Updated at: 10-04-2023 - By: Eden Wise


The world of engineering is both fascinating and intricate. Engineers find practical applications for the principles of mathematics and physics. The field of engineering encompasses dozens of subfields. Some are more straightforward than others.

There are a variety of engineering specializations available. The answer lies in your own personal goals.

It’s possible that constructing physical structures appeals to you more. In that case, civil engineering is a great field of study for you to pursue. If you’re more interested in the creative side of software development, a software engineering degree is a good option.

A wrong answer is not possible.

Learn which branches of engineering are the most challenging by reading this article.

A word of caution, though, before we get into the article proper. Don’t go into a major because you think it will be simple or difficult. According to your interests and goals, the challenge will vary. If you don’t have any interest in the subject, it doesn’t matter what major you choose; you will still fail.

Think about what you’re good at, what you enjoy, and where you want to go in life. If you put in the time and effort, you can graduate from even the most challenging program. The focus is on you.

Hardest Engineering Courses In The World

Hardest engineering courses in the world

Electrical Engineering

Most people think that electrical engineering is one of the most difficult fields of study. Since electricity is not something we intuitively grasp, electrical engineers must frequently deal with abstract concepts. Electrical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism, and its study, design, and application.

The high degree of abstraction required in EE is a major challenge. You can’t see electricity, so it’s hard to imagine how your actions will affect it. Nothing about the behavior of magnetic fields, the transmission of radio waves, or the transmission of electricity through wires can be observed by the naked eye.

Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering

Engineers who specialize in biomedicine are an unusual hybrid of the two fields. They are experts in biology and the development of therapeutic interventions. Biomedical engineers, however, are not limited to the study of human anatomy; they also create prosthetics. The field of biomedical engineering is challenging due to the integration of biology and advanced mathematics. You are also making something that appears to go against natural order. Understanding the human body and the consequences of its malfunction is essential.

Robotics Engineering

Robotics Engineering

Engineers who specialize in robotics work to create robots that can perform tasks normally performed by humans. This area of engineering is notoriously difficult to master. It’s not easy to construct a robot. It calls for proficiency in computer science, mathematics, electronics, and mechanics.

Nanotechnology Engineering / Nanoengineering

The study, creation, and improvement of materials at the nanoscale is the focus of nanoengineering. As a multidisciplinary field that draws from materials science, mechanics, electronics, biology, physics, and medicine, nanotechnology engineering is notoriously challenging to study.

Nuclear Engineering

Nuclear Engineering

Engineering that focuses on the study and practical use of nuclear and radiation processes is known as nuclear engineering.

Students who have trouble with physics will find this engineering course challenging. There are a lot of numbers to crunch. Nuclear engineers need to be well-versed in both mathematics and physics.

Reactor engineering, heat transfer and fluid mechanics, thermal hydraulics, plasma physics, reactor physics, radiation detection and measurement, and materials science are just some of the topics covered in a nuclear engineering degree program.

In the military, nuclear engineers build nuclear weapons; in medicine, they use radiation to diagnose and treat illness; and in the energy sector, they oversee the building, maintenance, and operation of nuclear power plants.

It takes 4 years to earn a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering and another 5 years to earn a master’s degree in the field.

Computer Engineering

Engineering that focuses on the creation of computer hardware and software by fusing the disciplines of computer science and electrical engineering.

Because of the similarities between computer and electrical engineering, the field is often viewed as challenging. Those who struggle with electrical engineering will also struggle with computer engineering.

Students who aren’t interested in or skilled at coding and programming may also find computer engineering to be a difficult major.

In four to five years, you can earn your bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. A knowledge of these disciplines is essential for success in computer engineering. Coding and programming skills can also come in handy.

Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace engineering is the branch of engineering that focuses on the making of airplanes, spaceships, and other similar machines. Aerospace engineering and astronomical engineering are the two primary subfields.

Aerospace engineering is challenging because it requires proficiency in a wide range of technical disciplines, as well as in-depth knowledge of mathematics and physics. Students who struggle with numbers will find this subject challenging.

Mechanical engineers will find aerospace engineering more approachable. You should get your bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and then go on to graduate school for aerospace engineering.

Aerospace engineers can earn their degrees in as little as three to five years. Differential equations, aircraft design, fluid mechanics, calculus, electrical circuits, thermodynamics, and aircraft aerodynamics are some of the topics that could be covered in a degree program like this.

Chemical Engineering

Due to its emphasis on both engineering and chemistry, chemical engineering is arguably the most challenging of these disciplines.

The study of chemistry encompasses a vast amount of ground. We advise zeroing in on a specific area of interest. If creating new medicines is something you’re interested in doing, pharmaceuticals would be the area to study.

Maybe you’re interested in greener packaging because you want to help the planet. If that’s the case, plastics and other materials could be your forte.

A passion for eating might describe you. As plant-based alternatives to meat become more commonplace, the role of chemical engineers in the food industry will grow. They also study and develop pesticides that protect crops.

Chemical engineers already have a significant impact on our daily lives, and their importance will only grow in the future.

Chemical engineers face challenges due to the theoretical and abstract nature of their work. You’re working with the stuff of life itself. The standard engineering disciplines of mathematics and physics are essential, and a solid grounding in chemistry is a plus.

Mechatronics Engineering

Mechatronics Engineering

The goal of these most challenging engineering programs is to prepare students to work with intelligent technologies like robots, automated guided systems, and computer integrated manufacturing equipment, all of which require the integration of mechanical, computer, and electrical systems.

Mechatronics engineering courses may cover topics such as electronic materials, electromagnetic fields, computer programming, measurements and analytical software, digital system design, electronic circuit design, applied mechanics, and industrial robots.

Since mechatronics engineering incorporates multiple fields of study—mechanics, electronics, robotics, etc.—it is more difficult than other types of engineering.

Mechatronics engineering is a four-year program. Mechanical engineering, electronics, and computer science knowledge are all necessary.

Quantum Engineering

To address today’s complex problems, quantum engineers combine their knowledge of engineering with that of physics.

This is one of the most difficult engineering programs available because of its emphasis on quantum mechanics. The field of quantum mechanics is notoriously challenging. Quantum mechanics is challenging even for high school students.

If you struggle with math and physics, quantum engineering may not be for you. It also requires you to think critically and analytically.

Quantum engineering is rarely introduced until graduate school. To become a quantum engineer, you need a bachelor’s degree in either electrical engineering or physics, as well as additional education at the master’s and doctoral levels in the field. A bachelor’s degree in quantum engineering can be earned in about four or five years.

Materials Science and Engineering

The fields of materials science and engineering, also known as material and metallurgical engineering, focus on materials and the processes by which they are shaped, down to the molecular level.

Pharmaceutical Engineering

A pharmaceutical engineer is a specialist in the field of pharmaceuticals who also has a formal education in engineering. They are in charge of creating machinery and methods for producing pharmaceuticals and other healthcare items.

Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineering focuses on the discovery, extraction, and distribution of petroleum products. In 2019, the oil and gas sector is worth more than $26 billion worldwide. The average annual salary for an entry-level petroleum engineer in this sector is $130,850.

Petroleum engineers need to be able to think critically about their work and apply their knowledge of math, science, economics (for petroleum economics majors), and computer science (data science and machine learning prediction) to ensure that it complies with environmental standards and is economically viable for their employers.

There’s no room for slacking off on the job because you need to know everything from drilling methods to reservoir management strategies.

Civil Engineering

Roads, bridges, canals, and dams are all examples of the kinds of works that fall under the purview of civil engineers, who work to improve both the built and natural environments.

These days, civil engineers are in high demand all over the globe. Construction of large industrial plants to individual homes are just two of the many types of projects they work on.


Which engineering has highest salary?

Engineers in fields such as Big Data, Nuclear Power, Aerospace, the Environment, Biomedicine, Systems, Electricity, and Chemistry

What is the duration of an engineering course?

A master’s degree in engineering can be earned in three to seven years, while a bachelor’s degree in engineering can be earned in four to five.

What are the Hardest Engineering Courses?

Electrical engineering, chemical engineering, and aerospace engineering are the most challenging fields in engineering. The toughest engineering class is one in which you demonstrate exceptional motivation, dedication, and aptitude. If you have a strong background in math and science, electrical engineering will come easily to you.

Are there Online Engineering Courses?

Several accredited engineering degree programs are available online. However, not all branches of engineering can be taught entirely digitally; Aerospace Engineering is one such example. Columbia University’s online master’s and graduate engineering programs are ranked highest by U.S. News.

What is the world’s best engineering school?

Tsinghua University in China is the best university in the world for engineering students, according to U.S. News. Nanyang Technological University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology come in at number two and number three, respectively.

What type of Engineer is the most lucrative?

Among engineers, petroleum engineers earn the highest salaries right now. Engineers working in the fields of electricity and aerospace can expect to make comparable salaries.


The following degrees are the most challenging ones available at any university. They mix seemingly unrelated fields, such as advanced mathematics and physics, with engineering. Putting what you’ve learned in advanced mathematics and physics to use in another complex area is an even greater challenge.

Your career options will expand significantly after completing a degree in any of the listed majors. You will acquire so much knowledge that you will be employable in a wide variety of related and unrelated fields.

You’ll be able to apply your superior education in any number of other fields because of the depth and breadth of your knowledge.

How do you make it as a student in these fields? The foundation is hard work, but that work will only come if you’re truly interested in your studies. If you choose a major that you aren’t passionate about, you will grow to hate yourself and your life.

You can make more informed decisions about your future now that you know which branches of engineering are the most challenging and why. You’re aware that choosing these concentrations will allow you to develop a unique set of abilities.

The degree of difficulty associated with a major is, of course, also related to the institution to which you apply. Completing a degree at MIT or Stanford is more challenging than, say, completing a degree at Virginia Tech. In addition, the former is much more competitive to enter.

However, many businesses place a high value on academic credentials. The careers associated with these majors are in high demand globally, so it doesn’t matter where you go to school. You should be fine providing your degree is from a recognized institution.

So, why are you stalling? Choose a major now to ensure your future happiness and success.