Most of the hardest college majors are in the math and sciences field, but by staying focused and using study techniques, you can earn your degree regardless of your chosen major.
Choosing a college major is a big decision for your future. A majority of students change their major before graduation, but that number is higher for those pursuing degrees that are considered to be the hardest college majors. For example, 52% of math majors changed their mind along with 40% of natural sciences majors.
When choosing a major, the degree of difficulty will play its fair share of importance, but it shouldn’t be the sole reason you choose to study one thing over another. Let’s take a look at some of the hardest college majors, as well as the best ways to decide what to study during your college career.
What is a Major?
A major is your subject of specialization in college. Most of the courses you take will be in subjects pertaining to your major, so it is the subject matter you will be most well-versed in upon graduation.
A major can be earned at an undergraduate level with an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. Once you have earned your undergraduate degree, you can continue to pursue higher education degrees for a Master’s or Doctoral degree in your chosen field of study. Continuing your education beyond an undergraduate major will depend on your career goals and level of interest in the subject matter.
How Do You Decide Your Major?
Deciding your major is a personal decision, but it is of course impacted by the requirements for your future goals. For example, if you want to go to graduate school and become a lawyer, it will best serve you to major in a related subject like Political Science.
So, how do you choose your major?
Consider the following:
1. Define your future goals:
Your future goals play a major (no pun intended) role in deciding what you study. As mentioned above, if you want to enter a profession that requires graduate school or relevant academic experience, that will dictate your chosen major. However, even if you don’t want to go to graduate school, the point of an undergraduate major is to help prepare you within a specific subject area to be used practically in your career.
2. What are you genuinely interested in?
Naturally, you’ll be more interested and invested in studying hard if you care about the topic. Take some time to think about the subjects that you are passionate about and how you can leverage the education towards a fulfilling future.
3. Ask for help/advice:
You’re not alone! Many students face contemplation when deciding upon their major. That’s why it’s useful to ask for advice from the people who know you best or talk to a college or career counselor. There are even tests that can help see how your personality best fits a certain major.
Hardest College Majors
College majors vary in difficulty level and while one subject can be considered hard for one student, it may be easy for another. However, there are some college majors that are typically considered to be the hardest, which include:
Typically chosen by those entering the health and medical fields, biology is the study of living organisms. Coursework includes physiology, chemistry, microbiology and biochemistry, which all offer their fair share of challenging information. The average GPA for this major is 3.2.
2. Computer Science:
In increasingly high demand, computer science majors have a variety of workplace opportunity and earning potential. But first, they must complete classes in programming, statistics, algorithms, calculus and more. The average GPA in this major is also 3.2.
3. Civil Engineering:
Civil engineers are the people behind the creation, maintenance and development of systems, including bridges, airports, buildings and the like. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the field is expected to grow by 11% through 2026. Because the curriculum includes physics and a lot of math courses, it is considered to be difficult. The average GPA is 3.3.
4. Mechanical Engineering:
Like civil engineering, mechanical engineering includes a lot of coursework in math, along with technical work and computer programming. Mechanical engineers work with automated and electrical systems. The average GPA is 3.3.
5. Social Sciences:
As a broad field, social sciences encompass degrees like history, political science, and sociology. Since it is an interdisciplinary degree, it requires a well-rounded and genuinely curious individual to stay focused and be successful with the major. The average GPA is 3.3.
Easiest College Majors
On the other end of the spectrum, there are a few degrees that are considered relatively easy majors when compared to those in the “hard” category. Most of the degrees in this category are related to Education, including:
- Special Education
- Elementary Education
- Secondary Education
- Social Work
These degrees are relatively easy because they are less focused on math and more involved with intrapersonal communication and creative problem-solving.
Online Vs. Traditional – Is One Easier?
Choosing your major is only one big decision to make when it comes to college. You also can choose where to study, whether that be at an online university or at a traditional on-campus institution. Either way, the college majors don’t change in terms of difficulty, but rather some majors are better suited to study online, like education.
Online institutions like University of the People offer degree-granting programs that are designed with curriculums geared towards employability. Along with quality education, online programs offer its students the flexibility to study whenever and wherever they choose as everything, including course materials, is accessed online.
Interested in knowing what it’s like to study online? Here’s a list of 15 reasons why it might be right for you.
How to Succeed at College: Top Tips
No matter what you study or where you go to school, you can be successful and open up opportunities for your future. In order to so, you can do the following:
- Set goals
- Be prepared
- Leverage study resources
- Practice time management
- Use stress relief techniques
- Accept failure and try again
- Take study breaks
The Bottom Line
Deciding on your college major is a serious consideration and a big decision towards what you’ll do in your future. But, it’s also okay not to know what you want to do yet. So many people change their major or even take a break in order to decide what they really want to do.
Regardless of the difficulty level of your chosen major, you should remind yourself of why you are choosing to study what you do so that you can stay motivated to earn your degree. Both online and traditional universities have resources available to help you throughout your journey through your selected college major!