
  • The IB Spanish class will enable you to read, write, and speak a second language to engage in the global community.
Successful completion of the course requirements results in being awarded an IB Course Certificate and earning college credit based on their IB assessment.

2020-2021 IB CAVALIERS

We are pleased to welcome the new cohort of juniors to the International Baccalaureate Program at Purcell Marian. Twenty-Nine Juniors are taking a combined 95 classes. English, history, and visual arts are the largest classes with 13 students each. IB Biology and IB psychology classes have been added to the course offerings this year.
Nineteen Seniors have signed up for 35 IB classes. English, followed by visual arts and math, has the largest enrollment with nine, eight, and six students.
The Inaugural Class of Purcell Marian IB Diploma Candidates Survey

Five Juniors have chosen to undertake the rigorous IB Diploma Program (DP) and will take the six IB classes plus the three IB Core Classes over the course of the next two years. We asked them asked why they decided to pursue the IB Diploma. Their responses included a desire to learn new things, earn college credit, and accept a challenge.
What risks do you think you'll need to take?
  • "I think I’ll be taken out of my comfort zone in subjects like math and even in visual arts when it comes to comprehending new topics." - Raimi '21
What excites you about the arts being an essential component of the Diploma Program?
  • "As a creative person, visual arts allows for those creative ideas to come forward and shine." - Kara
What advice would you offer to underclassmen considering the IB Diploma Program?
  • "Learn how to manage time. Things will get very overwhelming if you don't." - Brandon
  • "It is a big commitment, but if you’re ready for it and want to do it, you should because it’s a great opportunity." - Raimi
  • "If you want to pursue the IB Diploma, go for it. You might be surprised about what you are capable of accomplishing." - Kara
  • "Stay organized and maintain a good relationship with your teachers." - Josey
  • "My advice is to stick to the books, study, don't worry about what other people think, try your best, and don't give up on what you believe." - Charisma
Plans for further study
  • Two Cavaliers plan on careers in medicine as a surgeon and one as a veterinarian. Political science, accounting, engineering, or forensics are possible paths for the others.


Contact Mr. Bob Herring '68, Director of International Baccalaureate Program + Global Programs at or (513) 751-1230 ext. 204.

International Baccalaureate