The International Baccalaureate (IB) was first established in 1968 as a two-year advanced secondary school curriculum, the successful completion of which earned students the IB diploma. Then as now the curriculum requires that students complete a course of study in six core subject areas (language and literature, language acquisition, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, and the arts) write an essay of up to 4000 words, and sit standard, externally assessed exams. Students are also required to complete two formal projects and a minimum of 50 hours of community service. All requirements exceed those of high school diplomas offered by the provincial boards across Canada—in all ways, the IB diploma is a high school graduation diploma and then some.
The International Baccalaureate was founded in Geneva, Switzerland, where it remains headquartered today, with additional offices in the UK and the Netherlands. The intention is to "provide an internationally acceptable university admissions qualification suitable for the growing mobile population of young people whose parents were part of the world of diplomacy, international and multinational organizations."
At the outset, the IB Diploma Program was created for students 16-19. It was first envisaged as a diploma that would be recognized at universities around the world, and would be recognized as academically rigorous. The curriculum was written with that goal in mind.
In some ways, the IB reflects the historical moment in which it was formed. Marshall McLuhan coined the term “global village” in 1962 in his book The Gutenberg Galaxy. The term gained traction because of the growth in multinational corporations and organizations, and also because it reflected the spirit of the time, given the exponential growth in air traffic (and, later, the internet). There was a growing awareness that students would increasingly live in a multinational, multicultural world, with professional and personal lives that crossed borders and cultural boundaries. Likewise, it was surmised that communities of interest would develop independent of the local communities that students lived within—the community of physicists, for example, would be a global one, rather than associated with specific local communities.
It was out of that conception that International Baccalaureate was founded in the late 1960s. It would offer a diploma that was as mobile as the students who would earn it, and would be recognized readily by universities around the world. And, indeed, that's exactly what the IB has become.
While rigor was important—students with the IB could be counted on to have a strong basis in language, math, and science—so was the kind of learner that the IB could develop. In addition to the core curriculum, students would be required to gain a meaningful sense of global issues, economy, geography, and culture. They would be required to learn the fundamentals of communication, creative problem solving, ethical leadership, and international politics. As such, the IB was in a sense at the leading edge of the development of what we now think of under the umbrella of 21st century literacies.
Today there are more than 3000 schools in roughly 150 countries that offer the IB Diploma Program (DP). In Canada, schools typically offer the DP in addition to provincial diplomas, with students free to choose which they’d like to work toward. Schools are not required to offer all four aspects of the current IB program—primary, middle, diploma, career—and instead offer only those that are appropriate to the needs of their enrolment.
The reasons that families and students choose the IBDP are varied, and include:
Accreditation is granted through the International Baccalaureate in Geneva, Switzerland. The term "International Baccalaureate" is used generically, and can refer to the organization, the degree, or the degree programs. Prior to 2007 the main accrediting body was known formally as the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), though since then is known as, simply, the International Baccalaureate.
Schools intending to offer an IB program undertake a 3-4 year authorization/accreditation process, with timelines depending on when a school begins its formal academic year. Every school accredited to offer any of the four core IB programs is known as an IB World School. Any school that is engaged in the process of accreditation is known as an IB Candidate School.
All accredited schools take part in an ongoing process of review and development. In some cases, that process is supported and/or facilitated by sub-regional organizations, one example being the International Baccalaureate Schools of Ontario (IBSO). However, accreditation is only available through the central accrediting body.
Each of Canada's universities is free to set its own admissions standards and to assess each candidate based on their own internal criteria. There is no national university entrance exam or governing body overseeing university admissions. As a result, admission criteria can vary widely, even between universities within Canada. Students are required to contact colleges or universities directly to find a list of admission requirements and deadlines, and to submit transcripts in support of their application.
While the specific details of recognition can vary between universities—or, in some cases, even between faculty within a university—the IB diploma is nevertheless very widely accepted as an admission credential if the scores earned meet certain targets. In some instances, IB courses and exams are recognized for transfer credit within an institution, used in fulfillment of university degree requirements and/or fulfilling course prerequisite requirements. University admissions departments can provide details on their admission and course prerequisite requirements as they pertain to the IB diploma.
Below, find a list of schools offering an IB diploma (through the IDBP program).
Elmwood School (est. 1915)
Elmwood School is Ottawa's pre-eminent school for girls from JK to Grade 12. Our high academic standards, small class sizes and safe, supportive environment ensure that each girl is inspired to reach her full potential. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$12,960 to $24,350||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day||12960|
The York School (est. 1965)
The York School is a co-ed, independent school in Toronto that offers the IB Continuum Programme from JK to Grade 12. The school is accredited by CAIS, IBO, and CIS. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$22,500 to $30,500||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||22500|
Upper Canada College (est. 1829)
Located in the heart of Toronto, Upper Canada College is the oldest independent boys' school in Ontario. Our graduates are highly regarded by top universities and post-secondary institutions worldwide. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$30,860 to $61,560||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boys Boarding Day||30860|
St. Jude's Academy (est. 2006)
St. Jude's Academy is an IB World School that offers programs from junior kindergarten to grade 12 in Mississauga. Its average class size is 16 to 18 students. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$7,500 to $10,500||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||7500|
TFS - Canada's International School (est. 1962)
TFS - Canada's International School offers Canada's only bilingual IB programs from PK to Grade 12. Average class size is 12 to 22 students. Entrance Scholarship to Grade 7 is available. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$17,600 to $31,100||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||17600|
Branksome Hall (est. 1903)
Branksome Hall is an all girls school in Toronto, from JK to Grade 12, including 56 boarding students. Tuition ranges from $28,995 to $31,245 for day students. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$29,590 to $56,855||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day||29590|
Walden International School (est. 2014)
Walden International School is pursuing authorization to become an IB World School. With a unique student-centred focus, it prepares all students to become globally responsible citizens. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$10,000 to $20,000||Kindergarten Elementary Coed Day||10000|
Brookes Shawnigan Lake, an IB World School on beautiful Vancouver Island, offers grades 7 to 12 for both day and boarding students with an average class size of 12 students. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$5,544 to $47,500||MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||5544|
TMS (est. 1961)
Internationally recognized since 1961, TMS is a not-for-profit independent university preparatory school located in Richmond Hill where students, faculty and staff regularly Go Beyond. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$14,075 to $25,440||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||14075|
St. John's-Kilmarnock School (est. 1972)
St. John's-Kilmarnock School, in Waterloo, offers enriched educational programming for students from JK – Grade 12 through its accredited International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. Its average class size is 17. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$15,860 to $52,685||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day Homestay||15860|
Meadowridge School (est. 1985)
Meadowridge is an IB Continuum World School that supports the development of the whole child in a safe, supportive and challenging environment. See for yourself and join us for a tour every Friday from 9:00am to 11:00am. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$20,400 to $30,400||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||20400|
Bishop's College School (est. 1836)
Bishop's College School is an English boarding and day school for students in grades 7 through 12. Small in size and culturally diverse, BCS is a member of RoundSquare and offers an ESL program and AP courses. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$18,200 to $55,800||MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||18200|
Alexander von Humboldt German International School Montreal offers an internationally recognized education from pre-K to Grade 12 with an enrollment of about 300 day students. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$4,250 to $9,850||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||4250|
TFS - Canada's International School (West Campus) offers programs from pre-kindergarten to grade seven. Its average class size is 12 to 22 students. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$11,900 to $26,150||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Coed Day||11900|
Rothesay Netherwood School (est. 1877)
Rothesay Netherwood School offers programs for grades six to 12 in Rothesay, New Brunswick. Its average class size is 14 to 16 students. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$20,110 to $54,090||MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||20110|
Lower Canada College (est. 1909)
Lower Canada College is a coed, K-12 university preparatory school, committed to excellence in teaching and learning. It is the only English school in Quebec offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$17,625 to $22,485||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||17625|
North Broward Preparatory School (est. 1957)
North Broward Preparatory School is a K-12 co-educational day and boarding school located in S. Florida located minutes from the beach with IB, AP, and LD classes set on 80 acres with year round hockey. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$24,200 to $58,000 USD||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||24200|
Luther College High School (est. 1913)
Luther students, from many different social and cultural backgrounds, have the opportunity to be part of a tightly woven community of students, parents, teachers, staff, and alumni. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$7,050 to $29,560||HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||7050|
Mulgrave School (est. 1993)
Mulgrave School offers programmes from Preschool to Grade 12 in West Vancouver. Its average class size is 20 students with teacher to student ratios of 1:8. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$17,195 to $21,370||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||17195|
King's-Edgehill School (est. 1788)
King's-Edgehill School offers programs for grades six to 12 in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Its average class size is 15 students. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$17,350 to $51,950||MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||17350|
Bronte College (est. 1991)
Bronte College is a private International Baccalaureate (IB) World School offering Grades 9 to 12 for day and boarding students. Our academic programming has attracted students from over 30 countries. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$13,830 to $16,680||HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||13830|
THINK Global School (est. 2009)
THINK Global School is a traveling high school where you’ll live and study in a different country every semester, combining a top-notch education with place-based learning in four countries per year. [View profile]
|Student-paced||$79,000 USD||Coed Boarding||79000|
Ridley College (est. 1889)
Ridley College is an acclaimed co-educational boarding and day school that prepares meaningful and flourishing lives by teaching the habits of mind, body, and spirit, and the values needed to lead in a global society. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$15,500 to $63,700||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||15500|
Oxford Tutorial College (est. 1988)
Oxford Tutorial College is a leading independent college specialising in A-level, GCSE, BTEC tuition for students grade 10 to 12, intending to go on to higher education at a good British University. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$33,255 to $39,447||Coed Boarding Day Homestay||33255|
UWC Canada (est. 1974)
The UWC National Committee of Canada and Pearson College UWC represent the United World Colleges in Canada. We are seeking daring young Canadians who aspire to make the world a better place. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$1 to $58,000||Coed Boarding||1|
This traditional private school in Ottawa, Ontario offers Grades 4 to 12 with 100 boarding and 600 day school students. Tuition is from $23,600 to $58,300. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$22,440 to $52,300||MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||22440|
Town Centre Private Schools (est. 1986)
Town Centre Montessori Private Schools offers programs from pre-school to grade 12/University Prep and is located in Markham. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$5,000 to $15,600||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||9999999999|
Léman Manhattan Preparatory School (est. 2010)
Nestled in the heart of downtown New York City, Léman Manhattan delivers academic excellence that inspires for a lifetime. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||not provided||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||9999999999|
Brockton School (est. 2004)
Brockton School is an independent, co-ed, non-denominational, IB World School. Brockton hosts an Early Learning Years program, a Junior School, and a Senior School, with students from Junior Kindergarten to grade 12. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$16,400 to $23,700||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||16400|
Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (est. 1905)
Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School is an independent, private coeducational day school for Grades K-12 close to Calgary, AB. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$18,780 to $21,660||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||18780|