Top 10 Easiest and Hardest College Degree Majors

So, what is the most difficult course in college?

​That is a difficult question to answer. The most difficult course in college as a whole would be
nearly impossible to determine, because different students find different things difficult. A lot of
students who would cower in fear at the mathematics in my second semester will thrive in
upper-level political science classes on critical theory, the very idea of which gives some
physics or mathematics majors in cold sweats.

However, not all college degrees take the same amount of time and effort or are the most.
Determining which degree will be the easiest for you depends greatly on your own personal
abilities and the particular school you choose to attend. Some people are naturally good (or
horrible) at math, others are good (or horrible) at writing. Such natural strengths and
weaknesses will help determine which majors are more or less difficult for a particular person.
Some schools are far more rigorous and demanding than others. This too will influence the
difficulty of a degree.

So how do we determine then, which college degree majors are easiest or most difficult
in general?

Using available data from the National Center for Education Statistics, a group of education
enthusiasts was able to formulate a formula to assess the general difficulty of the common
college degree programs using these three categories or factors (take time to think about this

1. the average grade point average (GPA) within a major,

2. the average time it took to complete a degree in that major, and;

3. the amount of work and leisure time students could afford while studying in that major.

The assumption is that: the more difficult the majors are, the lower their average GPAs will be,
the longer completion times, and lesser time for outside activities.

The Easiest

1. Education: In the United States, those students who arrive in college with the lowest
average SAT scores and graduate with the highest grades tend to be education majors.
While is it not true that those who can’t do must teach, this is confirmed by years of

2. Humanities: The average GPA for humanities students is at the 3.5+ bracket. It is one
of the easiest majors a student can sign up for (but again we reiterate, some people are simply not inclined to literature, theatre, or are talented to perform, or even appreciate the humanities courses). There is also a difficulty in marketing humanities courses in the job market today.

3. Math: Mathematics majors’ average GPAs is the third-highest rate in the 3.5+ category
(4 is the highest). Math also has the lowest median completion time (meaning, most
math majors complete their program on time). These place Math in the easy category,
notwithstanding popular belief. Research shows that math majors sail through college
quickly and make good grades even though nearly a quarter of them that work do so for
more than 40 hours a week. It could be that the way many math subjects relate to and
build on one another makes them easier for majors and difficult for non-majors who
merely take a course or two.

4. Computer/information science: This might be surprising but CIS is the major with the
fifth-highest average GPA, and recording the highest-percentage of students working or
doing leisure activities outside class for at least 40 hours per week!

5. Health: A degree in medicine is difficult to obtain of course, that is well-documented. But
for those who want to work a little more indirectly in the healthcare industry, there is
somewhat easier bachelor’s degree – BS Health Administration and BS Health and
Wellness among others. These majors focus on the business side, dealing with human
resources and hospital operations.

The Hardest

1. Engineering: From chemical engineering to electrical to mechanical engineering, the
courses one takes in chemistry, physics, calculus, statistics, biology, and other general
education programs give you the lowest rates of As and the highest rate of Cs for any
major. Engineering programs have a notoriously high dropout rate as high as 60 percent
a year!

2. Life sciences: The life sciences include biology, genetics, zoology, anatomy, and
biochemistry among others. Life sciences courses follow engineering courses in lowes
average GPA line-up.

3. Business & management: Below half of business and management students are able
to pull off a 3.5 or better, and they average the second longest amount of time in which
students complete their degrees. So, you think your MBA-degree holder boss is stupid?
Hmm, think again, he/she went through the eye of the needle!

4. Physical sciences: The physical sciences include physics, chemistry, and geology.
Majors of physical sciences record the lowest percentage of students able to work full-
time (more than 30 hours a week) and the fourth-lowest rate of students with average
GPAs over 3.5. Indeed, majoring in these fields proves to be a challenging undertaking.

5. Social/behavioral sciences: The social sciences is a popular choice for students
seeking an easy A. Many think that the social sciences are easy programs, only to
realise later that it is also a tough undertaking to major in this field. The social and
behavioral sciences encapsulate what are sometimes known as “soft sciences”: political
science, psychology, economics, sociology, and anthropology. The social and behavioral
sciences house the fourth-lowest number of fulltime workers and are tied for shortest median degree completion time (meaning, only a few students successfully complete their degree on time).

While we have listed the easiest and most difficult college degree majors in general, remember
that these ranking is based on quantitative factors like (1) average GPA within the majors, (2)
amount of time to complete their degree, and (3) amount of time majors spend on activities
outside school; all under the assumption that the more difficult the majors are, the lower their
average GPAs will be, the longer completion times, and lesser time for outside activities.
Ultimately, what is difficult for one individual might not be the case for another. After all, we are
born or/and trained with varying skillsets and natural inclinations.

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