The principal differences between AP, or Advanced Placement, and IB, or International Baccalaureate, are in the broader curriculum of the IB program and the availability of that program at elementary level. Both the AP and the IB program offer college-level courses to high school students.
The core of the IB program is student-led learning, with a heavy emphasis on class discussion and writing, where students are often asked to come up with their own assignments. It has an international focus, with the aim of empowering students with the intellectual, personal, emotional and social tools they need to think for themselves across a broad range of subjects.
AP classes, on the other hand, offer students an accelerated level of learning in specific subject matters, often with hands-on participation, such as in chemistry labs. The AP curriculum is determined by the College Board, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to expand college enrollment.
The IB program is created by close cooperation between each individual school and the International Baccalaureate, a nonprofit educational foundation located in Switzerland. The IB program emphasizes extracurricular enrichment and community-based learning as parts of the program, whereas the AP program is only concerned with the individual courses the student takes. Classes in both programs may be accepted toward college credit, depending on the college the student goes on to attend.