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High School Principal, Dr. Robert Blanchard, describes the two diplomas that are awarded through TKS upon successful completion

November 16, 2023

TKS offers two high school credentials. The KAUST School Diploma is an American diploma awarded at the end of grade 12 to all students who satisfy the school’s graduation requirements during grades 9-12.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma is an additional credential awarded at the end of a two-year program of study spanning grades 11-12, involving externally assessed examinations.

The TKS Diploma is accredited via the Middle States Association in the USA and the IB Diploma is awarded to successful candidates by the International Baccalaureate Organization.

Who does it serve?

All courses at TKS are designed to promote inquiry, cover critical content, and develop key competencies and skills. Multiple credentials and pathways provide students with access to equitable learning opportunities. While the K-12 Curriculum Model at TKS is built on the foundation of the IB Programs, including the PYP and MYP years, the IB Diploma program may not serve the educational needs of all TKS students. 

The three main pathways of learning at TKS leading to a high school credential are:
  • IB Diploma program of study with a prescribed combination of courses - 2 diplomas earned
  • TKS high school courses only - 1 diploma earned
  • A combination of TKS and IB - 1 diploma earned including some IB course certificates

All three pathways represent a systematic and comprehensive framework for students to explore and investigate in a nurturing climate at an appropriate level of challenge, while emphasizing critical learning for future success. Approximately two-thirds of TKS students pursue both the TKS and the IB diploma.

The IB Diploma is known for its international recognition. The TKS Diploma is also well regarded by many systems around the world.

The Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia recognizes The KAUST School’s American Diploma, allowing for the smooth admission of TKS graduates into the university system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

How do we track and support progress?

All courses in the high school use a continuous assessment model, meaning that students have ongoing opportunities to demonstrate learning and receive feedback. The curriculum is aligned around established educational standards and criteria. Curriculum alignment allows for effective feedback and tracking of student progress.

TKS counselors track each student's progress with high school credits (our handbook defines the exact credits needed), working with teachers, coordinators and families when significant concerns arise that may put a student's path to graduation at risk. The TKS Diploma culminates high school and is awarded at our Graduation ceremony each May. The IB Diploma (and IB course certificates) are awarded to successful students 1-2 months after the TKS graduation date.

We are already planning for the 24-25 school year, including hosting a series of sessions designed to help Grade 10 students and families better understand our curriculum and plan next steps with learning at TKS. We look forward to seeing all Grade 10 parents and students at the kick-off informational session on Monday, November 27 from 5:30-6:30 pm in the TKS High School Auditorium.


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