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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, polytechnics and other higher institutions?  This is one of the questions people ask, especially for 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 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, 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 who “borrowed” one of our courses described the course as “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 a 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 the hardest courses in the comment box below.

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

  1. what would u say Comp Sci falls under? I’m in a BCAD course and it involves network engineering, and such so would it be considered difficult?

  2. For me, in decreasing order, they’re as follows:
    Veterinary medicine
    Medicine and surgery
    Other medical courses
    Physical Sciences

  3. 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. Law isn’t tougher than Engineering, bro.
      Yes, the course load in Law isn’t funny, but Engineering can run someone mad actually. Science sometimes looks like something that doesn’t exist?
      You’d need to crack brain a big deal before you’d solve some problems.
      Law isn’t easy because it’s very bulky; someone with low retentive memory can’t cope with Law.
      Engineering isn’t easy because it requires problem solving all the time; someone who find it hard to concentrate & be patient can’t cope with the course. Non is easy. Don’t need to compare. It’s our passion for each of them that pushes us. One man’s bread may be another man’s poison.

    1. Medicine is tough because of the load & strictness. Normally, the science of human body isn’t more ambiguous than that of animals ( in terms of Veterinary ), or that of non living things (chemical, mechanical, space etc Engineering). Someone may carry a some courses over in Veterinary and Engineering, but it’s very rare to be allowed to carry a course over in Medicine & Surgery ( strictness ). In medsurg, you’re dealing with human lives (the most precious thing), meaning you ought to give the best, and your best ought to be enough. That’s why you’d see many people that couldn’t make it through the medical school. Some failed out, which cannot happen in other fields.
      You grab?

    1. Medical courses are strict not that they’re too brain cracking. Engineers crack brain a lot.
      Medical courses are also bulky. You can’t afford to study them if you have little time for books.

    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. BCH isn’t funny to me. You deal with molecules, structures. The science is sometimes incredible. You’d ask: “how sure are we that these people are not deceiving us with their findings. How did they even find this and that ?”. How sure are they that fructose and sucrose have these structures, bla bla bla??

    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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