Jump to content

Choosing subjects for Chemical Engineering

Recommended Posts


I at the stage of choosing my IB subjects. I want to apply for chemical engineering course after I graduate from high school and I know that the best combination of subjects would be Math HL, Chemistry HL and Physics HL. However, my school requires me to take English B HL and taking 4 HL subjects is just out of question so I decided to take Math and Chem, as they are required by most of the universities. 

I have always thought I would take Physics SL as my 6th subject, but now I am considering Biology SL, as it seems that universities don't care about SL subjects anyway.

I'm really interested in Physics and I'm good at Math so that would not be a problem. Also I usually don't have any difficulties in understanding Physics. However, I did struggle with a few more difficult topics in the past and in Physics SL we will probably cover much more advanced topics. Also some of the tests I've had so far didn't go so well (by 'not so well' I mean 70%, and by 'some' I mean about 3 out of 20). All in all, my point is that I'm not sure if I'm good enough and I'm afraid I'll end up with a 6 or a 5. 

As for Biology, I never liked it, it's just too much memorization and not very interesting. However, some of the options in IB actually seem moderately interesting (like Neurobiology or Evolution) and I think I can make it through the Biology SL course, make myself memorize all this stuff, even the boring part, and have a guaranteed 7 points, since it's really easy. 

My question is what do I do? Do universities look at your SL subjects when you apply for chem eng or any course? Will it matter to them which of these subjects I take, even though they are not officially required? Do I need the Physics SL knowledge to get through a chemical engineering course?

I'm thinking about taking Biology and learning Physics on my own, so that I have more points on my final exam and still gain some knowledge in Physics, but I know that IB is very demanding and there is always a risk that I won't find the time for a 7th subject, What do you think about this solution?     

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think most European and North America schools look for overall grades. 4 HLs may only be recommended if you are applying for super super elite engineering schools. I took Physics SL really without prior background but with an experienced teacher the course is very doable. In the interest of succeeding in chemical engineering, you should opt for physics, which does give a better feel about engineering than biology. I also took biology but in summer classes, outside of IB. I think you will be ok if HL Math and HL Chem are not big concerns for you, so it seems. You will definitely have intro physics classes at university, but I found SL Physics quite helpful. We learned a hybrid of SL and HL material (SL + more kinematics + fields) because we were ahead of schedule. 

Best luck! PM me if you need more clarification. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.