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Global research findings on the Diploma Programme

A series of global studies examining the IB Diploma Programme (DP) has found that the DP has the potential to powerfully shape the lives of students who participate. Scroll down to see the results or download the full infographic to share.

Skills for success developed during the DP

University admissions officers compared how well A Levels and DP students in the UK develop the following qualities:

Encouraging independent inquiry

The DP 94%
A Levels 49%

Nurturing an open mind

The DP 93%
A Levels 24%

Developing self-management skills

The DP 91%
A Levels 47%

Encouraging a global outlook

The DP 97%
A Levels 7%

University performance of DP students in Turkey

Compared to non-IB students, DP graduates in Turkey had higher subject grades, overall grade point averages (GPA) and graduation rates

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Perceived capacity for 21st century skills

Compared to non-DP peers, DP graduates at universities in Australia and East Asia reported higher capacities for 21st century skills.


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East Asia

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Diploma scores of former Middle Years Programme (MYP) students in Asia

A study exploring the high school outcomes of former MYP and non-MYP students in Asia-Pacific found that former MYP students performed significantly better than non-MYP students in total DP points earned.

MYP students
Final diploma score


Non-MYP students
Final diploma score



In the USA, MYP enrollment significantly increased the likelihood of earning a college-ready score* on a college prep exam by 39%.

*A 3 or higher on AP exams or a 4 or higher on a DP exam


72% of the DP graduates in China attended one of the world’s top 500 universities


72% of the DP graduates in China attended one of the world’s top 500 universities


72% of the DP graduates in China attended one of the world’s top 500 universities


University enrollment and graduation

DP students in the USA have higher rates of university enrollment and graduation at four-year institutions compared to the national average.

DP cohort 95%
National cohort 60%
DP cohort 79%
National cohort 39%

Outcomes at university

In the UK, DP students outperform their A Level peers in terms of enrolling in top universities and achieving first or second-class honors.

Enrollment in a top 20 university

DP students 45.7%
A Level students 32.9%

Achieving at least a second-class honors degree

DP students 84.8%
A Level students 80.4%

Achieving a first-class honors degree

DP students 22.9%
A Level 19.4%

University enrollment for DP students in Mexico

Of the 89 DP students who enrolled in ranked universities in Mexico, 73 enrolled in a top 5 programme.

University success for students in Chicago, USA

DP graduates in Chicago public schools were significantly more likely to enroll in college, to enroll in selective colleges, to stay enrolled and to perform better than similar non-DP graduates.

Attending a four-year college

DP graduates 77.2%
Non-DP graduates 53.3%

Attending a more selective college

DP graduates 57%
Non-DP graduates 38.1%

Persisting in a four-year college for two years

DP graduates 80.3%
Non-DP graduates 71%

The infographic can be viewed and downloaded from the Digital Toolkit as a single image (PNG), or as an A4 or Letter size PDF.

Research plays a central role in the development, quality assurance and assessment of IB programme outcomes. All studies referenced here can be found at Have questions? Contact us at