Major pains

    There’s a lot of pride behind a college student’s major — it’s the first step to the world beyond graduation. That’s why the question of “What’s the hardest major?” is so hotly debated at parties, social gatherings and other highly intellectual campus forums. Of course, everything is relative. It’s impossible to quantify or qualify majors without undergoing some serious investigative work and crushing students’ academic pride in the process.

    As none of Northwestern’s six schools release the average GPA for each course of study, North by Northwestern asked around for some of the most notoriously difficult classes in each major. We checked out the CTECs to compare and… Well, it’s a tough one. But if you’re struggling with your major, take solace in the fact that everyone else is just as miserable.

    CHEM 212: Organic Chemistry
    Intellectual challenge: 5.55
    “I thought I wanted to be a chemistry major, and now I’m not – this class made me realize the fact.”

    HISTORY 395: Research Seminar
    How much learned: 5.21
    “Quite possibly the most challenging course I have taken at Northwestern, but by far the most rewarding.”

    SESP 210: Intro to Statistics and Research Methodology
    How much learned: 3.16
    “It’s a fact of life: SESP stats is going to be less than ideal no matter who teaches it.”

    ECON 281: Econometrics
    Intellectual challenge: 4.93
    “All the bad things you’ve heard about econometrics…well, it IS that hard.”

    JOUR 301: Enterprise Reporting in Diverse Communities
    53% of students spent 16+ hours a week
    “301 is a miserable class.”

    PSYCH 205: Research Methods in Psychology
    How much learned: 4.57
    “I’m pretty sure everyone agrees this class sucks.”

    MECH_ENG 241: Fluid Mechanics I
    Intellectual challenge: 5.38
    Percentage of students taking the class that aren’t engineers: 0%

    THEATRE 241: Design Process: Scene Design I
    How much learned: 5
    “Be prepared to stay up until 3 am gluing railings on a tiny set of stairs.”

    JAZZ_ST 330: Jazz Composition and Arranging
    How much learned: 5.67
    Intellectual challenge: 5.84

    RTVF 220: Analyzing Media Texts
    1% of students spent >20 hours a week
    “The grading is inappropriately hard for an introductory level class and the expectations of an A are almost unattainable.”

    ART 270: Contemporary Art Survey
    How much learned: 4.53
    “I thought I was majoring in art so I took it… I’m not majoring in art anymore.”

    ENGLISH 205: Intermediate Composition
    Interest stimulated: 5.56
    “Be prepared.”


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