The five hardest classes in college

By: Lisa S. Icenogle

Aug 24, 2020 | Casper College News

Photo of mathical formulas.

What are the five hardest classes you can take in college? Determining the five hardest classes is very subjective. If you have always been good at math, for example, then you might not find college algebra that tough. On the other hand, if you favor classes like English and literature, you may find math in general, let alone college algebra, hard.

Of course, any class can be a stressor if you don’t keep up with the homework, the assigned readings, and ask for help when you need it. Casper College, as well as all other colleges, provide help for their students. None of us wants to see anyone fail a class! If you are a Casper College student, check out the Student Success Center. Center staff can help you with general studies advising, career services, testing, and more.

Casper College also has plenty of tutoring and study resources, including the STEM Learning Center, the Writing Center, and the statistics lab.

Now, on to those five hardest classes. After checking many sources, here are the five college classes that overall seem to give the most people a tough time.

  1. Thermodynamics:

This course will separate those who have great study habits and the ability to memorize a lot of information from those who don’t and can’t. According to Webster’s, thermodynamics is “physics that deals with the mechanical action or relations of heat.” Students who make it through thermodynamics typically have no problem making it to graduation and usually get into the graduate programs of their choice.

  1. Human Anatomy:

This class is tough because, again, there is a lot of memorization needed. Human anatomy deals with the structure of the human body and the parts that make up that structure like bones, muscles, tissues, organs, etc., and the way they interact or function together. To succeed in this course, you need to know all the names, both the common and scientific, of all those parts of the human body and the uses of each. To succeed in this class, students need to plan on dedicating study time to this topic.

  1. Calculus:

This particular class probably doesn’t come as a surprise to many readers. If you had trouble with math in high school, and many of us did, expect to find this one a challenge as well. Calculus is, according to Wikipedia, “ … the mathematical study of continuous change, in the same way that geometry is the study of shape and algebra is the study of generalizations of arithmetic operations.” BUT, don’t give up all hope if you need this class for your degree. Casper College has great tutors ready to help you in the STEM Learning Center.

  1. Quantum Physics/Mechanics:

This is a class that you will definitely need to have a strong math background to succeed. It also requires the memorization of many formulas, which you must then be able to apply to real-life problems. Quantum physics/mechanics deals with very small particles like atoms and subatomic particles and how they work. Because this course deals in the abstract, many students struggle. This really is one of those courses that you either understand, or you don’t.

  1. Organic Chemistry:

It shouldn’t surprise you that organic chemistry takes the No. 1 spot as the hardest college course. This course is often referred to as the “pre-med killer” because it actually has caused many pre-med majors to switch their major. Like all the others, this class requires a strong commitment to consistent and serious studying. Not only is there a lot of memorization needed, but there is also a lot of homework. You just can’t memorize all the possible answers because there are simply too many of them. That means that you will have to rely on your intuition on occasion and generalize from specific examples.


How can you survive hard classes? First, remember that what might be hard for one person might not be for another. In other words, just because these are considered hard courses doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed. Take responsibility for your education. Plan ahead and try not to take two of these in the same semester. Develop good study habits and set aside time each day for coursework and needed reading, and read ahead if you can. Be sure to take notes in class, which will help you to remember information. Perhaps form a study group with your fell classmates. Give these classes the time and work they require. Finally, never hesitate to ask for help from your instructor, whether during office hours or through email. You will find that your instructors want you to succeed. And don’t forget about the help available to you on your campus through math labs, writing centers, and more.

Media contact: Lisa S. Icenogle

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