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Is Environmental Systems and Societies as my Group 4 subject hindering me from getting accepted into an engineering program?

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Hi guys. Here's my sitch. Even before I began the IBDP, I had already decided that I was not going to do anything science-related in college. I made this decision because I identified my strengths in commerce subjects such as Business and Global Perspectives during Year 10 and Year 11 of IGCSEs. So, when it came to deciding my IB subjects, choosing Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) as my only Group 4 subject was a no-brainer. (My subject choices are English HL, Math HL, Business HL, Mandarin Ab Initio, Music SL and ESS SL fyi) After being in this class for a year, I came to really enjoy the subject and became more interested in pursuing some form of environmental study in college. So, now that I'm unofficially in my second year of IB, it's time I started thinking of places I want to apply in the States and have some idea of what majors I'm interested in. While researching and being 'introspective' as IB likes to make us be, my parents raised a really good point. They suggested that I enrol in a course of some sort of pre-professional study. Their justification was that I will have technical qualifications and that I can be my own employer out of college. Although this may seem like a "my parents forced me" situation, I really do agree with them. So, the possible choices of majors that I am interested in applying for are sustainable architecture, city/regional planning and engineering. However, as ESS is such a liberal-arts based course, I somehow feel that I do not have as much depth of knowledge as students who took Physics or Biology (what i'm trying to say is that these subjects are full experimental science compared to ESS which is an application of science). Do you think that taking just Environmental Systems and Societies might render me "unprepared" to take on heavy courses such as engineering or architecture?

P.S. Anyone else who might be pursuing city/regional planning? Can I have your thoughts about why you decided to pursue this course and if you have any idea of your career options after graduating? I'm from Malaysia and my mother, in particular, really discourages me from doing so because it's still such a niche area in our developing country.

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I do think that in some universities ESS may be looked at as a "soft" option, there is not a lot of people who take it. Apparently biology is similar to ESS so if you were to take physics during the summer or online, I believe that would be beneficial. For an engineer, chemistry is normally important as well. Check out the universities that you're interested in and see if you believe it a good idea to do pre professional study based on the requirements.

Good luck!

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I do think that in some universities ESS may be looked at as a "soft" option, there is not a lot of people who take it. Apparently biology is similar to ESS so if you were to take physics during the summer or online, I believe that would be beneficial. For an engineer, chemistry is normally important as well. Check out the universities that you're interested in and see if you believe it a good idea to do pre professional study based on the requirements.

Good luck!

Hi, thanks for your reply. I would love to do that but Malaysia doesn't have summer holidays. On top of that, IB is new in my school so the flexibility of taking one sem classes and such don't exist. I'm actually in the first batch of students doing the programme. We also don't do AP in my school.

However, I am doing Chemistry as one of my SAT II subjects. Do you think this would suffice? Should I take on Physics as my third SAT II test if I've no way to take a physics course in school within the next year?

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