What Are the Most Rigorous Bachelor Degree Programs?

Although many bachelor's degree programs are tough, some have reputations for being especially challenging. Read on to find out about three of the most rigorous bachelor's degree programs.

Characteristics of a Rigorous Bachelor's Degree Program

While the curricula and difficulty of bachelor's degree programs vary from school to school, rigorous programs like those featured below tend to require extensive lab work and courses with large homework loads. Classes that require a lot of reading can be especially time consuming, as can classes with labs that require students to spend hours writing up reports. Keep reading to learn about bachelor's programs in engineering, pre-medicine and architecture, which often have especially demanding requirements.

Important Facts About These Programs

Online Availability Full engineering and architecture programs are available. While there are not full pre-med programs, there are biology and chemistry programs.
Possible Careers Some of the best engineering jobs are engineering director, petroleum engineer, and design verification engineer. For pre-med, one can get a job as a drug information specialist, forensic scientist, or biomedical technician. Architecture majors can get jobs as landscape architects, interior designers, and urban planners.
Programs Internships are available for engineering, pre-med, and architecture students
Degree Levels Associate and graduate programs are available for all of these areas.


In addition to general education and core engineering courses, electives in a specialization like biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering or mechanical engineering are typically part of a bachelor's program in this field. Engineering courses have earned a reputation for their intensive workloads, including long hours spent in the lab. Core courses in this field generally include the following:

  • Chemistry
  • Computer science
  • Engineering mechanics
  • Engineering design
  • Calculus
  • Physics


Students hoping to attend medical school need to complete pre-medicine requirements that include courses in mathematics, physics, biology and chemistry. Many schools don't have specific pre-medicine degree programs, so students complete pre-medicine requirements as well as completing coursework for their major. In addition to taking electives like general nutrition and death and dying, pre-medicine students typically are required to complete the following courses, many of which are lab-intensive:

  • Organic chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Human anatomy
  • Genetics
  • Physics


Earning a professional bachelor's degree in architecture, which in many states is required for licensure, takes five years. Students learn about the history and theory of architecture and building science. They also work with advanced drafting software and might have to build detailed 3-dimensional models. Many programs require that students complete an internship and go before a board with completed architectural projects. Courses in a professional architecture program might include the following:

  • Design
  • Architecture and society
  • History of architecture
  • Site design
  • Environmental controls
  • Planning principles

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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