International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program academically challenges students – typically aged 16 to 19 – with the objective of preparing them for success at university. You can find out if this program is offered at your school district by contacting your school counsellor.

Courses within the program are divided into six main categories: languages, social studies, experimental sciences, mathematics and visual or performing arts. In Canada, some courses are recognized as equivalent to university courses and students may receive first year credit for courses in the program.

Students can either work towards an IB certificate or diploma. To get a certificate, only one IB course and externally-assessed exam is required. Obtaining a diploma in the program consists of several requirements – students are required to:

  • Take each one of the six prescribed courses
  • Write an essay of up to 4000 words
  • Complete at least 50 hours in creative, action and service requirements
  • Complete the “Theory of Knowledge” philosophy requirement

Courses may be taken at Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL). IB courses are granted credit through the Ministry External Credential program and may be used towards district and provincial scholarships.

Transforming Grad Requirements

Ongoing public engagement is helping us make improvements to B.C.’s graduation requirements.

See how we’re doing with this process

Grad Planner

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