Bilkent University Preparatory School (also known as BUPS) was founded in March 1993 as the Bilkent Universitesi Hazirlik Okulu with the aim of promoting academic, aesthetic, physical and social growth. It recognized the individual abilities, interests and talents of each child. Students were encouraged to question ideas and search for knowledge. BUPS fostered critical and independent thinking and creativity. Students were prepared for success in leading universities throughout the world.
In 1996, the International Baccalaureate organization authorized BUPS to offer the IB Diploma Programme to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. Three years later in September 1999 the Bilkent International School opened and BUPS/BIS was created to serve the educational needs of the international community. Turkish and international students were enrolled in BUPS from Pre-K through Grade 5, but from Grade 6 onwards, international students were enrolled in BIS and Turkish students were enrolled in BUPS.
Continuing on to this day, the school promotes understanding and respect for others and fully embraces diversity of persons, not tolerating words or actions that undermine this principle.
In the following 18 years, the schools became an IB World School authorized to offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the IB Diploma Program, the IGCSEs, accredited by the Council of International Schools and the New England (USA) Association of School and Colleges, a member of the European Council of International Schools, the International Schools Theatre Association, the International Schools Sports Association, the Association for Music in International Schools, a THIMUN affiliate, and a recognized center for the SAT.
In June 2009, the Bilkent University Preparatory School (BUPS) became the Bilkent Laboratory School – Ankara. Instead of being part of the Faculty of Music at Bilkent University, the school became a lab school of the Bilkent University Graduate School of Education. Together with Bilkent International School, BUPS/BIS became BLIS, the new Bilkent Laboratory & International School with a single identity.