The French Baccalaureate Track
Created in 1808, the French Baccalaureate (the Baccalauréat in France) is administered and managed by the French Ministry of Education. The program ensures broad general and cultural knowledge by the number and variety of its required subjects.
In France, the Baccalaureate is considered the first university level diploma. This is why the Bachelor degree in France is granted after three years, while in the U.S. it takes four years. Recognized as one of the most demanding programs, the French Baccalaureate gives graduates access, and often credits, to higher education systems worldwide.
9th & 10th Grade Tracks
9th grade students who wish to pursue the French Baccalaureate enroll in the French Program. Most of the classes in the French Program are taught in French, though there is an opportunity to take multiple classes in English. This track continues through the end of 10th grade, at which point students formally commit to either the French Baccalaureate or the International Baccalaureate.
In 9th grade (Classe de Troisième), students take the exams of the Diplôme National du Brevet (DNB) des Collèges. A new DNB was introduced in June 2017, requiring skills and competencies in all subjects. Project-based learning is an essential component, as is citizenship building, career and college preparation, and the development of a broad understanding of the arts.
At the end of the school year, all students must write the DNB exams in French, Mathematics, History/Geography, Sciences and Technology over three days. There is also an oral exam, for which students will present an interdisciplinary project.
11th & 12th Grade Tracks
The Upper School’s French Baccalaureate program provides a balanced education with a broad-based curriculum.
The new French Baccalaureate exam will be introduced at the 2021 session, but year-round assessments and anticipated exams will start for 11th graders in 2019-20. The new program offers core courses, and a choice of specializations and electives.
Bilingual students may opt to take the French Baccalaureate with the American option known in France as the Option Internationale (OIB), which involves a demanding English Literature curriculum and History-Geography exams in English.
AP examiners grade OIB exams, as the College Board and the French Ministry of Education work in partnership to implement and ensure the quality of the American section of the OIB.
ISB is a proud accredited member of the network of French schools throughout the world, which implement the French Baccalaureate to about 10,000 students each year. The French Bacccalaureate track prepares our students to succeed at universities around the world.