So going to University of Alberta this year? Check out the list below and see which 10 courses you want to be careful about and put more effort in! Here are 10 of the Hardest Classes at University of Alberta!

1. CHEM 261 – Organic Chemistry I

If you are a premed, organic chemistry(OC) is your worst nightmare. You might ask why? Well, its like learning a new language. It is different than general chemistry where concepts are straightforward. OC require hours of practice, memorization of endless mechanisms. Good news is that after a while the mechanisms and electrons start floating in your mind. There is pre-lab quizzes and time consuming post-lab assignments after a gruelling 3-hour weekly labs with added bonus of smelling like acetone afterwards.

2. BIOCH 200 – Introduction to Biochemistry

Now this course is not hard in terms of its content, it is more to do with its exams. The content involves enzymes, nucleic acids and proteins, which can vary on The midterm is in the evening around 7 P.M., a time where I am drained energetically& my focus is dwindling. Second, the questions themselves have 5  answers options each and asked in the most convoluted way as possible. Biochem is basically a memorization course but an interesting subject.

3. BIO 108 – Introduction to Biological Diversity

For most freshman in Faculty of Science programs, this course is nightmare best forgotten. This is due to the fact of memorization involved in learning different phylums and species. In other course sections, students had to learn the roots of the words, which are useful but a pain to remember during the exams. I personally did not find the labs that fun except the last one where we got to dissect a fish and often the lab report marks varied between TAs. The lab final exam was brutal due its emphasis on answering with specific words and 8 answer choices multiple choice questions. If this course is not required for your program, give it a pass unless you like learning about insects and fungus.

4. ENGL 123 – Literatures in Global Perspectives

Bad news is that English courses are hard to avoid as they are prerequisite for ALMOST all of the degrees. ENG 123 involves a lot of reading and the essays that you write are marked in a very strict manner. Good thing is there is no Shakespeare(seriously who understands it anyways). The course content varies by instructor but we focused on Spanish conflict. The class is more of a chore than something I would look to go to 9 AM in the morning. The exams are all written of course. Sharpen your pencils!

5. STAT 151 – Introduction to Applied Statistics

This course is hated by some and loved by others .I have to admit that I did well in this class but it makes you work so hard for it. With weekly homework assignments and lab assignments, it is a huge time drain. On top of that, the stats concepts are “new” as you do not have much exposure for it before you come to U of A, thus making the choice of professor critical for doing well in this course. Sometimes in class, you will fall asleep and be left very confused but practice is your key to success.

6. Physiology 214 – Honours Human Physiology

For me, human physiology is a fascinating course. However, this class is filled with honour students which results in high class average and the class is curved so room for error(i.e low marks on exams) small. To top it all, a 6-10 page term paper. The devil lies in the details of the course material and the exams are all written. No practice exams or representative material. If you are interested in taking physiology take PHYS 210 which has the same content but multiple choice questions minus the term paper.

7. ANAT 200 – Human Anatomy

Your Gluteus Maximus is going to be sore after memorizing all the muscles and bones in your body. This course is a monster and requires constant studying due to large volume of info and NO Grey’s Anatomy will not help you with this course. Postpone this course for medschool if you are pre-med and avoid being miserable twice.

8. PSYCO 377 – Human Neuropsychology

This course is filled with neuroanatomy and memorizing the pathways of the brain and studying the neurological substrates of brain damage. You have to have a genuine interest for it. Lot of work and time and be expected to know your content inside-out to do well on exams. I recommend Dr. Singhal for it.

9. IMIN 200 – Infection and Immunity

Now this course is all about learning the bacterial pathogens and viral structures and the mechanisms by which they operate. LOT OF MEMORIZATION HEADED YOUR WAY. Course is taught by multiple lecturers which vary the way content is delivered and hence level of pain experienced varies. Get ready to pull your hair out.


10. PMCOL 305 – An Introduction to the Pharmacology of Drug Abuse

You wanna learn about all the drugs that can get you high? Take this course my brotha! This course although interesting is also can get bit heavy since you are learning about action mechanisms of drugs and their various effects. It is hard mainly due to the fact that you have midterms and finals that work so much each and screwing up on any of them kills your chances at excellent grades. Take it only if you are good at multiple choice and make little mistakes.


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