Developing a recognition policy

More than 2,000 higher education institutions have published policies that establish criteria for accepting International Baccalaureate® (IB) students to their programmes.

Developing a policy defining how your institution recognizes IB students demonstrates to this talented and unique pool of students that your institution both understands and values their qualifications.

Publishing your policy 

The IB will happily work with you to develop and publish your policy. To collaborate with us, please contact the recognition team in your region:

Once the policy is ready, we'll include it in our university policy index. The index is available for download on our page about recognition of the IB by countries and universities

If you have a policy already, please send it to the relevant team so that, by including it in the index, we can provide your institution with additional exposure.

Guidance on developing a policy

Universities and colleges develop policies in their own ways, and for their own contexts. However, the IB has published several model recognition policies for universities – including ones for institutions in the USA, UK and Canada – to be used as the basis for developing a specific policy.

What to include 

Successful IB recognition policies usually have the following key components:

  • an admissions statement that encourages IB students to apply
  • details on the admissions requirements, including subject prerequisites and minimum scores for entry to various courses
  • information on language proficiency requirements, and whether performance in IB language courses fulfil these requirements
  • special considerations for IB students, including scholarships or other opportunities
  • information on awarding credit and advanced placement
  • additional information relevant to the student’s application for admission.

To develop the most effective possible policy, you should consider whether the policy answers the following questions:

  • How are current students, who studied in the IB, performing at your institution?
  • Is participation in the Diploma Programme (DP) considered for admissions purposes?
  • Are DP students eligible for admission based on either completion of the programme or their scores in individual DP courses?
  • Does your university have different IB course requirements for certain faculties?
  • Is performance on the theory of knowledge course or the extended essay considered in admissions decisions?
  • Are there other considerations that your university offers for IB students, such as designated scholarships, honours courses or research opportunities?
  • Does your university have a language proficiency requirement that can be met by an IB language examination?
  • Are anticipated grades for IB examinations submitted by the schools accepted or considered for admissions purposes?
  • Do you have a statement on your website for recruitment and admission of IB students? 

Further questions

If you need further information or support on developing a recognition policy, please contact the team in your region: Africa, Europe, Middle EastAsia-Pacific; or the Americas