Which Degree Programs Require the Least Amount of Reading and Writing?

Image of man reading a book for our FAQ on Which Degree Programs Require the Least Amount of Reading and Writing

An image of a college degree for our FAQ about Which Degree Programs Require the Least Amount of Reading and Writing All degree programs require you to read and write at some point during your college career. However, some majors require less reading and writing than others. For example, if you have an aversion to the written word you will want to avoid majors such as:

  • communication
  • English
  • journalism
  • literature
All of which require a lot of reading and writing. However, simply because a degree program requires less reading and writing than others does not mean it is the easier choice. A lack of book study often corresponds with a higher level of hands-on practice. This is often a more challenging approach to learning than reading a book or typing an essay, but it may be that this type of active education is appealing to you. Here’s a list of degree programs that require the least amount of reading and writing.

1. Architecture

The bachelor’s in architecture is far from writing-intensive, primarily focusing on:
  • design
  • math
  • science
Common coursework includes:
  • architectural and digital drawing
  • architectural theory
  • calculus
  • physics
  • the occasional sustainability course
Some architecture degrees may also require art history courses. These will require the most amount of reading compared to other courses taken by an architecture major. The architecture degree is primarily a hands-on learning opportunity, with several classes providing first-hand experience in building and design. Despite it being less reading- and writing-intensive, the architecture degree is far from easy. Architecture requires an eye for detail and creativity, as well as a firm grasp of math and sciences like geometry and physics. Additionally, a bachelor’s in architecture is typically a five-year program. There are several four-year programs available. But they are probably not accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, unlike the five-year programs. If you decide to take a four-year program, you will need to also earn a National Architectural Accrediting Board-accredited master’s in architecture to achieve licensure. An architect license is required to  enter the workforce.

2. Chemistry

Outside the classroom, the chemistry degree will include laboratory-based learning. It will also include  first-hand knowledge regarding the behavior of matter and its elements. Lab reports will require writing, but it will be observation-based and technical.  It will not be the creative and lengthy essays expected from the humanities majors. The chemistry degree is more research-heavy, including courses such as:
  • calculus
  • organic and inorganic chemistry
  • physical chemistry
  • thermodynamics
  • quantum mechanics
All of these will require more lab work than reading or writing. However, lab reports can be extensively detailed. Students will be expected to supplement their hands-on learning with informational textbooks assigned by their professors. Exams will consist mostly of multiple-choice and short-answer questions, as opposed to essay questions that require extensive amounts of writing. However, this does not mean the degree will lack challenges. The chemistry degree is known for its complex curriculum that is created to prepare students for successful careers in:
  • government
  • medicine
  • research, and more
If you’re  considering a degree in chemistry, you should be prepared to develop strong problem-solving skills. You also need a deep knowledge in your chosen specialization of chemistry. An image of computer science students for our FAQ about Which Degree Programs Require the Least Amount of Reading and Writing

3. Computer Science

The computer science major will acquire in-depth experience in
  • coding
  • research
  • technology
Very little reading and writing is required for the computer science degree.  Most of your time will be spent completing coding assignments, such as:
  • creating a video game
  • debugging code
  • developing a user interface
The majority of assignments require active learning and application. Writing assignments are few and far between. The most reading you will do as a computer science major will be in courses that are more dedicated to theory than practice. These are in the minority, compared to the more practical courses. Computer science is considered a challenging field of study, despite its lack of essay requirements. Coding is finicky and requires perfection. Therefore, it is best suited for innovative and curious thinkers, as well as excellent problem-solvers with an eye for detail. There are several opportunities for those with a degree in computer science, including careers and/or graduate school in fields such as:
  • entertainment
  • software engineering
  • web development
  • medicine

4. Criminal Justice

According to U.S. News & World Report, “a criminal justice major gives students an understanding of the three main elements of the justice systems: the courts, policing and corrections.” The majority of the criminal justice major’s coursework will include topics such as:
  • criminology
  • political science
  • psychology
  • other social sciences
It is often considered among the easiest majors at the undergraduate level. There’s little reading and writing, and a lot of hands-on curriculum. Courses in psychology and sociology will be the largest source of reading and writing assignments for the criminal justice major. You will occasionally need to write multiple-page essays based on assigned readings. However, the number of such reading-heavy courses can be minimized by specializing in topics unrelated to the social sciences. Possible focus areas for a criminal justice major include:
  • cybercrime
  • homeland security
  • information technology
You can also combine a criminal justice degree with a technology-related minor. This will further minimize the amount of reading and writing expected of you. While it may limit the amount of career options a criminal justice major has to choose from, there is still a plethora of job titles for those specializing in fields other than the social sciences. Among these are:
  • correctional officer
  • customs inspector
  • fingerprint technician
  • state trooper

5. Economics

U.S. News & World Report says an economics major’s primary goal is to answer “questions related to resource allocation, incentives and wealth, among others.” The course load will consist of:
  • calculus
  • micro- and macroeconomics
  • policy classes
All of which require very little reading and writing. There are few essays and assigned reading. Most assignments focus on:
  • business
  • data analysis
  • studying behavioral patterns.
Theory-based courses (such as game theory) will be the heaviest source of reading. The reading load is remain light. Typically, schools will offer both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in economics. If you’re searching for a degree with the least amount of reading and writing, the latter option will hone your quantitative skills. Expect a limited number of written assignments. However, although reading and writing are scarce, the economics career path certainly has its challenges. After receiving an undergraduate degree in economics, graduate school is a necessary next step to becoming a professional in the field. A graduate degree in economics will open several opportunities. If you have a graduate degree in economics, a few of the job titles available include:
  • actuary
  • economic analyst
  • operations manager
  • sales representative.
An image of engineering students for our FAQ about Which Degree Programs Require the Least Amount of Reading and Writing

6. Engineering

Engineering majors take a wide variety of courses in math and science. Theres not a lot of reading and writing required throughout during your four years of study. Colleges and universities do not require engineering students to take the same number of humanities courses expected of other majors. With fewer humanities courses, you will endure fewer reading and writing assignments than most other majors. While their degree is primarily STEM-based, engineering majors are required to take certain humanities courses, depending on the university. However, the engineering degree requires less reading and writing, compared to those found outside the STEM field. Due to its active nature, the engineering degree is taught through hands-on assignments and collaborative work. Common courses include:
  • chemistry
  • circuits
  • physics
  • programming
All of these include labs and technical/professional lessons. Although reading and writing assignments will be rare, engineering students are expected to work diligently. Some schools require engineering students to maintain a specific GPA to remain in the program. Internships are strongly encouraged for upperclassmen. Group work is prevalent in the field, so communication skills are beneficial if you’re seeking a career in engineering.

7. Mathematics

Mathematics majors study subjects such as:
  • advanced algebra
  • calculus
  • number theory, among others.
The beginning of your undergraduate career will prove the most challenging if you don’t like reading and writing. Many schools require freshmen and sophomores to take liberal arts courses that are unrelated to the mathematics degree. However, extensive reading and writing can be avoided by taking liberal arts courses like geology. This will help you bypass reading-heavy courses such as English and literature. Once the general requirements are completed, the math major may primarily take courses like:
  • analysis
  • number theory
  • topology
Although light in regard to reading and writing, the mathematics major is far from easy. Assignments will include mathematical proofs and challenging equations. Most of these will require intensive study groups and meetings with teaching assistants. Mathematics is a broad degree. Interest in all of math’s components, including calculus, statistics, and trigonometry, is highly recommended. Do not decide on a major unless you’re sure the subject matter will interest you.

8. Music

One of the degrees requiring the least amount of reading and writing is music, a top choice for those opposed to both STEM subjects and reading-intensive subjects like literature. The most reading you will do as a music major will come in the form of music notes, not written words. STEM classes can be avoided completely as long as the school’s general requirements are met. In general, it is an excellent fit for those wanting to avoid reading and writing. Music analysis courses may be the largest source of writing that you will be confronted with. Although it is often considered one of the easiest undergraduate majors, it is not as easy as it may seem. A music degree is mentally challenging. It requiring you to spend hours a day practicing your chosen instrument. Performance evaluations come at the end of every semester. Because of the extensive practice time required, music majors should be passionate about their chosen subject, whether that is piano, violin, or vocals. Creativity is strongly recommended for the experimental aspects of music. An image of a statistics student for our FAQ about Which Degree Programs Require the Least Amount of Reading and Writing

9. Statistics

Statistics majors use and interpret data to find solutions to real-world problems. These range from accounting to disease prevention. A degree in statistics often leads students into career fields like banking and government. Given the statistics degree’s focus on mathematics and pattern recognition, reading and writing assignments are few and far between. Common coursework includes:
  • calculus
  • data analysis
  • probability
All of these are classes that do not require much reading or writing. Some colleges offer let you double major in statistics and another topic that is light in reading and writing, such as computer science or economics. This  further minimizes the amount of reading and writing. The most challenging aspect of the statistics major is the number of math courses required. However, if you’re confident in your math skills and enjoy the topic you will thrive as a statistics major. Additionally, many schools allow statistics majors to minor in a separate topic, such as architecture or chemistry. This way you can tailor your undergraduate education to your interests. As mentioned above, minoring in the correct subject may also allow you to further avoid reading and writing assignments.

10. Studio Art

Studio art majors spend most of their undergraduate career:
  • designing
  • drawing
  • painting
  • sculpting
  • completing hands-on projects
The majority of studio art majors’ education occurs through active learning. It requires one of the least amounts of reading and writing, when compared to other degree options. However, some studio art programs require students to take art history courses, which will be the heaviest source of reading and writing in the program. Depending on the program, these courses may be avoided, though they offer excellent information for those wishing to discover art through a historical lens and learn from the best artists of any given century. Studio art majors may choose to specialize in topics including:
  • ceramics
  • graphic design
  • painting
  • photography
  • fibers
No matter the specialization, the requirement for reading and writing is minimal. Most of your  time will be spent actively creating projects.

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By BDP Staff

This concludes our article on which degree programs require the least amount of reading and writing.

Brenda Rufener

Julie McCaulley

Carrie Sealey-Morris