What are the hardest majors?

When we consider which university degree to study, one of the factors to take into account is its difficulty. There are many opinions about it, so we have selected the most difficult university courses for you in a ranking.

In this article we are going to answer the question ‘’What are the hardest majors?’’ We will present the 10 most difficult majors according to the hours in which students spend preparing for classes.

What are the hardest majors?

The hardest majors are:

  1. Architecture.
  2. Chemical Engineering
  3. Aero and Astronautical Engineering
  4. Biomedical Engineering
  5. Cell and Molecular Biology.
  6. Physics
  7. Astronomy
  8. Biochemistry or Biophysics
  9. Bioengineering
  10. Petroleum Engineering

Do you like to challenge yourself? Are you one of those who grow when things get complicated? So your professional future is in one of these careers.

Don’t let anyone tell you how far you can go … it would be useless to study something that you do not like or motivate you for the simple fact of being easier.

The truth is that the difficulty is something very subjective, since what is unattainable for some can be very accessible for others. But the only thing that always depends on is the effort and will of each one.

I’m sure that if you show passion and perseverance in your studies, you will finish them successfully, no matter how difficult they are.

Now, we are going to know what are those most difficult university majors according to the University of Cambridge news site, The Tab

1.        Architecture

Architecture is one of those careers that require more time than the average. Throughout the program, you will undoubtedly invest many sleepless nights in your living room or in front of the computer making models or 3D designs. These are some of the sacrifices you will have to make if you want to graduate from Architecture.

From the second semester of the degree, you will begin to see the signs of what is to come in the future.

Subjects such as Technical Drawing or Drawing I, Integral Design and Descriptive Geometry, are those that open the curtain to a study curriculum that contains much of it, especially the first two.

So if drawing and creativity are your things, don’t hesitate.

If you are thinking of starting a career in Architecture, it is better that you bring a solid foundation in mathematics. Although the degree is not 100% based on numbers, you will have to pass several calculus subjects apart from 3 mathematics in the first semesters of the degree.

2.        Chemical Engineering  

Chemical Engineering studies the processes through which it is possible for companies and factories to create the vast majority of the products that we use daily in our lives, from the food industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and cleaning industries, they benefit in one way or another from the graduates of this career.

Like almost any career of this type, Chemical Engineering is a science that bases much of its knowledge and methodologies on mathematics, physics and, logically, chemistry.

Of course, it is not only about understanding numbers and formulas but about having a true passion for their application. And it is that the chemical components, as well as the atoms that make up each of the particles and solutions with which chemical engineers work have their basis in mathematics and physical phenomena.

3.        Aero and Astronautical Engineering

Aeronautical Engineering is a discipline in the engineering and technology sector and is one of the most highly valued professionals today at an industrial and labor level for its important role in economic and social development.

Many young people are inclined to this discipline because of their tastes and preferences, but to succeed in the area it is necessary to have solid knowledge and certain professional skills.

The difficult obligation to master aspects such as mechanics, astrodynamics, aerodynamics, structure and informatics make aeronautical engineering one of the most difficult.

4.        Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering is the application of the principles, techniques and method of engineering in the health area to contribute to the development of society and human well-being.

The training of the biomedical engineer is basically computer science, mechanics and technology. Its main tool will be the computer, especially today, with the new 3D printers, which already allow the manufacture of some of the tools and prostheses that will be used in the medical field.

These professionals show extensive training in areas such as molecular and cellular biology, anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, and regenerative medicine.

And it is that these professionals, as a result of their knowledge and ability in the use of technological tools, will design valves for replacement in patients with cardiovascular diseases, bone prostheses, etc.

5.        Cell and Molecular Biology

Nowadays. The concept of molecular biology can be said that it is responsible for expressing the phenomena that occur in life, from the beginning of macromolecular factors.

The applicant for a degree in Molecular Biology must have high-school education of a scientific or technological nature, with comprehensive bases in biology, chemistry, physics, computing and mathematics, but above all, they must have an interest in the acquisition and application of knowledge.

This sector concerns various fields of the biological and chemical sciences. As is the case of the so-called genetic and biochemical engineering. The performance of molecular biology is related to the interactive processes of the cell system.

That is why it is related in such diverse ways with DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis.

6.        Physics 

The behavior of a physical system is determined by dynamic equations. From experimental data, physicists derive these equations, allowing them to predict how the system will behave in the future.

Physics is the science that studies the properties of nature with the help of Mathematics. It is responsible for analyzing the characteristics of energy, time and matter, as well as the links established between them.

The discipline of Physics has a very broad field of study, which is why it can be considered as the central Natural Sciences, since within its area the study of chemistry, biology and electronics are included.

It can be raised both from theory and from practice, since it seeks to verify hypotheses through experimentation based on observations and previous studies.

Physics prepares professionals to know how the universe works, from particles, molecules, atoms, cells, living organisms, to complex systems such as planets, stars and space.

7.        Astronomy  

Astronomy includes the study of the universe, cosmological theories and the various celestial bodies, such as planets, satellites, comets, asteroids, stars, galaxies, among others. Astronomy also encompasses the study of the formation and development of the Universe as a whole through cosmology, and is related to physics, chemistry, and biology.

The major in astronomy is filled with Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Topographic and Geodetic Engineering, Mathematical Engineering or Physical Engineering.


8.        Biochemistry or Biophysics

Biochemistry is a science that studies the chemical composition of living things, especially proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids.

Try to understand the chemical basis of life: the molecules that makeup cells and tissues, which catalyze the chemical reactions of cellular metabolism such as digestion, photosynthesis and immunity, among many other things.

While biophysics is responsible for deepening the knowledge of the physical and physicochemical foundations of biological processes. In particular, those in which energy transformations, transport through membranes or pores and bioelectric processes take place will be addressed.

It has applications in wide sectors of medicine, agri-food, pharmacology, and several other areas.

Biochemistry / biophysics students will face five major subject areas:

  • Physics-Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Basic Biochemistry

9.        Bioengineering 

The objective of the major in Biomedical Engineering is to understand the fundamentals of biological processes at the molecular and systemic level to integrate knowledge and technologies to solve the challenges faced by society.

Analyze biological processes in order to identify, pose and solve problems through the use of methods of science and engineering.

Use computational methods to model, simulate, and analyze the dynamics of biological systems and industrial processes, when necessary.

Solve problems related to their environment using biological systems to create or modify products and processes in the areas of environmental, bioprocess simulation, metabolic engineering, biomaterials, food, biomedicine, among others.

The applicant must have a taste for: Mathematics, Biology, especially at the molecular level and solving technical problems.

10.   Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum Engineering is the combination of the science of Engineering in order to study hydrocarbons, the techniques to discover the location of the fields, to exploit them, to transport the oil, and later transform it into other products.

Covering the different stages of the oil industry such as exploration, drilling, production, transportation, storage, refining, marketing, and finally the negotiation of oil contracts.

For professionals in Petroleum Engineering, the use of science is very important, especially physics and chemistry.

The knowledge acquired throughout the degree will be in constant evolution due to the repeated search for new resources for the production of petroleum products and its optimization.

It is not very easy to study petroleum engineering, but what engineering is? You have to be a lover of numbers, physics and chemistry, if you already have these three points in your favor then it will be much easier for you to achieve it.

So, What are the hardest majors?

It is true that, although with all possible nuances and precautions, there is a more or less generalized perception that the most difficult careers are those in science. Engineering would be included in this group, especially some of them such as telecommunications, aerospace or aeronautics, and also physics or mathematics.

The arguments put forward by those in favor of placing these degrees in the leading positions in terms of difficulty is that they require the understanding of complex concepts, often related to mathematics.

A subject that, for various reasons, causes serious learning difficulties in a high percentage of students.

Above beliefs, stereotypes and opinions, the truth is that each person has their own abilities and facility for certain subjects. There are students who excel in the most memorable facets and others, on the contrary, are better at numbers.

For this reason it is tremendously unfair to speak of easy or difficult careers or subjects, since the very concept of difficulty varies from student to student.

Finally, we come across the question of motivation.

A student who is really interested in passing a certain university degree because he really likes it and considers it essential for his future, will be able to pass the different tests, even if they are complicated subjects.

FAQS: What are the hardest majors?

What is the most difficult college major?

The most difficult college major is architecture. 

What is the hardest degree to get?

Architecture seems to be the hardest degree to get.

What are the easiest majors?

Based on the highest GPA of the students, psychology and English seem to be the easiest to get good grades.

What are the hardest science majors?

Without a doubt, everyone agrees that chemistry is the most difficult science major of all.

What is the most stressful major?

According to new research, the most stressed out majors in America are Pharmacy, Architecture and Nursing. In contrast to arts-related classes, which students claim make them feel less depressed on average, STEM majors are largely the most stressful degrees in the country.

In this article we  answered the question ‘’What are the hardest majors?’’ We presented the 10 most difficult majors according to the hours in which students spend preparing for classes.

If you have a questions or comments please let us know!


Carlton, G. (2014, December 5). Top 10 Easiest and Hardest College Degree Majors | TheBestColleges.org. Retrieved November 13, 2020, from TheBestColleges.org website: https://www.thebestcolleges.org/top-10-easiest-and-hardest-college-degree-majors/

Ingalls, J. (2017). Architecture majors work the hardest in college, study reveals. Archinet News, 7.

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