30 Hardest College Majors that You Can Use to Challenge Yourself.
Hardest College Majors: It is impossible to tell the hardest college majors because this varies by student and is mostly determined by one’s cognitive capacity and learning skills. Students will graduate from their undergraduate years with a focused degree, as the most difficult college degrees tend to be in highly specialized fields.
Hardest College Majors
Employers who are looking for people who have finished targeted academic training frequently reward this kind of dedication. Even if they don’t work in that sector, students who pursue these challenging disciplines may find that perhaps the hard effort pays off.
Some people, on the other hand, take delight in studying the most challenging majors. For these students, the question is: what are the most difficult college majors? The following is a list of the most difficult college majors in no particular order.
1. Petroleum Engineering
Petroleum engineering students study and perform coursework for about 18 hours and 24 minutes per week.
Students in this engineering program study everything there is to know about oil and gas extraction and production.
Properties of petroleum fluids, energy and the environment, reservoir geomechanics, calculus, geology, chemistry, physics, and petrophysics are some classes that are necessary for a degree in petroleum engineering.
Astronomy majors are some of the most difficult college majors. Students of this major spend over 18 and a half hours a week preparing for class.
The study of celestial objects (such as planets, asteroids, and stars), as well as related phenomena such as supernovae and black holes, is referred to as astronomy.
Physics, calculus, computer science, astrophysics, cosmology, and planetary geology are often required courses for this degree.
3. Business and Management
We emphasize accounting and finance degrees in business school when we talk about business degrees. Because these degrees are heavily reliant on quantitative methods, students regard them as one of the hardest to complete.
You spend a great deal of time studying here. You’ll also have to take a lot of tests, and many students struggle to maintain a good GPA.
Business and Management is viewed by students as a major that prepares you to be a boss. As a result, you don’t expect it to be simple. Using quantitative analysis to make managerial decisions, as well as a lot of reading, will be part of your four-year college education.
Finance, administration, human resources, and business skills are just a few of the topics covered in this category.
Graduates of this program find work in logistics firms. They can also work in administrative positions, network systems, and as accountants.
4. Social Sciences
Sociology, anthropology, history, and political science are all topics covered in this field. Because a title can encompass a wide range of topics, social science is undoubtedly one of the most difficult majors.
Students with a wide range of academic and research interests who want to graduate with a wide range of career options should pursue social science degrees. “Hardest College Majors”
A bachelor’s degree in social sciences gives a unique and diversified liberal arts academic foundation. Graduates can pursue careers in journalism, politics, and sociology, among other professions.
5. Environmental Earth Science
Environmental Earth Science majors look at environmental challenges from a multidisciplinary perspective. Biology, chemistry, ecology, geology, and physics are just a handful of the disciplines they study. They should feel at ease working in both labs and in the field.
One of the environmental employment alternatives after earning an undergraduate degree is to become a geoscientist. Geoscientists are scientists who study the entire Earth, including its physical structures, geologic history, and geological processes.
More than one-fourth of geoscientists work in architectural, engineering, and related services, with an average annual salary of $93,580. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).
6. Nuclear Engineering
Students with a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering will be familiar with nuclear processes and systems, as well as their human and environmental consequences.
This degree, together with passing the Professional Engineering Licensure Exam for Nuclear Engineers, qualifies a person to work for a nuclear power plant. “Hardest College Majors”
They may be entrusted with monitoring nuclear processes, suggesting system redesigns, and ensuring compliance with established norms and standards.
Nuclear engineers earn an average of $116,140 per year (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021), which is much more than the $96,310 average annual income for all engineers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).
7. Applied Mathematics
An applied mathematics major will study disciplines like algebra, calculus, and statistics, which are all computational in nature.
They will evaluate data, solve problems, and assist individuals, corporations, and governments in their decision-making processes. Engineering, healthcare, financial services, and technology are some of the job opportunities for applied mathematics degrees.
The federal government employs the majority of mathematicians in the United States, paying them $115,830 per year (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021). Mathematicians and statisticians make $44.85 per hour on average, or $93,290 per year (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).
8. Legal Studies
An individual who majors in legal studies can pursue employment in law, law enforcement, and public policy. They’ll study how legal systems and processes work, as well as the variables that influence them.
They’ll also improve their research, writing, and organizing skills, which will help them accomplish their professional duties. Following graduation, students may choose to pursue a career in law and take the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ bar exam (NCBE)
Aside from becoming a lawyer, a paralegal or legal assistant is another frequent career path for someone with this major. This career role pays roughly $52,920 per year in the United States (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).
9. Fine Arts
Yes, Fine Arts is one of the most difficult disciplines to pursue. This is due to the extensive quantity of curriculum, which includes lessons in painting, acting, sculpting, printmaking, and more.
Fine arts majors spend all of their time in the studio preparing for a profession in the arts, which is usually particular to the student’s chosen field of study (for example, someone with a painting focus might pursue a career as an illustrator). “Hardest College Majors”
Students who are passionate about art will succeed in this setting, but students who prefer rational, concrete academics may struggle with the subjective processes involved in fine arts.
10. Electrical Engineering
Electrical engineering is a large field, and students studying it takes a variety of engineering courses in order to prepare for it. This degree prepares students to design and test electrical equipment.
Circuits, robotics, thermodynamics, and communication systems are all covered in the course.
Electrical engineering students, as one might imagine, take a lot of math and science classes, particularly physics, calculus, and computer science.
Electrical engineering is a difficult degree because of its emphasis on math and science. This degree may be especially difficult if those classes aren’t your greatest strength.
Nursing is one of the most popular majors in the United States, but not because it’s a simple degree!
Students work early morning and late-night shifts for their clinical, shadowing actual nurses and learning what it’s like to work as a nurse. These encounters provide some extremely intense hours.
If you plan on sleeping in during your college years, a nursing degree will make that tough!
Students of this major study anatomy, chemistry, biology, pharmacology, nutrition, and psychology in the classroom. The requirements are high: many programs require a least 3.0 GPA to continue in the program.
Students who enjoy science and helping others, as well as those who want to gain real-world experience while still in school, would benefit from a nursing degree.
Some argue that math has its own language. Majoring in math is a natural choice if that language has always made sense to you and motivated you.
Single and multivariable calculus, linear and abstract algebra, real analysis, probability, and, in many cases, computer science are all courses in a standard math major.
Some math majors pursue pure and theoretical math, while others pursue practical and computational math. Regardless of whatever path you choose, both are extremely difficult owing to the high level of mathematical thinking and reasoning required.
The human brain and nerve system are studied by neuroscientists. If you’re interested in both psychology and science, neuroscience is a terrific way to merge the two.
Students studying neuroscience take classes in a variety of math and science disciplines, although the majority of their education is focused on psychology, cognitive science, and neurobiology. Neuroscience might not be the ideal choice for you if you dislike science or memorization. “Hardest College Majors”
In the later years of their studies, neuroscience students frequently do research. If you like the sound of this practical application, neuroscience could be a fantastic college degree for you.
In high school biology, did you anticipate dissections? Do you find biology fascinating, from the tiniest cells to the largest mammals? If that’s the case, biology might be an excellent fit for you.
Biology students take classes in a variety of disciplines, but they specialize in biology (of course!). These students study genetics, microbiology, evolution, and ecology, among other topics. Lab experience is frequently required for biology majors.
If looking at Petri dishes or dissecting animals makes you feel sick, biology may not be the best major for you. However, many biology students get opportunities to conduct research in biology labs with researchers and professors while still in undergrad.
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Biochemistry is a subject of biology that focuses on the smallest parts of our world: the cellular aspects of living creatures. This might not be the greatest option for you if you want to study things that you can see!
Students studying biochemistry can expect to take classes on biomolecules, enzymes, molecular genetics, and other topics.
If you’re captivated by the minute details of life that keep the world spinning, biochemistry is a college degree worth considering!
16. Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering is one of the many engineering fields to choose from. Because it encompasses problem-solving, design, and manufacturing, it incorporates physics, math, and materials science.
Mechanics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and manufacturing are all topics covered in mechanical engineering classes.
Mechanical engineering is a fantastic fit for you if you enjoy problem-solving and testing your designs. Mechanical engineering can also be a suitable option if you know you want to pursue engineering but aren’t sure which subfield to pursue.
17. Civil Engineering
Professionals in this discipline create and maintain infrastructure projects and systems. They can also work in the public or private sector, design and supervise projects such as public roads and bridges, buildings, and airports.
That you’ll have to take plenty of mathematics and physics courses makes this specialization one of the hardest majors in college.
However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts an 11% increase in this field’s employment by 2026. This is above the national average for all professions.
Meanwhile, Civil engineering students can apply for a series of engineering scholarships to subsidize the cost of their education.
18. Cell and Molecular Biology
Another wide major in molecular and cell biology focuses on basic molecular principles and cellular systems. Calculus, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and biology laboratories are all required for this course.
This major is difficult because of the laboratory and cellular focus. If you enjoy doing experiments and studying cellular processes, this is the major for you.
Understanding matter and the universe is one of the most fundamental scientific topics. That does not, however, make it simple – just the contrary!
Physics majors have a lot of homework. Differential equations, optics, relativity, and quantum mechanics may be covered in class. This isn’t even considering physics labs, which are a major focus for many programs. Students that suffer in lab experiments are prone to struggle in physics.
Physics may be a good fit for you if you enjoy experiments, teamwork, problem-solving, and high-level math (beyond calculus).
Students pursuing this major devote just under 18 and a half hours per week to course preparation.
Bioengineering, often known as biological engineering, combines biological and engineering concepts to create useful goods like medical devices and diagnostic equipment.
Statistics, chemistry, biology, computer programming, biochemistry, and materials science are some of the classes required for bioengineering majors, though they can vary based on the route you choose.
21. Materials Engineering
Materials engineering is concerned with the design and discovery of materials. Many scientific breakthroughs rely on novel materials, and materials engineering students have the opportunity to experiment with cutting-edge materials as part of their study.
Math, basic sciences, and engineering analysis are among the subjects offered. Materials engineering degree require specific courses in structural dynamics, mechanical behaviour, and process design. This type of engineering is not for you if you prefer theoretical work.
This branch of engineering can be for you if you enjoy working with and visualizing complex three-dimensional challenges.
22. Biomedical Engineering
Do you enjoy engineering but also enjoy assisting others in the medical field? If that’s the case, biomedical engineering could be the ideal combination of these two areas.
Math, chemistry, and physics are all required subjects for biomedical engineers. They also take intensive biological science courses, including topics like as biomaterials and cellular dynamics.
This may not be the major for you if you prefer to stay in the classroom. Undergraduate biomedical engineering students frequently perform research on novel medical devices, vaccinations, genetics, and other topics.
23. Aerospace Engineering
Aeronautical and astronautical engineering are two subfields of aerospace engineering. Aerospace engineering is a difficult degree with a strong emphasis on advanced math and hard sciences, regardless of which subfield you choose.
Chemistry, physics, magnetism, matrix dynamics, circuits, and thermodynamics are among the subjects covered in most courses, as are more technical subjects like propulsion, aerodynamics, and satellite systems. “Hardest College Majors”
Aerospace engineering may be a good option for you if technical work with a strong math and science focus appeals to you. Additionally, if you are interested in flight or space exploration, aerospace engineering is an excellent method to pursue your interests.
24. Computer Science
Computer scientists are in high demand, but you must commit to a rigorous major if you want to work in this field.
Rather than acquiring a precise set of curricula like in the hard sciences, computer science majors spend a lot of time troubleshooting and problem-solving.
Computer science majors study computational methods as well as the theory and application of computers, from informatics to systems.
Algorithms, discrete structures, and computer architecture are common topics in computer science courses. This is in addition to programming classes in a variety of languages, including C, C++, Python, Java, and others (depending on your program).
Computer science may be an excellent fit for those who enjoy fiddling with computers and enjoy a challenge.
25. Chemical Engineering
Chemical engineering combines many of the hardest majors out there: chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics. If you love all those fields and can’t bear the thought of just picking one, chemical engineering might be worth investigating!
Specialized coursework for chemical engineers can include organic chemistry, thermodynamics, physics, economics, computational methods, mass and energy balance, and heat transfer.
Additionally, many chemical engineering majors have a significant lab and fieldwork portion. Fieldwork can range from manufacturing to pharmaceuticals and healthcare.
Chemical engineers take some of the most advanced courses across many different fields, which is what makes it such a hard–but rewarding!–major.
Although architecture programs appear to be an outlier on this list, they are exceedingly interdisciplinary. Math, physics, engineering concepts, art, and computer science are all studied by architecture majors (in order to create three-dimensional drafts and models).
Architecture is not the major for you if you enjoy math but not writing or painting. Students of this major, by their very nature, cover all of the key subjects in their study.
This major may be a good fit for those who are interested in architectural history, civil engineering, and drawing but can’t decide which one to pursue. But be aware of the long hours you’ll be spending at your drafting board!
Chemistry is a discipline of science that studies matter’s composition. Chemists study the properties of matter and the interactions between different substances.
Organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, and biochemistry are all required courses for chemistry majors, in addition to calculus, physics, and general chemistry.
Expect a lot of hands-on experience with chemistry majors because lab work is generally a big part of the curriculum. Chemistry majors devote at least 18 hours every week to their studies!
If you’re looking for a demanding science degree that will push you to your limits, chemistry is the way to go!
Individual, household and organizational behaviour in relation to markets and money are studied in economics. It’s about how people think and act, as well as what motivates them to make the decisions they do. So, why is economics seen as a difficult major?
You’ll take a lot of math and statistics coursework in this field, as well as a lot of critical thinking and data synthesizing – so it’ll be challenging!
Many economics graduates go on to work in fields such as business, technology, government, and finance. They frequently rise to prominence as analysts, expressing their expertise through interviews or their own writing.
Pros in Economics:
You have the option of working in a variety of sectors.
This degree can help you build critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will be useful in both your professional and personal life.
Cons in Economics:
If you’re not a math whiz–or at the very least like math–you’ll suffer in this sector.
It’s possible that studying graphs, charts, and spreadsheets every day will get tedious.
Do you enjoy putting your mind to the test by pondering huge questions? What is the purpose of life? How do we come to know the truth? What is the definition of human consciousness? In your classes, you will most likely spend your time reading the ideas of prominent philosophers and creating your own beliefs while debating with classmates and colleagues.
Because jobs in philosophy are limited, many students combine it with a more marketable major or minor. Consider the fields of software development, mathematics, ethics, linguistics, physics, and life sciences. Writing is a common way for Philosophy majors to advance in their careers.
This may not appear to be one of the most difficult college degrees, but it does necessitate the retention and knowledge of numerous topics.
30. Geological Engineering
Geological engineering is a broad field that includes anything from forestry to groundwater surveys to hazard assessments.
Coursework covers geology, as well as palaeontology, paleoecology, and mineralogy, as well as more general math and science subjects.
This degree also causes a significant amount of fieldwork in the great outdoors, dealing with environmental conservation via erosion control and water management. As a result, if you don’t enjoy getting dirty outside, it might not be a suitable choice for you.
Geological engineering can be a good fit for you if you were obsessed with your rock collection as a kid.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the hardest class mechanical engineers have to take?
In the first year (analytic geometry and calculus) and mechanical analysis classes (statics and dynamics).
In the second year (differential equations and physics)
In the third year (fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and electrical circuit design)
2. Where can we receive the best college advice for careers?
Talk with a counsellor immediately and have a series of tests done to determine your aptitudes and abilities.
Also, do some self-reflection and try to understand what you would like to do and what you feel you are good at doing.
3. Is organic chemistry the hardest ‘pre-med’ class?
Yes!! It has the highest failure rate, lowest class average and more retakes than any other science course.
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