The Benefits of the IB Diploma Programme


MCDS is the only high school in Dane County offering the full International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. IB is an internationally recognized pre-university program, known for its challenging curriculum that develops critical thinking, spirit of inquiry, exceptional written and oral communication skills, and global perspective. The International Baccalaureate curriculum at MCDS is focused on 21st century learning needs, working beyond the simple memorization of facts in order to help students truly understand how they know what they know.

All 11th and 12th grade classes offered at Madison Country Day School are IB courses, ensuring that every MCDS graduate benefits from what many colleges have deemed the “gold standard” in college preparation.

MCDS has chosen to align with the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme because we feel it provides our students with a comprehensive set of skills and knowledge that will allow them to pursue any and all courses of study in college, as well as prepare them to be active participants in a global economy. Beyond preparation, there are a number of other benefits as well:

  1. Being an IB Diploma candidate makes a student stand out in the college admissions process, both in the US and internationally. College acceptance rate is 22% higher than national average for applicants with IB Diploma.
  2. Colleges are confident that an IB Diploma candidate will arrive on campus with solid writing skills, an open and inquiring mind, research skills, and well-honed time management skills. IB students are more likely to find success in college: 79% graduate, compared to 39% national average.
  3. IB Diploma students can earn college credit, sometimes a full year or more, or placement in advanced courses. Students have an increased ability to double major or to pursue more advanced coursework in their major, or to graduate a year early from college.
  4. IB Diploma candidates have more opportunities for merit awards (non-need based scholarships offered by many colleges and universities). The typical MCDS IB Diploma candidate receives renewable merit awards of $25,000 from one or more colleges.

In summary, the IB Program:

  1. Offers academic breadth and depth
  2. Fosters critical thinking
  3. Creates independent learners who feel prepared
  4. Provides global perspective
  5. Gives opportunity to earn significant university credit
  6. Teaches outstanding time management
  7. Integrates learning across subjects
  8. Assesses original thought, not examination techniques
  9. Meets the needs of a changing world with the IB Learner Profile qualities