University Counselling and Pathways

Three Globally Recognized Diploma Options

Each student is unique, and their aspirations are also different, this is why we offer the flexibility of three graduating pathways that grant access to universities globally. All graduating students receive a Stamford American High School Diploma which is recognized by universities around the world. For additional challenge and recognition, students may choose to pursue the International Baccalaureate ‘Course’ qualification or the International Baccalaureate ‘Diploma’ qualification.

Stamford Graduation Pathway

Stamford High School Diploma

  • Accredited by the CIS and grants access to universities globally
  • Students may choose DP courses (typically at Standard Level) and non-DP courses.
  • Students document and reflect on creative, active, and service-learning involvement.

This diploma option affords the most flexibility and allows students to pursue admission to universities worldwide (CIS accreditation) without the pressure of IB exams to achieve their highest potential graduation outcome.

Stamford HS Diploma and IB ‘Courses’ Program

  • Flexible HL and SL IB course combinations
  • May take DP external exams in only certain subjects (flexible)
  • Not required to complete the Extended Essay or Theory of Knowledge course.
  • Eligible for university credits for IB exam courses

This diploma option allows students to pursue admission to universities worldwide (CIS accreditation). The IB courses provide students with advanced standing at many universities and additional admissions consideration.

Stamford HS Diploma and IB ‘Diploma’ Programme

  • Three subjects at Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL)
  • Complete Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay, and Creativity-Activity-Service (CAS)
  • Sit IB exams in all subjects
  • Eligible for university credits for IB exam courses

What Diploma Option is the Best?

With all options leading to notable universities globally, the best diploma option is the one that allows a child to pursue their aspirations and achieve successful results without sacrificing well-being. At Stamford, we take a non-selective approach and support all students to follow their best-fit pathway. Starting from Grade 8, our team of caring faculty works in partnership with students and parents to guide them through planning and choosing the best possible path for them.

University Counseling Services

University Counselor

Comprehensive University Counseling Program For Grades 9-12 students:

  • Year-round university visits with higher education institutions around the world.
  • Weekly updates on university visits to the school, summer program information, fairs, and events happening in Hong Kong.
  • Scheduled college sessions throughout the year focusing on the application process and writing the college essay/personal statement.
  • Cialfo access – a dedicated online program for university research.
  • ACT and SAT testing center.

Additional Services for Grade 11 and 12 Students:

  1. Course selection and guidance on academic pathways.
  2. College Essay and Personal Statement writing.
  3. University application support such as:
    writing teacher and counselor recommendations and references
    liaising with university admission officers
    generation of high school transcripts
  4. Individualized college counseling
  5. Small group sessions
  6. A college counseling library which contains college guidebooks, essay guides, university brochures, and contact information for university representatives


High School Diploma Options and the IBDP

Some Common Questions About Our Graduating Pathways

What If My Child Only Takes The Stamford American Diploma?

Stamford American School is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), our High School Diploma is accepted by universities worldwide.

Is Stamford selective about who can take the IBDP?

No, we welcome all students who are interested in pursuing the Diploma Programme to apply.

Will All Students Take The IBDP?

We would love all students to pursue the challenge of the IB Diploma Programme, however, the academic rigor and self-management skills might not match every child’s development by Grade 11. Students are also required to meet a variety of entry requirements which might be a challenge for some students. We support our students in secondary school with academic advisors and counselors to help all of our students prepare for this challenge.

What Is The Benefit Of Being A Course Candidate?

The courses in the IBDP are excellent preparation for university learning and allow students to take a deep dive into subject learning areas of interest. Students who want more flexibility in course selection and are not ready/interested in pursuing the IB Diploma Programme can benefit from enrolling in these challenging courses as stepping stones to postgraduate education. All students who graduate from Stamford are nurtured to be ready for life’s challenges.

What Advantages Does The IBDP Give Students?

The academic rigor of the IBDP will prepare a student for entry into any university worldwide. It represents one of the most rigorous, valid, reliable and balanced wide-scale educational assessments available. The IBDP also provides an education that is broad and balanced, holistic in approach and develops students that are internationally minded.

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Discover a world of opportunities under one roof as this truly international education creates and offers choices of curriculum suited to your child's future path.