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Top 10 easiest & hardest courses/degrees to study in university

What are the hardest courses and easiest courses to study in universities, polytechnic and other higher institutions?

This is one of the question secondary school (and high school) students usually ask.

Before we look at those degrees (courses) that are rated hardest, I want to state one fact which is: no university degree (or course) should be regarded as easiest or hardest because people differ in what they find easy or difficult.

For example, to one person mathematics may be too easy but to another mathematics may be really challenging.

I know this not just by common sense but through my own experience as well…

My own little experience

I remember during our second year in engineering when we took social science courses (GSP 201, GSP 202, etc).

A lot of us in engineering admitted that social science courses are really hard. To me it was stressful trying to remember a lot of definitions from different schools of thoughts, arguments and counter-argument, dates, etc.

To many of us in engineering, calculation courses are easier to deal with than “theory courses” (as we call the likes of GSP).

Also, I remember that some students from Biochemistry “borrowed” one of our courses. To them, that course was a “hell.”

A couple of times then I also met some students from FST (Food Science Technology) in our mechanical engineering laboratory. They didn’t find it funny either.

So the bottom line, even before we start looking at courses which have been rated hardest, is what I have said earlier: no degree (or course) should be regarded as easy because people differ in what they find easy or difficult.

Any course can be hard or easy depending on our different “inclinations”.

However, another fact is that over the time, statistics have shown that some courses might be really harder that others.

Not only that such courses require more amount of time and effort, but they are also more challenging.

Question paper

Ratings sources

Now, what are those degrees (courses) that are rated harder than others? From where did the rating come? 

The ratings here are based on ratings from different sources which I put together to get a clearer pattern.

Some sources rated based on drop out rates (example is rating by telegraph.co.uk), some by individual courses (like this one by listsurge.com), and some based on field of study (example The 10 Hardest College Degrees  by outstandingcolleges.com).

When courses are used I try to find degrees related to the courses. For example, engineering is basically application of physics and mathematics. So, if physics and math are very hard, engineering is likely very hard as well.

All the ratings may not agree but at the end we might find that some courses are always near top and some near bottom of the ratings.

Before you miss it… Please read the following

Note: this rating is in ascending order. In other words, the course at the bottom (that is number 1) is rated hardest while the course at the top (that is number 10) is rated easiest.

Hardest courses/degrees

  1. Education
  2. Arts & Humanities
  3. Philosophy and Religion
  4. Social/Behavioral Sciences: sociology, psychology, anthropology, etc.
  5. Physical Sciences: geology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, etc.
  6. Business & Management
  7. Biological sciences: Biochemistry, Microbiology, etc.
  8. Architecture
  9. Medical Sciences: medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, anatomy, etc.
  10. Engineering: aeronautics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, etc.

Which do you think is the hardest course?

I know that not everyone will agree with the ratings here. That is expected. If you do not agree with the ratings please write your own rating of hardest courses in the comment box below.


Tagged: top 10 hardest degrees to study, hardest university courses, hardest undergraduate degree in the world, hardest engineering degree, hardest working degrees, easiest college degrees, hardest engineering field, most difficult professional course in the world

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