Study IB in USA: school rankings and how to apply

The IB Diploma is recognized in most countries, and with such a document you can even gain direct entry to twenty universities around the world. Often, applicants who graduate from the IB Diploma Program have an advantage over those who take the UK A Level or the US SAT. This is because the IB program is all-encompassing. Applicants with such diplomas demonstrate developed critical thinking, awareness and independence.

Program Stage

In most cases, the International Baccalaureate refers to the last two years of schooling, after which graduates receive a diploma. However, in fact, the program consists of 4 stages: from kindergarten to entry into university.

Elementary school (3-12 years old)

At the primary school level, children are groomed to become researchers. They learn to understand the world around them, become curious, and respect themselves and others. 

Middle Years (11-16 years old)

In secondary school, learning becomes more difficult, but instead of becoming a memorization of textbooks, it still represents a research activity. Children do a lot of work with their hands, conduct experiments and labs, and learn to apply what they have learned to their lives. At this time, students will understand the basic structures of society, such as their own identity, relationships, personal and cultural expression, spatial and temporal orientation, and sustainability in today's globalized world.

Diploma Program (16-18 years old)

The broad and complex academic curriculum of the Upper School provides not only an in-depth study of school subjects, but also the overall development of the student. Boys and girls learn to think critically and analyze information. They are already able to draw their own conclusions about complex objects of knowledge, have a developed emotional intelligence and are well-versed in ethical issues.

Most schools offer the most popular programs.

Career-related courses (ages 16-18)

As part of the program, students study school subjects and engage in career-related studies. One of the key elements of the education is called personal and professional skills. It prepares students for the personal and professional situations they may encounter in the workplace.

The program is an alternative to the diploma program. After graduation, students can continue their studies at a university or find a job.

IB School Programs in the United States

The diploma program consists of

  • Six required subjects.

  • Extended essays (science papers) of up to 4,000 words.

  • Required courses are Theory of Knowledge (a combination of various subjects and skills for practical application of theoretical knowledge in life).

  • Each diploma student is encouraged to spend 150 hours developing creative skills, fitness (sports) and philanthropic activities (environment, charity).

  • Each subject is graded on a 7-point scale, with 7 being the highest mark. An excellent essay (dissertation) and a project on theory of knowledge earn an additional three points.

  • 45 points is the maximum grade a student can receive during the diploma program.

To receive the International Baccalaureate Diploma, students must earn at least 24 points.

However, although students have earned some points, there are still some points that may cause them to be denied a diploma. These are non-participation in creative, sport and spiritual development programs (CAS), plagiarism of others' ideas, incomplete thesis.

On the other hand, despite the fact that students may fail in any subject, there are still certain conditions that allow them to obtain the diploma: successfully passing an exam in their native language and knowledge of a foreign language, as well as meeting other additional requirements The program entitles candidates to a bilingual diploma education.

The student has the right not to study all the compulsory subjects and may refuse to participate in some compulsory school activities, not to attend the Theory of Knowledge course or not to write a thesis. In this case, the student will not receive a diploma, but he will receive a certificate containing his successful grades in each of the subjects studied. Such a certificate is nothing more than a statement that the student paid for the exams and an extract of the results of these exams. The certificate is issued to all students at the end of the course.

Advantages of studying an IB programme Iin USA.

Individual curriculum - the student chooses exactly the subjects he wants to study.

presence of compulsory courses for studying mathematics and foreign languages, high level of basic education.

fluency in the language of instruction - English at the end of the course.

the opportunity to learn the native language - if the school does not have a teacher, it is usually possible to teach the language in a self-taught way under the guidance of a personal tutor

a rich program of additional activities, allowing you to gain diverse experience and choose your future career more precisely

Access to Europe's most prestigious universities without additional exams and matriculation courses.


All subject knowledge is assessed with scores, which are set by IBO teachers and independent experts. In addition, exam scores are taken into account.

The IB Diploma requires a minimum of 24 points (maximum 7 points per exam, 1 point for the essay, 2 points for 2 Theory of Knowledge courses, and 3 points for the essay) and a commitment to Creativity, Sport, Service (CAS ) block.) At least 150 hours. It is important to note that top universities around the world are ready to consider applications from applicants who have earned at least 35 points, while the maximum score may be 45 points.

If the total score is not sufficient to earn a diploma, students may retake the exam next year for a total of no more than three attempts.

If needed, the student can refuse to study the required 6 subjects, ignore the Theory of Knowledge, not write a detailed essay or ignore the CAS module, in which case he will receive a certificate instead of a diploma, which is a list with all the subjects studied and the grades obtained.

Recognition by universities around the world

The International Baccalaureate is recognized and appreciated by most countries in the world. Ten years ago, the UCAS organization formed a special table showing the IB scores for admission to universities around the world. Meanwhile, in the United States and Canada, some IB programs are considered to be the first year of a university or college, so graduates with an International Baccalaureate will enroll immediately in the second year. Universities in the UK, including Oxford and Cambridge, equate the IB with a certificate in English A-Level courses.

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