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History of the IB Programme

History of the International Baccalaureate®

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 as a non-profit educational foundation.

A group of talented, forward-thinking teachers at the International School of Geneva, with assistance from several other international schools, created the IB Diploma Programme. What started life as a single programme for internationally mobile students preparing for university, has today grown into four programmes for students aged 3 to 19.

The programme in the early days consisted of a common pre-university curriculum and a common set of external examinations for students in schools throughout the world, seeking to provide students with a truly international education. Although the first IB schools were predominantly private international schools, they included a very small number of private national institutions and schools belonging to state education departments. This has changed over the years and today over half of all IB World Schools (authorized to offer one or more of our programmes) are state schools.

Although the first IB schools were predominantly private international schools, today over half of all IB World Schools are state schools.

Carrying forward the ideals and dreams of the IB founders, the organization exists to provide high quality education for a better world, as expressed in our mission statement.

IB programmes continue to encourage this international-mindedness in students and educators through the IB learner profile—a set of values that represent our mission and principles.


There are 830 schools in the United States that offer the Diploma Programme.


© International Baccalaureate Organization, 2005-2014
"Diploma Programme Statistical Bulletin." Diploma Programme Statistical Bulletin. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.