Global Citizen Diploma

Our true destiny…is a world built from the bottom up by competent citizens living in solid communities, engaged in and by their places.

– David Orr

The Global Citizen Diploma (GCD) is an optional qualification that complements the IB Diploma and NIST High School Diploma. As an elective programme that parallels the core NIST high school curriculum (Years 10-13), it offers students the opportunity to reflect on their learning experiences through a minimal amount of additional work in order to gain recognition for their achievements in areas that are not reported in the IB Diploma. The GCD thus enables them to better showcase their individual strengths and accomplishments, and help make them more visible to the universities of their choice. NIST is one of only a handful of schools around the world—and the only one in Thailand—to offer the GCD to its students.


Why Should You Pursue the GCD?

Traditional grading systems measure academic ability and focus on a narrow range of skills sets while overlooking other equally important skills. As universities and employers have increasingly acknowledged, grades simply do not provide enough information about the skills and strengths of students. The GCD is intended to fill that gap, showing how learners develop along a more diverse spectrum. Though not required, it is recommended that all students in Years 10 to 13 consider pursuing the diploma, as it benefits them a great deal:

  • The GCD showcases their talents in leadership, management, community engagement, global citizenship and other areas not measured through traditional grades.
  • The GCD helps them tell their stories to universities, increasing their as more well-rounded applicants who possess multiple strengths and abilities.
  • The GCD helps them grow as individuals, becoming more compassionate, confident and responsible.


How much work does the GCD require?

Most students will not need to complete a large amount of extra work to earn the GCD, as the GCD categories are designed to describe the kinds of activities and learning that students already participate in. Additionally, many of the reflections all NIST students must complete for their community, action, service (CAS) activities correspond to the reflections required for the GCD. A small amount of adaptation and development is all the work that may be required. Students may also choose to report their GCD activities in other formats such as videos and presentations.


How does the GCD work?

Students can choose to complete one of three levels of recognition: the Global Citizen Certificate, Global Citizen Diploma or Global Citizen Diploma with Distinction. The requirements for each are detailed on the GCD website.


Where can I find more information?

Additional details of the GCD—including guidelines, reflection criteria and exemplars—are available on the official site. You may also contact the NIST GCD Coordinator at