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22-06-2024

Subject Combinations in IBDP for Various Career Pathways

The IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a prolific interdisciplinary course for students who are goal-oriented and focused on starting a concrete career pathway from high school. The programme allows students to choose subjects based on their relevance to the college programme they will apply to, their aptitude and interest. Thus, students are not limited to picking only subjects from Science, Commerce or Humanities discipline, but from all streams to have better control over what they study and the career path that they want to embark on. It can be a daunting task to decide what to study in high school where one still does not have a strong idea of which career they wish to pursue or where their ambitions lie.

Criteria for choosing subjects in IBDP

In IBDP, there are 6 subject groups plus the DP Core. Students take one subject from each group and a Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL) based on its intensity. Students must take at least three subjects at HL and they have the alternative to skip the Arts subject group to focus on any other subject group.

Subject Combinations in IBDP for Various Career-pathways

Whether you have shortlisted the career options, you know which subjects you enjoy studying or want to grasp some idea of which subject combinations will help you, here is a pointer of subject combinations and the career pathways they lead to.

STEM / ENGINEERING
  • English Language and Literature (SL)
  • Language B - Ab Initio (SL)
  • Business Management (SL)
  • Physics (HL)
  • Chemistry (HL) / Computer Science (HL)
  • Mathematics (HL)
MEDICINE / PHARMACY
  • English Language and Literature (SL)
  • Language B - Ab Initio (SL)
  • Physics (HL) |Chemistry (HL)
  • Biology (HL)
  • Mathematics (SL)
BUSINESS / ECONOMICS / ACCOUNTING
  • English Language and Literature (SL/HL)
  • Language B - Ab Initio (SL)
  • Business Management (HL)
  • Economics (HL)
  • Computer Science (SL)
  • Mathematics (HL/SL)
JOURNALISM/ MEDIA / LAW
  • English Language and Literature (HL)
  • Language B - Ab Initio (SL)
  • Business Management (HL)
  • Psychology (HL)
  • Computer Science (SL)
  • Mathematics AI (SL)
ART/DESIGN MANAGEMENT /PHOTOGRAPHY
  • English Language and Literature (HL)
  • Language B - Ab Initio (SL)
  • Business Management (HL)
  • Computer Science (SL)
  • Mathematics AI (SL)
  • Visual Art (HL)
LIBERAL EDUCATION
  • English Lang and Lit (HL)
  • Language B - Ab Initio (SL)
  • Psychology (HL)
  • Chemistry (HL)
  • Biology (HL)
  • Mathematics (SL)

The key to choosing an ideal subject combination

It is not important to know the career path or the college from the beginning, but if you have an idea of which career path you wish to choose, you can choose subjects aligned with your interests and go on to study it further in college and become a specialist in the field. Some criteria for choosing subject combinations are -

  • Availability of the subjects - Consider if the IB school that you want to study in offers the subjects that you want to study
  • College course requirement - for most professional college courses, there is a basic requirement of what subjects must be studied at the IBDP level
  • The compulsory subjects - although there are alternatives in them and you can opt to take them at HL or SL, Mathematics, English and a second language is compulsory
  • Availability of seats - IB prescribes a student-teacher ratio which the school must adhere to. So, one must consider the availability of seats for the subject
  • Scoring subjects - You must score a minimum of 25/45 to graduate IBDP and to apply to the top international colleges you require 39/45 and above. So choose subjects that will be easy for you to score in

IBDP’s focus lies in ensuring that the student enters the college programme that they are interested in. Additionally, the course objective is to groom students to have international tolerance and develop critical thinking. Thus, whichever subject you choose prepares you for a strong career path in future.

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