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IB Program

The International Baccalaureate Program is an academically rigorous, accelerated program that is attractive to a student who is highly motivated and highly capable.

The International Baccalaureate Organization (that has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland) administers it. The program is based on a syllabus designed by a group of scholars drawn from across the world.

Aims of the Program

The aims of the International Baccalaureate Program are to:

  • equip students with the means to make wise choices in dealing with the modern world,
  • ensure that students learn how to learn so they can respond appropriately to constant change,
  • ensure that the students' education is sufficiently broad to enhance the awareness of the brotherhood of mankind and social responsibility,
  • ensure the acquisition of specific skills necessary for further education and employment in a competitive world,
  • allow enough flexibility within the program to meet individual student needs and the requirements of provincial education authorities, and to create an awareness and understanding of the importance of international communication in an increasingly interdependent world.

Structure of the Program

To achieve its aims the International Baccalaureate Program requires students to undertake six areas of study in their final two years of secondary education.The six areas are:

Language A -- an in-depth study of the student's principal language with a companion study of world literature.

Language B -- a study in a second language; its structure, use, and literature. The second language offered at Old Scona is French.

Individuals and Society -- several areas of the humanities and social sciences are possible (e.g. history, political science, economics), however Social Studies and World History are offered at Old Scona.

Experimental Sciences -- a study of one of the principal areas of the scientific disciplines.

Mathematics and Computer Science -- designed to develop the student's knowledge and facility with basic mathematical studies.

An Option -- a variety of courses may qualify. At Old Scona Academic the second science course can be this sixth area of study or it can be a course in the Arts.

Appeal of the International Baccalaureate Program

The program appeals to students for several reasons:

  • the attainment of an international diploma recognized by numerous universities throughout the world,
  • the enrichment provided in the subject disciplines,
  • the development of university related skills, and
  • the emphasis on the international and comprehensive aspects of education.

The International Baccalaureate Student

The student should not only possess excellent academic abilities, but should demonstrate self-discipline, motivation, and a high degree of responsibility.

The International Baccalaureate at Old Scona Academic

Because of the demanding nature of the International Baccalaureate Program, there is special preparation provided to students in the grade 10 year. This is to enable students to complete both the requirements for an Alberta High School Diploma and the International Baccalaureate Diploma in their three years at Old Scona.

The grade ten year gives the student an insight into the International Baccalaureate approach, difficulty of the courses, and the student's own ability. In the spring of their grade ten year, students with advice from parents and teachers, decide to register for:

  • a full International Baccalaureate program
  • a partial International Baccalaureate program

International Baccalaureate Evaluation

Students registered in International Baccalaureate courses write external examinations. These are prepared and scored by the International Baccalaureate Organization. Students write these examinations in May of their grade 12 year. Their results are available in early July. Transcripts can be issued by IB for up to three universities (one may be in the U.S. ) Each examination is scored on a 1 to 7 scale (1 - very poor, 4 - satisfactory, 7 - excellent).

These examinations are very demanding. Students are expected to write extensive essay answers or work through extensive problems. These examinations far exceed the expectations usually associated with high school programs.

The U of A grade conversion scale used to determine admission is as follows:

IB GradeAlberta Education Equivalent
7 97%
6 84%
5 77%
4 65%
3 55%
2 45%
1 <45%

Students who have questions about the International Baccalaureate Program should see Mrs. Mah, the I.B. Coordinator.

International Baccalaureate at the University of Alberta

The University of Alberta values the academic challenges that International Baccalaureate (IB) students undertake. IB students are recognized at the U of A in a number of ways, from transfer credit and advanced standing in courses, to special scholarships. Students enrolled in the IB courses have access to any of our IB Advisors in the Office of the Registrar and Students Awards, Liaison and Recruitment Division. To contact our advisors, email us at IB@registrar.ualberta.ca (for IB students).

IB Scholarships

The U of A is pleased to offer scholarships to the top 50 IB Diploma scholars who are admitted and attend the U of A each September. To be considered for the IB scholarship competition, submit your IB transcript to the Office of the Registrar and Student Awards by August 1. No application form is required.

Assessing Your Grades for Admission

When calculating your average for admission, the U of A will use the higher of either your high school or IB grades. The U of A will require your official IB transcripts by the document deadline to make you an offer of final admission. Check www.registrar.ualberta.ca regarding document deadlines.

For a list of IB courses approved for advanced placement, refer to the following chart. ( ** indicates courses offered at Old Scona Academic)

IB Courses Approved for Advanced Placement at U of A

Biology (higher level) **
BIOL 107 (*3)

Chemistry (higher level)
Chemistry (standard level) **
CHEM 101 (*3) or
CHEM 103 (*3)
Students may apply to write a credit by special assessment examination in CHEM 101 (*3) or CHEM 103 (*3)

Computer Science (higher level or standard level **)
CMPUT 101 (*3)

English (higher level) **
ENGL 101 (*6)
Faculty of Engineering only: ENGL 199(*3) and complementary studies elective

French A or B (higher level)
French A or B (standard level) **
100-level FREN (*3) and FREN 211 (*3) (not to take FREN 111 or 112)
100-level FREN (*6) (not to take FREN 111 or 112)

German A or B (higher level)
German A or B (standard level)
100-level GERM (*3) and GERM 211 (*3) (not to take GERM 111 or 112)
100-level GERM (*6) (not to take GERM 111 or 112)

Greek (higher level)
GREEK 101 (*3) and
GREEK 102 (*3)

History (higher level)**
HIST 120 (*6)

Italian A (higher or standard)
Advanced Placement

Japanese AB
Japanese B (higher or standard level)
Students may apply to write a credit by special assessment in JAPAN 101 (*3) or JAPAN 102 (*3) or both (*6)
Advanced Placement


Latin (higher or standard level)
LATIN 101 (*3) and
LATIN 102 (*3)

Mathematics (higher level)
Mathematics (standard level) **
Students may apply to write a credit by special assessment examination in MATH 100/101 (*6) or MATH 114/115 (*6).
Students may apply to write a credit by special assessment examination in MATH 100 (*3) or MATH 114 (*3).

Music (higher level)
Advanced Placement

Social Anthropology (higher level)
Advanced Placement (Social Anthropology area only)

Spanish A (higher or standard level)
Advanced Placement

Students who are granted the IB Diploma, and obtain a combined score of zero or better on the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge. **
100-level Open Elective (*3)

Note: Students entering the Faculty of Arts who are given advanced placement are admitted to a senior course after determination of their background qualifications for that course (interview, placement test, etc.). They may also challenge a junior or senior course for credit via the Credit by Special Assessment if they have appropriate qualifications and are eligible within the regulations.

*This number refers to how many credits would be earned .

Advanced Standing

You can receive advanced standing for some IB courses in one of two ways?credit or advanced placement. Credit means you are exempted from a program requirement and the length of your overall program is shortened. With advanced placement, you are exempted from the introductory course and may take a senior course instead; however, the length of your program does not change. Advanced placement or credit for an IB course is automatically assessed and is not optional.

Advanced Placement

Advanced placement and/or credit is given for some IB courses with grades of 6 or 7. If you are writing IB exams, you must arrange for your official transcripts to be sent to the U of A so that courses can be evaluated. To request your IB transcripts, contact the IBO Office at 1 (212) 696 4464. Grade Reports can be requested by calling 1 (609) 771 7300.

Credit by Special Assessment

To be considered for Credit by Special Assessment for IB Math, Chemistry (standard) you need to write a U of A exam and your exam grade becomes part of your official U of A record. The exam is free. If you are interested in this option, contact Examinations and Timetabling at (780) 492 5221 to make arrangements for the exam before September.