Northville Public Schools » Diploma Programme (DP) » Curriculum


DP students study six courses at higher level or standard level. Students must choose a two-year course from each of five subject groups, thus ensuring breadth of experience. The five groups are language and literature (native language--English), language acquisition (foreign language), individuals and societies (social studies), natural sciences, and mathematics. Students may choose their sixth subject from group six (the arts) or choose another course from groups one through five.

In addition, the programme has three core requirements that are included to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to cultivate their knowledge and understanding in a deeper context.

The extended essay is a requirement for students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of their subjects. Students will work on this with guidance from a teacher who will act as a mentor to their topic selection and must write up to 4,000 words.

Theory of knowledge (TOK) is a course designed to encourage each student to reflect on the nature of knowledge by critically examining different themes regarding knowing and learning and different kinds of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical and historical).

Creativity, activity, service (CAS) requires that students actively learn from the experience of doing real tasks beyond the classroom. Students can combine all three components or do activities related to each one of them separately.

The curriculum is modeled in the following diagram: 

Over the course of the two-year programme, students:

  • Study six subjects chosen from the six subject groups
    • Study three of the six subjects at high er level (courses representing 240 teaching hours)
    • Study the remaining three subjects at standard level (courses representing 150 teacher hours)
  • Complete an extended essay
  • Follow a two-year TOK course during a portion of seminar
  • Participate in CAS
IB DP focuses not only on the curricular components but also on the skills that help students succeed academically. IB calls these Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills.
Please visit the DP Programme home page for programme overview and application information 
Note: At NHS, all efforts will be made to honor student-driven course choices, but, like all NHS students, we cannot guarantee any student's desired schedules due to the size of our school and overall course options and period availabilities across subjects, programs, levels, etc.