International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

IB Logo

The American Overseas School of Rome has proudly offered the IB Diploma Program since 1989. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is a highly challenging two year, pre-university program of studies for grade 11 and 12 students.

The focus of the IB Diploma program aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better world through intercultural understanding and respect. The IB Diploma promotes lifelong learning by requiring students to develop the attributes of the IB Learner Profile (below).

While it is the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) that prescribes the curriculum, its implementation has been carefully and successfully followed at AOSR for decades, resulting in students gaining admission to prestigious universities in the United States, Europe, and throughout the world, and because of its equipollenza with the Italian "Maturità", Italian universities as well.

Meet the AP / IB Coordinator

To earn an IB Diploma at AOSR, students take 6 core subjects, follow a course in the Theory of Knowledge, submit an Extended Essay and participate in Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) programs. Finally, students sit for 6 exams in the core subjects at the end of year 12.

Learn more about the core components:

The Theory of Knowledge course

IB LogoThe theory of knowledge (TOK) requirement is central to the educational philosophy of the Diploma Programme.

It offers students and their teachers the opportunity to:

  • reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and on areas of knowledge
  • consider the role and nature of knowledge in their own culture, in the cultures of others and in the wider world.

In addition, it prompts students to:

  • be aware of themselves as thinkers, encouraging them to become more acquainted with the complexity of knowledge
  • recognize the need to act responsibly in an increasingly interconnected but uncertain world.

As a thoughtful and purposeful inquiry into different ways of knowing, and into different kinds of knowledge, TOK is composed almost entirely of questions. The most central of these is "How do we know?"

It is a stated aim of TOK that students should become aware of the interpretative nature of knowledge, including personal ideological biases, regardless of whether, ultimately, these biases are retained, revised or rejected.

TOK also has an important role to play in providing coherence for the student as it transcends and links academic subject areas, thus demonstrating the ways in which they can apply their knowledge with greater awareness and credibility.

Extended Essay

IB LogoThe extended essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research, culminating in a 4,000-word paper. As a required component, it provides:

  • practical preparation for the kinds of undergraduate research required at tertiary level
  • an opportunity for students to engage in an in-depth study of a topic of interest within a chosen subject.

Emphasis is placed on the research process:

  • formulating an appropriate research question
  • engaging in a personal exploration of the topic
  • communicating ideas
  • developing an argument.

Participation in this process develops the capacity to:

  • analyse
  • synthesize, and
  • evaluate knowledge.

Students are supported throughout the process with advice and guidance from a supervisor (a teacher at AOSR).

CAS Program

The CAS requirement is a fundamental part of the IB Program at AOSR and takes seriously the importance of life outside the world of scholarship, providing a refreshing counterbalance to academic studies.

  • Creativity is interpreted broadly to include a wide range of arts activities as well as the creativity students demonstrate in designing and implementing service projects.
  • Action can include not only participation in individual and team sports but also taking part in expeditions and in local or international projects.
  • Service encompasses a host of community and social service activities. Some examples include helping children with special needs, visiting hospitals and working with refugees or homeless people.

Students are expected to be involved in CAS activities for the equivalent of at least three hours each week during the two years of the program.

A CAS supervisor at AOSR is responsible for providing a varied choice of activities for students. Programs are monitored by IB regional offices.

A system of self-evaluation encourages students to reflect on the benefits of CAS participation to themselves and to others, and to evaluate the understanding and insights acquired.

AOSR students are expected and encouraged to:

  • Join sports teams
  • Work in student government
  • Organize charity drives
  • Assist Elementary School teachers
  • Help out in school libraries
  • Volunteer outside of school
  • Join summer programs for personal growth and/or service projects

IB Learner Profile

The IB learner profile is the IBO mission statement translated into a set of learning outcomes for the 21st century. The learner profile provides a long-term vision of education. It is a set of ideals that can inspire, motivate and focus the work of schools and teachers, uniting them in a common purpose.

IB learners strive to be: Inquirers – Knowledgeable – Thinkers – Communicators – Principled – Open-Minded – Caring – Risk-Takers – Balanced – Reflective.


IB Courses at AOSR

IB Group

Subject Area


1 Language A: Literature
Language A: Language & Literature
2 Language B
Language AbInitio
Italian, French, Spanish
3 Humanities History, Economics
4 Exp. Sciences Biology, Physics, Chemistry
5 Mathematics Math HL, Math SL, Math Studies
6 Electives Visual Arts, Theater

Students in the IB Program

AOSR students all have access to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program based on their academic performance, interest, and teacher recommendations.

Students apply for the program in 10th grade and the application is submitted by our IB Coordinator, Ms. Belinda Fiochi. AOSR requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 for all candidates to be considered for the program. Additionally, the student’s teacher recommendations will be reviewed by the IB Coordinator and the Secondary School Principal. If a student wishes to take the program and fulfills all requirements, he or she will be registered and a meeting will be arranged with parents in order to determine the program of studies, and to sign IB Diploma Program Regulations to indicate understanding and agreement. Students must also understand the commitment to the extra components of the program: Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge and Creativity, Action, Service (CAS).

Two levels of exams exist: higher and standard. Candidates must complete successfully three at the higher level and three at the standard level. Students must average a score of four on a scale of seven on each level and complete the core components to earn the IB diploma. In the two years of the program it is expected that students maintain a 3.0 GPA and that they strive constantly to develop the traits of the IB Learner Profile.

More information about the IB Program at AOSR can be found in the:

For additional information do not hesitate to contact the IB Coordinator, Ms. Belinda Fiochi, at or visit the official page of the International Baccalaureate at