16 Toughest Courses in the World

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Toughest Courses in the World

As competition in every field increases day by day, selection processes become tougher and more focused. The screening categories are stringent and with the current boom in population, the number of competitors has risen while the opportunities are on a downward spiral. Each course is unique and designed to groom students to be the best versions of themselves in the competitive world. Amongst all these, there are a few programs that are considered the toughest courses in the world in terms of subjects, assignments, duration, and examination. Most of the time, it is also true that the toughest courses in the world are also the ones that hold the toughest examinations, whether internally or in the form of an entrance test. Through this blog, we will give you a quick tour of the toughest courses and exams in the world. Let’s begin!

Credits – Top10

List of the Toughest Courses in the World

It is a dream of students to pursue a course that can help in shaping a great career. Most of the time it doesn’t come easy to candidates. In order to be successful, students have to go through a rigorous and challenging curriculum to get lucrative salaries later. Given below is the list of toughest courses in the world that can boost your career:

EngineeringQuantum Mechanics
Chartered AccountancyStatistics
PsychologyFine Arts
AeronauticsForeign Language

Difficult Degrees in the World

Different degrees offered by universities around the world are considered tough based on factors including their duration, syllabus, and academic requirements. Here is a list of some of the toughest degrees in the world:

Do you know what the hardest courses are at Harvard University?
Mechanics and Special Relativity, Microeconomic Theory, Organic Chemistry, Honors Abstract Algebra, Engineering Thermodynamics, and Social Studies are considered to be the hardest courses at Harvard!

Factors Determining Toughest Courses

There are several factors that can make a course tough:

Content complexity

Some subjects are inherently more difficult to grasp than others. Courses that deal with abstract concepts, complex theories, or a lot of factual knowledge can be challenging. For instance, courses like quantum mechanics or advanced calculus can be quite tough due to the depth and complexity of the material.


Courses that require a significant amount of time and effort are often considered tough. This could involve a heavy reading load, frequent assignments, complex projects, or demanding lab work. Medical and engineering programs are notorious for their demanding workloads.

Teaching style

The way a course is taught can also impact its difficulty. A professor who lectures rapidly assigns dense readings, or uses unclear explanations can make the material harder to learn.

Assessment methods

Some courses rely on exams that test for rote memorization, while others require students to apply their knowledge in creative ways. Courses with frequent quizzes, high-stakes exams, or complex projects can be more stressful and time-consuming.


Courses that require a strong foundation in other subjects can be challenging if students haven’t mastered the prerequisites. This can be a hurdle for students who are switching majors or haven’t taken relevant courses in high school.

Individual student factors

A student’s own interests, background knowledge, and learning style can also play a role in how difficult they find a course. A student who is passionate about the subject matter may find a challenging course to be stimulating, whereas someone who struggles with the concepts may find it frustrating.

Details of the Hardest Courses in the World

Let us now explore the details of the

1. Engineering

Considered the toughest course in the world, engineering students are required to have tactical skills, analytical skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. For a student, a background in Science is crucial for a future in engineering and this begins by selecting the Science stream during the 11th-12th standard. From there, all the way to university entrance examinations, every step of an engineer is tough. However, you can rest assured that opportunities for further studies and job offers are good for engineers, and probably why our elders keep pushing us toward it. Moreover, there are tons of specialization options available such as Aeronautical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Statistical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, and so on.

Also Read: Best Engineering Courses

Further, applying for Engineering courses abroad, you will have to provide your GRE results and scores and for Engineering management programs, foreign universities might ask you to provide either GMAT or GRE scores.

2. Chartered Accountancy

The Chartered Accountancy course is also featured on this list because it is amongst the toughest courses in the world. Even though this course is a safe career path with well-paying opportunities, there is no denying how demanding it is or how much hard work it takes to complete it. From matching balance sheets to making sure that the accounts notebook is error-free, the life of a chartered account really is a tough one. In this way, it can be the hardest course in college.

Also Read: CA Course

3. Medicine

The Medical Science courses find themselves quite aptly on a list of the toughest courses in the world. To begin with the course, Indian students have to make sure that they appear for the NEET examination. While this course takes an exceptionally long time, the entire period is spent learning rather than memorizing the toughest textbooks, definitions, and diagrams. Mind you, there is nothing a medical student can skip because everything they learn is of the utmost importance. Here are a few blogs that will help you in understanding the intricacies of pursuing a career in Medicine: 

Fact – Which exam is most difficult in India?Amongst all the competitive exams in India, UPSC Civil Services Exam is considered to be the toughest one, followed by the Chartered Accountancy examination.

Also Read: Top Medical Courses

4. Pharmacy

While medicine and pharmacy walk the same line in terms of industry, both are quite different. Think of them as two sides of the same coin. Pharmacy is featured on the list of toughest courses in the world because of the structure and hard work it requires. Just like the other courses on this list, career prospects for this course have a wide scope and are always available. Whether it be a Bachelor of Pharmacy, Diploma in Pharmacy, or PhD in Pharmacy students, they all have to deal with Chemistry and Biology as a whole and this can be quite daunting to some. Furthermore, they also study aspects of Ayurveda, Physiology, Drug Formulation, Human Anatomy, and more.

5. Architecture

Grabbing a spot on the list of the toughest programs in the world, and pursuing architecture courses is not as simple as it sounds. Contrary to popular assumption, it does not deal with interiors and exteriors alone; it also deals with the environment and its composition. Making use of sustainable, biodegradable materials and processes needs the sharpest and the most considerate of minds. One of the trends you’ll find here is that each of the toughest courses in the world provides ample job opportunities and the potential for a lot of growth. With more colleges dedicated solely to architecture, this course is developing a fresh perspective in the minds of the younger generation and helping them literally build our future.

6. Law

The last one to be named on the list of the toughest courses in the world, Law has more challenges than meets the eye. A career in law requires patience, an understanding of ethics, high perception skills, and a strong sense of individuality among other things. While there are no scientific equations or mathematical problems to solve in this course, students need to sharpen their memory and be on their toes at all times. Apart from humanities students, this field is among the popular career options in commerce without maths. It is surely the hardest course in college.

7. Psychology

A prominent humanities subject that also intersects with medical science, Psychology is also considered among the toughest courses in the world. Being a scientific investigation and study of the human mind, Psychology is an umbrella discipline where students get to explore human behaviour in terms of varied contexts, such as individual, social, psychological, and industrial, amongst others. Every single person experiences a different emotion every single day which makes it tough to comprehend a human’s mind. Psychologists basically study human beings across different environments such the employees, criminals, students, children, people with disorders, and every other group of people. A career in Psychology requires you to be an excellent observer and communicator along with an investigative streak and attention to detail! You can explore a plethora of courses in this field across wide-ranging branches of psychology such as:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Counselling Psychology
  • Sports Psychology
  • Industrial Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Criminology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Linguistic Psychology

8. Aeronautics 

Aeronautics is a branch of engineering that studies the workings and mechanisms of an aircraft and spacecraft. It is another essential mention in our list of toughest courses in the world since it explores the intricate and meticulous designing and development of engines, systems, and equipment of aircraft vehicles. However, to bring life to their designs, Aeronautical Engineers study different software like ground control software, flight software, etc. Since they undertake a great risk, they analyze the reliability of the aircraft using mathematical and quantitative means. A career in Aeronautical Engineering requires the individual to possess a higher level of intelligence, a technical understanding of engines, and quick calculations. Aeronautical engineers are risk-takers who require keen observation and great calculative abilities. To study aeronautical engineering one must excel in math and physics.

9. Quantum Mechanics

Telescopium constellations, one of the newly discovered black holes was successfully found in this constellation with the help of quantum mechanics. This subject explores the different forces of nature. It has given the world an insight into the elements and the physical nature of objects. It helps humans explore what lies inside the microscopic particles-atoms and subatoms which makes it one of the toughest courses in the world. In very basic terms, quantum physics helps us understand why water is fluid and a solid is hard? How do atoms interact in a solid and liquid state? People who study Quantum Mechanics should be very well-versed in the manipulation of complex numbers, integral calculus, basic probability, functional integration and analysis and much more. Interested in pursuing a career in Quantum Physics? Then, you will have to study a bachelor’s as well as a master’s in Physics which will help you master the basic and advanced elements that this subject offers!

10. Statistics

What you might assume as simply the collection, representation, and interpretation of data are actually way more complex than it looks which makes Statistics a worth-mentioning contender in our list of one of the toughest courses in the world. The collection of data itself has types like sampling, observational, randomized sampling, etc. To accurately represent the data various theories and methods are applied depending on the type of data and population. There are various statistical methods like t-test, ANOVA, chi-square, etc. Statistics is applied in almost all fields to represent any data like social and scientific research subjects. To study statistics, one must be good at logic, reasoning and maths. It also requires a strong memory to store many formulas and understand their application.

11. Journalism

Journalism0 is another intriguing and challenging field that requires you to put your personal biases at bay. Journalism features in our list of the toughest courses in the world because one has to make sure that the news broadcast has been fact-checked, unbiasedly represented, and accurate which is rarely the case most of the time! For writing and publishing real facts, journalists face a lot of issues due to the scams and threats they encounter sometimes. News is always on the go and journalists have to make sure they keep up with it and provide people with the most necessary and important news which needs instant attention. A journalist needs to have an exceptional and bold communication manner, good and catchy writing styles, curiosity, being truthful and sharp memory. The various types of journalism are:

  • Investigative Journalism
  • Online journalism
  • Opinion Journalism
  • Sports journalism
  • Photojournalism
  • Entertainment journalism
  • Political Journalism

12. Nursing

Nursing is also a key mention among the toughest courses in the world which mainly requires patience, knowledge of medical care, a strong stomach, and a willing altruistic nature. It is widely known that a good gesture helps people recover from a dire situation. Nurses assist doctors, therapists, patients, and their families. You need to have good GPAs in Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Psychology and other important subjects. They need to have spontaneous effective skills to solve and prevent problems a patient faces. 

13. Finance

This sought-after area of study in the Commerce stream relates to every aspect of monetary management and establishment. To build a promising career in Finance, one needs to have the analytic ability, unique funding methods, etc. as well as the knowledge of financial management, accounting, and risk management, amongst others which makes it one of the toughest courses in the world. People explore various ways to invest their money and gain profit. The 3 main types of finance are public finance, corporate finance, and personal finance. Every type requires a separate investment style which is based on the various possible outcomes of profit. It helps people understand the science of money and risk, profit and loss. 

14. Philosophy

I think, therefore I am. Philosophy is considered a world of its own. Philosophers go in-depth to understand the existence, knowledge, values, and reasoning. This subject covers every bit of knowledge there exists which makes it one of the toughest courses in the world. The study of  Philosophy includes religion, nature, aesthetics, the universe, and mathematics. A philosopher needs wisdom to be able to question various dynamics. The curiosity of famous historical philosophers has helped the world achieve rational and relevant knowledge which requires critical thinking abilities. The four branches of philosophy are: 

  • Theoretical Philosophy 
  • Practical Philosophy 
  • Logic 
  • History Of Philosophy

15. Fine Arts

Fine Arts refers to those forms of creative arts which are aesthetically and visually pleasing and it has also been proven to be the most effective form of communication. A person needs to make their art so conversible for people to understand which makes it one of the toughest courses in the world. Fine arts requires a person to have a creative mind and a creative eye that can form wonders. Fine arts exist in various aesthetic forms: painting, multimedia and animation, design, architecture, dance, music, theatre, and many more. A person who addresses these forms of art has an unceasing imagination. For learning any fine art, a person must be able to have an abstract form of expression. You can pursue a varied range of Fine Arts courses in specializations like:

16. Foreign Language

Another essential feature among our list of toughest courses in the world, a foreign language isn’t just the ‘second language’ of a person. It’s a language that isn’t spoken in the particular country of the speaker. Foreign language courses require the dedication and interest of a person. One should be aware of the past culture and development of the language to understand the application better. Learning a foreign language requires a person to form new cognitive patterns. The best foreign languages to learn apart from English are:

  • French
  • Spanish
  • Arabic
  • Korean
  • Italian

Toughest Courses in India

India is home to a number of excellent universities which offer a range of different courses in all fields of study. Just like these courses are known to have a difficult curriculum across the world, there are some courses considered the most difficult ones by Indian students. Want to know which are considered the toughest courses in India? Here are some of them:

  • Chartered Accountancy
  • Medical
  • Engineering
  • Psychology
  • Law
  • Pharmacy
  • Journalism
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Fine arts
  • Architecture
  • Pharmacy
  • Hospitality
  • Mass communication
  • Philosophy

Toughest Professional Courses in India

There is a wide range of professional courses that students can pursue in Indian universities which come with a plethora of lucrative job opportunities. Here are some of the toughest professional courses in India that you can pursue:

  • Computer Science
  • Management
  • Medical 
  • Engineering
  • Nursing
  • Designing
  • Pharmacy
  • Mass Communication
  • Journalism
  • Tourism
  • Finance
  • Law
  • Fine arts
  • Psychology
  • Architecture

You might also like to read toughest exams in the world

Which Country has the Toughest Education?

Classrooms hold the future of a country. Every other nation be it developed or developing, strives to deliver the best quality education in its schools and universities. If the students learn to manage the hardest possible obstacles at an early age, it will be easy for them to overcome the upcoming hurdles in higher education. Thus, some countries intend to deliver the toughest possible education in their schools and colleges. You may find multiple toughest courses and exams in the below-mentioned countries which have avail toughest education-


1. Is MBBS the toughest course in the world?

Ans. MBBS is among the hardest courses in the world because of its long duration and extensive syllabus.

2. Which university course is the hardest?

Ans. Some of the hardest university degrees include:

3. Which is more difficult: CA or MBBS?

Ans. Both CA and MBBS are almost equally difficult – you have to work hard and study extensively in order to complete both these degrees.

4. Is engineering the toughest course in the world?

Ans. Engineering is one of the toughest courses in the world that can be pursued by students of the science stream.

5. Which is the toughest professional course in India?

Ans. The list of toughest courses in India is a long one, however, out of all, courses in the field of Engineering as well as Chartered Accountancy are considered to be the toughest.

6. Is CA the toughest course in India?

Ans. Yes, Chartered Accountancy (CA) is one of the most difficult courses in India. It is mostly pursued by students belonging to the commerce field.

7. Which country has the hardest education system?

Ans. South Korea, Japan, and Singapore are a few countries that have one of the hardest education systems.

8. Which country has the hardest math?

Ans. The United Kingdom, The United States of America, etc are the countries having one of the best education systems. But when it comes to having the hardest math, China and South Korea top the list.

9. Which country is #1 in education?

Ans. The country with the best education system is the USA, followed by The United Kingdom.

10. Which country has the toughest education?

Ans. The following countries are well known for their toughest education system across the globe:
1. South Korea
2. Japan
3. Singapore
4. Hong Kong
5. Finland

Even though these are some of the toughest courses and exams in the world, Leverage Edu can help you pave the way to these courses by easing the admission process. All you got to do is believe in your dreams and strive to crack these tough exams!

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  1. There are no doubt India conducts some of the toughest exam of the world, even entrance exams in India are considered to be toughest among the other universities. Autonomous universities like IIT and IIM take admission less than 0.1 percent which says a lot about our education system.

  2. For those living in the U.S. of course this list is laughable, and the order of rigor is absolutely ridiculous.. A journalism degree is considerably easier than registered nursing and finance and practically any college degree of respectable rigor. Foreign language at the bottom? Learn Arabic or Icelandic after taking a Fine Arts major and then blog about it after learning several languages well enough to be an interpreter. Most Law and Psychology majors wouldn’t stand a chance of getting a degree in Quantum Mechanics / Physics. Young people looking at possible careers should be well warned about sites, blogs, and posts that post data without explaining what country the data relates to, and the methodology associated with what’s purported to be true. Psychology is one of the easiest university majors in the Western world.

  3. Currently I am studying in 12 std i want to take admissions abord like UK how percentage are required in year 2022

  4. Hi i am form india i am studying in 12 class and i am thinking to take admission in Uk how much percentage after 12 with commerce stream

  1. There are no doubt India conducts some of the toughest exam of the world, even entrance exams in India are considered to be toughest among the other universities. Autonomous universities like IIT and IIM take admission less than 0.1 percent which says a lot about our education system.