The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is an intellectually-rigorous academic system available at school levels for all children across the world. Based in Switzerland, the IB program offers a stimulating, enriching international education, culminating in an IB Diploma for graduating high school students that is recognized with favor at the best colleges and universities. Virginia has 50 IB World Schools of varying grade levels, but the most sought-after are the high school programs. Northern Virginia is home to a number of these. The following are some of the best IB schools in Northern Virginia.

Lee High School

Fairfax County

Lee High School is a public, diverse school located in Springfield, in Fairfax County. Well-trained teachers capably handle the varying needs of the large student population, while promoting engaging interactions with their academically-gifted students. Students love the mix of cultures represented in the student body, meaning that few kids have problems making friends. Lee offers AP classes as well.

Marshall High School

Falls Church

Ranked in the top high schools in the nation and considered to be in Virginia’s top five, Marshall High School is a fantastic choice for parents seeking a Northern Virginia IB program for their kids. Given a “Gold” award by U.S. News and World Report, there is no arguing that the academics at this public school are top-notch. It has a large and diverse student body that is welcoming to everyone, and grads of this school rave about the quality of experience they had within its halls. 

Cortona Academy


This tiny (<400 students!) private school’s mottos is “Taking the Stress Out of Educating Teenagers.” It accepts students between grades 7 and 12, and the student/teacher ratio is a mere 7:1. Boarding is available for students who live outside the area. Juniors and seniors get 100 hours of free SAT prep time, and 100 percent of graduates go on to a 4-year college or university. The average graduate also receives tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships and/or grants. 

Oakton High School


Oakton high school is considered the fifth-best high school in all of Virginia, with a score of A+. Its college prep proficiency is just about unrivaled. As part of its mission statement, Oakton promises to provide rigorous, relevant, and well-rounded education for all students. Oakton underclassmen each prepare an Exhibition of Learning, to “display meaningful and well-developed projects showcasing their skills, passions, and most important learning across the disciplines.”