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Recognition of IB at Universities

IB students routinely gain admissions to some of the best known universities in the world. Higher education institutions are drawn to the holistic, integrated approach of IB, the experiences the students receive during their IB years, and the global outlook of the IB Diploma Programme candidates.

Universities feel that IB students are more prepared for their post-secondary studies and for competitive success in a global environment (1). According to the University of California, IB students generally earn higher GPAs and graduate at higher rates in comparison to UC students overall (2).

As a result, many institutions actively recruit IB students. Here is what some universities had to say about the IB programme, how they view it, and in relation to admissions.

“IB is well known to us for excellent preparations. Success in an IB programme correlates well with success at Harvard. We are always pleased to see credentials of the IB Diploma Programme on the transcript.”

Marilyn McGrath Lewis (Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Harvard University)

“We find that IB students adapt more easily to a university style of learning and become independent learners from an earlier stage compared to those from other backgrounds.”

Dr. Lorraine Craig (Geophysics & Engineering, Imperial College London)

“We regard the International Baccalaureate as an extremely well-respected entry qualifications, which we are more than happy to accept for entry to all our programmes.”

Gaynor Glover (Head of Admissions, Student Recruitment & Admissions Office, University of Liverpool, 2010)

Beyond admissions, the IB programme is recognised by universities through scholarships and advance credits. Some universities, such as Simon Fraser University, automatically grant scholarships to students with IB Points above 32 (3). While other universities may not grant scholarships, they will give students advance credit (first-year credits), which some may say is also scholarship money as students may take less courses at university. For more details on advance credit, it is best to consult each university’s website.


The International Baccalaureate Organisation provides information about how universities across the globe recognise an IB education. To read more, please click here.

(1) Source: (June 11, 2014)

(2) Source: IB College Research

(3) This may change from year to year.