7 Hardest College Classes

a guy studying hard at a coffee house

We’ve drudged through tons of online forums, social media networks, college websites and Google results to bring you the 7 hardest paths of knowledge the modern educational system has to offer. If you’re looking to tie your brain in a knot then you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to start with #7 and then work our way down to #1, and yes you guessed it, it has to do with math.

#1: Rocket Science

This is really more of a category than a class. The brainy genre encompasses many difficult math, physics and engineering courses that make the masses cringe. At the end of the day, however, thanks to private space companies like Virgin Galactic, SpaceX and Blue Origin this subject is about to go mainstream. In a small matter of years, we’ll be mining asteroids, colonizing Mars and building fleets of rockets for an emerging 21st-century industry!

The only reason Rocket Science places 7th on the list is because it’s still a fringe subject. The masses don’t really know if a new space age is about to begin or not. A tiny percentage of students are studying to become astronauts or rocket engineers right now but that’s probably going to change.

#2: Beam Me Up: Quantum Mechanics/Physics

Speaking of which…by the year 2050 this may start being taught in elementary schools, but until then this class is a real butt-kicker. Prepare to get really familiar with Einstein and the men and women who are advancing his theories and philosophies. Watch out, because it can get pretty abstract pretty fast. Prepare to have both hemispheres of your brain recruited to the umph-degree.

#3: Let’s Get Metaphysical

This isn’t PHIL 101 folks. We’re talking much deeper down the epistemological rabbit hole. The goal? To basically try understand the true nature of causation…to grapple with the differences between the subjective and objective universe/experience. Only those who seek the most profound of intellectual challenges dare take advanced Metaphysics.

#4: Advanced Thermodynamics

Most people think of weight loss these days when they hear the word thermodynamics. You know, “More energy out vs. calories in means you’ll get thinner!” It’s a bit more complicated than that.

Rumor has it that Purdue University sports the hardest engineering courses in the land. In reality, studying the transference of heat on our plane is hard just about anywhere.

Engineering is rough stuff, but it’s worth it! If you can handle it and keep your GPA high, you’re looking at potentially big $$$ upon graduation (or after internships). And, international appeal. Good engineers are in short supply everywhere but China and India pretty much.

#5: Sigh…Economics

Judging by the performance of central banks and Wall Street, current economic theory isn’t panning out so well (Keynesian). Maybe more people should study advanced economics? Well, over at Harvard (where many of our economic leaders study) Economics 1126 or the “Quantitative Methods in Economics” is a real challenge. If you choose to become an economist, please do a better job!

Since when did it begin making sense to live in a debt=wealth world? So far it looks like mainstream economic theories of today are failing, mainly because they can’t adapt to the speed of technological innovation. Those who pass this class with flying colors are probably going to work in a think tank somewhere but collect a sizeable paycheck.

#6: Organic Chemistry: The Doctor Destroyer

Tons of people who believe they’re destined to be doctors one day see their dreams dashed and diverted by Organic Chemistry. For undergraduates, this is where you have to really take coffee and the library seriously. It’s often considered in hushed tones and whispers to be among the most difficult classes before you begin your post-graduate studies. Then, of course, we can talk about advanced physiology and anatomy classes as well, which are brutal.

#7: Math

Yep, just math in general. For many students algebra 101 feels like Organic Chemistry or Quantum Mechanics. It’s hard! Especially for the super-creative types that would rather write, paint and create than write out pages of equations for the purpose of…? So, what’s the hardest math class? That question was asked over at College Confidential and here are some classes students talked about at length.

  • Linear Algebra
  • Complex Analysis
  • Advanced Engineering Math
  • Partial Differential Equations
  • The Study of Algorithms

The list goes on and on from there. That rabbit hole just keeps going and going like the Energizer Bunny created it. But there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Feel like conquering the highest and hardest levels of human knowledge.

Now you know which classes to take. But let’s hear it, what do you think are the hardest classes at your college?

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