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Northeastern University is one of the top universities in the country, yet, like all schools, there are those few courses that all students hear rumors of and fear taking them.  While some of these courses are necessary to fulfill requirements or even graduate, they can be killer to get through. The following classes were voted as the hardest classes at Northeastern by numerous students I interviewed, and their reasonings why.  So, unless you want to spend an entire semester working your butt off to get a D-, you might want to avoid these courses. Here are 10 Hardest Classes at Northeastern!

1. CS 2500 – Fundamentals of Computer Science (i.e. Fundies)

This course is meant to weed out those who were meant to go into computer science and those who will spend the semester pulling all nighters and crying over assignments, only to barely pass the class. So if you love computer science and want to torture yourself, have fun!

“The hardest class had to have been Fundies 1 because it asked for a TON of work outside of class, to the point where it became your second job.” -NEU CS major

“Fundies 1, mostly because it was my first experience programming, on top of being a confused freshman” – Northeastern CS major

2. ACCT 1209 – Accounting

For business majors, they love this class. For anyone else, it’s a nightmare with math.

“Accounting was by far the hardest, but that was mostly because the teacher sucked so I basically had to teach myself” – NEU Music Industry major

3. MATH 3150 – Real Analysis

This class is meant to fulfill the writing intensive class for math majors. Math kids are good with numbers and solving equations; they’re not too good at writing about those numbers and proving how they solved those equations.

“[Real Analysis] involves learning how to write proofs about abstract algebra and calculus for the first time, which is really difficult to grasp conceptually. It’s also a huge amount of work and the curve is brutal.” – NEU Math major

4. CS 4500 – Software Development

“On the first day, Professor Matthias literally just glares at everyone and says ‘Welcome to hell.’ Guaranteed to make you cry.  Guaranteed 50 hours of work per week.” – NEU CS major

Obviously, that quote says it all. I will never understand why computer science kids hate themselves so much to suffer through all of these classes.

5. PSY 2306 – Food Behavior and Eating Disorders

“This class had the hardest content and the most workload. It might’ve just been the professor’s teaching style was dull and hard to engage with.  It was amazingly important material and subject matter, but a very very difficult class.” -NEU Psychology student

6. CS 3800 – Theory of Computation

Once again, another computer science class meant to torture the weak, but learn very important professional skills.

“This class was definitely my most difficult class. It may have been in part because the way the class was taught was not …ideal.  Also, even looking at external sources, the material took me super long to understand.” -NEU CS major

7. NRSG 3320 – Pharmacology

This is a necessary class for nursing majors, but once again, it is also torture. It’s important information, like most of these classes, but is an absolute killer.

“This class involves a lot of memorization. You learn a lot about medicine in a very short time.  It builds on your previous knowledge from biology classes, but also introduces so many new concepts and terms.  But it was useful for my co-op as a nurse because I had all of that information engrained in my head already.” -NEU Nursing major

8. MUSC 2304 – Music Theory 4

This is a small class that not many students need to suffer through, but for Music Composition majors, it’s a requirement. This class is the end of the string of consecutive music theory courses, and this one focuses on 20th century theory – very different from what most people know about music.  Instead of listening to music and thinking of chords, keys, melodies, and more, you have to focus on frequencies, format, and the math and science that goes into music making.

“20th century theory is such a different approach to form and harmony that it takes a bit of a paradigm shift. Also it involves a lot of math, which isn’t fun.” -NEU Music Composition and Technology major.

9. PHYS 1111 – Astronomy

A lot of students who aren’t physics majors want to take this class because it fulfills the science core requirement. You’ll learn from rumors spread across students that this is a mistake and you should not do this.  You think that this class will be about stars and the universe and learning about astronomy, right?  Not quite.  It focuses more on the science and equations and actual intense physics behind all of that.  So if you’re looking for a class where you get to look at constellations in awe and not fail, this is definitely not one you’ll want to take.

10. PSYC 1101 – Foundations of Psychology

This class was a surprising pick for several students. This fulfills the social science core requirement but it’s surprisingly difficult grading-wise.  There’s a lot of memorization and you’re learning a lot of psychology in a short period of time.  Plus since it’s only an intro class, you’re only scratching the surface with many topics so you don’t learn the full concepts, which makes them harder to understand.

“My professor curved the grade soooo hard for that class because everyone did really bad. The whole entire grade was based on just 4 tests.  There were definitely harder classes I’ve taken but that seemed the hardest at the time, mainly because if you messed up on one test, your grade was done for.” -NEU CS/Game Design major


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