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IB DP Subject Choices for the Future

One of the most beautiful aspects of the IB Programme is the breadth of subjects that students are required to study. For some students, this initially seems quite daunting, but for others it allows them to study all the relevant subjects required for their desired university course. This article will explore a couple of the more common routes.


IB students who want to study medicine at university traditionally choose Biology and Chemistry at Higher Level. They will also require one more Higher Level subject depending on their strengths, but it is often either Language A or Mathematics. Their remaining two subjects will be their second language and one of the humanities subjects. Medicine is a very popular area for students, so the competition for places at the top universities is very high. Students need a high IB points score (traditionally at least 37 points), and preferably also have some working experience or involvement in medical-related projects. This is something that is often achieved through the CAS Programme by the more proactive students. In this way, IB graduates are often looked upon favourably by universities for the top medical courses around the world.


The most important subjects for students wanting to become engineers are Physics and Mathematics. These must be studied at Higher Level.
Most universities will require Mathematics: analysis and approaches, rather than Mathematics: application and interpretation as the focus is more on geometry and trigonometry, rather than calculus and functions.
The other subjects that a prospective engineering student might study would be any of the remaining subjects, as long as they fulfil the diploma requirements.

Environmental Scientist

Environmental science courses have become increasingly popular at universities in recent years, in response to the ongoing global climate crisis and widespread animal extinctions. Students wanting to train in this field of studies should choose Environmental Systems and Societies alongside Higher Level Geography. These two subjects compliment each other very well and have a degree of overlap. The remaining subjects could be a varied combination of any of the remaining 4 subjects which fulfil the diploma requirements. For example, Higher Level Music and English A would give a good breadth of knowledge, allowing students to possibly follow a double major course.