It’s a common misperception that most college students are lazy kids who are just looking for the easy A, even if that means pursuing a major that they are bored with. But there are plenty of majors out there that are extremely challenging, and students are still lining up to study them.
As it turns out, the majors that people might think of as “hard” are known as that for a reason. Majors that fall under the STEM category (science, technology, engineering and math) are proven to be the toughest majors in the country based on the average GPA, according to CBS News .
Okay, so a major’s toughness isn’t based solely on GPA, but it’s interesting to look at just how these majors stack up. At least some students are brave (and smart) enough to pursue these subjects – I would be afraid to open an organic chemistry textbook.
Average GPA: 3.02
No, it’s not just a subject that you gloss over in high school. Biology is a fascinating subject that looks at life under a microscope (sometimes a really big microscope!). Thorough research and internship opportunities are critical to this major. It’s a difficult science, though, as the average biology student has a 3.02 GPA.
If you do make it out of a biology degree program, you might set your sights on working in settings such as hospitals, research labs, biotech companies, or even zoos. It all depends on what sort of biology study you’re pursuing.
Average GPA: 2.98
The only one on this list that isn’t a STEM major, psychology is one that many people overlook as an extremely difficult major. It takes a lot to understand, analyze, and treat people and their behavioral issues, so it’s no surprise that psychology students have to jump through many mental hoops to finish their degrees.
The lucky ones that earn their degree can work in a variety of fields, such as clinical, school, or experimental. You might need to earn additional degrees, though, so get ready for more challenging courses.
Average GPA: 2.95
In today’s market, we could always use more competent economists. Economists study how and why resources in a society are allocated they way that they are. If you choose this major, you’ll learn a lot about finance, which not only helps in your professional career but also with your own bank account. You might find work in investment banking, wealth management, or as an Olivia Munn in The Newsroom-type correspondent.
Average GPA: 2.90
So maybe you want to avoid the difficulty of economics but still want to have a focus on numbers. If that’s the case, I would warn you to be weary of studying mathematics as your major. The average GPA for that student is 2.90, and when you look at numbers like that, it might be hard to not toss aside the calculator.
But don’t fret! If math is your passion, just bite the bullet and study hard. You might find yourself working operations research, actuarial science, or many other areas. You might even try your hand at biomathematics, which would be combining two of the hardest majors…yikes.
Average GPA: 2.78
Okay, you just got your first Bunsen burner, you watched the first four seasons of Breaking Bad, and you want to try your hand at a chemistry degree. Before you dive in goggles-first, though, keep in mind that the average GPA for a chemistry student is 2.78.
Chemistry is a very complicated subject, but it’s also a very important one. If you do earn your degree, so many doors are opened up to you, many of which are worth pursuing based purely on the name. Organic chemistry, ethnobotony, and biochemistry are just a few examples. You might even work in astrochemistry, which would be something worth bringing up at your next high school reunion.
Don’t let these GPAs frighten you – if you have the passion and work ethic toward any of these fields, hopefully they have the opposite effect. You might be the one of the students who defies the national average and soar into the highest GPA of them all!