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10 Easiest & Hardest Courses to Study at the University

What are the hardest courses and easiest courses to study in universities, polytechnic and other higher institutions?  This is one of the questions people ask, especially secondary school students.

Before we look at those degrees (courses) that are rated hardest, I want to state one fact here: no course is actually too easy. This is because people differ in what they find easy or difficult. For example, to one person mathematics may be easier than the English language 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 quite stressful trying to memorize a lot of definitions from different schools of thought, arguments, and counter-argument, dates, etc.

Most students in engineering find calculation easier to deal with than “theory” (as we refer to courses like GSP). But then some students from Biochemistry that “borrowed” one of our courses described the course “hell.” Meaning they found the engineering course difficult to grasp. A couple of times 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 before we start looking at courses which have been rated hardest is what I have said earlier: no 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 whom you bring it to.

However, another fact worth mentioning is that over time statistics have shown that some courses might be really harder than others. Not only that those courses require more amount of time and effort, but they are also more challenging that a significant number of students quit along the way.

Question paper

Rating sources

The ratings in this post are based on ratings from different sources which I put together to get a clearer pattern. Some sources rated the courses based on dropout rates (an example is rating by telegraph.co.uk), some by individual courses (like this one by listsurge.com), and some based on the field of study (example The 10 Hardest College Degrees by outstandingcolleges.com).

Where subjects are used for the rating I try to find the courses that are related to the subjects. For example, engineering is basically the application of physics and mathematics. So, if physics and math are rated very hard, engineering is likely very hard as well.

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

Hardest courses/degrees

Note: The 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.

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

So, based on the ratings, engineering courses are the hardest to study!

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.

34 thoughts on “10 Easiest & Hardest Courses to Study at the University”

  1. That`s a wonderful one,I have been looking for a statement like this,but no one remembered that this course ‘law’ is an almighy one.it is truely the hardest no doubt my bro!

    1. All the materials machines used by doctors are designed by engineers, not just ordinary engineers, think of STR, ARCH, MECH. EEE

      Don’t forget the 50/50 jobs “crimes fighters” life na dice

      1. The only reason why engineering is the simplest in your write-up is because you’re studying it, so your post is just a personal opinion and isn’t worth sharing with even a close friend that isn’t an engineer if not you’ll just send the person to frustration

      2. Professor David Garbutt

        In order of hardest to easiest: Physics, Medicine, Mathematics, Philosophy, Engineering, Computer Science, Architecture, History, English, Art History, Social Sciences, Accounting, Business, Education, Hospitality

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