What are the Hardest College Classes?

If they were asked to create a list of the hardest college classes, each student would likely have their own selection of difficult courses that provoked tiresome semesters. While each major area of study has an array of challenging coursework, there are classes that are consistently daunting for many students across multiple college campuses. A few of the hardest college classes include economics, linguistics, and statistics.

When preparing for a new semester, it’s important to understand the difficulty level of various courses so you can plan your time accordingly. Keep reading to answer the question, “What are the hardest college classes?”


College students who are seeking degrees in biology or a related field will likely encounter this entry on the “hardest college classes” list: human anatomy. This course is challenging because of the high level of memorization that’s needed. Students will need to memorize the names, spellings, and uses of each bone, ligament, muscle, system, and so on in the human body. It’s important to enroll in this class with the intention of setting aside dedicated study time in order to succeed. 

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College-level economics courses require a particularly careful focus on the complex material being taught. 100- and 200-level economics classes may be divided into two separate courses—macroeconomics and microeconomics—or your school may offer one class that covers the principles of both. 

  • Microeconomics courses cover concepts surrounding economics at the individual or business level.

  • Macroeconomics classes cover concepts surrounding economics at the national or government level. 

If you enroll in a course covering, for example, the principles of economics, this may cover both microeconomics and macroeconomics topics. 


This class studies the composition and structure of language. Considering the number of languages present around the world, the class can consist of a great deal of coursework, some memorization, and plenty of critical thinking and problem-solving. As a result, linguistics weighs in as one of the hardest college classes.

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Organic chemistry 

Organic chemistry tends to serve as the course that is the deciding factor for pre-medical students on whether or not this specific academic track is right for them. This course breaks down the makeup and function of organic compounds. Like other courses on the “hardest college classes” list, students will need a steady focus and motivation to tackle the homework required by the class.


Philosophy courses prompt students to analyze pieces of writing composed by a number of philosophers and to make connections to the world today. This class also requires students to pay close attention to the meanings behind texts and to decipher what the philosophers were aiming to communicate. 

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Statistics courses involve more than simply understanding and executing math-related problems. Students enrolled in a statistics class will be required to gather data and analyze this data using appropriate formulas and equations. Students will need to understand how to collect sufficient data and deduce which formulas are correct to answer the question at hand.   

When tackling one or more of these challenging college classes, it’s important to establish a firm plan of action for your course. Create a calendar of due dates, exams, and scheduled study time. Staying on top of all class-related tasks will set you up for success in your course. Good luck!

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