The median weekly earnings for someone with a bachelor’s degree is $1,066, compared with $652 for those who have only a high school diploma, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
So college seems well worth the effort, even though Forbes says earning a four-year degree at a private university actually takes an average of 55 months (roughly 4.5 years). Choose a particularly difficult major or work full time during school, and you might be looking at five or even six years of college.
How do you make things easier on yourself? You could select a major that’s not very difficult.
By reviewing studies, comparing entrance requirements and course catalogs at dozens of colleges, and asking college students and recent graduates themselves, we came up with this (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) list of the 10 easiest college degrees.
1. Women’s studies
Studying culture from a woman’s perspective might not be so hard. The University of California Irvine requires 12 women-related courses for the major, including “Interpreting Bodies and Pleasures.” And San Diego State University requires only a 2.0 GPA, among the lowest accepted for any major, to enter the upper-level women’s studies courses.
When you graduate, you can look for jobs in social studies, teaching, counseling or human resources.
2. Religious studies
Religious studies majors take courses like “Origins of Christianity,” “Early Chinese Thought,” and “Later Chinese Thought.” If you’re a history buff with an interest in reading and long lectures, you may be able to breeze right through this degree. It’s also among the majors at San Diego State where admission to upper-level courses requires only a 2.0 GPA.
However, things might get tricky when you graduate. Duke University’s Religion Department couldn’t identify a solid career path for those who major in religion, but said the major “offers intellectual excitement” and is helpful in a broad range of careers. Good luck.
3. English literature
If you love to read, you’ll enjoy this degree path, because reading and discussing what you read are the cornerstones of English literature programs. While you may have to write a few short stories, with electives like film theory and art appreciation you can coast.
After graduation, look for jobs in education, public relations or marketing.
4. Sports management
Cazenovia College suggests that a knowledge of sports, plus solid decision making and good people skills are essential qualities for this field. When I was in college, this was a top degree choice for football players because it didn’t require much, if any, math, science or history. Instead you’ll learn about the human body, public relations and sports, and take a lot of physical education.
Once you graduate, you’ll be qualified for management and PR jobs with major or minor league sports teams.
5. Creative writing
If you love to write, this major is for you. This degree path doesn’t require chemistry, calculus or biology courses. Instead, you’ll spend most of your time writing and learning about other writers, with plenty of options for easy electives.
Once you graduate, look for jobs in marketing or pursue a professional writing career.
6. Communications studies
Communication majors learn the art of speaking, either personally or to a large audience. This means a lot of speech writing and presentation, but also a lot of easy courses like “Principles of Oral Communication” and “Introduction to American Politics.”
Once you graduate, you’re qualified for jobs in marketing or perhaps business management.
7. Liberal studies
In this major you’ll learn about art, nature, social sciences and philosophy. Sound easy? It very well could be. As a liberal studies major you’ll take courses geared toward ethics in polite society.
Once you graduate, look for jobs in public relations, lobbying or grant writing.
8. Theater arts
Theater arts majors spend four years acting in – and learning about – plays and dance. If you have a desire to be on stage, you’ll enjoy classes like “Introduction to Modern Dance Theory” and “Fundamentals of Theater Production.” Plus, talent and experience may not be required. For example, high school students don’t need any special preparation to major in theater arts at University of California Santa Cruz.
After graduation, look for jobs on the stage or behind the scenes.
You’ll study painting, ceramics, photography, sculpture and drawing. Most of your tests will be creating a piece of art, and since much about art is subjective or perhaps your instructor isn’t very good, just follow the assignment and you’re well on your way to a high GPA.
Look for work as an artist, art dealer or book illustrator.
An article on CBS MoneyWatch named education the country’s easiest major. It said:
Research over the years has indicated that education majors, who enter college with the lowest average SAT scores, leave with the highest grades. Some of academic evidence documenting easy A’s for future teachers goes back more than 50 years!
You’ll likely become a teacher. Prospects are particularly good for those who specialize in math, science and special education.
What do you think of our list? Have we omitted some of the easiest majors? Have we underestimated the complexity of some of these fields? Tell us below or on our Facebook page!