Irregular Diploma Q&A

Irregular IB Diploma Q&A

What is an irregular diploma? How hard is it?
Would having an irregular diploma look bad?

What is an irregular diploma?
A student will obtain an irregular diploma if he chooses to study three subjects from the same subject group and none from two groups: arts and another group of his choice.

Choosing two subjects from the same subject group and none from arts is still a regular diploma and will have no complications associated with the irregular diploma.

When will I need an irregular diploma?
A student may need to or choose to pursue an irregular diploma if the university course he wishes to apply to requires three subjects that belong to the same IB subject group. This usually occurs with medical schools in some countries such as Sweden and India which require students to take all three science subjects in order to apply.

Do I automatically get an irregular diploma by simply choosing three subjects?
To have a valid irregular diploma, the student must show proof of why their subject choices are necessary for their further education. The IBO may then grant special permission for the student to continue with three subjects from the same subject group.

Can I apply for an irregular diploma if I have a strong interest in a subject group?
A student may apply for an irregular diploma, but the IBO may choose to not grant special permission for it if they consider an irregular diploma is not necessary for the student’s further education.

How hard is the irregular diploma?
The difficulty of the irregular diploma highly depends on the student’s subject choices and higher level choices, as well as how confident he feels in them and how much he enjoys his subjects. Having an irregular diploma does not necessarily mean it will be more difficult than regular diplomas, nor does choosing three science subjects.

Would having an irregular diploma look bad on admissions?
University admissions may prefer an irregular diploma if the student has taken subjects which will be useful or are necessary for his enrolment in the particular university course. Similarly, universities may be unsatisfied with a student’s irregular diploma if it lacks subjects which the university considers important for the particular course, or if they consider the subject choices to be imbalanced. Simply having an irregular diploma will not necessarily benefit or hinder a student’s application.