Top 10 Toughest Courses in the World 2024 |

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Top 10 Toughest Courses in World 2024: An Ultimate Guide

Opting for a course for your higher education is vital for ensuring your future job prospects. Students need to pick a course based on their interests and credentials. But do you know which course is considered the world hardest course? 
In this blog, you will learn about the top 10 toughest courses in world. Here, you will also learn about the crucial facts of these courses, including their eligibility criteria and the top colleges offering these studies.

What Are the Top 10 Difficult Courses in the World?

As you know, every field of education has a difficult course that is hard for a scholar to study. The table below shows the list of the toughest courses in the world and their details, including their top institutes, drop-out rates, number of pupils seeking and other facts.

Toughest Courses



Top Universities: 

  1. Harvard University
  2. Stanford University
  3. University of Oxford
  4. Johns Hopkins University
  5. University of Cambridge
  • Drop-out Rate: 18.4%
  • Average Acceptance Rate: 10.7%
  • Average Salary: 2.9Cr (INR)

Top Universities: 

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  2. Stanford University
  3. University of Oxford
  4. University of Cambridge
  5. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
  • Drop-out Rate: 60%
  • Average Acceptance Rate: 13%
  • Average Salary: 67L (INR)
Chartered Accountancy

Top Universities: 

  1. Harvard University
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  3. Stanford University
  4. University of Oxford
  5. University of Chicago
  • Drop-out Rate: 54%
  • Average Acceptance Rate: 10%
  • Average Salary: 1.1Cr (INR)

Top Universities: 

  1. Harvard University
  2. Monash University
  3. University of Oxford
  4. University College London (UCL)
  5. Johns Hopkins University
  • Drop-out Rate: 14.6%
  • Average Acceptance Rate: 8.27%
  • Average Salary: 8.9L (INR)

Top Universities: 

  1. Harvard University
  2. University of Oxford
  3. University of Cambridge
  4. Yale University
  5. Stanford University
  • Drop-out Rate: 38%
  • Average Acceptance Rate: 11%
  • Average Salary: 1.1L (INR)

Top Universities: 

  1. University College London (UCL)
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT)
  3. Delft University of Technology
  4. ETH Zurich
  5. Manchester School of Architecture
  • Drop-out Rate: 45%
  • Average Acceptance Rate: 
  • Average Salary: 61L (INR)

    Top Universities: 

    1. Harvard University
    2. University of Oxford
    3. University of Cambridge
    4. Stanford University
    5. University College London (UCL)
    • Drop-out Rate: 45%
    • Average Acceptance Rate: 13%
    • Average Salary: 1.39Cr (INR)
    Quantum Mechanics

      Top Universities: 

      1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
      2. Harvard University
      3. University of Oxford
      4. Stanford University
      5. University of Cambridge
      • Drop-out Rate: 7%
      • Average Acceptance Rate: 22.23%
      • Average Salary: 1.56L (INR)

      Top Universities: 

      1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
      2. Stanford University
      3. Harvard University
      4. University of Cambridge
      5. ETH Zurich
      • Drop-out Rate: 5.2%
      • Average Acceptance Rate: 11%
      • Average Salary: 83L (INR)

      Top Universities: 

      1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
      2. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
      3. Stanford University
      4. Harvard University
      5. University of Tokyo
      • Drop-out Rate: 4%
      • Average Acceptance Rate: 60%
      • Average Salary: 77L (INR)

      In the upcoming sections, you will learn about these top 10 toughest courses in the world with additional details.


      Medecine is the world's toughest course to study. After all, it is not an easy job for a student to learn the complex structures inside the human body.

      Subjects Covered: Anatomy, Biochemistry, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology and Clinical Medicine

      Eligibility Criteria:

      1. High school qualifications or equivalent diploma.
      2. Primary work in Biology, English, and other courses that meet the prerequisites of the medical school they are applying to.
      3. A minimum GPA necessity is 3.3
      4. Minimum IELTS and TOEFL results as per college guidelines.
      5. MCAT or UCAT exam results more than or equal to the cut-off set by a specific university.

      Proof of research or community work experience related to medicine and healthcare

      World's Toughest Course in the Medical Field:
      The toughest course in medical field in the world is Immunology. It is the study of the immune system of the human body.

      Highest Paying Job: Cardiologist (INR 2.95Cr per annum)


      Engineering is a program famous for crushing course loads that push scholars to their time-management and intelligence limits. Thus, this program is one of the most difficult courses in the world.

      Subjects Covered: Physics, Mathematics, Computer Programming, Chemical Engineering, and Graphics and Design

      Eligibility Criteria:

      1. A broad general education of GCSE (for UK students) and ICSE or CBSE (for Indian students) with grades 9-4. 
      2. English language, Science and Mathematics is a mus.t
      3. Admissions tests based on the course and college you're applying to.
      4. SAT or ACT results required.
      5. For graduate study, a suitable bachelor's degree and the student may need to submit GRE scores.

      Which Is the Toughest Engineering Course in the World?

      Chemical Engineering is the world toughest course in the field of engineering.
      Highest Paying Job: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Engineer (INR 12L per annum)

      Chartered Accountancy

      Chartered accountancy is one of the most reputable and rewarding careers. But it is also one of the toughest courses in world. The entrance exams for this course are hard and are made to test the students' logical and numerical skills. 

      Subjects Covered: Auditing, Corporate Regulations, Financial Accounting, Financial Management, and Taxation.

      Eligibility Criteria: 
      1. 50% marks minimum in their bachelor's degree of 3 years or must have completed the CA/CS course.
      2. 60% marks minimum for students from non-commerce backgrounds in their graduation or post-graduation.
      3. A proof of your English language proficiency.
      4. Further credentials like the CPT or ICAI's Foundation Course Exam in India and ACCA in the UK.

      Highest Paying Job: Finance Officer (INR 35L per annum)


      Opting for Pharmacy is famous among students interested in Chemistry and Biology. Even though it is not as tough as learning medicine, it is still considered the world hardest course.

      Subjects Covered: Biochemistry, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry

      Eligibility Criteria: 
      1. For A-level, subjects must include Chemistry and one other science subject that can be Biology, Maths or Physics
      2. At least five GCSEs (for UK students) or ICSE/CBSE (for Indian students), with a grade of C/4 or above in subjects including English, Maths, and usually a science-based subject
      3. A higher level in Chemistry with a grade of 6 is needed for most of the courses
      Highest Paying Job: Pharmacometrician (INR 1.26Cr per annum)


      Opting for Law requires mental awareness, observational skills, high perceptual abilities, and patience. It helps a nation's government run its regime and control its functions. Thus, it ranks 5th among the toughest course in the world. 

      Subjects Covered: Contracts and Property, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, and Legal Research.

      Eligibility Criteria:
      1. High school credential or a diploma that relates to 12 years of study.
      2. At least a grade C or B, or a level 4 or above, at GCSE (for UK students) or ICSE/CBSE (for Indian students) in English, Math, and, in a few cases, a subject such as foreign speeches.
      3. At least three A Levels with AAA or AAB grades, and in some cases, at least one A-level.
      4. LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is partially mandated.
      5. A high English language efficiency score is a must for global students.

      Highest Paying Job: Counsel (INR 1.43Cr per annum)


      Usually, Learning Architecture is assumed to be an easy course. But in reality, it is the hardest subject in the world. It is not just about designing the interior and exterior of structures but a mix of Art and Science. 

      Subjects Covered: Architectural History, Design Theory, Environmental Systems, Structural Engineering, and Construction Management.

      Eligibility Criteria: 
      1. A minimum score of 32 International Baccalaureate points.
      2. A score of AAB or more in A-levels with a focus on Art, Science, and writing proficiency.
      3. An IELTS score of 6.5 or higher, with the lowest of 6.0 in all four tasks separately.
      4. Entrance exams based on the college you are applying to.
      5. A portfolio, along with an interview, may be needed.

      Highest Paying Job: Preservation Architect (INR 82L per annum)


      Psychology is the study of the human mind and behavior. This course includes the study of sociological, economic, emotional and health factors that affect one's behaviour. Hence, it is one of the toughest courses in the world.

      Subjects Covered: Criminology, Cognitive Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Counselling Psychology

      Eligibility Criteria:
      1. A certain number of psychology-specific programs, which may vary based on the college and degree level you opt for
      2. A grade of C- or better in each mandated course.
      3. Related programs in the humanities, arts, natural and social sciences.
      4. An overall score of 7.0 in IELTS as a proof of English language proficiency.

      Toughest Subject in Psychology: The hardest subject in this course is Neuropsychology, which focuses on the biological process of the brain and its impact.

      Highest Paying Job: Psychiatrist (INR 975,328 per annum)

      Quantum Mechanics

      This course of study explores the basic ideas underlying matter and energy at the atomic and subatomic scales. It covers complex subjects. Thus, this makes it one of the most difficult courses in the world.

      Subjects Covered: Quantum States and Operators, Schrodinger Equation, and Wave-particle Duality

      Eligibility Criteria:
      1. Primary work in Mathematics, including Calculus and Partial Derivatives.
      2. Courses in Electromagnetism, Classical Mechanics, and Thermodynamics.
      3. Bachelor's degree in Physics or a related domain.
      4. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in their UG coursework.
      5. GRE scores may needed.

      Highest Paying Job: Quantum Physicist (INR 1.67Cr per annum)


      Statistics is the science of piling, analyzing, and interpreting data. To pursue this course, students must be proficient in Mathematics and have critical analytical thinking skills. Students should also be patient and apply logic in their work. 

      Subjects Covered: Experimental Design, Probability Theory, Statistical Inference, and Regression Analysis

      Eligibility Criteria: 
      1. Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in major courses.
      2. Complete preparatory coursework in Statistics, Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Computer Science.
      3. Complete at least 47 semester hours of coursework required for the major.
      4. STAT 160ABC or its equivalent may be required.

      Highest Paying Job: Quantitative Analyst (INR 1.9Cr per annum)


      Aeronautics is a branch of engineering that is a vast field of study that deals with planes and spacecraft. Students who desire to opt for Aeronautics, the hardest subject in the world, must have a deep passion for aviation and details to ensure the safety and efficiency of aircraft.

      Subjects Covered: Aerodynamics, Aircraft Structures and Materials, Aircraft Control Systems, and Flight Mechanics

      Eligibility Criteria: 
      1. A suitable bachelor's degree and a high school diploma or similar credentials in Chemistry, Fluid Dynamics, and Physics.
      2. Primary work in Mathematics, including Calculus and Analytic Geometry.
      3. General study courses, such as English, History, or Humanities, to satisfy the specific needs of the college they chose.

      As you learn about the top 10 courses with the hardest syllabus in the world, you must be curious to know what are the toughest degrees to study.

      Highest Paying Job: Thermodynamics Engineer (INR 1.88Cr per annum) 

      Suggested Read: Top 10 Professional Courses After Graduation to Study Abroad

      Top 5 Toughest Degrees in the World 2024

      In this section, you will learn about the toughest degree in the world. The following table shows the 5 most difficult degrees to study and their eligibility criteria in brief detail.

      Degree Eligibility Criteria
      MS (Master of Science)
      • No age requirement restrictions for studying MS abroad.
      • Suitable Bachelor’s Degree from a recognized college
      • A Portfolio of past work experiences
      • Proof of English Proficiency with a minimum required score on the test.
      • Your GRE/ GMAT Scores as per the country you opted for MS.
      CA (Chartered Accountancy)
      • Qualify at least 5 subjects in Class XII with at least 65% in 2 subjects and more than 50% in others. 
      • English, Mathematics, and Accountancy are compulsory.
      • A degree in commerce with at least 55%.
      • 3 years of practical work experience.
      MBA (Master of Business Administration)
      • A bachelor's degree from a reputed college
      • Proof of qualifying Language proficiency exams like IELTS, TOEFL, PTE 
      • Result of standardized exams such as the GMAT and GRE
      • Considerable work experiences
      LLM (Master of Laws)
      • Bachelor of Law or LLB degree with a minimum GPA of 3 
      • Proof of English Proficiency, either IELTS or TOEFL
      • The minimum score in TOEFL iBT is 88, TOEFL PBT is 570
      • The minimum score in IELTS is 6.5 - 7.0
      • Work Experience of 2 years may include research projects
      PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
      • Have a master’s degree in a suitable subject or a bachelor’s degree of 4 or more years in the same or relevant field. 
      • Have the marksheet of both master's and bachelor's degrees. 
      • Have valid scores in English Proficiency Tests like IELTS and TOEFL
      • Qualify for the General GRE
      • Qualify for the Subject GRE
      • Have a high GPA score

      Factors Determining World Toughest Course

      As you explore the idea of the world toughest course, you will be confused. What factors determine the difficulty level of the course? In this section, you will learn about the primary factors that determine the hardest subject in the world.

      High Drop-out Rates

      Students often drop out of courses when they struggle to keep up with the demanding curriculum. When asked for their reasons, most dropouts quoted the difficulty of the course and the chance to pursue a better course.

      Subject Complexity

      The course covers the toughest subject with complex ideas and practical usage. Students must have a prior knowledge of advanced concepts and dive deep into the subject matter. Its alignment can have a vital influence on the level of course difficulty.

      Teaching Style

      Apart from a vast syllabus, the teaching style at the colleges also affects how a student learns the lessons. Lack of clarity in instruction and communication leads to hardship in learning a tough topic. Thus, this leads to the complexity of the course. 

      Methods of Assessment

      The evaluation methods impact the ease of assessment and student stress levels. The way a course assesses student attainment has a huge effect on how hard it is. Strict evaluation formats increase the difficulty and stress of a course.

      Course Requirements

      Some courses become difficult for students if they have not studied those subjects at the prior level of study. The world's most difficult courses require a certain level of expertise. If these criteria are not met, scholars may struggle.

      Top Countries with Toughest Courses in the World

      After learning about all the aspects that determines the toughest courses in world, you must be curious about the countries that have the hardest courses in the world. Thus, in this section, you will learn about the 5 nations that are famous due to their level of course difficulty.

      South Korea

      The country is famous for its wonderful education system. However, there are some disadvantages to studying in this nation. The intense exams and traditional teaching methods make it hard for students to learn the courses.


      While studying in China, you will experience high workload pressure and teacher suppression, which makes it tough for students to grasp the concepts taught in college.


      Opting for a course in Japan can be hard for students, as it prevents them from developing creativity by giving excessive workloads and complex topics. Thus, the students suffer from high pressure, which makes the course they opt for tough to study.


      In India, the teaching style is a mix of traditional and modern methods. However, the complexity of the course remains the same. The excessive workloads and techniques used to assess a student's knowledge are tough. Thus, this makes it hard for them to cope with these aspects. Hence, it makes it difficult for scholars to understand the subject.


      Though Singapore has one of the best study systems in the world. However, the pressure and competition to opt for a course and its successful completion are very high. Thus, this makes it difficult for the student to handle it. Eventually, this made the opted course tough to comprehend.

      Suggested Read: After MBA Which Course is Best? 30 Choices for Success

      In conclusion, this blog provides you with all the necessary details related to the top 10 toughest courses in world. Also, you learnt about the world's hardest degrees and the factors that impact the difficulty level of the courses. You also came across the nations that offer the toughest courses and the reasons behind this. The factors that imply the difficulty level include subject complexity, teaching style, and course requisites. Thus, these aspects must be taken care of to make it easier for the students to comprehend the course.

      Commonly Asked Questions (CAQs)

      Which Is the Toughest Course in World?

      As discussed in the blog above, Medicine is the toughest course in world. This is because it is the study of the complex human body.

      In recent decades, Data Science has gained popularity around the world. This is because the course offers higher paying jobs and the vacancy in this field is higher than that of the other courses.

      Which Is the Most Difficult Course in India?

      The most difficult course in India is Computer Science. This is because this course requires an ample amount of time to study and master the concepts in it. 

      Which Universities Are Known for Offering the World’s Toughest Courses?

      Various universities offer the world’s toughest courses. But some of the most famous of these institutes are MIT, Harvard University and UCB.

      What Factors Influence a Student’s Choice of Courses?

      The factors that influence a student’s choice of courses include parental pressure, entrance exams, difficulty level of the course and career prospects of the course in future.

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