What is IB?

How does the International Baccalaureate prepare students for college?

When we talk about education and what it means, what we really want to know is how to implant in our students the knowledge that will make them better learners and better people. How can we be sure that we send them off into life with the skills they really need to grow and develop in a successful, happy way? 

What is the International Baccalaureate? 

International Baccalaureate (IB) is a worldwide, nonprofit education program founded to give all students the opportunity to receive an education fit for a globalizing world. There are four IB education programs, all of which are intended to develop students’ intellectual, emotional, personal and social skills. High school students will mostly be concerned with the IB Diploma Program (DP) and the Career-related Program (CP), which consist of six main subjects. 


Who is eligible for an International Baccalaureate program? 

International Baccalaureate’s mission is to offer education to all students, so any high school student between 16 and 19 years old can apply for the program. IB doesn’t have any other restrictions, but individual schools may have GPA requirements, and many have limited spots in their programs, so the application process can be competitive. Students should check with their counselors for their IB program’s specific requirements. 


How do I become an International Baccalaureate student? 

Students interested in joining the IB program usually need to complete an application by a specified deadline, which can be found on their IB school’s website. Applications may require teacher recommendation letters, grade reports, essays, writing samples or a personal statement, vaccination reports and a list of extracurricular activities. Students may also have to live within a certain distance from the school offering the IB program. 


When should I enroll in an International Baccalaureate program?

While the DP and CP programs technically don’t begin until a student’s junior year, IB students start taking prep courses as soon as they enter high school. Because of this, the application process typically begins in 8th grade, about a year before a student starts their freshman year. Specific dates and deadlines vary between programs, so students and their families should check with counselors and their intended IB program for details. 


How does the International Baccalaureate prepare students for college? 

The IB emphasizes personal student development as one of its main achievements, and it’s true that IB provides an enriching high school experience. But prospective IB students who are looking ahead toward post-secondary education should be pleased to know that IB graduates also benefit from being extremely well-prepared for college in a number of different ways.