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The Most Demanding Majors

The Most Demanding Majors

How much time do you spend studying? It may depend on your major, according to a recent report.

Elizabeth Hoyt

July 24, 2013

How much time do you spend studying? It may depend on your major, according to a recent report.

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) released an annual report, “Promoting Student Learning and Institutional Improvement: Lessons from NSSE at 13,” which details how much time students spend studying in comparison to their chosen majors.

While we know that all majors require work and the intensity of work loads are often determined by individual students, the report listed the following majors as requiring the highest level of time commitments for students.

1. Engineering

Average Number of Weekly Hours Spent Prepping for Class: 18
Average Number of Weekly Hours Faculty Expected of Students: 17

Engineering majors report more study hours than any other field of study. The coursework is considerably demanding and very in-depth.

Common majors include computer engineering, civil engineering and electrical engineering.

2. Physical Sciences

Average Number of Weekly Hours Spent Prepping for Class: 17
Average Number of Weekly Hours Faculty Expected of Students: 18

Physical sciences are the second most demanding field, according to the NSSE report. The field requires a high time commitment because the careers within the field are often very demanding and directly impact people’s daily lives.

Common majors include physics, chemistry and astronomy.

3. Arts and Humanities

Average Number of Weekly Hours Spent Prepping for Class: 17
Average Number of Weekly Hours Faculty Expected of Students: 18

Majors within the Arts and Humanities fields require a significant amount of out-of-class creative coursework, developing and working on involved projects.

Common majors include philosophy, English, fine art and studio art.

4. Education

Average Number of Weekly Hours Spent Prepping for Class: 15
Average Number of Weekly Hours Faculty Expected of Students: 15

For students who are extremely motivated to inspire future students, the pressure of the field can be great, especially out-of-class hours spent researching and developing teaching strategies. Many education majors love what they do and, as a result, put forth a lot of effort in learning new and different teaching methods.

Common majors include education, special education and early childhood education.

5. Social Sciences

Average Number of Weekly Hours Spent Prepping for Class: 14
Average Number of Weekly Hours Faculty Expected of Students: 16

It’s not easy to understand humans, as we are complicated creatures, which is why social sciences majors require the fifth highest time commitment, according to the NSSE study.

Common majors include communications, psychology and public relations.

6. Business

Average Number of Weekly Hours Spent Prepping for Class: 14
Average Number of Weekly Hours Faculty Expected of Students: 15

Business majors typically focus their attention on buying, producing or selling commercial goods and, though it doesn’t demand as much time as the aforementioned majors, it still requires a great deal of math comprehension, problem solving and the understanding of business concepts that can be very detailed and specific.

Common majors include accounting, business administration, finance and business management.



Do you agree with the results of this report? Why or why not?


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