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12 Toughest Courses in the World

Education
6 min read
|
Uploaded on
Sep 2, 2023
|
Last updated on
Feb 12, 2024
Uploaded on
Sep 2, 2023
|
Last updated on
Feb 12, 2024
Top 12 Toughest Courses In The World
With a little bit of hardwork, nothing is tough!

As we complete high school, we are all burdened with the idea of choosing courses we wish to pursue in the future. Choosing the perfect undergraduate course is always the tricky part. As every hardest course in the world has different entry requirements, their selection processes are also different, and they can be ranked from the toughest to the easiest courses to pursue for a student. Here, we are going to talk about the toughest courses in the world. 

Factors Determining What Makes A Course Difficult

Understanding the toughest courses in the world may have a significant influence on a student's academic career. Several factors influence students' learning experiences and outcomes, including the perceived hardest course in the world. Determining the toughest courses involves several aspects:

1. Content Complexity

The complexity of the subject matter and its alignment with the student's prior knowledge can have a substantial influence on the level of the toughest courses in the world.

2. Workload

The sheer number of assignments, readings, and projects adds to the perceived difficulty. Heavy workloads may be exhausting.

3. Teaching Style

How effectively students absorb topics is influenced by the instructor's teaching style, communication, and clarity of instruction.

4. Assessment Methods

Evaluation methods such as exams, essays, or practical assignments affect the ease of assessment and can impact student stress levels.

5. Prerequisites

Toughest Courses with particular requirements assume a certain level of expertise. Students may struggle if these criteria are not met.

Toughest Courses in the World

Here is a list of the 12 most difficult courses in the world all students should add to their learning and internships bucket.

Toughest Courses in the World

1. Medicine

Top Universities: Stanford University, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge

Dropout rate: 18.4%

Acceptance rate: 41%

Subjects Covered: Anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, pathology, and clinical medicine

One of the toughest courses in the world is the study of medicine. The course duration is usually five years, and one needs to complete another three years if one wishes to specialise in the toughest medical course in the world. Check out our blog article on the best countries for pursuing MBBS!

Eligibility Criteria:

1. High school diploma or equivalent qualifications

2. A four-year degree from an accredited college or university

3. Preparatory work in biology, English, and other courses that meet the requirements of the medical school they are applying to

4. A minimum GPA of 3.3 in college

5. Minimum TOEFL and IELTS results

6. Minimum MCAT or UCAT exam result (set by each university individually)

7. Evidence of research or community work experience related to medicine and healthcare

2. Engineering

Top Universities: University of Cambridge, Stanford University, University of Cambridge

Dropout rate: 60%

Acceptance rate: 21.67%

Subjects Covered: Mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer programming, engineering graphics and design

Engineering is one of the toughest courses in the world and utilises a student's ability of critical and logical thinking. One should be willing to learn maths and science if one wishes to pursue engineering as their future career. There are many sub-courses in engineering like Aeronautical Engineering, Automobile Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. You can check out some other branches of engineering here!

Eligibility Criteria:

1. A broad general education of at least five GCSEs at grades 9-4. English Language, Science and Mathematics

2. A minimum of two A-Levels – but for the most popular courses, three A-Levels at A/B grade are commonly needed

3. Admissions Tests based on which course and university you're applying to

4. SAT or ACT may be required

5. For graduate study, a relevant bachelor's degree and the student may be required to submit GRE scores.

3. Chartered Accountancy

Top Universities: Harvard University, Stanford University, MIT 

Dropout rate: 54%

Acceptance rate: Varies

Subjects Covered: Financial accounting, auditing, taxation, financial management, and corporate regulations. 

Chartered accountancy is one of the most respected and rewarding professions, but it is also one of the toughest courses in the world. One needs to be good with numbers and accounting in order to choose this toughest course in the world. The entrance exams for such difficult courses in the world are equally challenging and are set to test the logical and numerical skills of the students. 

Eligibility Criteria: 

1. A minimum of 50% marks in their 3-year bachelor's degree or have completed the CA/CS course

2. A minimum of 60% marks in their graduation/post-graduation if they are from a non-commerce background

3. Proof of English language proficiency

4. Additional qualifications such as ACCA in the UK and the CPT or ICAI's Foundation Course Exam in India.

4. Pharmacy

Top Universities: University of Oxford, University of Toronto, UCL

Dropout rate: 14.6%

Acceptance rate: 87%

Subjects Covered: Pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, pharmacognosy

Pursuing pharmacy is quite popular among students who like to study chemistry and biology. It is an important course, as hospitals and pharmacies would have never existed without pharmaceutical courses. However, it is not as hard as studying medicine, and it is still one of the toughest courses in the world.

The top sub-courses for pharmacy are:

1. Diploma in Pharmacy

2. Pharmacology

3. Pharmacognosy

4. Biochemistry

5. Jurisprudence

Eligibility Criteria:

1. For A-level, subjects should include chemistry and usually one other science such as biology, maths or physics

2. For BTEC, applied science or one or two science-based A-levels

3. At least five GCSEs, with a grade C/4 or above, including English, maths and often a science-based subject

4. A Higher Level in chemistry with a grade of 6 is needed for most courses

5. Law

Top Universities: Yale University, Columbia University, Harvard University

Dropout rate: 38%

Acceptance rate: 11%

Subjects Covered: Constitutional law, criminal law, contracts, property, and legal research

Law is one of the most important and toughest courses in the world. The law helps countries function, and it helps governments and countries function. Pursuing law requires mental awareness, observational skills, patience and high perceptual abilities. This is why studying law is one of the toughest courses in the world and it is important to choose the best choice for you!Take a look at the best law schools in the world! There are many sub-courses in law:

1. Corporate Law

2. Criminal Law

3. Litigation Law

4. Civil Law

5. International Law

Eligibility Criteria:

1. High school diploma or a certificate that equates to 12 years of study

2. At least a grade C or B, or a level 4 or above, at GCSE in English, Math and in certain cases, a subject such as foreign languages

3. At least three A Levels with AAA or AAB grades, and in some circumstances, at least one A-Level

4. LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is required partially

5. A high English Language Proficiency Score is necessary for international students

6. Architecture

Top Universities: MIT, Manchester School of Architecture, UCL

Dropout rate: 45%

Acceptance rate: Varies

Subjects Covered: Architectural history, design theory, structural engineering, building materials, environmental systems, and construction management.

Studying architecture is usually regarded as an easy course, but it is not and is one of the most difficult courses in the world. Studying architecture is not just designing the interior and exterior of buildings, but it's also how one designs them using sustainable materials that will not harm the environment and also look unique. As architects shape the future, a presence of mind is also required, and one should be serious about it as it is one of the toughest courses in the world. 

Eligibility Criteria:

1. A minimum of 32 International Baccalaureate points

2. A score of AAB or higher in A-levels with a focus on art, sciences, and writing ability

3. An IELTS score of 6.5 or higher, with a minimum of 6.0 in all four tasks individually

4. Entrance exams based on the university you're applying to

5. A portfolio along with an interview may be required

There are many universities and schools for Architecture, dont forget to check out some of the best architecture universities in the UK and architecture schools in the US.

7. Psychology

Top Universities: Harvard University, University of Oxford, UCL

Dropout rate: 45%

Acceptance rate: 13%

Subjects Covered: Cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, aberrant psychology, social psychology, and research methodologies.

Psychology is the study of human nature in light of various contexts, including individual, sociological, psychological, and economic factors. The hardest course in the world is the scientific study of the human mind. As every person thinks differently, the study keeps evolving, making it a challenging study, which makes it one of the toughest courses in the world. Here are the major branches of Psychology! Some of the popular Psychology sub-courses are:

1. Clinical Psychology

2. Criminology

3. Neuropsychology

4. Counselling Psychology

5. Sports Psychology

Eligibility Criteria:

1. A certain number of psychology-specific courses, which may vary depending on the institution and degree level

2. A grade of C- or better in each required course

3. Cognate courses in the humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences

4. An English Language Qualification such as IELTS 7.0 overall

8. Statistics

Top Universities: MIT, Stanford University, Harvard University

Dropout rate: 5.2%

Acceptance rate: 11%

Subjects Covered: Probability theory, statistical inference, regression analysis and experimental design

This is one of the toughest courses in the world. Studying statistics requires you to be calm and good with numbers and graphs. Students who choose statistics are required to be good with arithmetic, logic, and thinking. 

Eligibility Criteria:

1. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a cumulative GPA of 2.5 in all courses used to satisfy the major requirements

2. Preparatory work in statistics, calculus, linear algebra, and computer science

3. A minimum of 47 semester hours of work for the major

4. STAT 160ABC or equivalent may be required

9. Quantum Mechanics

Top Universities: MIT, Stanford University, University of Oxford

Dropout rate: 7%

Acceptance rate: 22.23%

Subjects Covered: Wave-particle duality, Schrodinger equation, quantum states and operators, quantum mechanics of simple systems, angular momentum

The course of quantum mechanics requires a student to be well versed in their theories of physics and mathematics. This toughest course in the world is the study of atoms and particles and uses multiple theories put up by eminent scientists and mathematicians. A student should know the use of mathematical functions, integral calculus, fundamental profitability, internal integration, analysis, etc. This is why quantum mechanics is one of the toughest courses in the world, as one is required to be well-versed in topics that most would consider quite difficult.

Eligibility Criteria:

1. Preparatory work in mathematics, including calculus and partial derivatives

2. Courses in classical mechanics, electromagnetism, and thermodynamics

3. Bachelor's degree in physics or a related field

4. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in their undergraduate coursework

5. GRE scores may be required

10. Aeronautics

Top Universities: Harvard University, University of California, University of Cambridge

Dropout rate: 4%

Acceptance rate: 60%

Subjects Covered: Aerodynamics, aircraft structures and materials, flight mechanics and aircraft control systems

Aeronautics is a branch of engineering, but it deserves to be on the list of toughest courses in the world as it is so vast and is used in the study of planes and spacecraft. Aeronautics is used to be precise and help with the painstaking engineering and construction of motors, structures, and hardware for aerial vehicles. Students who will pursue the most difficult courses in the world, such as aeronautics, will be required to use many software and theories of physics and mathematical calculations. 

Eligibility Criteria:

1. A relevant bachelor's degree and a high school diploma or equivalent qualifications in chemistry, fluid dynamics, physics, and materials.

2. Preparatory work in mathematics, including calculus and analytic geometry

3. General education courses, such as English, history, or humanities, to satisfy the particular requirements of their university 

11. Journalism

Top Universities: New York University, Stanford University, Columbia University

Dropout rate: 20%

Acceptance Rate: 38%

Subjects covered: Feature writing, media Law, storytelling ability, digital media, ethics, broadcast journalism and feature writing.

Globally, journalism is considered the toughest course in the world because of its unique skill requirements. Students are expected to inculcate good writing, logical and critical reasoning, pressure handling and investigative skills.

Eligibility Criteria: 

The applicant must have completed 10+2 and clear english proficiency tests.

12. Actuarial Science

Top Universities: Columbia University, Florida State University, Ohio State University

Dropout Rate: 40%

Acceptance Rate: 24%

Subjects Covered: Risk Modelling, financial mathematics, theory of probability, mathematical statistics.

Actuarial science is a combination of maths, finance, economics and statistics that guides individuals to assess risk management in industries like finance, insurance, etc.

Eligibility Criteria: 

1. The applicants must complete 10+2 or higher secondary education with English, mathematics or statistics as main subjects.

2. The student should fulfil the entrance requirements which are set by relevant authorities.

These were the 12 most difficult courses in the world, but there is nothing to be afraid of. Each student has their own difficult courses, and with just a pinch of faith and a ton of hard work, you will excel in your own course. All the best!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which are the toughest courses in the world?

What are some of the factors that determine the level of the toughest courses in the world?

Is psychology the hardest course in the world?

Do the most difficult courses in the world have any prerequisites?

What are the professional opportunities after completing the most difficult courses in the world?

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12 Toughest Courses in the World
6 min read
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