CIS Phnom Penh’s approach is to combine the best of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme with the best of the Alberta High School Diploma to offer students a high school programme that provides the breadth and depth necessary for students to have the experiences necessary to prepare them for later life, both inside and outside of academia. Every student will graduate with an Alberta High School Diploma, with the following options available:

  • Alberta High School Diploma (Canada) only with no IB Diploma or IB Courses
  • Alberta High School Diploma with selected IB Courses
  • Alberta High School Diploma with the IB Diploma

Curricula Overview

Grade 11 and 12 students choose six subjects, which are taught concurrently over the course of the two-year programme. 

In addition to those six subjects, all Grade 11 and 12 students also complete three ‘core’ requirements of the IB Diploma Programme: the “Creativity, Activity and Service” programme, which exposes to students to new experiences outside the classroom, develops leadership potential, and supports the development of an ethos of service; the “Extended Essay,” an independent research project on a topic of the student’s choice; and the interdisciplinary “Theory of Knowledge” course.

Students not attempting the full IB Diploma may replace the Extended Essay with an Alberta Special Project.


Students choose their subjects from a wide range of offerings, and each student’s unique, individualized programme reflects his or her interests, prior learning, and future goals. However, these choices are made within a framework that ensures breadth as well as depth. 

CIS students must select one subject from each of the following five departments: 

  • English
  • Second Language
  • Social Studies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics

For their sixth subject, students are encouraged to choose an Arts subject, but may instead choose from a list of electives offered by the other subject groups.  

IB and curriculum welcome by teachers
CIS teachers welcome back students on the first day of school.

International Baccalaureate  

The IB Diploma Programme is appropriate for motivated, intellectually curious students who seek a challenging and engaging academic experience that will prepare them well for university-level study.

Current Requirements for entry into Full IB Diploma Program are as follows:

  • Successful completion of Maths 20-1
  • Successful completion of ELA 10-1
  • Successful completion of Social Studies 10-1
  • Successful completion of Science 10-1

Most IB Diploma subjects are offered at Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL). Students are required to study three subjects at HL and three at SL to achieve the IB Diploma. This choice is made in February of Grade 11 with changes in the hours of study in Grade 12. The exception to this is HL Mathematics, which must be selected from the beginning of Grade 11. HL Subjects include additional content and are generally more rigorous than their SL counterparts.

At CIS, DP students receive regular feedback from their teachers about their progress, along with guidance about how to improve their mastery of the content, concepts and skills developed in each subject. 

Grades for all IB Diploma subjects are based on a combination of internal and external assessments. While each subject differs, in general 70%-80% of the final grade for each course is based on External Assessments, while 20%-30% of the grade is based on Internal Assessments.

The final exams taken in May of Grade 12 are externally assessed, and in some subjects other work is also externally assessed, such as world literature essays for Literature classes and portfolios for Visual Arts.