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From the teaching quality to the course content, there’s a wide range of factors to consider when choosing classes. At Simon Fraser University- the hardest marking university in Canada- the stakes are even higher. Here are 10 of the hardest classes at SFU:

1. Philosophy 110: Logic and Reasoning
There are a small percentage of students who just whizz through this class- unfortunately for the rest of us, what begins as a QWB requirement, ends as a headache and a cross between sudoku and the alphabet.

2. Cognitive Science 100: Exploring the Mind (with Mark Blair)
Quirky and energetic, Professor Blair, though passionate about the course content, creates a fairly highstakes environment for a 100-level course. Attending lectures is necessary, office hours crucial, and even though the exams are open book (literally whatever means you have, including google and your phone), his custom terminology used in the classroom renders the power of google useless.

3. Economics 103: Microeconomics (with Doug Allen)

Students across all faculties seem to share a unique difficulty with the course, matched by a love of the professor, Doug Allen, who exemplifies genuine passion and energy. Unfortunately, that energy isn’t enough to make the course anything less than hell for most of the students who take it. Dense amounts of work, tons of critical thinking, and a new religion, according to Allen. Need I say more?


4. English 313: Late Shakespeare (With James Fleming)

Like Professor Allen, Fleming is clearly intelligent and passionate about his area of study, but unfortunately, that makes for dense lectures, and a slightly intimidating intellectual atmosphere. The fact that this class is also on Shakespeare (who has been studied to death) makes it difficult to come up with original essays topics that will get you the grades you want from Fleming.

5. Publishing 372: The Book Publishing Process

Main goal: publish a mock book. Creativity meets technical design skills, profit and loss accounting, and savvy real world marketing. It’s a good thing you’re working in a group to get this project done! Well, except for the fact that you don’t get to pick your group (which means you could end up lacking a designer, or some other crucial element)… and it’s worth 40% of your grade… and you present to a panel of industry professionals at the end of the semester…

6. Business 360W: Business Communication (with Kevin Stewart)

As my roommate explained it, be prepared to work long and hard on this upper level course, and choose your group wisely! Like above with PUB 372, your fellow peers can make or break you, and asking questions of the hard marking Kevin Stewart is necessary. Getting a B is considered great for this course, and many students have to retake it in the long run. Best of luck, business kids!

7. BPK 326: Functional Anatomy

Besides the fact that you have to memorize a million things, this course is heavy with even heavier expectations. A classic headache for BPK students.

8. Math 151: Calculus I

This quantitative course hits home with a heavy workload and a short amount of time to absorb it all. Even with the help of the clear lecturing style adopted by Brenda Davison, the tough grading and sheer amount of work makes this class one to watch for.

9. IAT 233: Spatial Design (with Russell Taylor)

Professor Taylor’s expectations touch the sky, and when you combine that with an incredibly dense courseload, well, good luck! This class is the unofficial requirement for SIAT students and covers topics that could be pulled from over 5 other SIAT courses. Think about that.

10. Chem 281: Organic Chemistry I

Whether you take this class with Pete Wilson, Oliver Calderon, or Andrew Bennet, something tells me it’s going to be a grind no how hard these profs try to do the course justice. Explanations are the oxygen of the o-chem world and without a clear and concise professor (who doesn’t botch the key), you can kiss your idea of a laid back semester goodbye.


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