Develop a university recognition policy

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The IB assists universities in developing effective admissions and recognition policies so IB students can gain an equitable and competitive offer from your university.

Your university recognition policy defines how your university values and understands IB graduates. By developing a policy, your institution gains a valuable opportunity to attract IB students who are prepared to take on the rigour of university coursework and raise the academic standard and internationalization of the entire student cohort. 

Please note: the IB aims to launch a new database system in 2023 that will contain the recognition policies of all universities worldwide. In the meantime, we encourage you to publish your recognition policies on your own university website. 

Getting started with recognition of IB students

Universities can recognize IB graduates across different areas, including:

  • Recruitment—a statement that your institution actively recruits Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) students
  • Admission— a specific statement in documentation and publications that your university fully recognizes IB DP and CP graduates in the admissions process
  • Placement— an acknowledgement of the rigour of IB courses, including
    • establishing prerequisites for IB courses that are fair and equitable in comparison with those for state, provincial and/or other examination courses
    • acknowledging DP and CP students’ English language proficiency for those who complete the programme in English
  • Credit— detailed information on course credits based on DP course scores; specifically understanding and recognizing theory of knowledge, the extended essay and the content of both standard and higher-level courses
  • Scholarships—granting of scholarships or scholarship opportunities specifically for IB DP and CP students.

Key components of successful recognition policies 

Successful recognition policies often include the following key components: 

  • An admission statement that encourages IB students to apply.
  • Details about the admissions requirements, including subject prerequisites and minimum scores 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. 

Guidance on developing a policy

Universities and other higher education institutions develop policies appropriate for their unique contexts. We invite you to consider the following questions as you develop your policy:

  • How are current students, who studied in the IB, performing at your institution?
  • Is participation in the Career-related Programme (CP) and/or Diploma Programme (DP), considered for admissions purposes?
  • Are CP and/or 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?
  • Where on your website will the recognition statement for recruitment and admission of IB students sit?

More information

If you need further information or support on developing a recognition policy, please contact us.