IB diploma curriculum and entry requirements to top universities

The IB Diploma curriculum is one of the most well-established curricula in the world now. Many top universities have also recognized the IB diploma as a certification. Additionally, there have been many praises about the curriculum being well-rounded and purposeful. Hence, this article will explore the IB DP curriculum and IB diploma requirements needed for your dream university. 


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What is the IB diploma? 

The IB Diploma Program was established in 1968 and it was the first program offered by the IB and is taught to students aged 16-19. The aim of the Diploma Program was to provide students with a well-balanced education, where it facilitates geographic and cultural diversity to promote an overall international understanding. 

IB Diploma Curriculum 

The IB diploma curriculum is made up of a DP core and six subject groups. There are three required components in the IB diploma program and they are: 

  • Theory of Knowledge 
  • The extended essay 
  • Creativity, activity, and service.


The six subject groups are: 

  • Studies in language and literature
  • Language acquisition 
  • Individuals and societies 
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics 
  • The arts  

Standard and Higher Level 

Students will take some subjects at a Higher Level (HL) and some at a Standard Level (SL). HL and SL courses mainly differ in the scope of the content but the overall assessment is still the same. At a higher skill level, students will be expected to demonstrate a greater understanding and knowledge of skills. 


Students are required to take at least three, but not more than four subjects at Higher Level. The remaining subjects will be taken at Standard Level. 


Standard level subjects will take up 150 teaching hours whereas higher level subjects will take 240 teaching hours to complete. Students can read more about the IB subject briefs here


IB diploma requirements798

IB diploma entry requirements 

Students should keep in mind their course of study and university of choice when choosing the subjects in the IB DP curriculum. Entering college will mean studying a lot of subjects at a higher level than you did in high school. Hence, choosing your subjects wisely will help you to ease into your college easier. Here are some considerations to take and how these considerations will affect your chances of getting into your dream college. 

Students should look out for these three considerations: 

1 – Required subjects 

For different degree courses, universities will expect students to possess or have achieved a minimum grade in specific subjects. For example, if you are planning to apply for a language course at your university, you should check with the university about the language requirements they need. There are considerations like the level of the subject you need to study to enter the university and that course. These required subjects are needed as they serve as a foundation for what you will be studying in your course. 


2 – Preferred subjects 

There are also preferred subjects that the university entry requirement may state, however they are not required for entry but may give preference to your application for those who do not have that subject. These preferred subjects are what make your application stand out to the universities. This is similar to applying for a job that states a “good to have” qualification/ experience. Though it is not a requirement, it evokes a type of confirmation for the employer or university that you have some level of skill to take and enroll in the course. 


3 – Recommended subjects 

Recommended subjects are those that the university entry requirements state, it is also not required for entry but can provide a good foundation for the courses you are choosing in university. These subjects are great for those who are really sure about the course they will pick in university. The reason is, these recommended subjects serve as a fundamental to the course and they can certainly help students to pick up the pace when they are enrolled in the university. Having a strong foundation in the courses you want to study in university can help you to ease into the course easier and have more time to spend on your weaker areas. Though it is not a requirement, taking a subject that aligns with your course can bring you more pros than cons. 


Read also: 9 Reasons Why the IB Diploma is Ideal Preparation for University? 


Tutopiya is an online tuition platform that provides quality online education for students all over the world. We offer tuition services for the IB DP curriculum to help students reach their college goals. We have experienced and trained IB DP tutors who can deliver quality online tuition to students. Furthermore, Tutopiya focuses on building a strong foundation and fundamentals, and having a solid foundation is crucial for your success in university. All new students have a chance at a free trial session with our tutors, reach out to our experts today in the chatbox! 

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