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International Baccalaureate (IB) Option
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Learn about the benefits, challenges and costs of participating in International Baccalaureate (IB).
Listen to what students and counselors think about this option.
Classes offered right in your school
Where available, IB classes are taught by teachers in your school and are part of your high school's course schedule.
Save money and time on college
If you meet the required score on an IB exam to earn college credit as a high student, you save money and time by not having to take and pay for that course when you enroll in college.
Stand out on highly-selective and international college and scholarship applications
Having IB courses and exams on your transcript may strengthen your applications to highly-selective and international colleges/universities and scholarships as one way to show you that you challenged yourself academically.
IB curriculum is skills-based and centered on a global education
With IB, you will improve your skills in areas such as critical thinking, research, oral and writing versus focusing on only content. Learning a second language at a high level is also required and helps to increase cultural awareness.
Guaranteed credit transfer
In Colorado, if you score a 4 or higher on an IB exam, you can earn college credit that is guaranteed to transfer, though it may not be guaranteed to apply to degree requirements. Find out what your IB exam score gets you at Colorado public colleges and universities.
IB exam determines potential college credit, not an IB course
While you may take an IB course during the school year, you only have one opportunity (exams are scheduled in November and May) to earn a qualifying IB exam score to earn college credit.
The IB Diploma Programme is rigid, limits access to other coursework such as electives
The coursework in the IB Dipolma Programme is structured in a way that does not allow you to take classes in your high school outside of IB
An IB course may take more time out of your schedule
IB courses and the IB Diploma Programme are academically rigorous. You should consider your current schedule (other high school classes, sports and extracurricular activities) when thinking about participating in IB. On average, for every credit hour you take in college, you will spend approximately 2-3 hours outside of class studying. Use this formula: 3 credit hours (1 college course) = 3 hours in class per week = 6-9 hours study time per week.
Not widely available
The IB option may not be widely available at your school. The IB Diploma Programme is even more limited across the state.
You may have to pay for the IB Exam and other fees
There are fees associated with IB. Some schools cover this cost and some schools do not. Check with your school to find out who is responsible.
There may be a fee to send your IB score(s) to a college
If you want to send your IB score(s) to more than six colleges, each additional transcript costs $17. Learn more about sending transcripts.
Want more details?
If you want to know more about IB, feel free to review the International Baccalaureate's webpage.
Still have more questions?
Talk with your school counselor about the specifics of participating in IB at your school, if available.