CPRE : Consortium for Policy Research in Education

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Meeting Paper

A Longitudinal Analysis of Student and School Diversity in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program in the U.S.

This paper was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in New Orleans on April 9, 2011.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is a rigorous academic curriculum for 11th and 12th grade students that is used by schools in 128 countries. It was originally developed by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) in 1968 to meet the needs of international schools and students. In the past two decades, the IB Diploma Program has become increasingly recognized in the United States and elsewhere as perhaps the most rigorous upper-division high school program for preparing academically motivated students for success in college.  

During the 2008-09 school year, more than 50,000 students in the United States participated in the IB Diploma Program. Currently 719 U.S. schools offer the Diploma Program; 89% of these are public high schools. Over the past decade, the IB program has experienced rapid growth. This growth is expected to continue as a result of the positive reputation of the program and recent increases in federal funding available to support IB programs. 

  1. How have the characteristics of schools offering the IB Diploma Program changed from 1995-2009?  Has the program become increasingly available to schools serving groups that are historically underrepresented in higher education (e.g., students from low-income families, students from racial/ethnic minority groups)?
  2. How have the characteristics of students who enroll in the IB Diploma Program changed from 1995-2009? Is the program recruiting greater proportions of minority and economically disadvantaged students?




Publication Date

April 2011