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AP & IB Pathways

Advanced Placement & International Baccalaureate Pathways

The Upper School program at TAS is designed to prioritize student choice and discovery; with 22 required credits, students are left with considerable room in their schedule to pursue courses aligned with their unique interests, future plans, and pure curiosity.  

Advanced Study at TAS: Including AP & IB Courses — and Beyond!

In addition to a robust catalog of courses developed by TAS educators, we are also pleased to offer Advance Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses for students beginning in Grade 10 (AP) and Grade 11 (IB). Students also have access to the Global Online Academy (GOA) course catalog when creating their academic plan. These courses are valuable components of TAS education, not simply because they are rigorous, but because they expose students to a new way of thinking, researching, and writing, in addition to demanding superior time management and organizational skills.


200 Honors-Level or HIGHER Classes Offered Last Year

Most students pursue advanced courses at or beyond the AP/IB level.

15% of Upper School Students Choose to Take the Full IB Diploma

25 AP Capstone Diplomas Awarded Last Year

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A Facility to Support Learning

Whether you are an AP or an IB student, we have the program and facility to help you climb to new heights. Find out more about our unique upper school learning facilities in the following video.




Opportunities to Grow

Although not required to graduate, AP or IB, these courses simulate the university experience for students in different ways. 

These courses provide an opportunity for students to develop key executive functioning skills and to challenge themselves with the higher level of reflection and work demanded at the university level.

Single Testimonial

“  The most important aspect of selecting courses in the Upper School is finding the right fit, and our Personal and Academic counselors support our students and families in creating their TAS experience.

Meagan Frazier

AP/IB Coordinator

Meagan Frazier, AP/IB Coordinator at Taipei American School

Many Paths to Success

Each year, our academic counselors and IB/AP coordinator work closely with our students to help them tailor their schedule to their own academic and personal needs. Beyond designing a plan of study, our students are encouraged to think about their ideal TAS experience: how much time do they want to devote to internships, club leadership, or study periods? Do they prefer in-person classes or supervised online study with Global Online Academy?  

Our counselors help students find a balance between academic challenge and exploration, and seek to support each student in creating the most engaging and enjoyable learning journey at TAS. One of the most important parts of any plan of study is finding the best fit for each student! 


Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Offerings at TAS


Advanced Placement

An AP course mimics the pace and material of a college-level survey course. In some AP courses, students submit works like independent research or an arts portfolio to an external body of examiners. Each one-year course culminates in an AP exam, the results of which may be accepted by American colleges and universities as college credit earned while in Upper School. While courses can be taken individually, students at TAS may also pursue the AP Capstone Diploma, which is built upon the AP Seminar and AP Research courses. There are over 30 AP courses to choose from at TAS!

AP Capstone Curriculum

AP Capstone Certificate Those students who earn scores of 3 or higher (out of 5) in both AP Capstone courses, but not on the four additional AP Exams, will receive the AP Capstone certificate, signifying successful performance in those courses.
AP Capstone Diploma Students who earn scores of 3 or higher (out of 5) in both AP Capstone courses and on four additional AP exams of their choosing will receive the AP Capstone Diploma.

AP Seminar Course

AP Seminar is a yearlong course typically taken in Grade 11, during which students develop critical thinking, analysis, and collaboration skills by engaging in Socratic dialogue, independent research, and team projects.

AP Research Course

AP Research is a yearlong course typically taken in Grade 12 in which students create and execute an independent research project on the subject of their choosing. Students are required to develop a problem statement, create a key question, and develop a robust bibliography and methodology before undertaking their research. They are guided both by the course educator, and by outside experts who offer their time and knowledge to our students.

Advanced Placement: By the Numbers

31 AP Courses Offered in SY2022-23

1,328 AP Exams Taken in SY2022-23

463 AP Students Enrolled in SY2022-23

199 AP Scholars with Distinction in SY2022-23


International Baccalaureate

IB classes typically run for two years, beginning  in Grade 11 and ending with external exams in Grade 12. Courses are offered at both standard level (SL) and higher level (HL). There are some select one-year SL courses available for students to take. In addition to seeking certifications by taking an individual series of IB courses, students at TAS can pursue the IB Diploma.

Course Selection and the IB Diploma

Students may elect to enroll in individual IB courses without doing the full diploma. All students who take IB courses must sit the external IB exam in order to receive IB credit and a weighted grade. Only students enrolled in the IB course are eligible to sit the external exam.
A student wishing to do a full IB Diploma must take Theory of Knowledge, complete the Extended Essay and Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) requirements, and take a total of 6 courses at TAS.  
Students take Theory of Knowledge (TOK) in Grades 11 and 12, as well as one course from the first five of six subject areas:

1. Studies in Languages & Literature (Literature Based)

2. Language Acquisition (Communications Based)

3. Individuals and Society

4. Experimental Sciences

5. Mathematics, and

6. the Arts.

Students must take a sixth course either from the Arts, or from groups 2, 3, 4, or 6.   
A student must take a minimum of 3 Higher Level (HL) and 3 Standard Level (SL) courses to complete the IB Diploma. 

Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

TOK and the extended essay combine to give students up to 3 points on their final IB diploma score.

Extended Essay  
The most independent part of the IB Diploma, the Extended Essay is a 3,500 - 4,000 word research paper completed as part of the diploma core. This independent research paper is done with guidance from a faculty supervisor. Students choose a topic from their IB subject areas, and a teacher supervises their work. The essay process begins Grade 11 (year 1 of the IB diploma program) and is due the following year.  

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

TOK is only available to IB-diploma candidates.

A course that teaches the thoughtful and purposeful inquiry into different ways of knowing, and into different kinds of knowledge, TOK is composed almost entirely of questions. The most central of these is “How do we know?” Students taking TOK become aware of the interpretative nature of knowledge, including personal ideological biases, regardless of whether, ultimately, these biases are retained, revised, or rejected.

Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS)

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Program. It is one of the three essential elements in every student’s Diploma Program experience and involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Program. The three strands of CAS, which are often interwoven with particular activities, are characterized as follows:

Creativity: arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking.

Activity: physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the Diploma Program.  

Service: an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity, and autonomy of all those involved are respected.

CAS begins in semester 1 of Grade 11, and ends in semester 2 of Grade 12. Students will do a variety of activities over the 2 years, write reflections of these activities in a portfolio, and meet with the CAS supervisor to complete the CAS requirement.

International Baccalaureate: By the Numbers

37 IB Courses Offered in SY2022-23

380 IB Exams Taken in SY2022-23

207 IB Students Enrolled in SY2022-23

Average IB Diploma Score: 35

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