The International Baccalaureate Diploma curriculum contains several unique requirements. The Extended Essay (4000 words) is an in-depth study of a limited topic in a subject. Its purpose is to provide students with an opportunity for independent research and students are encouraged to pursue an area of special interest. Theory of Knowledge (ToK) is a philosophically-based, year-long course divided between the junior and senior years. IB Diploma students take the course during the second semester of the junior year and the first semester of the senior year. Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) offers students the opportunity for community service and mandates that each diploma candidate complete a minimum of 150 CAS hours during the last two years of high school. The services can be rendered individually and in groups.
Mission Viejo High School was the first high school in Orange County that was granted full affiliation with the prestigious International Baccalaureate Program in the fall of 1984. is a comprehensive program for academically talented and highly motivated students sponsored and administered by the International Baccalaureate Organization. The International Baccalaureate Diploma is awarded to students who meet the following requirements: specific course work in six academic disciplines, with students completing classes and writing external examinations in all six areas: English, Foreign Language, Study of Humanity, Experimental Sciences, Mathematics, and one additional selection. The International Baccalaureate Program has been validated by the Ministries of Education in more than 40 countries throughout the world. The International Baccalaureate Diploma and individual certificates are recognized for admission and advanced standing in the United States and throughout the world. Mission Viejo High School students received 40 full diplomas in 2013-14. The three year IB exam pass rate is 92%.