The American Community School of Abu Dhabi's diploma is awarded to individuals who have completed a minimum of eight semesters of academic work beyond the eighth grade level and have earned a minimum of 25 units of high school credits as prescribed below. One unit of credit is awarded for the successful completion of a course that meets 84 minutes every other day for a full school year. One-half unit of credit is awarded for a course that meets for 84 minutes every other day for one semester or the equivalent.
Subject Areas Credits Required
- English 4 credits
- World Language 2 credits (of the same language)
- Social Studies* 3 credits
- Science 3 credits
- Mathematics 3 credits
- Fine Arts 1 credit
* U.S. History required for U.S. Citizens (may be waived for students who complete the full IB diploma)
- Physical Education 2 credits
- Health 0.5 credit
- Technology 0.5 credit
- Core Electives** 3 credits
- Non-Core Electives 3.0 credits
- Community Service****
** English, World Language, Social Studies,Science, Math
*** Students must meet the community service requirement, which is to participate in an average of 10 hours of community service activities each year they are at ACS. See Service teacher for information and/or forms. Seniors who do not meet the required amount will not graduate
International Baccalaureate Diploma Program
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is a challenging two-year curriculum over grades 11 and 12. The curriculum incorporates six academic subject areas. IB Diploma students must select one subject from each of the six subject groups. At least three and no more than four are taken at higher level (HL), the others at standard level (SL). For each course, the mark is based on a combination of internal and external assessments. Along with the six subject groups, an IB Diploma student must fulfill the core requirements of the Extended Essay (EE), Theory of Knowledge (TOK), and hours of Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS).
IB Learner Profile
Students with an interest in the IB Diploma Program complete an application in the spring of grade 10. It is important for students to review their graduation requirements and their course selections. A combination of strong study skills, time management, and determination are essential for success. After the students submit the application, a placement committee analyzes the course selections and activities to make admissions recommendations. Any student wishing to take 4 HL courses need the approval of the course instructors, IB coordinator, high school principal, and counselor. Taking 4 HL courses is not encouraged due to the extreme work load of higher level courses. Students enrolled in IB courses for the diploma or certificates have internal and external assessments. External assessments are held in early May. It is the responsibility of the student to pay registration and assessment fees. Students in HL courses receive weighted grades of 0.5 whereas SL course receive 0.25 (except Math Studies and Ab Initio languages). Additional enquiries about the IB Diploma Program should be directed towards the IB Coordinator. IB Diploma candidates and students writing HL exams for certificates will receive release time to prepare for their exams.
Advanced Placement Courses
ACS only offers Advanced Placement (AP ) courses through the Virtual High School Program. The selection process for AP courses takes place in the spring. Students wishing to take an AP course should have superior grades in classes that precede the AP class, a strong desire to take an AP course, strong work habits,and satisfactory scores on standardized tests such as the PSAT. Students are allowed to take only one AP course per year. It is important to note that the AP exam is an integral part of the AP course, and thus students enrolled in an AP course must take the corresponding AP Exam in May. Students enrolled in AP courses will be required to pay the non-refundable test fee for the AP examination. This fee is approximately $90.00 (US dollars). Students who take AP courses receive an extra 0.5 bump to their GPA in recognition of the rigor of taking an AP subject. A guidance counselor is the ACS AP coordinator. Students will be given release time to prepare for AP exams.
Arabic Students Requiring UAE Equivalency All students holding passports from the following Arabic speaking countries must take native language Arabic in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12:
Somalia (Since there is no government inplace the Abu Dhabi Educational Zone will allow students to take the second language program ifthe family seeks permission from the Abu DhabiEducational Zone.)
All Muslim students are required to take Islamic Studies. All students in the aforementioned classes are expected to take the appropriate Ministry of Education examination(s) in native(first) language Arabic. This is both in keeping with Ministry of Education requirements, as well as requirements for ACS graduates who wish to have UAE equivalency authentication granted for their high school diploma. Most western countries do not require equivalency certification, but Middle Eastern countries may require this to be eligible for certain jobs and universities.