What is the difference between the European Baccalaureate and the International Baccalaureate?

Is one more desirable than the other? Is one more difficult than the other, and worth more? Will one open more doors?

The European Baccalaureate (EB) is a diploma awarded to students who have successfully completed their secondary education in a European School or other accredited European institutions that offer the EB programme. These schools follow the curriculum and guidelines set by the European Schools system and are authorised to administer the EB examinations. The International Baccalaureate (IB), on the other hand, is an international diploma that is awarded to students who complete the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. This programme is offered by schools worldwide that are authorised by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO).

While both the EB and the IB provide challenging and comprehensive educational programmes, they vary in their focus, scope, structure and recognition. Deciding between them can depend on factors such as educational objectives, language proficiency, preferred universities and geographic location. Both diplomas offer excellent preparation for higher education and beyond, each with its unique strengths and areas of focus.

 European Baccalaureate

 International Baccalaureate

Based on the educational philosophy of the European Schools (ES) which emphasises multilingualism, multiculturalism, and European values.

The mission is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who are motivated to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

  • 2-year diploma programme
  • Offered in Europe
  • Available in ES and ES-accredited schools


  • 2-year diploma programme
  • Offered worldwide
  • Available in IB-accredited schools



  • Multilingual and multicultural
  • Students study in their native language and take exams in 2 additional languages
  • The curriculum includes a range of subjects, with an emphasis on languages, sciences, human sciences and mathematics


  • Holistic and well-rounded
  • Six subject groups including languages, mathematics, experimental sciences, individuals and societies, the arts, and electives
  • Students take a combination of standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) courses


3 components:

  1. Compulsory core subjects
  2. Elective focus subjects (science, extra language, human science, art or music)
  3. Complementary subjects (wide range)


4 components:

  1. 6 subjects
  2. Theory of Knowledge
  3. Creativity, activity and service
  4. Extended essay


Compulsory core curriculum:

  • 2 language subjects (1st and 2nd language)
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • History and Geography (taught in 2nd language)
  • Philosophy
  • Physical Education
  • Ethics or Religion


6 subjects from the following subject groups:


  • Studies in language and literature
  • Language acquisition
  • Individuals and societies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • The arts


  • Continuous assessment by teachers
  • School exams
  • Standardised final exam


  • Internal assessments by teachers
  • Standardised final exam

International recognition

  • Internationally recognised
  • Same right as EU nationals with equivalent qualifications to seek admission to any university or institution of tertiary education in the European Union     

 Internationally recognised