International Educational Systems Guidelines


Saint Mary’s welcomes those applicants who have an International Baccalaureate Diploma and many applicants are granted degree credit upon being accepted. 

Successful applicants for admission typically have scores 4 in each of the six IB subject areas, with successful applicants typically having aggregate scores of 30 or higher. In general, students with "higher level" courses and examinations have been deemed to be eligible for course credit and advanced standing with scores of 5, 6, or 7. "Subsidiary/standard" courses will not ordinarily be recognized for credit.

IB Diploma recipients applying for admission to Saint Mary’s should complete at least three higher level subjects out of the six total. Saint Mary’s does not require the extended essay score; however, should applicants complete this portion of the IB curriculum those points will be added to their aggregate scores. Initial admissions decisions will be based upon interim grades reported by the secondary school. Accepted applicants are required to submit final copies of their IB result to confirm completion of the program. It is important to provide all secondary school documents as admission decisions may be conjunction with partial IB credit, along with graduation granted from other coursework competed.

British Educational System

Saint Mary’s enrolls many graduates from educational systems patterned on the British system of qualifications.

Applicants from systems with comprehensive national exams based upon the 5th form British qualifications (such as the O-Levels, HKCEE, IGCSE, or GCSE certificates) must have completed examinations in at least six subject areas, including at least one science, language, mathematics, and social science or humanities.

Students may also be admitted with a combination of 5th and 6th form qualifications (such as A-Levels, HKALE, or AICE) or three at the 6th form level. For each advanced level exam completed, an applicant needs two fewer ordinary level results (for example, submission of four O-level results with one A- results from range of subjects meets the requirements for freshmen level consideration.) 

Applicants having completed three Advanced level exams are not required to present additional scores as Saint Mary’s regards this as equivalent to completion one year of American university level studies. Such applicants are granted one year of advanced standing credit toward a Saint Mary’s degree. Saint Mary’s does not provide credit for Advanced Supplemental exams; they may, however, fulfill subject tests required for initial entry.

Official certificates are required for all examination results and must be sent directly from the testing board (Cambridge, Edexcel, OCR, etc). Students with an aggregate passing marks of “C” or higher on an “A-E” scale are considered competitive candidates for admission. However, results will be considered individually as there are many independent testing boards and systems around the world, each with its own testing components.

Saudi Arabian Educational System

Saint Mary’s College of California is a recognized university by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education government scholarship program. Freshman applicants from the Saudi educational system must submit their final certificate results: either the official original, or those that have been copied and certified by the Ministry of Education or Cultural Mission. Applicants must have a core subject distribution that includes mathematics, language, social science and applied science. Both the scores in each core subject and the applicant’s accumulative average must be above 75 for the application to be considered a competitive candidate for admission (typically, admitted students from the Saudi Arabian educational system have higher aggregate scores.) 

Once transcripts and certificates have been received by Saint Mary’s, we are unable to return them. Therefore, we recommend submission of certified copies of secondary certificates rather than originals. Sealed official transcripts are required from all post secondary institutions (colleges, universities, training schools) that the applicant has attended.

The Indian Educational System

Freshman applicants from the Indian educational system must complete either the Indian School Certificate (All India, senior school, etc) or the Higher Secondary Certificate. It is understood there is some variation in which exam students may take regionally, but all must be year or standard XII. Students must earn at least 50 percent or Second Class/Division and Good standing on examinations whose marks are based upon a 100 scale.

Those who complete Central Board examinations with a B2 overall average or higher are competitive candidates for admission. Students completing India School Certificate examinations are expected to have at least an overall grade of 6. However, it should be noted that students meeting these minimums are still expected to fall within the overall academic average for the entering Saint Mary’s freshmen class. Higher scores are preferable to insure admission consideration.

Applicants must have a subject distribution that includes language, mathematics, some form of social science or humanities, and either an applied science or vocational training. Certificates must be certified by the appropriate authority at the secondary school or administering body. Provisional certificates may be provided for initial admission; however enrolling students are required to submit final secondary school certificates upon completion. As India has many secondary school options, individual variations are factored in each admissions decision.