Curriculum Overview

Dhahran High School offers three programs of study: The American curriculum college-preparatory program which offers over 60 courses including 10 courses at the honors level; the Advanced Placement program which offers 21 AP courses; four IB certificate courses and, the full IB Diploma Programme which offers 27 courses including Theory of Knowledge (TOK).

DHS provides a full American Curriculum for its students. We are pleased to offer both the International Baccalaureate Diploma and the Advanced Placement Capstone Diploma. Both programs provide rigorous programs of study for university-bound graduates. English is the language of instruction in all classes.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) was started in 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland and is a two-year holistic program of study that incorporates six courses of study, as well as three courses known as the core. In these core courses, students study theory of knowledge, write a 4,000-word extended essay and complete a program of creativity, activity and service. The purpose of the program is to offer students a broad spectrum of coursework with high academic rigor, as well as to focus on character development, global-mindedness and an international perspective.

The AP Capstone program began in 2014 and was developed by the College Board to improve college readiness and critical thinking skills for university-bound students. Students earn an AP Capstone diploma by taking any four AP courses in addition to two required courses, AP Seminar and AP Research. Students complete university-level coursework focused on content related to the student’s interests while developing skills of research, critical-thinking and communication. Read more about our AP Capstone program in our AP handbook. Students who wish to apply for AP courses are required to fill our our AP Application form. 

Both the IB Diploma Programme and the AP Capstone programs are academically challenging courses of study and receive the “most demanding” classification from university admissions departments.

The subjects DHS offers to their students are English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Global Languages, Physical Education, Fine Arts, Technology, Health and Electives. Each student must be enrolled in 16 semester classes and have a minimum total of credit of 24.0 (recommended 27.5) in order to graduate from DHS.

A required course to be taken by all students is Arabic Culture (one year course). This course fulfills the Saudi Ministry of Education requirement to provide conversational Arabic and designated cultural topics that promote a cultural awareness of the host country. Students enrolled in an Arabic Global Language course will need to enroll in this course.