Recognition of International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma for admission to universities in Germany

Source: International Baccalaureate Official Website

Recognition of IB diploma for admission to universities and colleges


Agreement on the recognition of the “International Baccalaureate Diploma /Diplôme du Baccalauréat International”
(Resolution of the Conference of Ministers of Education of 10.03.1986, as amended on 17.06.2011)

1. An International Baccalaureate Diploma/Diplôme du Baccalauréat International issued in accordance with the regulations of the “International Baccalaureate Organization/Office du Baccalauréat International” shall be recognized as valid for university admission, if it has been obtained after attending at least twelve years of full-time education, and if the following requirements are met:

a) The six examination subjects taken for the “International Baccalaureate Diploma/Diplôme du Baccalauréat International” (IB) must conform to IB conditions:

two languages at A or B level (one of which at least must be a foreign language studied uninterruptedly as “Language A” 1 or “Language B HL” 2),
one natural science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Physics),
Mathematics (Mathematical Methods3 or Mathematics HL or Further Mathematics together with Mathematics HL)
One social science subject (History, Geography, Economics).
The sixth compulsory subject may be one of the above or one of the following subjects recognized by the IB:

Art/Design4, Music, Theatre Arts5, Film, Literature and Performance, another modern foreign language; Latin, Classical Greek, General Chemistry, Applied Chemistry, Environmental Systems6, Computer Science, Design Technology, Philosophy, Psychology, Social Anthropology, Business and Organization 7.
b) One of the three subjects to be taken at higher level for the “International Baccalaureate Diploma/Diplôme du Baccalauréat International”, must be Mathematics or a Natural Science subject such as Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

c) All subjects must have been taken uninterruptedly up to the end of the school career.

d) Candidates must earn a minimum IB Grade of 4 on the six compulsory subjects8.
Where an IB grade of 3 is awarded in one subject only, it is possible to compensate for this if another subject taken at the same level has been awarded at least an IB Grade 5, and an aggregate of 24 points has been attained.

e) German diploma holders, who have attended a school abroad not providing German courses, must supply proof of competence in German before being accepted for higher studies; such details are defined by the regulations in force in the relevant Federal State.

2. In the event of failure to comply with the conditions referred to in Section 1, recognition of entitlement to university entrance shall be conditional on passing an additional examination in accordance with the “Rahmenordnung für den Hochschulzugang mit ausländischen Bildungsnachweisen, für die Ausbildung an den Studienkollegs und für die Feststellungsprüfung” (Resolution of the Conference of Ministers of Education of the 15.04.1994 in its amended form).

Recognition as university entrance qualification could also be obtained by one successful university year in a country whose school-leaving certificates are recognized for direct access to German universities or after one successful university year.

3. The average grade of an “International Baccalaureate Diploma/Diplôme du Baccalauréat International” shall be calculated in the country in which the diploma is assessed. This procedure shall be based on the “Agreement on Determining the Final Grade of Foreign University Entrance Qualifications” (Resolution of the Conference of Ministers of Education of 15.03.1991 as amended) with the following specific regulations for the IB.

The average grade (N) is calculated on the basis of the total number of points (P) obtained in the “International Baccalaureate Diploma/Diplôme du Baccalauréat International”, and on the maximum number of 42 points (Pmax) and the minimum number of 24 points (Pmin). Additional points (if any) are included in the calculation. The total number of points between 42 (Pmax) and 45 points (highest possible number of points plus a maximum of 3 additional points) are equated with the German average grade of 1.0

The conversion is based on the following formula

4. The IBO will keep the Conference of Ministers of Education constantly informed of changes that may be made in the final examination (requirements, content, organization) and will provide the German Schools Supervisory Board with an opportunity of examining the work of the schools. Where consultation is required, or at the request of a Federal State, the Advisory Board of the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) will examine whether conditions for the recognition of the IB still apply.

5. This resolution shall be in effect from the date of its adoption by the Conference of Ministers of Education.

Please consult the KMK website to see the original text in German.

August 2011

1 From exam session 2013 Language A: Language and Literature or Language A: Literature
2 Valid from exam session 2013
3 New name from exam session 2006: Mathematics SL
4 New name from exam session May 2000: Visual Arts
5 New name from exam session 2009: Theatre
6 New name from exam session 2010: Environmental Systems and Societies
7 New name fr om exam session May 2000: Business and Management
8 IB failure grades:

1 = very poor/très faible,
2 = poor/faible,
3 = mediocre/médiocre
IB passing grades:
4 = satisfactory/satisfaisant,
5 = good/bon,
6 = very good/très bon,
7 = excellent/excellent

About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
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