IB Diploma Programme (DP)



Our aim is to support the students’ growth towards internationally minded, caring and reflective builders of sustainable future.
We encourage students to explore knowledge across a range of disciplines in local and global context.
We emphasize communication and cooperation, and respect honesty and open-mindedness.
In our multicultural environment, we foster human and cultural diversity.



Turku International School (TIS) is intended mainly for

  • international families moving to Finland and living and working temporarily or permanently in Turku and surrounding municipalities
  • Finnish families returning to Finland after years abroad
  • We will only consider for admission students under the age of 18 who will reside locally with family members

International or national section?

There are two streams in the DP upper secondary school: International and national section.

Applicants with a Finnish basic education certificate completed in Finnish or Swedish apply to the national section through the Finnish national joint application system.

Applicants with an equivalent certificate completed abroad with good academic skills in English apply to the international section. These students should fill in the Turku International School online application.

Depending on the section, students are offered a different language programme. In the international section English is offered as Language A, and Finnish as language B. Swedish B is not offered for the students of the international section. National section students are offered Finnish or Swedish as Language A and English as Language B. Finnish speaking students of the national section are required to  study Swedish B.

The entrance exam of the international section contains 3 parts; two subtests of English and one subtest of Mathematics. The entrance exam of the national section contains 3 parts; Finnish or Swedish (depending on the applicant’s mother tongue), English and Mathematics.

Applicants for the international section, please find more information below.

Applicants for the national section, please see Turun normaalikoulu website.

Applicants with a Finnish Basic Education Certificate

  • The deadline for applications is 21 March, 2023.
  • The selection of new DP-students is based on previous academic records and an entrance exam.
  • If the applicant has a Finnish basic education certificate, the grade average of academic subjects in this diploma is considered. Mathematics and English grades have double weighing.
  • The entrance exam for 2023 pre-DP entry will be held on 21 April 2023 at 10.00 in Turun normaalikoulu (Annikanpolku 9, 20610 Turku). Please note, that applicants will not receive a separate invitation. The applicant should come to school in time and have their personal ID (e.g. passport) with them.
  • Admission directly to DP1: It is possible for a candidate to apply directly to the DP1, without the preceding pre- DP year. In those cases, the students should fill in the online application form and contact the principal, Ms Mirjam Rasmus (mirjam.rasmus@utu.fi). Every application is considered individually. Students will be tested in all subjects that they will study in DP1, except when they are transferring from other DP school. The student is expected to have studied in an English medium program prior to the application. Since admission is based on academic achievements, the latest school reports must be attached to the online application.

Online application for the IB Diploma programme

Applicants with an International Lower Secondary Certificate

  • The deadline for applications is 21 March, 2023.
  • The selection of new DP-students is based on previous academic records and an entrance exam.
  • The grade average of academic subjects is considered. Mathematics and English grades have double weighing.
  • The entrance exam for 2023 pre-DP entry will be held on 21 April 2023 at 10.00 in Turun normaalikoulu (Annikanpolku 9, 20610 Turku). Please note, that applicants will not receive a separate invitation. The applicant should come to school in time and have their personal ID (e.g. passport) with them.
  • Admission test for students arriving to Finland during the summer 2023: The entrance exam for 2023 pre-DP entry will be held in August 2023 in Turku normaalikoulu (Annikanpolku 9, 20610 Turku). Invitations will be sent via email given on the submitted online application. Please note, that applications need to be submitted by the 3rd of July in order to be tested in August 2023. The entrance exam will be held only if there spaces available in the pre-DP.

Online application for the IB Diploma programme

 Admission results are announced on the 15th of June 2023 at the earliest. The results will be sent to the email address given on the online application form.

  • For additional information, please contact jukka.valtanen@utu.fi, tel. +358 50 5660932.

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

Who  can apply to Turku International school (TIS)?

The school is intended for international families moving to Finland, working temporarily or permanently in the Turku region and also for Finnish families returning to Finland after years abroad.

Is it possible to apply to TIS in advance?

It is possible to start the application process while living abroad. We recommend filling in the online application well in advance, if you are planning on moving to Finland.  Guardians are advised to contact the TIS principal Mirjam Rasmus to inquire the student situation of the grade in question.

Please note, that in order to finalize the application process and confirm a student’s school place you need to have a residence permit and an address in Turku/Turku region. To get a residence permit to Finland, you have to contact the Finnish immigration authorities.

Can my child go to TIS even though we don’t live in Turku? 

You need to live in Turku or its surrounding areas. Please contact the principal Mirjam Rasmus in order to find out from which municipalities in the Turku area students can attend TIS.

How much are the school/tuition and application fees?

Basic and secondary education in Finland is free of charge. TIS is a public school and therefore there are no school fees. The school materials and daily school lunch are free of charge as well.

However, that also means that we only serve families living in the Turku area, so you need to have a residence permit and an address in Turku before we can admit your child to TIS.

Does the school have boarding facilities?

Turku International School is a day school and the school does not provide any boarding facilities. Therefore, all our students live with their families and they must have a guardian in Finland.  In addition, the school can´t arrange accommodation or visas.

Can a student apply to IB programme without a parent?

The International Baccalaureate programme at the Turku international school is intended for students (usually 16-19 years old), who have to move to Finland because of their parents’ work or for Finnish young people who have been studying abroad previously, but are now returning to their home country. Please note, that we do not enroll foreign students who would move to Turku without their parents.

 Note for applicants outside of Finland

Turku International school welcomes applications from outside of Finland, with a priority going to families relocating due to job opportunities or families returning to their homeland. We will only consider for admission students under the age of 18 who will reside locally with family members or a legally appointed guardian.

DP, basic information

  • IB Diploma Programme is a challenging pre-university programme of international education offered by the International Baccalaureate Organization (Diploma programme at the IBO website)
  • Founded in 1968, the IBO is a non-profit educational foundation
  • There are more than 2700 schools in about 140 countries offering the IB Diploma Programme. In Finland the number of IB DP schools is 16.
  • The IB Diploma Programme leads to a qualification that is widely recognized and appreciated by universities all over the world.
  • In Finland the IB Diploma is considered equivalent to the Finnish “ylioppilastutkinto”.

IB Diploma Programme in Turun normaalikoulu is preceded by a one-year Pre-DP Programme which follows Finnish national upper secondary school first year curriculum. The language of instruction in Pre-DP is English. Pre-DP is implemented in order to ensure sufficient skills in the language of instruction (English) and to introduce working methods that are typically used in the IB Diploma Programme.

Around 95% of the IB Diploma graduates enter universities in Finland, Britain, other European countries or elsewhere in the world. The most successful graduates often gain admission to prestigious European and North American universities.

DP subjects

The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay (EE).

Through the Diploma Programme (DP) core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that often involves community service.

The DP subjects are chosen at the end of the pre-DP year. Students must choose 6 subjects from DP subject groups 1-5, at least one subject from each group (group 6, Arts, is not offered). Three subjects must be chosen at higher level (HL) and three subjects at standard level  (SL). It is possible to choose 4 higher level subjects and an additional 7th subject.

At higher level the number of teaching hours is 240 and at standard level 150.

If a student needs all sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) for medical studies at university he/she does not need to choose a group 3 subject. A specific permission by the IBO is required.

DP subjects

Subject group
Group 1 Language A Language and Literature
English AHL   SL
Group 2 Language Acquisition
English BHL   SL
French B,

French ab initio



German B,

German ab initio



Finnish BHL  SL
Group 3 Individuals and Societies
Business ManagementSL
EconomicsHL   SL
HistoryHL   SL
PsychologyHL   SL
Group 4 Sciences
BiologyHL  SL
ChemistryHL   SL
PhysicsHL   SL
Group 5 Mathematics

Analysis and approaches

Applications and interpretation



Core components
Theory of Knowledge  (TOK)100 h
CAS programme

Extended essay (EE)

18 months

4000 words

Pre-diploma year

Pre-diploma year

  • The IB Diploma Programme (DP) lasts for two years and is preceded by a pre-diploma year aiming at developing the students’ general knowledge as well as study and language skills.
  • The pre-DP year curriculum is a modified version of the national curriculum and the language of instruction is English.
  • Students complete 25-30 courses in the pre-DP year.
  • All students study either German or French. Students with no previous studies in these languages study 4 courses and advanced students study 2 courses. The courses are compulsory.
  • Other language studies must be approved by the DP coordinator.
  • In addition, Turku International School (TIS) students with previous knowledge of the Finnish language  take 2 courses of Finnish B in the pre-DP year.
  • TIS students with little or no knowledge of Finnish take 3 courses of Finnish in the pre-DP year.
  • If a student intends to take some other Language A than English, he/she has to study it with a private teacher during the pre-DP year at his/her own cost.
  • DP coordinator can be consulted on questions regarding other Language A arrangements.

Subjects and Number of Courses


Language A English 3

Language B Finnish 3
Language B (advanced): German or French 2
Language B (beginners): German or French 4

Mathematics 4 or 5
Natural Sciences: Biology 1-2, Physics 1-2,  Chemistry 1-2, Integrated sciences 1
Humanities: History 2, Psychology 1, Social Studies 1, Academic thinking skills 1, World today 1
Other subjects: Art or Music 1, Physical Education 1, Guidance and counselling 1

Independent studies

  • Due to family or medical reasons a student may have to be absent from school and work independently for some time.
  • The school should be informed of such a case and preferably in advance, if possible.
  • The permission application for absence is made in Wilma.
  • The principal grants permissions to do the required course work independently.

Pre-DP year evaluation

  • Students are assessed  five times a year at the end of each study period. The grade reports are available in Wilma.
  • The courses are evaluated on a scale of 10 (excellent) to 4 (fail).
  • If all course work is not submitted the student is awarded the grade T (= unfinished work). Grade T is automatically replaced by a 4 (fail) after the next study period.
  • Teachers are not required to accept work which is turned in late.
  • Students can try to raise a course grade by signing up for a retake exam via Wilma.
  • A retake exam can be taken only once per course.
  • The dates for the retake exams can be found on the school’s website.


  • All students are expected to attend school regularly. Absences from school must have a legitimate excuse and teachers should be informed of them in advance, if possible.
  • All absences must be cleared by a parent/guardian or a medical professional (doctor, dentist etc).
  • If a student has three to four absences the teacher will determine whether he/she can evaluate the course.
  • More than four absences results in the incompletion of the course and the student must study the course independently.
  • The last retake exam is arranged in mid-June.
  • The pre-DP year cannot be repeated.

Conditions for moving on to DP1

  • To choose a higher level (HL) subject the student has to have at least a minimum average grade of 7.0, although an average grade of 8.0 or more is recommended
  • For a standard level (SL) subject the minimum grade average is 7.0.
  • Students must meet the requirements below to select six DP year subjects (see section below for eligibility).
  • Students have to choose 3 higher level (HL) subjects (max. 4) and 3 standard level (SL) subjects from DP subject groups 1 – 5.
  • The sixth subject is chosen from groups 2 – 4.
  • Students must have completed all pre-DP year courses with a grade 6 or above by the end of the school year.

Subject Group 1
English A (HL/SL)

Subject Group 2
Finnish B (HL/SL), French B  (SL), French B ab initio (SL), German B (SL), German B ab initio (SL)

Subject Group 3  History (HL/SL), Psychology (HL/SL), Economics (HL/SL), Business Management (SL),

  • To qualify for Business Management SL students must have at least grade 7 in social studies (SOC).
  • To qualify for Economics SL or HL students must have at least grade 7 in social studies (SOC), for Economics HL grade 8 or more in SOC is recommended.

Subject group 4
Biology (HL/SL), Chemistry (HL/SL), Physics (HL/SL)

Subject Group 5

  • Two different mathematical subjects are offered in the DP: Mathematics, Applications and Interpretation (MAI) SL and Mathematics, Analysis and Approaches (MAA) SL and HL 
  • If the student chooses the short version of math (4 courses) in the pre-DP, they must take SL Mathematics Applications and Interpretation (MAI) course during the DP. 
  • If the student chooses the long version of math (5 courses) in the pre-DP, they can take either Mathematics, Applications and Interpretation (MAI) at SL or Mathematics, Analysis and Approaches (MAA) course at SL or HL in DP 
  • For MAA SL and HL an average grade of 7.0 or more is required but for MAA HL an average grade of 8.0 or more is recommended 
  • For MAI SL an average grade of 6.0 is required 

N.B. Due to timetable reasons some subjects have to be taught at the same time. The overlapping subjects are physics and history / chemistry and psychology  / biology and business management.

DP1, Diploma Year 1, subjects and evaluation

DP subject briefs

The link above will take you to the official IBO Dipoloma Programme web pages where you can study the content, syllabus and evaluation of each of the IB subjects. TOK, CAS and EE information is there as well.

Evaluation in DP1 and DP2

  • IB grades range from 7 (highest) to 1 (lowest).
  • Thus 6 subjects give maximum 42 points, TOK and EE max 3 bonus points. So the maximum points in the IB Diploma is 45.
  • Students are given grades after each of the five study periods as a course ends. In DP1, there are 5 HL courses and 3 SL courses and DP2 4 HL courses and 3 SL courses.
  • In DP2 the students have two mock weeks (mid-term exam weeks) to practise time management and test their knowledge and skills.
  • If a student is absent from a mock exam, they must present a doctor’s certificate or the quardian must clear the absence to the form teacher and DP coordinator. This is a requirement for rescheduling the exam.
  • Failure to submit all course work can result in the grade T (= unfinished work). A numerical grade will be awarded once the work has been completed.
  • Teachers are not required to accept or assess work turned in late.

Absence control in the DP

  • All students are expected to attend school regularly. Absences from school must have a legitimate excuse and teachers should be informed in advance, if possible.
  • All absences must be cleared by a parent/guardian or a medical professional (doctor, dentist etc).

DP2, Diploma requirements and final examinations

IB final examinations schedules

The link above will take you to the following two exam sessions. The exams of one subject is usually divided between two days. Sometimes the students have two different subjects tested on the same day.

Conditions for the award of the IB Diploma

  • all six IB subjects are compulsory and have to be taken in the final examinations
  • the students have 3 opportunities to take the examinations, this does not have to take place in consecutive sessions
  • most subjects can be taken in May or November sessions
  • a minimum total of 24 points in six diploma subjects
  • a minimum average grade of 4 in HL subjects (note: 3 is sufficient if have grade 5, 6, or 7 in another HL subject)
  • a minimum average grade of 3 in SL subjects (note: 2 is sufficient if have grade 5, 6, or 7 in another SL subject)
  • a minimum of 12 points altogether in 3 HL subjects
  • a minimum of 9 points in 3 SL subjects
  • completion of all IA work,  done at home or at school and is part of the final grade being 25-50 % of the final grade.
  • completion of all TOK components, no grade E
  • completion of all CAS components
  • completion of the Extended Essay, no grade E
  • all pending fees must have been paid, the final exam cost about 600 euros
  • Failing to meet one or more of the criteria above means no diploma awarded.

DP Curriculum


Textbooks and materials

Teachers (DP)

Eeva SaraSEEFinnish A
Eroma MariMERPhysical education
Haavisto EevastiinaEHAMathematics
Hall StevenSHAEconomics
Hiilovaara-Teijo MerviMHTBiology
Hyvärinen JaanaJHYSpecial education
Karhu PäiviPKAMathematics
Kaskenviita RauniRKAFinnish A
Laine ReimaRLAChemistry
Lehtilä HannaHLEVisual art
Lintunen PiaPLIFrench
Nera SusannaSNEFinnish B
Nieminen JoonasJNIFinnish B, Academic thinking skills
Osmo AnneAOSSwedish
Peltonen MikkoMPEPhysics, Theory of knowledge
Piippo KaisaKPIGerman, Theory of knowledge
Raevuori JohannaJRAPsychology
Raiko LindaLRASwedish A
Rajala RiittaRRAPhysics
Rasmus MirjamMRAHead of TIS
Salonen EliseESAPsychology, Business management
Salminen JennaJSALEnglish B, Theory of knowledge
Sarimo JannikaJSAEnglish A
Sellman KlausKSEPhysical education
Suutari MarianneMASEnglish B
Tähtinen HannaHTÄFinnish B
Valtanen JukkaJVLGuidance and counselling
Waltari-Grundström AnuAWAHistory, Social studies, CAS coordinator, Deputy head of school
Vanhatalo MariannaMVAChemistry, DP coordinator
Vartiainen KatrinaKVAHead of TNK upper secondary school
Viiniemi MinnaMVISocial Studies
Vänttinen JuhaJVÄHistory

Study support and guidance

Study welfare team

Key persons

Office secretary                                          050 3297783
Guidance counsellor  Jukka Valtanen   050 5660932
IB-coordinator  Marianna Vanhatalo    040 5773395
Social worker Karoliina Öhberg                040 1217139
Study psychologist                                     040 5181955
Special teacher  Jaana Hyvärinen          050 5327080
School nurse  Vilma Alcenius                 040 1498500

e-mails: first name.surname@utu.fi

Students’ welfare work is the responsibility of everyone working in the school and it is carried out in co-operation with homes. The key persons in the welfare team are listed above. The student whose issue the team is considering can attend the meetings and the same applies to guardians, form and subject teachers.

The main goal of the team is to take care of the students’ physical, mental and social welfare. The team also promotes the safety and welfare of the whole school community.

Guidance counsellor

The guidance counsellor for high school is Mr Jukka Valtanen, whose office is on the 3rd floor. Tel. 050 5660932,  e-mail jukka.valtanen@utu.fi

The guidance counsellor advises students in matters such as general studies, career choices, further education and work life. The guidance is given in lessons as well as at personal and group meetings. The work is carried out in co-operation with other teachers and the student welfare team. The guidance also includes visits to colleges, universities and further education open days.

School social worker

The school social worker aims at solving the students’ problems in studying. She also works in co-operation with guardians, teachers, the school welfare team and external experts. If needed she also guides families how to contact specialists outside school. Both guardians and students are welcome to discuss even personal matters with the curator.  All discussions with the social worker are confidential.

The curator helps and supports the students in matters such as:

  • problematic situations in studies (absences, lack of study motivation and disability to concentrate on work in class)
  • challenges in social relationships (conflicts at home or elsewhere)
  • clearing bullying cases
  • matters related to life control
  • guidance and advice on study benefits

School psychologist

The school psychologist aims at helping you in matters related to mental welfare, study motivation and coping with stress in particular.

The responsibilities of the school psychologist:

  • psychological investigations and evaluations related to the students’ study habits and welfare
  • offering consultation for teachers and other staff
  • guiding and advising guardians
  • guiding and advising students
  • analysis of the activities and harmony of student groups and classes
  • co-operation with the principals and other staff; plans for crisis situations, for instance

Special needs teacher

Special needs teacher’s job is to support the students in their studies and when they have learning difficulties at times when the students’ ability to work is decreased abrubtly, temporarily or extensively. The situation may be caused by a physical or mental illness or particularly difficult curcumstances in life.

On the other hand, the development of a student’s study skills, time management, feeling of responsibility, mastery of life skills or motivation may require special support and guidance.
Special needs teacher also organizes dyslexia tests to identify reading and writing difficulties. She is also responsible for writing a document needed in special arrangements in examinations. Students are advised to be active in getting suitable assistance from her and the school.

Health care

Health care

School nurse Vilma Alcenius  (tel. 040 149 8500)

The school nurse’s room is located on the 1st floor next to Lounge A in the elementary school section.

  • at 8 – 9 reception  without pre-booking
  • at 9 –  reception with advance booking

The aim of school healthcare is

  • to enhance the students’ health and ability to study effectively, and to support life control and the process toward adulthood
  • to recognize the need for special support and to guide the student to make use of our welfare team and the suppotive measures
  • to observe and promote the health, welfare and safety of the whole school community and environment.

Health inspections of the senior high students

School health care is mostly taken care of by the school nurses and school doctor. They will contact other health services such as hospital inspections, treatment or rehabilitation if needed. All 1st-year senior high students are called to the health inspection carried out by the school nurse. 2nd-year students are inspected by the school nurse and doctor together but it is possible to meet the doctore earlier on request.

The aim of the health inspections is to get an overall view of the students’ health and welfare situation and to guide the students to make choices that promote their health. Special attention is paid to the students’ life situation, study motivation and health risks.

The students’ health situation is evaluated from the point of view how well they are able to do well in their studies. The doctor’s inspection in the 2nd year includes the inspection for the army as a pre-measure to the official army inspection.

It is vital that new students inform the school nurse, form or subject teacher about any underlying diseases or other conditions or symptoms that may affect the future studies.

Accidents and sudden illnesses that require medical doctor’s treatment are taken care of in the local health centre or on-duty hospital (TYKS, T-hospital, Savitehtaankatu 1, Turku; telephone advice 02-313800). First aid is given by the school nurses. The treatment in cases of school accident is free for the students. See for more information in Wilma.

Dental treatments

Dental treatment of the students is carried out in the student’s own dental clinic in his/her postal area. The students must book the time themselves and the treatment is free for anyone under 18. Turku central dental clinic tel. 02-2660 644. Those who are not permanent residents of Turku are obliged to book a time in their own community.

Schedules of the school year

Schedules of the school year

Autumn term: Wed 10.8. – Wed 21.12.2022

  • Autumn vacation: Mon 17.10. –  Sun 23.10.2022 (week 42)
  • Christmas vacation: Wed 21.12.2022 – Sun 8.1.2023

Spring term: Mon 9.1. – Sat 3.6.2023

  • Winter vacation: Mon 20.2. –  Sun 26.2.2023 (week 8)

Study periods

Period 1 10.8.2022 – 3.10.2022

Period 2 4.10.2022 – 29.11.2022

Period 3 30.11.2022 – 7.2.2023

Period 4 8.2.2023 – 10.4.2023

Period 5 11.4.2023 – 3.6.2023

Assessment periods (pre-DP)

Assessment period 1 27.9.2022 – 3.10.2022

Assessment period 2 22.11.2022 – 29.11.2022

Assessment period 3 31.1.2023 – 7.2.2023

Assessment period 4 30.3.2023 – 10.4.2023

Assessment period 5 26.5.2023 – 1.6.2023

Retake exams (pre-DP)

  1. Thu 18.10.2022 at 16 – 19
  2. Thu 27.10.2022 at 16 – 19
  3. Thu 11.1.2023 at 16 – 19
  4. Thu 2.3.2023 at 16 – 19
  5. Thu 4.5.2023 at 16 – 19
  6. Thu 12.6.2023 at 9 – 12

Guardians’ and parents’ evenings

  • Pre-DP year Thu 15.9.2022 at 17.30
  • DP1 Wed 7.9.2022
  • DP2 Tue 13.9.2022

Other events

  • Penkkarit event Thu 9.2.2023
  • Day of the Eldest Fri 17.2.2023

Daily working hours at school

1. lesson  08.30-09.45
2. lesson  10.00-11.15
3. lesson  11.30-12.45
4. lesson 13.15-14.30
5. lesson  14.45-16.00