IB Curricular Changes

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IB Curricular Changes

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a curriculum offered by many schools around the world. This year, the IB diploma program has made changes to its curricular design. Penn offers the following guidance for those who are choosing IB courses that will best prepare them for success at Penn:

  • Math Analysis HL is most similar to the current Math HL course. This course provides strong preparation for students interested in engineering (School of Engineering & Applied Sciences), business (i.e, Wharton), and many disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences including the natural and physical sciences. This is our preferred option for students interested in pursuing quantitative disciplines at Penn.
  • Math Applications HL provides some exposure to calculus and applied mathematics. This may provide adequate preparation for students interested in STEM fields and many subjects in the College including quantitative social sciences and humanities. For students interested in engineering and/or business we prefer Math Analysis HL.
  • Math Analysis SL is most similar to the existing Math SL course. This course may provide adequate preparation for students interested in pursuing qualitative social sciences or humanities subjects in the College, and the statistics content may be appropriate for students interested in Penn Nursing. We would view this course holistically along with other parts of the application to try and understand whether the student has appropriate preparation for their area of interest. This would not be our first preference for students interested in engineering, business, or many quantitative disciplines in the College.
  • Math Applications SL is most similar to the existing IB Math Studies course. In most cases, it would not be appropriate for students pursuing subjects at Penn that require advanced math including engineering, business, and many disciplines in the College.

As a reminder, Penn works with schools that offer a wide variety of curricular offerings and the Admissions Office does not prefer one model of curricula to another. Our aim is to make certain that students are well-prepared to be successful at Penn, regardless of what course of study their school offers.

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