IB Cohorts

Hi all! I applied to the IBEA cohort and have been trying to do research on timelines as far as interviews/decisions come out. There were only a few posts from two years ago so I thought I’d start a new discussion post. What cohort are y’all applying/thinking about applying to? Why are you interested in it? Are you already in IB or are you using this to be accepted to it?

You are right, there is limited info out there about that the cohorts. My daughter is applying for the IBA cohort but missed the priority deadline. She is starting IB through the Honors college this fall and simply loves travel and learning about new cultures. This would just add to her experiences of studying abroad each summer since her sophomore year in HS which we feel has helped her grow so much into a confident independent individual. Since our admitted student tour she is not quite as enthusiastic about is as we heard it requires even more dedication to get all USC requirements met and makes internships more difficult to figure out. Best of luck!

1 Like

Applying to a cohort is something I have been debating myself. I was fortunate to be admitted into the Honors College in December and major in pre-IB. Please correct me if I am wrong, but as long as I keep a certain GPA I am automatically admitted into the IB major, correct? I would love to travel for a cohort but feel it would take away from internships and possibly take away from the college experience. Any thoughts? Thanks

1 Like

Being in the Honors College allows you direct admission from pre-IB into the IB program with a 3.65 GPA maintained. I think the decision ultimately comes down to what you want out of either experience (cohort or traditional IB). I’m sure there are pros and cons to each. I would love to hear from a student who has/is in a cohort.

1 Like


I do not know how to paste in a link, so below is my post from 2017 under “IB Cohort Programs” regarding the IBA Cohort.

My S is in the International Business of the Americas (IBA) Cohort and will be graduating in May. I will give you my perspective on the Cohort programs. If you are interested in the IBCE Cohort program, I would definitely read the posts by IBCEBATCH6 and do a lot of research on the program.

You will probably not get a lot of feedback on the other cohort programs since most of them are relatively new. My S was accepted into the SCHC as Pre-IB and applied for the IBA Cohort program at the beginning of his freshman year. He was part of the 2nd cohort class. He was very interested in studying in South America and potentially working abroad at some point in the future. The IBA Cohort program was developed to replace the MENA Track, but I guess the MENA cohort is now available again.

His IBA cohort group had around 15 students from USC and only one from Chile. The other classes had around 6 Chileans I think. The cohort group took IBUS 310 together the 2nd semester of their sophomore and definitely had periodic meetings to get to know each other and to plan their study abroad.

If you are accepted into the SCHC and your main focus is to be in the best position to receive a full-time job in your desired major after 4 years, then I would recommend the Classic IB track. This track is set up the best for landing an internship the summer of your junior year, interviewing for jobs the first semester of your senior year and providing you with a study abroad experience. USC has a fantastic study abroad program and a lot of students study abroad the spring semester of their junior year. My S said that he could have visited any city in Europe and would be able to connect with a USC student.

If you want to have lifetime experiences, plan on going to graduate school or need a backdoor into the IB program, consider a cohort program. I am not saying that you will not be a strong candidate in the workforce, but depending on when you are abroad and your field of study, the interview process may be more challenging…

Some of the pros that my S experienced through the IBA Cohort Program:

  • Acclimation was much easier since you had other USC students with you. He was also able to get a lot of information on where to stay and what to do from the 1st cohort class. In addition, he also new Chileans that had participated in the 1st cohort class.
  • He is now a very experienced world traveler. While in Chile, he visited 9 or 10 countries. It was easier and more enjoyable to be able to travel with someone else or a group of people.
  • Life experiences - He took trips to Manchu Picchu, Patagonia and many other cool places. In addition, since he was in Santiago for 10 months, he was fully immersed in the Chilean culture. He made friends with people from all over the world.
  • Education - The education was excellent, he took a majority of his finance classes at FEN.
  • International Work Experience - He was able to intern at a Top 10 World Bank with students from a variety of countries.
    Cohort Advisor - He relied on his cohort business advisor almost exclusively. His advisor was instrumental in helping him navigate a triple major. He did come in with 10 AP’s and 52 credits, so a triple major was much more attainable for him. The cohort advisor always went to bat for the students to get them in the classes that they needed.


  • The biggest con regarding the IBA cohort is that the students are abroad their 2nd semester of their junior year, the summer of their junior year and the 1st semester of their senior year. You miss out on internship opportunities during the summer of your junior year and you are abroad during the interview cycle the 1st semester senior year. Therefore, if you elect to participate in a cohort program, start your networking during your freshman and sophomore years. My S interned at 2 Fortune 500 companies before heading to Chile. One was in the summer of his sophomore year and the other was Dec - Feb of his junior year before heading to Chile. My S was interested in Management Consulting and Investment Banking jobs and had to fly back to the US for their Super Day interviews. The flights from Santiago to the US can be expensive. The initial interviews were done via Skype.

The experience was great for my S, he had excellent job opportunities and has already accepted a job in his desired field.

I hope this helps, PM me if you have specific questions and I will try to answer


@atikaw6 - thank you for such an informative post. That is a lot of very useful information for her to consider.

1 Like