The International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme

What the IB Programme is and what it offers

Find a list of schools

St. Jude's Academy

Looking for an IB school in the GTA? Check out St. Jude's Academy in Mississauga, Ontario.

The year that I spent at St. Jude's Academy was one of the best years that I have ever experienced. St. Jude's Academy helped me expand my thinking, recognize my strengths and interests and, lastly, become a better person.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) was first established 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. Read more


List of schools with the IB Programme

 
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Sunnybrook School


Toronto, Ontario
Merton St/Mt Pleasant
 
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"Sunnybrook School offers the IB Primary Years Program for all students in JK - Grade 6. We have a fully integrated co-ed and 1:1 iPad program for all the grades. Our inquiry approach leads to global citizens.

  1. 71 years
  2. IB PYP World School
  3. JK to Gr 6, coed
  4. 1:1 iPads, JK - Gr 6

—From the school

  • Gr. JK to 6 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $32,700
 
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Sunnybrook School 32700 Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed

Upper Canada College


Toronto, Ontario
St Clair Ave W/Avenue Rd
 
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"Located in the heart of Toronto, UCC provides transformational learning experiences in a supportive, caring environment. Our highly sought-after graduates are awarded International Baccalaureate and OSSD diplomas.

  1. High-achieving, all-round students
  2. Challenging but rewarding IB program
  3. First rate academics, athletics and arts
  4. 19 different sports and 80+ clubs

—From the school

  • Gr. SK to 12 (Boys)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $38,600 to $75,200
 
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Upper Canada College 38600 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Boys

"La Citadelle's Excellence in Bilingual Education and academically advanced curriculum develop successful global citizens through IB & AP programs and a holistic approach where students achieve their highest potential.

  1. Advanced University Bound Curriculum
  2. Bilingual Education (French & English)
  3. Development of Global Citizenship
  4. AP Program

—From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $20,700 to $26,150
 
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La Citadelle International Academy of Arts & Science 20700 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
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"Balanced Academics, Arts, Athletics & Student Wellness. We value best practices & evidence-based approaches. University preparatory & 21st Century Tech-Rich & Future Proof school. Enriched and rigorous curriculum.

  1. International Baccalaureate PYP/MYP
  2. Co-Educational & Non-Denominational
  3. STE[A]M
  4. Gifted High performance school

—From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $20,600 to $22,600
 
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Delano Academy & Delano High 20600 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Coed

The York School


Toronto, Ontario
Yonge St./St. Clair Ave.
 
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"The York School is a JK-Grade 12 Gender Inclusive IB World School in midtown Toronto. Our mission is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are engaged citizens of the world.

  1. International Baccalaureate World School (JK - Grade 12)
  2. 100% university placement rate
  3. Gender inclusive learning environment
  4. Focus on social-emotional and experiential learning

—From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $40,350
 
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The York School 40350 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
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"Confident Learners. Inspiring Leaders. Creating a thriving world.

  1. SMS is Western Canada's only girl-centred boarding school
  2. SMS was the first girls-school in Canada to integrate a STEM curriculum into daily programs
  3. Visual and performing arts options are woven into our weekly programs

—From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Girls)
  • Traditional curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $19,992 to $74,006
 
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St. Margaret's School 19992 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls

Branksome Hall


Toronto, Ontario
Bloor Street East/Mount Pleasant Road
 
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"Branksome Hall is Toronto’s only leading International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for girls in JK-Grade 12, developing the leaders of tomorrow through the nurturing of curiosity and critical thinking at every age.

  1. Picturesque 13-acre urban campus
  2. Athletics and Wellness Centre that prioritizes healthy food and living
  3. IB programs: JK to Grade 12
  4. Leadership opportunities for all grades and students

—From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Girls)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $38,990 to $78,600
 
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Branksome Hall 38990 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls

St. John's-Kilmarnock School


Waterloo Region (Breslau), Ontario
 
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"SJK offers an enriched environment of exploration and experiential learning. Through its IB curriculum, SJK provides exciting experiences and guides students to discover their talents and passions. Go beyond at SJK.

  1. Accredited IB World Continuum School
  2. Experienced, passionate, professional teachers
  3. Project-based, design-thinking experiential learning
  4. Extensive co-curricular programs in athletics, arts, leadership and community service

—From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $20,490 to $75,840
 
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St. John's-Kilmarnock School 20490 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed
Mississauga, Ontario
Erin Mills Parkway/Argentia Rd
 
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"We are different! As a leading IB World School and university preparatory school with a focus on student life, SJA students are inspired to confidently make their mark in the world." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $10,449 to $14,899
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St. Jude's Academy 10449 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
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"TFS - Canada's International School offers an exceptional bilingual education from age 2 to Grade 12. Average class size is 12 to 22 students. Entrance Scholarship to Grade 7 is available." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $23,070 to $39,020
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TFS - Canada's International School 23070 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Bayview/Hwy 407
 
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"TMS is a leading, accredited independent school that offers a unique design of Montessori and International Baccalaureate programmes. Our students thrive in academics while building a foundation of Significance for life." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $20,850 to $36,770
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TMS 20850 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Ottawa, Ontario
Buena Vista Road/Springfield Road
 
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"Elmwood School is Ottawa's pre-eminent school for girls from PreK to Gr. 12. Our high academic standards, small class sizes and safe, supportive environment ensure that each girl is inspired to reach her full potential." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Girls)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $16,970 to $32,800
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Elmwood School 16970 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
Burlington, Ontario
Walkers Line/Fairveiw Street
 
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"Ashwood Glen offers a Montessori program for children aged 18months - 6 yrs. The Grades 1 - 8 Learning Program applies the IB framework to extend the learning outcomes of the Ontario curriculum." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $14,000 to $20,000
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Ashwood Glen 14000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
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"Lynn-Rose's philosophy is to create an environment that is challenging and rewarding; focusing on social, intellectual and emotional aspects of the students development through IB and AP programme offerings." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $17,700 to $22,000
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Lynn-Rose School 17700 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Langside St./Westminster Ave.
 
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"Parents trust us to personalize the educational experience of each girl, to care for each girl, to challenge her to grow, to build a supportive community around her, and, most importantly, to prepare her for the future." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Girls)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $17,850 to $74,650
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Balmoral Hall School 17850 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
Delta, British Columbia
56th/19 Ave
 
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"Southpointe Academy is the only secular International Baccalaureate (IB) Continuum World School south of the Fraser River authorized to deliver the entire range of IB programs from K-12." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $21,600 to $42,825
  • Day school
  • 663 students
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Southpointe Academy 21600 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
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"GNS is an independent JK-12 International Baccalaureate boarding and day school in Victoria, BC, that empowers and supports each of our students to do their best through truth and courage in learning and in life." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $9,345 to $73,145
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Glenlyon Norfolk School 9345 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Homestay Coed
North Vancouver, British Columbia
Harbourside Drive/
 
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"Bodwell High School emphasizes a well-rounded education with strong student support. The school's motto, "Strength in Diversity," pays homage to the 40+ countries students come from. Bodwell offers AP and IB courses." —From the school

  • Gr. 8 to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $26,000 to $29,000
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Bodwell High School 26000 HighSchools Day Homestay Boarding Coed
Victoria, British Columbia
 
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"Brookes Westshore, an IB World School on beautiful Vancouver Island, BC, offers grades 4 to 12 and both day and boarding programmes, with an average class size of 15 students." —From the school

  • Gr. 4 to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $10,290 to $62,000
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Brookes Westshore 10290 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Yonge Street/Silverwood Ave.
 
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"Century Private School in Richmond Hill runs from preschool to grade twelve, with small class ratio to ensure best learning for our students." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $18,500 to $28,500
  • Day school
  • 0 students
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Century Private School 18500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
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"Calgary French & International School's immersive French language learning environment and enriched curriculum for children aged 19 to grade 12 inspires a deep curiosity, respect and exploration of the world around them." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $9,200 to $18,570
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Calgary French & International School 9200 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Ottawa, Ontario
Highway 417/Greenbank
 
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"Acadecap International School (Académie de la Capitale), an IB World School, offers bilingual and/or English programmes from JK to Grade 12. Students thrive in a growth mindset environment and a culture of excellence." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $20,983 to $26,978
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Académie de la Capitale 20983 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Richmond Hill, Ontario
 
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"Richland Academy is a progressive, innovative Reggio-inspired and International Baccalaureate (IB) PYP Authorized and MYP Candidate School for children from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $22,000
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Richland Academy 22000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Markham, Ontario
Kennedy Road/Steeles Avenue
 
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"Located in Markham, Ontario, Town Centre Private Schools is an International Baccalaureate® Continuum School offering a Montessori Pre-School program as well as an IB Elementary School and optional IB Diploma Programme." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $3,690 to $18,950
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Town Centre Private Schools 3690 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Vancouver, British Columbia
 
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"Stratford Hall takes learning beyond IB with its IDEA Lab, OEE and partner schools, where students strive to develop harmony between the urban and natural world through activities like camping, music, and orienteering." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $26,750 to $31,250
  • Day school
  • 545 students
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Stratford Hall 26750 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
North Vancouver, British Columbia
 
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"Brockton is a coeducational IB World School where every student matters, every family matters, community matters, and learning for life matters." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $27,200 to $30,600
  • Day school
  • 345 students
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Brockton School 27200 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Windsor, Nova Scotia
College Rd/King St
 
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"Benefitting from its safe and beautiful Nova Scotia location, King's-Edgehill facilitates the opportunity for every student to Be More – in the classroom, on the sports fields, on stage, in the community and beyond." —From the school

  • Gr. 6 to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $22,400 to $69,000
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King's-Edgehill School 22400 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed
Maple Ridge, British Columbia
240th Street/Dewdney Trunk Road
 
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"Our practices in teaching and learning are exemplified by our outstanding academic results and are achieved through the active engagement of the head, heart, and hands." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $28,400 to $38,400
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Meadowridge School 28400 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Amaranth, Ontario
 
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"The Maples is an established private IB World School in Orangeville, Ontario providing exemplary education for students (Pre-School to Grade 8). Daily French instruction in PS and Kindergarten with an academic focus." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $10,093 to $11,980
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The Maples Academy 10093 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Rothesay, New Brunswick
Rothesay Rd/College Hill Rd
 
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"Our unique, daily Advisor Program ensures every student is surrounded by a strong network of highly qualified, dedicated faculty and staff whose mission is to provide academic, emotional, and social guidance and support." —From the school

  • Gr. 6 to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $25,130 to $70,830
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Rothesay Netherwood School 25130 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Coed
St. Catharines, Ontario
Ridley Road/Henrietta Street
 
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"Ridley College is an acclaimed co-educational IB 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." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $29,455 to $82,975
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Ridley College 29455 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Coed
West Vancouver- Bowen Island, British Columbia
 
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"Our four year program is developed to equip and inspire students to cultivate their humanity. We are distinctly different: a small (IB) middle school that fosters intellectual engagement, citizenship and leadership." —From the school

  • Gr. 6 to 9 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $20,925
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Island Pacific School 20925 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Okotoks, Alberta
Range Road 12/306 Ave W
 
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"Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School is an independent, private coeducational, continuum IB (primary, middle, and diploma programme) day school for Kindergarten - Grade 12, located just outside of Calgary, AB." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $20,508 to $26,170
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Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School 20508 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Riverview, New Brunswick
 
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"Focusing on balancing academic and intellectual growth with physical and mental well-being, we engage students in a culture of collaboration and wellness through our world-class academic program." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $15,900
  • Day school
  • 33 students
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Eastgate Academy 15900 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Markham, Ontario
 
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"Markham, Ontario; IB School; OSSD; OSSD online credit course; NOIC ACADEMY’s annual university enrolment rate is 100% and more than 85% of graduates are admitted by University of Toronto." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $5,000 to $18,000 /semester
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NOIC Academy 5000 HighSchools Boarding Day Coed
Oakville, Ontario
QEW Highway/403 Highway
 
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"Walden International School is the only private school in Halton region that is authorized to deliver the IB PYP and MYP programmes. Walden is committed to Making Good People. And, from goodness arises greatness." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $20,000 to $23,000
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Walden International School 20000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Ottawa, Ontario
Mariposa Avenue/Springfield
 
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"This traditional private school in Ottawa, Ontario offers Grades 4 to 12 with 100 boarding and 600 day school students. Tuition is from $33,720 to $76,830." —From the school

  • Gr. 4 to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $33,720 to $76,380
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Ashbury College 33720 MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Boarding Day Coed
Summerland, British Columbia
 
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"Looking for an education that's out of the ordinary? Unisus School is a Pre - K to Grade 12 day and boarding school in Canada's Okanagan, offering the International Baccalaureate program + the B.C. Diploma (Dogwood)." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $12,945 to $56,500
  • Day, Boarding
  • 130 students
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Unisus School 12945 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Coed
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Upper Levels Highway/Cypress Bowl exit
 
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"By inspiring excellence – the continuous pursuit of personal best - in education and life, Mulgrave strives to equip lifelong learners to thrive in a diverse and interdependent world." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $26,850 to $30,290
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Mulgrave School 26850 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Montreal, Quebec
Av de Monkland/Boul Cavendish
 
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"Lower Canada College is a gender-inclusive, K-12 university preparatory school, committed to excellence in teaching and learning. It is the only high school in Quebec offering both the IB MYP and DP." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $25,365 to $27,660
  • Day school
  • 890 students
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Lower Canada College 25365 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
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"GIST is the only full-time German school in Toronto offering high-quality education that empowers students to excel as global citizens. Our Character framework strengthens and promotes the best in every student." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 11 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $12,300 to $22,300
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German International School Toronto 12300 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
St. Catharines, Ontario
Edinburgh Dr/Scott Street
 
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"We provide students with opportunities to explore real-world concepts and issues, broadening their sense of responsibility, develop their critical thinking skills, and empower them to take action in a global community." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $7,300 to $15,200
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Wheatley School 7300 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Mississauga, Ontario
Cawthra/Lakeshore
 
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"TFS - Canada's International School (West Campus) offers the Ontario, France and IB programs from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 7 in Mississauga. We are bilingual, coed, non-denominational and and IB World School." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 7 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $21,620 to $31,390
  • Day school
  • 200 students
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TFS - Canada's International School (West Campus) 21620 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Sherbrooke, Quebec
 
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"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 an IB World School offering the IB Diploma Programme and Canadian curricula." —From the school

  • Gr. 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $31,500 to $87,600
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Bishop's College School 31500 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Coed
London, Ontario
Richmond Street/King Street
 
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"A Canadian Private Secondary Boarding school, located in the heart of London, Ontario. LIA is authorized to grant the Ontario Secondary School and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed/Girls)
  • Traditional curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $16,000 to $32,000
  • Boarding
  • 345 students
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London International Academy 16000 HighSchools Boarding Boarding Coed Girls
Regina, Saskatchewan
 
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"Luther College prepares students to be compassionate, creative, and critical thinkers who go on to create a more grace-filled, just, and joyful world. Luther College is the only IB World School in southern Saskatchewan." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $9,960 to $42,910
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Luther College High School 9960 HighSchools Day Boarding Coed
Oakville, Ontario
Trafalgar Road/Cornwall Road
 
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"MacLachlan College’s Lower School offers world-class education tailored for Pre-K to Grade 6. Our co-ed IB PYP fosters vibrant, international-minded learning in small classes, laying the foundation for academic success." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 6 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $23,043 to $29,395
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MacLachlan College – Lower School Campus 23043 Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
Rome, Italy
Ponte Sublicio/Lungotevere Aventino
 
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"An IB World School located in the heart of Rome. A connected community driven by our 5 core values of Scholarship, Integrity, Creativity, Independence, and Care; culturally inspiring students since 1964." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • EUR €28,960 to EUR €49,413
  • Day, Boarding
  • 308 students
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St. Stephen's School, Rome 28960 HighSchools Boarding Day Coed

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.

In the decades since it began, the IB Programme has been expanded to include the primary and middle school grades, as well as a career program for students in the senior grades. All are intended to provide a unique, international take on core studies, while also providing a foundation for secondary and post-secondary instruction. As such, the curriculum is managed and administered to provide a well-rounded, high quality, advanced course of study that delivers the core material while challenging students to apply their knowledge and skills through collaboration, discussion, and communication.

On this page, find a list of the best IB schools in Canada (this includes IB boarding schools and IBDP private schools).

IB accreditation

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 programme 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 programmes is known as an IB World School. Any school that is engaged in the process of accreditation is known as an IB Candidate School. 

Find boarding schools offering the IB diploma programme


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. 

Development of the International Baccalaureate programmes

The International Baccalaureate was founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1968, where it remains headquartered today, with additional offices in the UK and the Netherlands. The intention was 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."

“ … an internationally acceptable university admissions qualification … ”
 

At the outset, the IB Diploma Programme 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. 

Since, the IB curriculum has been expanded with the creation the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP). The PYP was created for students between the ages of 3 and 12, and the MYP for students 11 to 16. The Career-Related Programme (CP) was added in 2012, and uses the framework and values of the IB diploma programme to address the needs of students ages 16-19 in a career-related course of study. To complete the CP students take a minimum of two IB Diploma Programme (DP) courses, a core program consisting of four components, including a career-related study, and sit standardized exams.

Schools that offer IB programmes for all age groups, beginning with the primary years and culminating in the secondary diploma, refer to themselves as IB Continuum Schools. Schools typically develop the IB continuum over time, adding programs as the school grows, and in response to the needs of the student population. 

Find IB continuum schools


At all levels, the curriculum is organized around six interdisciplinary themes, all developing students' understanding of who they are, their place and time, and how their life intersects with the lives of others, both locally and beyond. The core curriculum—language, math, science, physical education, arts, and social studies—is taught through the lens of those cross-curricular themes.

Find schools offering the IB Primary Years Programme
Find schools offering the IB Middle Years Programme

“ … suitable for the growing mobile population of young people …”

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. 

“ … part of the world of diplomacy, international and multinational organizations.”
 

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 Programme (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. 

Benefits of the IB Programme

The reasons that families and students choose the IB Programme are varied, and include:

 

University recognition of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)

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.

Questions to ask IB Schools

Child-specific advice on choosing an IB school 
Read our child-specific insights on choosing the right school, including IB schools. We explore how choosing the right type of school crucially depends on kids' unique traits, such as their mental and academic focussocial tendencies,  and activity level.

To get school-choice advice customized to your child's unique traitscreate a child profile through an Our Kids user account.

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