Academics Overview

International offers the full International Baccalaureate Diploma and the French Baccalaureate programs. Roughly two-thirds of our students pursue the full IB Diploma, while the balance undertakes the French Bac. Both the IB and the French Bac offer rigorous, interdisciplinary academic programs over the course of the last two years of high school. Students must study English, a second language, mathematics, a laboratory science, a social science, and either a third language, a second science, economics, or an arts course. In addition, all students take challenging philosophy courses as part of the curriculum. Both programs require diploma candidates to produce an extended piece of personally researched writing in a field of their choice, and to participate in service learning, athletic endeavors, and creative activities. The vast majority of seniors leave International with a U.S. high school diploma in one hand, and either an IB or French Bac diploma in the other.

Grades 9 & 10: Building the Foundation

The academic year begins with an exhilarating three-day Freshman Retreat in which you will camp under the stars and go white water rafting. The retreat rapidly establishes early friendships and binds the class together. When you return to school—and after receiving your iPad loaded with educational appsyour intellectual and extracurricular adventure will begin. 

Our core pre-baccalaureate classes provide foundational skills and ensure that you explore widely, keeping your mind and options open. You will discover new talents outside your comfort zone and you will consolidate further those areas where you already excel.

Our foundation classes have conventional titles, but are not conventional in the sense that it is not so much what you will learn, but how you will learn. This transcends rote learning and busy work. You will learn nothing less than the essential skills and attitudes of a real experimental scientist, a real historian or geographer, a real literary scholar, a real mathematician, a real economist, and a real working artist, musician, actor, or filmmaker.

Grades 11 & 12: International Baccalaureate (IB) and French Baccalaureate (Le Bac)

Grade 11 and 12:  The International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) and French Baccalaureate (Le Bac)

Both the IB Diploma and Le Bac are powerful, two year mini-degree programs that are recognized worldwide. These programs are hidden gems that provide thorough preparation for college.  At the end of two years as a baccalaureate student, you will have:
  • completed an in-depth research project in partnership with your chosen mentor/teacher
  • gained evidence-based, undergraduate-level writing and seminar skills
  • learned to appreciate austere beauty and elegance in a mathematical proof
  • designed and performed your own controlled experiments in the lab
  • reinforced on a daily basis your critical (and out-of-the-box) thinking and questioning
  • made a serious first pass at some of the eternal problems of philosophy.

Learn more about the IB and Le Bac:


International Baccalaureate (IB) >>


French Baccalaureate (le Bac) >>


International High School

150 Oak Street

San Francisco, CA 94102-5912

Phone: 415.558.2000

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An independent Pre-K through 12th grade co-educational day school in the heart of San Francisco. The school delivers a rigorous bilingual (French/English) immersion program through middle school, culminating in either French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program in its International High School.

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