International Baccalaureate

As one of few Orange County private schools with a full IB Diploma Program, Fairmont Prep is pleased to provide this unique educational opportunity for the world’s future leaders.

Fairmont Preparatory Academy is an IB World School. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is an internationally acclaimed course of study, meeting worldwide standards of excellence. The IB Diploma Program provides a continuum of education which emphasizes connections among various disciplines, encourages students to think globally, and guides students to a deeper understanding of knowledge and the ways knowledge develops and works. Students complete independent research, are involved in projects that foster creativity, action and community service, and take specialized courses. Most courses culminate in a seated IB Exam.

Recent IB Diploma candidates have been accepted to Columbia University, Cornell University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania and more.


  • English A: Literature HL
  • Business Management HL
  • Mathematical Studies IB SL
  • Mathematics IB SL
  • Mathematics IB HL
  • Biology IB HL 2
  • Environmental Systems & Societies IB SL
  • History of the Americas IB HL 1
  • History of the Americas IB HL 2
  • Theory of Knowledge IB (H)
  • Philosophy IB SL
  • Spanish IB SL
  • Mandarin IB SL
  • Mandarin IB HL
  • Film IB SL
  • Film IB HL
  • Theatre Arts IB HL
  • Visual Arts IB HL 1
  • Visual Arts IB HL 2
  • Visual Arts IB SL


  • One of each of the six course categories
    • 3 courses must be at the HL or higher level
    • 3 at the SL or standard level
  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK) courses
  • An extended essay in a field of the student’s choice
  • The Creativity, Action and Service requirement (CAS)

Students who do not complete all of these requirements, but still want to challenge themselves may pursue an IB Certificate in a field, which is contingent upon the student completing the IB requirements for just one class.


  • Group 1: IB English HL
  • Group 2: IB Mandarin SL , HL or IB Spanish SL, HL
  • Group 3: IB History of the Americas HL, IB Philosophy SL
  • Group 4: IB Biology HL, IB Physics SL, IB Environmental Systems SL
  • Group 5: IB Mathematical Studies SL, IB Mathematics SL, IB Mathematics HL
  • Group 6: IB Visual Arts SL/HL, IB Theatre SL/HL, IB Film SL


What is the advantage of having an IB Diploma?

Students who have successfully completed the IB diploma program generally perform better than other groups of students in university level work. Studies have indicated that IB students have maintained higher university GPAs and earned higher SAT scores than students who have not participated in the program. University admission officials expect that students have taken the most challenging courses of which they are capable during their high school years. Furthermore, those who have attained an IB diploma are often viewed as having gained a variety of world perspectives and are considered responsible members of the larger global community. Schools that offer demanding and rigorous academic opportunities such as International Baccalaureate are viewed by many colleges as having demonstrated a firm

Schools that offer demanding and rigorous academic opportunities such as International Baccalaureate are viewed by many colleges as having demonstrated a firm commitment to high educational standards.

How do I know if a college will give credit for IB exams?

There are over 1,500 colleges offering credit for IB. We are one of a handful of schools in Orange County offering the IB Diploma Program. To see a list of colleges currently giving standard credit or which ones give double credit for a high score on a HL exam (8 units instead of 4) go to:

What is the difference between IB and Advanced Placement (AP)?

International Baccalaureate is a comprehensive curriculum that requires students to demonstrate knowledge and skills through both classroom and external assessments in six academic areas. The Diploma Program emphasizes interdisciplinary connections through the unique Theory of Knowledge course. AP differs in allowing schools to choose from over 30 different course offerings. While neither program is better than the other, they each have different aims. IB aims to educate the “whole student” and advocates a more holistic approach to education. All courses are built around teaching

Is it possible for my student to take AP US History and AP Government?

There is a large amount of flexibility in IB schedules. For example, students may take IB Philosophy SL to meet their Social Sciences requirement in the program, and replace IB History of the Americas HL with those AP courses.

What is CAS? Do I have to do extra things to meet its requirements?

Through Creativity, Activity, and Service, students are encouraged to engage in experiences in which they can apply concepts they learn in the classroom to real-world situations. Students develop a portfolio documenting their progress and reflect on how they are achieving the seven CAS Learning Outcomes.

How are IB exams administered and what scores must be earned?

Most IB classes involve sitting for a culminating exam; some involve an externally assessed project. These are administered in May of the junior and senior year. Students typically take two exams as juniors and four exams as seniors, and using a point scale of 1-7, they must garner a minimum of 24 points on exams/projects in order to earn an IB Diploma. While there is no “passing” score, a 4 is regarded as the minimum for each exam (6 x 4) to reach 24 points. There are 3 additional points possible for the Extended Essay and the Theory of Knowledge assessments. CAS requirements must also be met.