Back to Community College of Philadelphia Blogs

10 Hardest Courses at the Community College of Philadelphia

Blog User Avatar
Santosha Veera
24 May 2019
11 min read

Throughout college, many students must face off against a class that they feel is impossible to pass. Whether it's due to a difficult professor, anxiety-inducing tests, or complicated thesis papers, some classes are just... hard. For those who would rather save their GPAs or just have an easier semester, here are 10 of the hardest classes at the Community College of Philadelphia. But don't use this list to shy away from a challenge - sometimes the toughest classes can be the most important ones.

1. BIOL 241 - Principles of Microbiology

Icon of microbiology with DNA strands, bacteria, mocules and cogs

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Microbiology is an incredibly detailed and vast subject to learn, where students are expected to understand and remember the intricacies of a plethora of microorganisms, and their place in the Earth's ecosystems. Bacteria, viruses, and other disease-causing pathogens also fit into this field. With so much detail to learn, it's no wonder that students find this class to be mind-bendingly difficult - as one student on RateMyProfessor put it, "study HARD for the exams". Students who have a knack for the sciences and are interested in microorganisms will like this class, but those who aren't ready to put in the work should find a different course.

2. MATH 163 - Discrete Mathematics

picture of math equations on paper

Mathematics can be used in almost every field of study, and is extremely important to understand. Math is one of the most highly dreaded subjects by scholars of all backgrounds - whether it be an elementary student facing off against fractions, or a college freshman studying for a calculus exam. Discrete mathematics, focusing on discrete set theory, functions, number theory, and computer science applications, is a great course of future math majors and budding computer scientists. However, due to its incredibly theoretical subject nature and complex theorems, students will have to spend hours after class working on practice problems, seeking tutoring, and attending office hours. A math class that is perfect for someone seeking a challenge, but not for one looking for an easy semester.

3. BIOL 109 - Anatomy and Physiology 1

Picture of human body showing all the organs

Anatomy and Physiology - the essential study of the human body and all it's inner workings. This class covers so much material. Studying the night before, or even the week before, won't cut it anymore, as the study of the body is truly an endeavor that requires utmost dedication. With such a challenging course subject, it isn't surprising that students on RateMyProfessor warn others to "AVOID AT ALL COSTS". Those who are interested in nursing or other healthcare professions should take this course, but those who want to save their GPA should probably just watch Greys Anatomy instead.

4. PHIL 101 - Introduction to Philosophy 1

picture of a balance with the word ethics on it

Philosophy: a subject that has perplexed everyone from Aristotle and Plato to struggling undergraduate students just trying to pass the class. Introduction to Philosophy introduces the theoretical frameworks of philosophy, as well as some fundamental problems that are explored in the field. It can be difficult for students who have never had exposure to similar types of ethics and problem solving theoretical classes, which often have essay and short answer exams and complicated thesis papers to write. Those who are interested in the complex problems of life and the world will love this class, but students who would rather not spend a weekend reading about existential nihilism are better off passing on this course.

5. MNGT 121 - Introduction to Business

picture of a calculator with finance written on it

Before one can build a business empire and make it to the Fortune 500 list, they need to pass Introduction to Business. A class that covers the basics of economic systems, marketing, accounting, and the ethics of business ownership, MGMT 121 is essential knowledge for any budding entrepreneur. Unfortunately, it's also a very difficult class, with specific and detailed assignments and presentations that can frustrate any student to the point of tears. Students who are interested in running their own business or managing a small business should take this course, but those would rather save their GPA should probably avoid it.

6. CHEM 110 - Introductory Chemistry

picture of beakers and flasks in chemistry labs

Chemistry: Fun when you see it on Breaking Bad, but not so fun once the numbers come into play. Introductory Chemistry covers the fundamental theorems, mathematics, and science of chemistry. Students will learn about matter, measurements, atomic structure and bonding, and stoichiometry. It can be pretty challenging for many students to understand and apply so much new information, and with professors that challenge students with tricky word problems and mathematical equations, Chemistry and quickly become a GPA-sinker. Those who are interested in the physical and natural sciences should take this class (and probably seek out tutoring while they're at it), but for those who shy away from math, this may not be the best class to take.

7. FNMT 118 - Intermediate Algebra

picture of the quadratic equation written in chalk on a black board

For anyone who screams in terror at the mention of the quadratic equation, it makes complete sense that Algebra is on this list. This class, covering polynomial and rational expressions, linear and quadratic graphing, and advanced problem solving, can be difficult to understand for many introductory mathematics students. With so many problems to solve and anxiety-inducing math tests to prepare for, it's no wonder that students try to avoid this class at all costs. Students who are interested in numbers and math will probably find this class manageable, but those who find themselves sweating at a polynomial expression should probably seek out some tutoring.

8. PSYC 202 - Human Sexuality

picture of person's head portrait with a question mark inside.

Psychology, while an extremely interesting field of study that explores the intricacies of human behavior and the brain, can also be challenging. As the marriage of natural science and social studies, psychology classes often asks students to exercise both scientific reasoning and statistical analysis in addition to sociology and other theoretical fields of study. PSYC 202 explores human sexual behavior throughout human lifespans, and how cultural and social impacts can change this behavior. Students who are interested in cultural or social studies will enjoy this class, but those who struggle with science classes may find it difficult.

9. AH 190 - Human Disease and Treatment

cartoon picture of boy sick inu bed with thermostat in mouth

AH 190 focuses on various disease processes and classifications of disease causes, with a diagnostic approach rooted in biology. For aspiring healthcare professionals, such as those hoping to become Physician Assistants, Nurses, or Physicians, this can be a great class to begin understanding the underlying causes of disease. However, it's also a difficult class that may give students a taste of nursing or med school with a deep scientific approach to disease, treatment, and the human body. Students are expected to not only memorize pathogens and disease causes, but understand the biological mechanisms behind them. Aspiring health professionals should take this class, but those who find science difficult should be warned.

10. POLS 112 - Intro to International Relations

Picture of a globe filled with flags of countries around the world

International Relations: the topic of many a heated political debate, bringing even seasoned politicians and ambassadors to tears. For students who are ready to dive into the complex institutions and political structures that govern the world's countries, Intro to International Relations is a challenging but engaging course. However, those who aren't ready to read extensively and critically about politics should skip this course.

Sometimes, a difficult class is unavoidable. Sometimes, they can lead to a bad test, a bad grade, or a bad semester. At the end of the day, one hard class doesn't make a bad student, and the growth and knowledge accrued from these experiences are the things that make it worthwhile. So don't be scared to rise up to the challenge - failure is just another learning experience.

Suggested Articles in Community College of Philadelphia