Is Chemical Engineering the hardest major?

Is Chemical Engineering the hardest <a href="">major</a>?

Is Chemical Engineering the Hardest Major?

Chemical Engineering Lab


College is an exciting and challenging time for students. Choosing a major is one of the most important decisions a student will make during their college career. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which major is the right fit. One major that is often associated with difficulty is chemical engineering. But the question remains, is chemical engineering really the hardest major?

According to a survey conducted by the Princeton Review, chemical engineering is considered the second-hardest college major and the hardest engineering major. Students in this field spend an average of 19 hours and 40 minutes per week preparing for class. Chemical engineering is a broad subset of engineering that involves the design, production, use, and transportation of chemicals. Let’s take a closer look at what makes chemical engineering so challenging and if it truly deserves its reputation as the hardest major.


What is chemical engineering?

Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that focuses on the design, development, and operation of chemical processes. These processes can include everything from the production of consumer goods such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, to large-scale industrial operations such as petroleum refining and the production of chemicals and plastics.

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What makes chemical engineering challenging?

Chemical engineering is a broad and complex field that requires a strong foundation in math, physics, and chemistry. Students in this major must also have a deep understanding of engineering principles and their practical applications. In addition to the rigorous coursework, chemical engineering students are often required to complete hands-on laboratory and research projects that can be time-consuming and demanding.

What are some career paths for chemical engineers?

Chemical engineers have numerous career options available to them. Some common career paths include working in manufacturing, research and development, consulting, and academia. Chemical engineers can also work in a variety of industries such as energy, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and materials science.

Is chemical engineering for everyone?

Chemical engineering is not for everyone. It requires a high level of dedication, hard work, and intellectual curiosity. As with any major, it is important to do your research and carefully consider your interests and strengths before making a decision. If you have a passion for chemistry, math, and problem-solving, chemical engineering may be a great fit for you.


Now that we have a better understanding of what chemical engineering is and why it can be challenging, let’s take a closer look at some of the factors that make it the second-hardest college major and the hardest engineering major.


Chemical engineering coursework is notoriously difficult. Students are required to take a variety of courses in math, physics, and chemistry in addition to core engineering courses. These courses can be conceptually difficult and require a deep understanding of the material. Chemical engineering courses are also known for their workload, with many students spending upwards of 20 hours per week on assignments and studying.

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Laboratory and Research Projects

Chemical engineering students must also complete a number of laboratory and research projects throughout their education. These projects can be time-consuming and demanding, often requiring students to work outside of regular class hours. They are also critical components of a chemical engineering education, as they provide students with hands-on experience in the field and the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts to real-world problems.

Industry Standards

Chemical engineering is a rapidly evolving field, and students must stay up-to-date with the latest technological advancements and industry standards. This means that chemical engineering students must be dedicated and hardworking, with a lifelong commitment to learning and professional development. Chemical engineering professionals must also be adaptable and able to work in a variety of settings, as the field is constantly expanding into new areas such as biotechnology and energy production.


Chemical engineering is undoubtedly one of the most challenging majors available to college students. It requires a strong foundation in math, physics, and chemistry, as well as a deep understanding of engineering principles and their practical applications. Chemical engineering coursework, laboratory and research projects, and industry standards all contribute to its reputation as the second-hardest college major and the hardest engineering major.

But for those who are passionate about chemistry, math, and problem-solving, chemical engineering can also be one of the most rewarding majors available. With a broad range of career paths available and the opportunity to make a real impact on the world, chemical engineering is a major worth considering for those who are up to the challenge.

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Chemical Engineering Graduates

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