The Hardest Major: Chemistry

I don’t know about you but I love Chemistry. I know most people find the opposite to be true for them personally. Now, granted, I haven’t been through anything other than introductory Chemistry – but I still love it! And hey, that class is the foundation for everything else you’re going to learn – whether it be in organic chemistry or some other chemistry course that I don’t even know exists.

They say that Chemistry is the hardest major for many reasons. Some say the rigor and difficulty of the course is what makes it the hardest. Some say that it’s just not their forte. But what I’m mainly going to focus on in this article is not any of that. Instead, I’ll focus on the average GPA of students in that major.

Chemistry lab is considerably easier than Chemistry (course) in my opinion. (photo by dave_mcmt)

Chemistry lab is considerably easier than Chemistry (course) in my opinion. (photo by dave_mcmt)

CBS News covered that, as I quote:

Kevin Rask, an economics professor at Wake Forest, drew that conclusion after reviewing the records of more than 5,000 students, who graduated from an unnamed elite liberal arts college in the Northeast from 2001 to 2009.

During this period, the science geeks earned grades that were consistently below other students. Brainy STEM graduates left their school with four out of the five lowest grade point averages:

5 Lowest Grade Point Averages

Chemistry – 2.78 GPA
Math – 2.90 GPA
Economics – 2.95 GPA
Psychology – 2.98 GPA
Biology – 3.02 GPA

With that being said, it’s no wonder that (also stated by CBS News) one-third of the students wish to pursue a major in STEM (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) but most will never complete their expedition on the subject. I would lose my scholarships and possibly financial aid with a GPA that low.

The best thing about being a Chemistry major, or in fact, being involved with any STEM major, is that even though it may be the “hardest,” you will never be out of a job. In fact, any of the science, medical, or technological majors will be generally safe for the future.

The thing about STEM degrees is that most of them are inherently tied in together. For example, a degree in Engineering, no matter which branch, will include¬†chemistry, physics, calculus, statistics, geology, biology, and other “give you hell and Cs in the course” courses.

Best piece of advice? You can do it if you really want to (I believe you can do anything if you set your mind to it, as cliche as that sounds) – but if you don’t have a natural knack or inclination towards math and science courses, don’t expect to graduate at the top of your class. Expect it to be a difficult hill-climb that you may or may not fall down on a few times. It’s just up to you to either get back up or call it quits.

Nonetheless, the hardest major can be the right major for you. Don’t lose hope just because it’s difficult.


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