International Baccalaureate: Entrance Through Excellence

A new initiative between the Honors College and LISD provides a seamless transition for high school students.

Grigory Khmyl is one of 12 LISD International Baccalaureate students entering the Honors College this fall.

Lubbock High School graduate Grigory Khmyl had already applied and been admitted to Texas Tech University. But after he received his International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma distinction, the incoming freshman found out the distinction brought an unexpected bonus.

“When I applied to Texas Tech, my International Baccalaureate test results weren’t in yet,” Khmyl said. “It was an added bonus to be accepted into the Honors College automatically.”

Texas Tech and the Lubbock Independent School District (LISD) recently announced an initiative in which students with an IB diploma from LISD are automatically admitted to the Honors College after completing a formal application. The fee to apply to the Honors College is also waived.

Khmyl was one of 12 LISD IB students who committed to attend the Honors College. The diploma distinction is recognized worldwide as a rigorous education program which includes special coursework and exams, extensive community service and a 4,000-word original research project.

“With this initiative, we are pioneering a seamless education for students from high school into the Honors College and creating a pipeline to medical degree, law degree and doctoral degree programs,” said Gary Bell, dean of the Honors College. “We feel these students have already proven themselves to us.”

Bell said he was unaware of any other university offering an admissions waiver to an honors college.

Donald Haragan, former president of Texas Tech and current Honors College professor of geosciences, will begin recruiting IB students this fall from across the state and nation for the Honors College. The new admission policy applies to any student worldwide graduating with an IB diploma.

“We aren’t really waiving anything,” Haragan said. “These students have already proven themselves through their hard work and their academic achievement. These are the types of students we want to attend the Honors College and Texas Tech University.”

LISD Superintendent Wayne Havens thanked Texas Tech for the strong partnership it brings to the district in educational support.

“Hopefully, this will make a more seamless path for our students as they move on to higher education,” Havens said.


The Honors College at Texas Tech University provides an enriched learning experience for undergraduate students by providing a small-college learning environment in a large state university setting.

If you have questions about the Honors College, email or call (806) 742-1828.