Extended Essay


The extended essay (EE) is an in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from a list of approved Diploma Program subjects — normally one of the student's six chosen subjects for the IB Diploma. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (a teacher in the school). This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject chosen.

The extended essay is:

  • compulsory for all Diploma Program students 

  • externally assessed and, in combination with the grade for theory of knowledge, contributes up to three points to the total score for the IB Diploma
  • a piece of independent research/investigation on a topic chosen by the student in cooperation with a supervisor in the school
  • chosen from the list of approved Diploma Program subjects, published in the extended essay guide (see list below)
  • presented as a formal piece of scholarship containing no more than 4,000 words
  • the result of approximately 40 hours of work by the student
  • concluded with a short interview, or viva voce, with the supervising teacher (recommended)

In the Diploma Program, the extended essay is the prime example of a piece of work where the student has the opportunity to show knowledge, understanding and enthusiasm about a topic of his or her choice. In those countries where it is the norm for interviews to be required prior to acceptance for employment or for a place at university, the extended essay has often proved to be a valuable stimulus for discussion.


The approved Diploma Program extended essay subjects include:

 Group One — Literature
 Human Rights
 Group Two — Second Language
 Information Technology in a Global Society
 Biology  Mathematics
 Business and Management
 Music
 Chemistry  Peace and Conflict Studies
 Classical Greek and Latin
 Philosophy
 Computer Science
 Physics
 Design Technology
 Politics
 Economics  Psychology
 Environmental Systems and Societies
 Theatre
 Film Visual Arts
 Geography World Religions
 History  *World Studies (new)



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