easiest degrees for international students
Being able to write good essays in English doesn't mean as much as you think it does. Source: AFP

If you do a quick Google search for the “easiest degrees for international students,” you’ll notice that most suggested degrees are creative degrees

But how easy are these degrees?

The thing is, you can’t determine whether a degree is easy or hard for everyone — it all varies according to one’s academic background, language proficiency and interest, among other factors.

There are, however, some factors that can help you pick a degree that best matches your interests and capabilities.

For example, social science programmes such as sociology, philosophy, and journalism tend to be more essay-driven, so students are expected to write a lot. 

Choosing these programmes might be a struggle for students who may not have a strong enough command of English. 

However, there are more technical subjects such as engineering, maths, and business administration that don’t place emphasis on the English language.

This naturally means that minimal writing will be required. 

What if you fall somewhere in between?

That is, you’re good at English, though it takes time for you to write well in this language, or you’re only okay with English but enjoy learning the language and writing essays from time to time.

If this is the case, these are our picks for the easiest degrees for international students who would prefer a programme with less writing. 

8 easiest degrees for international students who don’t like writing essays

easiest degrees for international students

For fashion enthusiasts, fashion design is an excellent degree choice for you. Source: Cristian Hernandez/AFP

1. Fashion design

Fashion design is among the easiest degrees for international students who are creative and passionate about fashion.

This subject focuses on visual and hands-on learning. You’ll be sketching, drawing, draping, and working on textile selections — skills that are required of a fashion designer.

Students will also learn theories, concepts, and the history of fashion design.

2. Computer science

Computer science majors mostly work with computers and code. There won’t be many lab reports or essays required of you.

Instead, you’ll have to write code fragments in computers, solve mathematical equations, and develop applications.

Beware, though: Just because it doesn’t require much essay writing doesn’t mean learning computer science is easy. According to the National Science Board, 30% to 50% of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) students do not complete their degrees.

easiest degrees for international students

Pursuing a maths degree doesn’t require any form of essay writing, which is great for students who are strong with numbers but lack a strong command of English. Source: Safin Hamed/AFP

3. Maths

One of the easiest degrees for international students who are good with numbers but bad with words is mathematics.

A maths degree is often offered in two forms: a bachelor’s of arts or a bachelor’s of science. Just like every other undergraduate programme, there will be both coursework and exam involved.

This includes complex calculations, mathematical proofs, and challenging problem-solving exams.

4. Business administration 

Unlike finance and accounting, business administration offers a broader knowledge of the different aspects of business operation and management.

Courses will have you crunching numbers in math and economics modules.

You’ll still have to write essays, but you won’t need great English to write them. It’s a skill you can hone throughout your programme, thus making this one of the easiest degrees for international students for whom English is not their first language.

easiest degrees for international students

Engineering students can branch out into a diverse range of specializations, including software engineering, aerospace engineering and biomedical engineering. Source: Maria Giulia Trombini/AFP

5. Engineering

Engineering is a broad field of study. An engineering curriculum takes an interdisciplinary application of mathematics and sciences on processes, systems, machines, and structures.

It often integrates more advanced applied mathematics and science than other science degree programs.

Other than lab reports, you will deal with numbers and formulas a majority of the time.

6. Architecture 

Architecture students can expect to spend long hours in studios honing technical and creative skills to design structures that suit the requirements of their clients.

You’ll need to show that you can visualise, plan, solve problems, and design. Writing essays in perfect grammar, while a bonus, is not completely necessary.

7. Performing Arts

The world of performing arts is about expressing yourself to the world.

It’s a fluid and subjective study, one that goes beyond words and numbers and instead focuses on delivering a message through the performance.

During your programme, you might learn about the theory and history behind some of the art forms, which may lead to some essay writing. But ultimately, any talk of a performance artist brings to mind the soft skills of confidence, effortless communication skills, and strong networking capabilities.

easiest degrees for international students

Cornell University has an online Master Beekeeping Certificate that requires written, oral, and field examinations. Source: AFP

8. Agriculture

As the earth hurtles deeper into a climate crisis and a rising food security problem, having expertise in agriculture and its related studies is one step in combating the larger issue at hand.

Your studies will revolve around practicals and theoretical lessons as you learn about the practice of farming alongside the ethical and environmental solutions towards food security challenges. While a good command of English will be helpful, it’s not a necessary requirement for most programmes.

Disclaimer: This article was last updated on April 24, 2024.