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Diploma Programme curriculum—core requirements

Creativity, action, service (CAS)

The CAS requirement is a fundamental part of the programme and takes seriously the importance of life outside the world of scholarship, providing a refreshing counterbalance to academic studies.

CAS aims to develop students who are:

  • reflective thinkers—they understand their own strengths and limitations, identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth
  • willing to accept new challenges and new roles
  • aware of themselves as members of communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment
  • active participants in sustained, collaborative projects
  • balanced—they enjoy and find significance in a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional experiences.


CAS students cleaning a turtle beach in Costa Rica

Creativity, Action, Service:

  • Creativity is interpreted broadly to include a wide range of activities that involve creative thinking. Creativity provides students with the opportunity to explore their own sense of original thinking and expression.
  • Action is focussed on getting involved in physical exertion that contributes to a healthy lifestyle. The aim of Action is to promote lifelong healthy habits related to physical well-being.
  • Service requires students to understand their capacity to make a meaningful contribution to their community and society. Through Service, students develop and apply personal and social skills in real-life situations involving decision-making, problem solving, initiative, responsibility, and accountability for their actions.

Each school appoints a CAS supervisor who is responsible for assisting students in implementing and developing their personal CAS programmes. A good CAS programme should be both challenging and enjoyable, a personal journey of self discovery. Students are expected to be involved in CAS activities each week during the two years of the Diploma programme and are encouraged to reflect on their CAS activities on a regular basis.

A schools CAS programme is monitored by the appropriate IB regional office.

Find out more

Order the IB publication: Creativity, action, service guide.


"Such qualities might include a willingness to undertake and the capacity to succeed in a rigorous curriculum, an engagement with a coherent approach to the world of ideas, a spirit of community that extends both to fellow IB students and to an outside community in need, and the tenacity and skills of a successful researcher."

Theodore O’Neill, dean of admissions at the University of Chicago, Illinois