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International Baccalaureate (IB)

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What is the International Baccalaureate (IB) program?

The IB program is for students age three to 19.  High school students in their junior and senior year can choose to enroll in individual IB courses or in the comprehensive a two-year diploma program. You select classes at a standard and advanced level in your native language, as well as classes in a second language, humanities, science, mathematics and the arts. Classes are taught by high school teachers at your high school. At most schools, you have the option of choosing any number of IB courses, including completing the full IB Diploma (6 courses).

What are the benefits of the IB program?

The IB program prepares you for the demands of work at the college level. It helps you develop your learning and writing skills through active discussions, independent work, and individual and small group presentations. You may do better in college classes later because you'll have the skills you need to succeed.

You may earn college credit from colleges and universities in the United States and other countries. To be eligible, you need to earn a qualifying score on the IB exams for the courses you are taking. If the college or university awards you credit, then you’ll save time and money when you actually get to college.

The program helps you learn topics from an international perspective, while exploring your own culture and language. Learning about other cultures helps you learn and understand your own, as well. It also will help you work with people from around the world.

Who can participate in the IB program?

Policies vary by school. Many allow any student to participate. Other may require you to have a minimum grade point average or have taken certain classes. Check with your school counselor to find out if you are eligible.

Is the IB program offered at my school?

The high school program is offered at more than 20 Minnesota high schools. Most are public high schools in the Twin Cities area. Check with your school counselor to find out if your school participates. Visit the Minnesota Association of IB World Schools website for a complete list of schools.

How do I earn college credit?

Policies vary from college to college, so do your research ahead of time. Some give scholarships instead of credit. Eligibility for college credit is based on your IB exam scores. You can take the IB exam in any IB course you choose to take. Most colleges require a score of 4 or 5 to earn credit.

So why do all this to get college credit? Simple: you'll be able to move into upper-level courses sooner. That saves you time and money. It also may allow you to get a double major or even study abroad.

If you're having trouble finding information or understanding it, ask your school counselor for help.

How many Minnesota high school students participate in the IB program?

In 2010, more than 2,300 students participated in the pre-college diploma program and took almost 5,000 IB exams. Nearly 28 percent of all test-takers were students of color.

How much does it cost?

The cost varies by high school. One common fee is the exam registration fee. Part of this fee may be covered by your school or the state of Minnesota. Check with your school counselor to find out if you qualify.

Where can I find more information about the IB program?

Visit the Minnesota Association of IB World Schools website or talk with your school counselor.

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  • Minnesota Department of Education