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International Baccalaureate Program Credit | Policies | CSUSM

International Baccalaureate Program Credit

Definition: This policy governs the awarding of credit to students who have received diplomas from the International Baccalaureate Program.
Authority: Executive Order 1036.
Scope: The undergraduate curriculum of CSU San Marcos.
Responsible Division: Academic Affairs
Approval Date: 08/27/2010
Originally Implemented: 08/27/2010
Signature Page/PDF: View Signatures for International Baccalaureate Program Credit Policy



The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program enables students, who have reached the university level of education outside the classroom and before matriculation, to demonstrate their knowledge and to earn baccalaureate credit. 

CSU San Marcos recognizes the high scholastic quality of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.  High school students holding the IB diploma (not certificate) are eligible for admission and will receive credit for higher level subject examinations in accordance with section II of this policy.  Application of credit to a major or minor is determined through the campus articulation process in a manner similar to articulation of courses taken at another institution for the purpose of satisfying the requirements for a major or minor.

The International Baccalaureate curriculum is comprised of six subject groups:

1. Best language,

2. Second modern language,

3. Individuals and Societies,

4. Experimental Sciences,

5. Mathematics, and

6. Arts Electives.

IB Diploma Programme candidates are required to study six subjects: one subject each from groups one to five, and a sixth subject from group six or an elective.  The electives include a second subject from groups one to four, further mathematics at a standard level, computer science, and a school-based syllabus approved by the IB school. 

At least three and not more than four of the six subjects are taken at a higher level (HL), the others at a standard level (SL).  Each subject is graded on a scale of 1 point (minimum) to 7 points (maximum).

When a student receives a passing score on an IB examination, s/he

  • Receives credit toward graduation which is recorded on the student's transcript,

and, depending on the course, s/he may also

  • Satisfy certain requirements for a major or minor,
  • Satisfy prerequisite requirements for a more advanced course, and
  • Satisfy certain General Education and other general graduation requirements.

When a student passes an IB exam, s/he may not also receive graduation credit for taking a course articulated with the IB exam, or a course which is a prerequisite thereto.


CSU San Marcos awards six units of credit for each International Baccalaureate Higher Level subject examination passed with a score of 4 or better (except that three units of credit are awarded for the Psychology examination).                                           

A student may not receive graduation credit for subsequently taking a course, which is articulated with the IB credit that s/he has received, or for a course that is a prerequisite to such a course.

IB credit may not be awarded when course credit has been granted at a level more advanced than that represented by the examination.


Every IB exam will be articulated with CSUSM courses (to the extent possible) in a manner similar to articulation of courses taken at another institution for the purpose of satisfying the requirements for a major or minor.  The IB Diploma Programme Curriculum descriptions ( will form the basis of these articulation "agreements."  


The General Education Committee shall determine which General Education requirements - if any - are satisfied by sufficiently high scores on IB exams.

The General Education Committee shall determine which of the other specific graduation requirements over which it has jurisdiction (the U.S. History, Constitution and American Ideals Requirement, the Language Other Than English Requirement, the Computer Competency Requirement, and the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement) - if any - are satisfied by sufficiently high scores on IB exams.


To receive credit, applicants who plan to enroll at CSUSM, should request a copy of their IB transcript of grades be sent to the Office of Admissions for evaluation.  IB examinations not covered by the IB course articulation table will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, via petition to the Director of Registration and Records.