International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

International Baccalaureate World SchoolThe International Baccalaureate program is based on the concept that secondary education should promote the development of the lifelong skills of critical thinking, communication, and integration of the information through an in-depth study of the major areas of knowledge.

The IB Program at Mercyhurst Prep provides Lakers with a worldview education that encourages an understanding and appreciation of other cultures, languages, and points of view. This philosophy of education leads to inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. The IB program at Mercyhurst encourages students to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people with their differences can also be right.

Why IB?

The International Baccalaureate program is based on the concept that secondary education should promote the development of the lifelong skills of critical thinking, communication, and integration of the information through an in-depth study of the major areas of knowledge.

The IB Program at Mercyhurst Prep provides Lakers with a worldview education that encourages an understanding and appreciation of other cultures, languages, and points of view. This philosophy of education leads to inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. The IB program at Mercyhurst encourages students to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people with their differences can also be right.

  • Our IB students surpassed the national SAT average by almost 334 points!
  • Our International Baccalaureate students surpass the world average IB as well!
  • Mercyhurst is one of 3,290 schools in 141 countries around the globe who are part of the prestigious International Baccalaureate Organization. There are 969,000 students participating in the IB Program world-wide. The IB program is based on the concept that general education at the upper secondary level should promote the development of the lifelong skills of critical thinking, communication, and integration of the information through an in-depth study of the major areas of knowledge. Successful completion of the program earns for the student a diploma/certificate recognized for university admission and for course credit at many colleges and universities throughout the world. The IB’s greatest value, however, lies in its intrinsic worth as a challenge and a symbol of the greater achievement to which the student has aspired.
  • Quality universities are asking: “Are you an IB student or an AP student?”

Where did IB originate?

A group of talented, forward-thinking teachers at the International School of Geneva, with assistance from several international schools, created the IB Diploma Program in 1968. What started as a single program for internationally mobile students preparing for university has today grown into four programs for students aged 3 to 19. There are 3,290 schools in 141 countries offering the IB program to 969,000 students worldwide. Mercyhurst Prep is the region’s premier IB school.

Why are educators, families and MPS Lakers drawn to this program?

Families and educators respect the quality of its curriculums and assessments, challenging coursework and its successful pedagogical practices.   The IB program also offers rich opportunities, including college credits for post-secondary studies. Most importantly though, the IB program meets the need for intercultural awareness in our changing world and encourages students to become active, life-long learners. Lakers who earn an IB Diploma develop a greater understanding of and appreciate differences in people, allowing them to succeed in a global economy.

How does IB differ from AP?

IB is an international and comprehensive diploma program, rather than a national program where students may choose to enroll in a few selected courses. IB students are engaged in a philosophy of education that values more than a collection of facts and teaches students how to learn and promotes a love of learning. Educators note that IB students tend to ask more challenging questions and develop a strong sense of their own identity and culture. They also develop superb writing skills and the ability to communicate and understand people from other countries and cultures.

Compare AP vs. IB

AP IB
Canned, rote memorization Fosters critical thinking
Regurgitation of information Students write and speak with proficiency
Little thought process Students can apply concepts and creative thinking
Little retention with little connection A cerebral approach to learning
Based solely on an exam Based on classroom work and an exam
Teachers work independently Teachers work as a team across the curriculum
Focus on 1 or 2 academic disciplines Focuses on all academic disciplines and promotes a well-rounded education
Students speak more than one language
IB coursework is comparable to college-level learning
Promotes open-mined, intercultural understanding, and respect

What is the Diploma Program and what are the advantages of earning an International Baccalaureate diploma?

The IB Diploma Program is a challenging two-year curriculum that is widely recognized by the world’s leading universities. Recipients of the IB diploma earn automatic standings at some of the most selective colleges and universities. One MPS graduate who earned an IB diploma entered Harvard as a sophomore! Students are well prepared for college course work and can earn up to 30 college credits. Studies show that students from IB high schools consistently attain higher GPAs and graduation rates in colleges and universities.

What are the benefits of a Mercyhurst Prep IB Diploma?

In addition to the tangible benefits of substantial scholarships, university cr