AURA - IB Curriculum


American University Research Academy became an IB Candidate School in the Fall of 2022 for both the Middle Years Program (MYP) and the Diploma Program (DP).  The IB program embraces a holistic view of education that goes beyond academic rigor. By embracing an international mindset and engaging in service and meaningful experiences, students develop character and skills necessary to thrive in the 21st century.

The IB program at AURA provides a rigorous education for students in grades 9 through 12.  Students in grades 9-10 complete the Middle Years Program and students in grades 11-12 complete the Diploma Program. The IB program is unique in that it provides a cohesive interdisciplinary education leading to a diploma that is recognized by universities throughout the world.

Middle Years Program


The MYP curriculum consists of eight subject groups and the two elements: service action and community/personal project. Student achievement in the MYP is assessed against the IB prescribed subject-specific criteria.

IB Middle Years Program auracademy

At AURA, students study the following IB MYP courses in grades 9-10

  • English language and literature
  • Language acquisition
  • individuals and societies
    (History and Political Sciences)
  • sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physical Sciences)
  • mathematics
  • Visual Arts  and Music
  • Design


Diploma Program

An IB diploma candidate pursues studies across multiple subject areas:

  • Studies in Language & Literature:  English (with Spanish for fluent speakers as an additional option)
  • Language acquisition
  • Individuals & Societies (similar to social studies)
  • Experimental Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • The Arts or a sixth subject elective.


In addition to the course work and assessments in these six subjects, diploma students must complete a Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) component (requiring an equitable balance of participation in creativity, activity and service experiences for 18 months), an extended essay (EE) of 4,000 words, and the Theory of Knowledge course (TOK). 

Teachers provide interdisciplinary instruction whereby students study common processes, themes and materials within and across the subject areas.  Evidence of learning in the six subject area courses plus TOK includes a combination of internal and external assessments.  Internal assessments are designed by the IB but are administered and scored by the classroom teacher using IB scoring rubrics.  External assessments are scored by IB examiners including the May examinations as well as additional assessments for courses in groups 1 & 6. The extended essay is graded externally by IB examiners.  Students who participate in the full diploma program will fulfill the State of California graduation requirements as well as IB diploma requirements.


The Curriculum

The focus of the curriculum will be the courses prescribed by the framework pictured below:

The curriculum contains six subject groups together with a compulsory core made up of three separate parts that are central to the philosophy of the diploma program.  Full diploma candidates must take three courses at the Higher Level (HL, two-year courses representing 240 teaching hours) and three courses at the Standard Level (SL, one or two year courses representing 150 teaching hours).  Students are thus able to explore some subjects in depth and others more broadly.  The science-oriented student is challenged to learn a foreign language and the natural linguist becomes familiar with laboratory procedures.  Active citizenship and global perspectives are encouraged in each area of the curriculum.

Students not wishing to fulfill all the requirements of the IB diploma are strongly encouraged to take individual courses in the IB curriculum to help them prepare for future education. These subjects are referred to as Diploma Program (DP) courses and the students who study them are referred to as Diploma Program (DP) course students.

At American University Research Academy we offer the following courses in the six curricular IB groups in the DP program:

  1. English Language and Literature HL
  2. Arabic Language abinitio SL
  3. Economics HL
  4. Mathematics Applications & Interpretations SL
  5. Biology HL and Chemistry HL
  6. Visual Arts SL

HL – Higher Level

SL – Standard Level

Approaches to Teaching

Teaching in the IB program is:

  • Based on inquiry
  • Focused on conceptual understanding
  • Developed in local and global contexts
  • Focused on effective teamwork and collaboration
  • Designed to remove barriers to learning
  • Informed by assessment


Approaches to Learning

Students “learn how to learn” through the development of the Approaches to learning skills, which are designed to apply across the curriculum and support the IB learner profile attributes. ATL skills include thinking, communication, research, self-management, and social skills. They can be learned and taught, improved with practice, and developed incrementally. They provide a foundation for learning independently and with others.
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AURA is a Candidate School for the IB Middle Years Program and Diploma Programme. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that AURA believes is important for our students. Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme, or the Career-related Programme (CP). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit