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 \Temple University is all fun and games—until you start taking a class that makes you want to bang your head against your bedroom wall. Regardless of your major, it’ll be nearly impossible to make it through your time as an Owl without registering for at least one stressful lecture, lab, or seminar. Here are 10 of the hardest classes at Temple University.

1. ACCT 3533: Advanced Accounting

For starters, the course description includes phrases like “intercompany transactions,” “inter-corporate stock ownership,” and “consolidated financial statements.” If you’re an accounting major, and the simple act of reading these is enough to make you sweat, you may want to reconsider your career goals. Sure, you’ll learn the ins and outs of money exchanges. But can you handle all those dollar signs?

2. AMST 2021: Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Calling all photojournalism majors: this one’s for you. If you just so happen to be a member of the photo-j crowd, then get ready to know more about a specific area of Philly than you’ve ever thought possible. Because Philadelphia Neighborhoods is the major’s capstone course, you’ll be required to spend tons of time in your assigned neighborhood. While there, you and a partner will capture content and create multimedia deliverables. Hope you’re comfortable working with images, videos, and text!

3. ANTH 0825: Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences

You’ve probably watched someone try to make a claim without having the numbers to back it up, and you likely listened in as that person struggled to gain support for said claim. The proof is always in the statistical pudding. However, getting the numbers is easier said than done. If you’re a stats whiz, then this class could be a piece of cake. (Apologies for all the dessert references!) Otherwise, you may want to look for a social science class that’s a little less math-heavy.

4. ARTU1101: Introduction to Visual Language, Painting

Let me guess, you’re wondering how an art course landed on this list. A. Tyler classes are no walk in the park (unless your specific class does, indeed, require you to do art in a park), and B. ARTU1101 meets twice each week, for just under 3 ½ hours per session. Those are huge chunks of time, especially when you take the rest of you schedule—others courses, work shifts, club meetings, etc.—into consideration. So yes, painting is hard—and it’s further intensified by the extra course fee you’ll have to pay to take it.

5. BIOL1001: Human Biology

Think all the way back to your high school bio class. Did you pass with flying colors? If not, then Human Biology will throw you for one heck of a scientific loop. You’ll fight to stay afloat as your prof presents PowerPoint after PowerPoint and speed teaches her way through human development, biomolecules, heredity, and other big concepts. In addition to this, you’ll have to prep your stomach for dissection labs. Start strengthening your gut ASAP.

6. CHEM 2201: Organic Chemistry I

Hydrogen, halogens, and hydrocarbons—oh my! In this demanding course, you’ll dive head-first into all three of these. Plus, if you haven’t already done so, you and your class/labmates will discover the delightful world of derivatives. (And yes, I say delightful sarcastically.) Have fun wrapping your head around reaction mechanisms.

7. CJ 3304: Capital Punishment

What makes Capital Punishment challenging? Well, the star subject of the course is one of society’s most debated topics! You’ll learn about the death penalty’s history and applications in the U.S., the prisoners currently on death row, and the opinions that make this type of punishment so controversial. No matter what your position going into the course may be, you’ll come out of it mentally exhausted from the nonstop morality discussions.

8. MATH 1041: Calculus I

Mean Girls taught us that, in some cases, the limit doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, for Calculus I, this isn’t the case. When you sign up for a college calc course, there’s only so much information you’ll be able to gather from your prof. The rest of the material (practice problem sets, lesson reviews, etc.) is yours to master. Your high school math teachers were probably hands-on and available for daily homework help. If you can’t handle this course without a similar level of assistance, then I definitely suggest taking advantage of office hours and study groups.

9. PHYS 2021: General Physics I

My best friend has taken a lot of science classes at Temple. Even with her vast experience, though, she still swears that physics was the most stressful. Your lecture/recitation/lab will put you through the ringer, forcing your brain to become fluent in fluids, mechanics, and energy conservation. You’ll constantly have your face in a book or lab report, and, like my friend, you might find yourself counting the hours until finals.

10. POLS 2496: Introduction to Political Philosophy

For some, the combination of politics and Plato is fun. For others, it’s anything but. If you’re easily frustrated by today’s political issues, then adding in the heavy texts of Hobbes, Marx, and other philosophers will only make your heart pound even faster. What’s more? Intro to Political Philosophy is a capstone writing course. That means lengthy class discussions and never-ending term papers.

Choose your classes wisely, Owls!


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Megan Sawey

Megan Sawey is a Temple University alumnus. She maintains deep passions for puns, distance running, hula hooping, peanut butter, and (thanks to her recent trip to Rome) Nutella. You can find her on megansawey.com.


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