The 10 Hardest and Easiest College Majors

Apr 6, 2021

Choosing a major is one of the most important and difficult decisions that undergraduates have to make. If you’ve reached this point in life, this article is for you. Making the right decision will allow you to find meaningful work that will help you pay your bills and even get super-rich. 

On the other hand, choosing the wrong major can result in years of frustration and unhappiness because the work isn’t exciting, doesn’t compensate well, or takes up a lot of time. Choosing a college major is a personal decision. Therefore, it’s important to think about it before making your selection. Here are the top ten easiest and hardest college majors.

The top 10 hardest college majors

To help you make the right decision when it comes to your major, we’ve compiled a list of the ten hardest majors. Some of the aspects that we focused on to determine the hardest majors include average studying hours, average GPA, and the return on investment. This list is not exhaustive. Your hardest majors might be different from ours. As you read, think of the majors that make sense to you.

1. Fine Arts

Average study hours per week: 16.5

Average GPA: 3.2

20-Year ROI Prediction: -$163,600

Fine Arts is one of the hardest majors because of its low return on investment. For you to make the right decision, you’ll have to spend several hours distinguishing yourself from your colleagues. The same principle applies to other creative fields here like Musical Theatre, Creative Writing, Music, and Dance. While pursuing a creative major, you should ensure that you develop an essential or marketable skill. You should go for a skill that complements your love of art, such as technical writing, teaching, or art restoration, to name a few.

2. Philosophy

Average study hours per week: 16

Average GPA: 3.1

20-Year ROI Prediction - $202000

Philosophy is a subject that demands the use of logic and attention to detail. In general, philosophy students spend more time studying compared to college students. And these hours require high levels of focus. Most philosophy majors choose to study academia or law because these fields reward careful reasoning, attention to detail, and hard work. You should be prepared to stay in school for some time because all these fields require an advanced degree.

3. Cellular and Molecular Biology

Average study hours per week: 18.5

Average GPA: 3.2

20-Year ROI Prediction: $382000

Cellular and Molecular Biology is one of the majors with the lowest average GPA and the heaviest workload. Students who won't perform well in this field should have the ability to visualize concepts that can’t be seen with their naked eyes. Understanding how different components of a system work together is an important skill that this major cultivates. And it can be leveraged by building a career in business, lab research, or bioengineering. You can choose to start working using cheap assignment help after graduating or pursuing an advanced degree, depending on your interests.

4. Accounting

Average study hours per week: 16.5

Average GPA: 3.2

20-Year ROI Prediction: $563000

Accounting has a good return on investment since almost every person and organization requires an accountant at some point in their cycle of life. If you enjoy solving math problems, this major might be a good fit for you. Becoming an accountant requires lots of studying and long apprenticeships after graduation. While you can get a job immediately after graduating, most business managers hire experienced folks.

5. Nursing

Average study hours per week: 17

Average GPA: 3.2

20-Year ROI Prediction: $525000

This is one of the majors with the highest workload but great job prospects. Once they receive their licenses, graduates a guaranteed a job for life in an industry that’s growing rapidly. College graduates usually earn a BSN. However, you can continue studying to become an MSN. As an MSN, you can specialize depending on whether you want to become a practitioner, midwife, or anesthetist. Nurses usually spend less time in college than medical doctors and have a close relationship with patients.

6. Architecture

Average study hours per week: 22

Average GPA: 3.3

Average salary: $67000

This is one of the hardest majors because of the grind associated with it. Most architectures spend close to 22 hours prepping for class. Students who choose this field should be ready to spend hours studying and drafting. After graduating, job prospects are quite narrow because the skills needed are specialized. However, when lots of construction is taking place, you’ll likely be in demand. On the other hand, if new projects are not being commissioned, you’ll have a hard time finding a job.

7. Physics

Average study hours per week: 18.5

Average GPA: 3.1

20-Year ROI Prediction: $382000

Physics is one of the hardest majors because students need to spend lots of time studying and preparing for classes. Physics is ideal for those who think abstractly about the interaction of objects and forces. This major is highly marketable in both corporate and academic settings. Remember, you’ll need an advanced degree after graduating from college if you want to pursue a career in physics.

8. Electrical Engineering

Average study hours per week: 19.5

Average GPA: 3.3

20-Year ROI Prediction: $850000

Electrical Engineering is one of the majors that require students to put in long study hours. However, its return on investment is good. If you love fixing equipment, circuitry, and design, this is one of the best courses for you. A degree in this field can boost your productivity and performance as an engineer or as a manager of other engineers. While advanced study is not a requirement in this field, it is highly encouraged.

9. Chemical Engineering

Average study hours per week: 22

Average GPA: 3.2

20-Year ROI Prediction: $850000

If you enjoy studying science and transforming materials, chemical engineering is ideal for you. This is a high input, high output field. Therefore, you should expect to work longer if you want loads of cash after graduating. If you enjoy studying chemical engineering, but you don’t want to become an engineer, you should choose patent law or academia. Such career paths require graduate school in the form of J.D, Ph.D., or both.

10. Chemistry

Average study hours per week: 18.5

Average GPA: 2.9

20-Year ROI Prediction: $382000

Chemistry is one of the hardest majors due to its low average GPA together with long study hours. If you tend to be fascinated by how invisible changes can change a substance completely, chemistry is one of the best majors for you. It is not easy to get a degree in Chemistry. However, achieving this goal will open lots of doors for you. Pharmaceutical companies, medicine, academia, and patent law organizations can hire Chemistry graduates due to their field-specific nature. You must earn an advanced degree if you want to pursue a career in this field.

Top 10 Easiest Majors

Here is a list of the top ten easiest majors that are based on three important aspects, namely weekly study hours, return on investment, and GPA. Let’s get started!

1. English

Average study hours per week: 16

Average GPA: 3.2

20-Year ROI Prediction: $240000

If you enjoy studying literature and language, majoring in English is one of the best ways to develop and improve your writing skills. It is one of the easiest majors because it has a high GPA, and most of the work involves reading literature which is pleasurable to literature lovers. When it comes to compensation, English majors have to work hard to ensure that they are well paid. You should choose a second major that helps you develop a valuable skill. If you want to pursue a career in literature, you should use your time out of class to distinguish yourself using publications and internships. This is a competitive field. Therefore, it’s important to have relevant experience outside of college.

2. Economics

Average study hours per week: 15

Average GPA: 3.0

20-Year ROI Prediction: $626000

Economics majors spend most of their time studying compared to other college majors. However, upon graduating, their earning potential becomes high. If you like working hard but not too hard while walking around with a fat wallet, Economics is the field for you. It strengthens your reasoning by introducing lots of practical real-world and financial problems that are affecting society today. Economics preps you a career in academia, business, or finance. You also don’t have to have an advanced degree to get a job after graduating.

3. Journalism

Average study hours per week: 13

Average GPA: 3.2

20-Year ROI Prediction: $240000

Journalism tends to have a high average GPA compared to its peers. Students don’t have to spend most of their time studying. However, it’s quite difficult to secure a full-time job as a journalist, especially if there is a subject that you want to specialize in. The best journalism applicants have spent several years working for local, national, and regional publications before applying for a full-time job. Therefore, you should consider journalism if you don’t like studying a lot. However, you should be ready to devote the extra time to writing projects, journalism clubs, and internships.

4. Criminal Justice

Average study hours per week: 12

Average GPA: 3.1

20-Year ROI Prediction: $139000

If you tend to be fascinated with policing, courts and corrections, Criminal Justice might be ideal for you. You’ll learn how to reprimand, apprehend and rehabilitate people who commit crimes while respecting their dignity and rights as citizens. This course doesn’t require lots of study hours. However, it demands emotional resilience since the content can become disturbing. Job opportunities after graduation exist. But they are limited. College graduates should consider careers as lawyers or police officers who require training too.

5. Public Relations and Advertising

Average study hours per week: 12

Average GPA: 3.0

20-Year ROI Prediction: $563000

Are you fascinated by people? Do you watch Super Bowl ads? Are you popular for telling captivating stories? If yes, Public Relations and Advertising will be good for you. Students need to use their understanding of the human mind and integrate it into the business goals of companies and other large businesses. They shape attitudes around an initiative, product, or idea. Students graduating with a degree will have numerous job opportunities because organizations are on the lookout for people who can connect them with consumers. You don’t need graduate school to build a great career in this field.

6. Social Work

Average study hours per week: 12

Average GPA: 3.4

20-Year ROI Prediction: $139000

It is kind of deceptive to say this course is easy even though it meets all our requirements. In most cases, the biggest challenge associated with this area is the emotional strain required to build a career in social work. Students who perform well in social work practice self-care and are highly resilient. If you want to make a difference in the lives of others and you have high emotional intelligence, this course is for you. For those who want to pursue a career in social work, a graduate degree is customary.

7. Education

Average study hours per week: 14

Average GPA: 3.6

20-Year ROI Prediction: -$9000

Education is one of the easiest majors on our list because of its average GPA. However, you should keep in mind that it has a low return on investment. If you’ve been thinking of pursuing a career in education, you should consider getting an undergraduate degree in your area of interest instead of teaching. A teaching minor can help you fulfill your requirements easily to become a tutor.

8. Psychology

Average study hours per week: 13.5

Average GPA: 3.3

20-Year ROI Prediction: $198000

In recent years, people have started measuring, analyzing, and evaluating human behavior. Psychology students focus on the progress that human beings have made over the years and try to make additional discoveries. Unlike their peers, psychology students usually have high GPAs. Job opportunities in this field are numerous. However, pursuing a Ph.D. can help you become a person of interest in this field.

9. Business Administration

Average study hours per week: 13.5

Average GPA: 3.2

20-Year ROI Prediction: $563000

Business Administration is one of the easiest majors because it has a high GPA, low weekly study load, and good return on investment. If you love working with people, growing businesses, and solving math problems, this major is ideal for you. Even if the course is easy, you need to study to get good grades. You can participate in internships and take quantitative courses to get a taste of business administration in the real world.

Conclusion

There you go! These are the easiest and hardest majors in most colleges today. You need to figure out which one of these excites and challenges you to make the right decision. Finally, don’t be afraid to seek help.

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