8 most expensive degrees in the world are worth every cent (2023)

A dollar is not just a dollar when it comes to the most expensive degrees in the world.

Whether you have one, are pursuing one or thinking about joining one, the most expensive degrees in the world are like life and liberty. They are priceless.

Sure, it has a price tag — and a big one — but you can’t put a value on a good education.

Unlike buying something from Amazon, the most expensive degrees in the world do not just give you a piece of my paper at the end of it.

They lead you to a world of opportunities. That’s no hyperbole, especially if you pursued any of these coveted degrees abroad.

That’s not to say that if you have one of the most expensive degrees in the world, you’re guaranteed a high-paying job.

The truth is there is neither a guarantee nor a shortcut. Ultimately, it’s what you make of the skills, knowledge, and connections from the degree you graduated with.

Take law, for example. Say you graduated from Columbia Law School, ranked top 25 globally in theQS World University Rankings 2023.

For the 2022-23 academic term, it costsUS$82,467to pursue a Juris Doctor and LLM programme. That’s not including housing, food, personal expenses and academic supplies, which can cost up toUS$110,450, according to the law school’s website.

If you didn’t work hard (and law school is hard) andtake advantage of the school’s long-standing relationships with top employers from around the globe, alumni network, or renowned faculty, you’ll get nowhere.

Fail, and you may even get deported.

What this shows is the most expensive degrees in the world, used and appreciated in the right ways, are priceless in the seemingly endless list of benefits you stand out of it.

In the long run, it may even be a small price to pay to get you closer to the life and career you want.

With that said, let’s take a closer look at the most expensive degrees in the world. We’ve ranked them below according to:

  • how much they cost, including tuition and miscellaneous fees
  • the expected salaries (according to data from sites like Glassdoor and the US Bureau of Labour Statistics (USBLS), unless stated otherwise)
  • job prospects for graduates
  • top unis and programmes in each field

8 most expensive degrees in the world are worth every cent (1)

Is it smart to choose one of the most expensive degrees in the world if you can’t afford it? Source: Susannah Ireland/AFP

8 of the most expensive degrees in the world that are worth every cent

1. Law

Here are some of the best law schools in the world:

Apart from being one of themost challengingandlongest coursesin the world, it’s not surprising to read that studying law is expensive.

Depending on where you study, a law degree, such as a juris doctor degree, can take up to four years to complete.

Pair that with the fact that there are bar exams and a pupillage period to complete, and it can take a lot of time and money for you to qualify as a lawyer.

If you wish to practise in a different jurisdiction, you would need to pass the Bar exam in a specific state or country, which will also cost money.

Despite this, many students pursue this field because of the potential for high-paying careers in law firms, government agencies, and other legal organisations.

Expected salary:

  • Median salary in the US: US$127,990 (2021)
  • Average annual salary in the UK: 73,639 pounds

8 most expensive degrees in the world are worth every cent (2)

Mechanical engineering may be one of the most expensive degrees in the world, but it could set you up to build systems and structures for top brands like BMW. Source: Tobias Schwarz/AFP

2. Mechanical Engineering

Here are some of the best universities to pursue mechanical engineering:

If you’re planning on pursuing engineering, know this fact: it will be more expensive for you to study a specialised area of engineering.

Take Blake Hinsey, for example. As a mechanical engineering graduate, he left the US and pursued anMSc in Motorsport Engineering at Oxford Brookes Universityto land a job in Formula One.

That one-year degree costs 17,800 pounds, making this one of the most expensive degrees in the world.

Generally, engineering programmes require access to advanced laboratory facilities and equipment, which can be expensive to maintain and update, like theWind Tunnelat the Faculty of Engineering, Imperial College London.

Engineering faculty members and staff, who are experts in their field, usually maintain these facilities. As such, they receive higher salaries due to their specialised knowledge and expertise — salaries that are factored into the fees students pay to attend a university.

Expected salary:

  • Median salary in the US: US$95,300 (2021)
  • Average annual salary in the UK: 40,117 pounds

8 most expensive degrees in the world are worth every cent (3)

The cost of an Ari Alexa LF, a popular camera used in major Hollywood productions, can range from US$100,000 to US$150,000 depending on the specific model. Source: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP

3. Film Studies

Here are some of the best films schools around the globe:

Like engineering, film studies is one of the most expensive degrees in the world — for good reasons.

In this course, you will familiarise yourself with expensive cameras, fancy video recording equipment, complex editing software, and more for an authentic practical learning experience.

Some film schools require you to create your film as part of the curriculum. These projects cost money and time as you’d need to make props, scout shooting locations, and find actors.

Upon graduation, you’ll likely need to create a few film projects for your portfolio, which you will pay out of your pocket.

The good news is video editing is one of thebest skills you can learnto make yourself more employable in 2023.

Since most businesses know the impact of great videos, companies are always on the lookout for professional video editors or videographers to market their business.

Expected salary:

  • Median salary in the US: US$79,000 (2021)
  • Average annual salary in the UK: 43,961 pounds

8 most expensive degrees in the world are worth every cent (4)

Berklee’s music recording and production facilities are arguably the biggest in the US. Source: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for NARAS/AFP

4. Music

Here are some of the best unis to pursue music:

Are you an aspiring musician? You might think that a degree in music is unnecessary, especially when social media can help you to become a viral sensation overnight.

While that may be true, a music degree can open a world of opportunities for those who want to work behind the scenes in music production while combining their passion with practicality.

Yes, it can be an expensive major — but the benefits are immense. Imagine accessing top-notch tutoring, state-of-the-art facilities, recording equipment, and networking opportunities with industry shapers.

John Mayer, Lady Gaga, Miles David and Paul McCartney hold music degrees — which they’ve used to great success.

Upon graduation, you’re set to join them and are well-prepared to manage musicians, produce music, or even become a session musician for an artist’s album recording or live concert.

Expected salary:

  • Median salary in the US: US$30.49 per hour (2021)
  • Average annual salary in the UK: 29,317 pounds

8 most expensive degrees in the world are worth every cent (5)

Dream of becoming a pilot? If you are prepared to pursue one of the most expensive degrees in the world, a career in aviation can be worth the wait. Source: Nikolay Doychinov/AFP

5. Aviation

Here are some of the best flight schools to kickstart your aviation career:

Major airlines generally prefer candidates with a four-year degree in aviation. They can expedite your career progression, thanks to skilled instructors who are often retired pilots.

Be warned, though. Tuition at flight school can add up quickly due to aircraft procurement and maintenance costs, cutting-edge technology, and expensive fuel needed to carry passengers and cargo.

That said, the statistics show that pilots earn impressive salaries.

Pair that with various allowances and paid accommodations, and you’ll find that aviation is one of the most lucrative careers available today.

Expected salary:

  • Median salary in the US: US$99,640 (2021)
  • Average annual salary in the UK: 69,679 pounds

6. Business

Here are some figures to show why an MBA is one of the most expensive degrees in the world:

If you are considering pursuing an MBA, it’s normal to be concerned about forking out a considerable amount of money only to graduate without job security and fear of being laid off — and rightfully so.

Last month, Bloomberg reported that McKinsey & Co.announced plansto eliminate around 2,000 jobs, while KPMGhad cutalmost 700 professionals from its US advisory practice. Others, such as EY, are also bringing downtheir hiring targetsby thousands.

Despite this, an MBA is still worth it and relevant.

Earning an MBA can enhance your career opportunities, increase compensation and lead to better job opportunities. Recessions come and go but the power of an MBA remains.

Expected salary:

  • Median salary in the US: US$76,570 (2021)
  • Average annual salary in the UK: 69,679 pounds

8 most expensive degrees in the world are worth every cent (6)

Tuition at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), ranked first on the list of the Best Fashion Schools In The World For 2023, costs US$10,846 per semester. Source: Julien De Rosa/AFP

7. Fashion Design

Here are the best fashion schools in the world:

Have you watched the reality TV show, “Project Runway”? Despite the glamorous appeal of fashion, it takes time, effort, and a creative eye to design clothes that can easily capture people’s attention.

If you plan to study at a school in a major fashion capital like New York, your tuition fees will be more expensive.

The good thing about studying in a fashion capital is that you are close to the best connections, renowned fashion fairs, and industry practices — vital factors that can fast-track you to becoming a designer, buyer, or celebrity stylist.

Expected salary:

  • Median salary in the US: US$77,450 (2021)
  • Average annual salary in the UK: 28,734 pounds

8 most expensive degrees in the world are worth every cent (7)

Whether in Bandung or Brooklyn, a dentist is set to have many job opportunities that pay well. Source: Timur Matahari/AFP8. Dentistry

Here are a few figures to show how expensive it is to study dentistry:

It’s hardly surprising to read that dentistry is one of the most expensive degrees in the world.

You’ll need to complete a five-year degree in dentistry approved by theGeneral Dental Council, followed by one to two years of postgraduate dental training.

In some cases, you are required to complete aDental Admission Testto be admitted into dental schools in the US and Canada or theUniversity Clinical Aptitude Testin the UK.

That’s not including the dental equipment you’ll handle at uni, the cost of clinical rotations, or your cost of living as an international student.

Expected salary:

  • Median salary in the US: US$163,220 (2021)
  • Average annual salary in the UK: 57,326 pounds


What is the most expensive degrees in the world? ›

MBA is well-known for being one of the most costly programs to pursue in the world.
Most Expensive MBA Schools in the World.
UniversityTuition Fees
Kogod School of Business84,432 [INR 62 lakhs]
9 more rows
Oct 22, 2021

What is the most expensive bachelors degree? ›

10 Most Expensive Degrees From Top US Universities & Colleges
  • #6 Bard College, Music: $271,375. ...
  • #5 St. ...
  • #4 Trinity College, Public Policy and Law: $308,490. ...
  • #3 Columbia University, MBA: $317,030. ...
  • #2 Vanderbilt University, Law: $375,620. ...
  • #1 Sarah Lawrence College, History and Law: $402,962.
Apr 2, 2023

What is the most expensive college program? ›

Most Expensive Colleges List
CollegeTuition Cost
1. Franklin & Marshall College$65,652
2. Columbia University$65,524
3. Reed College$64,450
4. Vassar College$63,840
16 more rows
Feb 27, 2023

What country has the most expensive college? ›

Thus, even if US higher education tuition fees are record-breaking, the cost of living in Australia is so high that the country ends up being a more expensive place to study than the USA.
Annual university costs (USD)24,081
Annual cost of living (USD)18,012
Annual total cost (USD)42,093
14 more columns
Mar 13, 2022

What degrees do the richest people have? ›

Top 7 degrees that make the most millionaires
  • Engineering.
  • Economics/Finance.
  • Politics.
  • Mathematics.
  • MBA.

What degrees most millionaires have? ›

30 Most Popular Degree Majors Studied by Millionaires
  1. Engineering.
  2. Master of Business Administration (MBA) ...
  3. Economics. ...
  4. Law. ...
  5. Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) ...
  6. Commerce. ...
  7. Accounting. ...
  8. Computer Science. ...

What's the most impressive degree? ›

Towards Meaningful & Rewarding Careers. Based on Payscale's 2021 College Salary Report, the top three best degrees to study are petroleum engineering, electrical engineering and computer science, and applied economics and management.

How many billionaires have a bachelors degree? ›

The vast majority of billionaires however did make it to a bachelors degree, and many went farther. Twenty-two percent went on the nab a Master's degree, while 13.1% of all billionaires earned an MBA. About 9.5% took home a PhD, 3.4% can tout a JD, and a lesser 0.7% can hang an MD behind their desks.

What is the hardest school to get into? ›

Harvard, Stanford and Princeton, unsurprisingly, are America's toughest colleges to get into in 2023, according to Niche's most recent rankings.

What is the most expensive thing in the world? ›

  • Mar 19, 2023. These are the most expensive things in the world. ...
  • International Space Station. The amount that has gone towards ISS existence in terms of building and designing is $150 billion. ...
  • History Supreme Yacht. ...
  • Hubble Space Telescope. ...
  • The Antilia Mansion. ...
  • Crown Jewel. ...
  • The Dream Jet. ...
  • Villa Leopolda.
Mar 19, 2023

What is the cheapest college ever? ›

Cheapest Colleges in the US
  • University of the People. University of the People has revolutionized college education. ...
  • The City University of New York. ...
  • South Texas College. ...
  • Northern State University. ...
  • California State University. ...
  • Manhattanville College. ...
  • Oklahoma Panhandle State University. ...
  • Texas A&M University.

What is the #1 most expensive college in the world? ›

1. Harvey Mudd College. Harvey Mudd College is considered the most costly university in the USA and the most expensive university in the world. The average fees for Harvey Mudd College are around $79,539!

What's the most expensive school in the US? ›

The report put Franklin & Marshall College, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the No. 1 spot on its list of colleges with the highest sticker price. In the 2022-2023 academic year, the school charged $65,652 per year for tuition, according to The College Investor.

Is Yale as good as Harvard? ›

Top-Ranked Programs. Both Harvard and Yale are competitive rivals in academic programs in medicine, law and management. Beyond that, Yale is more popular for drama and music, while Harvard is more regarded for its engineering and government studies.

What job will make you a billionaire? ›

In broader terms, the finance and investment profession has the most millionaires. It also has the most billionaires, with 371.

What jobs make you rich fast? ›

Here are 10 jobs that often have lucrative advancement opportunities, a factor that can help you become a millionaire in time:
  • Investment banker.
  • Certified public accountant.
  • Entrepreneur.
  • Day trader.
  • Real estate agent.
  • Engineer.
  • Lawyer.
  • Actuary.
Feb 4, 2020

What are the top five careers of millionaires? ›

The Ramsey study found that five careers produced the most millionaires: engineers, accountants, management, attorneys and teachers.

What degree does Elon Musk have? ›

Musk has a physics degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and he enrolled in a graduate program in physics at Stanford University before dropping out early on.

What degree do most CEOs have? ›

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

What is Jeff Bezos degree in? ›

After graduating (1986) summa cum laude from Princeton University with degrees in electrical engineering and computer science, he undertook a series of jobs before joining the New York investment bank D.E. Shaw & Co. in 1990.

What is the easiest degree to obtain? ›

What Are The 13 Easiest Degrees To Get?
  • Women's Studies. ...
  • Religious Studies. ...
  • Foreign Language. ...
  • Education. ...
  • English Literature. ...
  • Anthropology. ...
  • Sports Management. Sports management has a lot of similarities and overlapping coursework with business administration. ...
  • Art. Your creativity could land you a college degree!

Which degree is best for future? ›

24 of the most useful degrees for the future
  1. Business. A business degree focuses on the different factors of running a business, including business management, marketing, accounting and human resources. ...
  2. Marketing. ...
  3. Computer science. ...
  4. Public relations. ...
  5. Psychology. ...
  6. Nursing. ...
  7. Accounting. ...
  8. Biology.
Mar 3, 2023

What is the easiest master's degree? ›

Following is the list of easiest masters degrees that one can choose to specialize in.
  • Masters of Fine Arts (MFA)
  • Masters of Arts (MA)
  • Masters in Mass Communication.
  • Masters of Psychology.
  • Masters of Finance.
  • Masters of Human Resource Management (MHRM)
  • Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Masters of Science (MSc)

Who is the richest person without a degree? ›

In addition to the two dozen billionaires who have only a high school degree, there are three billionaires who never even got a diploma: former hairdresser and founder of OGX hair care products Todd Christopher, cable TV pioneer Alan Gerry and Dole Foods' David Murdock.

Who is the richest men without a degree? ›

Applying these lessons in your life can help you focus on what's needed for a smart financial future.
  1. 16 millionaires (and billionaires) who never graduated college.
  2. Bill Gates. ...
  3. Mark Zuckerberg. ...
  4. Michael Dell. ...
  5. Zhou Qunfei. ...
  6. Steve Jobs. ...
  7. Richard Branson. ...
  8. Evan Williams.

Where do most billionaires graduate from? ›

Counting all degrees, Harvard University comes in first place in terms of the total number of billionaire alumni. The University of Pennsylvania comes in first if only bachelor's degrees are counted, according to the most recent 2022 Forbes report.

How to make $100,000 without a college degree? ›

There are many high-paying job opportunities available that pay $100K a year without a degree. Some of these jobs are real estate agent, risk manager, and sales consultant. For most common high-paying jobs without a degree, you'll need many years of work experience until you reach a level where you make six figures.

Which degrees are most in demand in USA? ›

This list details some of the most popular and lucrative college majors in demand.
  1. Engineering. Engineering professionals use principles of physics and mathematics to design buildings, vehicles, electronics, and other structures. ...
  2. Business. ...
  3. Nursing. ...
  4. Hospitality. ...
  5. Education. ...
  6. Computer Science. ...
  7. Architecture. ...
  8. Pharmaceutical Sciences.

What degrees have the lowest salary? ›

10 of the lowest-paying majors
  • Design and applied arts. ...
  • Visual and performing arts. ...
  • Social work. ...
  • Elementary education. ...
  • Health and physical education. ...
  • Psychology. ...
  • Sociology. Average salary: $83,420 per year (with advanced degree) ...
  • Healthcare administration. Average salary: $100,980 per year (with advanced degree)
Mar 10, 2023

What is the hardest high school in America? ›

The Most Challenging American High Schools
  1. International Academy*, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. ...
  2. Stanton College Prep*, Jacksonville, Fla. ...
  3. Paxon*, Jacksonville, Fla. ...
  4. Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham. ...
  5. Jericho, N.Y. ...
  6. George Mason*, Falls Church, Va. ...
  7. Eastern Sierra Academy, Bridgeport, Calif. ...
  8. Myers Park*, Charlotte, N.C.

What GPA do you need to get into Harvard? ›

The average high school GPA of admitted students at Harvard is around 4.2. 73% of students had a GPA of at least 4.0, indicating that admitted students typically mostly earned A grades in high school. If you're studying the IB, this translates to scoring mostly 7s and achieving a minimum score of at least 42.

What is the toughest year of high school? ›

While each year of high school will have its own stressors, many will say junior year is the most challenging. Junior year can be the hardest for several reasons, but with the right prep and expectations, high school students can make the hardest year just a little easier.

What is the most expensive thing found by human? ›

In fact, we are sure you would struggle to come up with the answer if you didn't already know what it is. The most expensive man-made thing in the world surprisingly, does not even exist on the Earth. It is none other than the International Space Station (ISS) and it took more than $100 billion to make.

What car costs $3 million dollars? ›

28. Koenigsegg Jesko: $3 million. The Jesko is our first hypercar that hits the three million dollar mark. From a performance aspect, this makes sense: the Koenigsegg Jesko is also one of the fastest supercars in the world in 2023 – which definitely goes a long way towards its sticker price.

What is the easiest highly ranked college to get into? ›

Top 100 Colleges With the Highest Admission Rates
SchoolCityAdmission Rate
The Evergreen State CollegeOlympia98%
National Louis UniversityChicago98%
Nyack CollegeNyack98%
Purdue University—NorthwestHammond98%
92 more rows
Aug 19, 2022

What is the cheapest Ivy League school? ›

Princeton. Princeton is commonly regarded as the “cheapest Ivy” thanks to its extensive financial aid offerings. 62% of admitted students receive financial aid.

Are there free universities in USA? ›

The US Service Academies are among the tuition-free universities in the USA. There are five United States Academies. They are U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

What is the most expensive high school in the world? ›

Here's a closer look at the 10 most expensive schools in the world
Name of schoolCost per year
1. Institut auf dem Rosenberg, St. Gallen, Switzerland$142,340
2. Institut Le Rosey, Rolle, Switzerland$134,240
3. Aiglon College, Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland$132,200
8 more rows
Feb 25, 2023

What is the most beautiful university in the world? ›

University of Cambridge, UK

Almost 24,000 students from 141 countries study at this prestigious and world-class institution. The main campus of the university is in the centre of Cambridge city with many older buildings overlooking the River Cam.

What Ivy League school is most expensive? ›

Cost of undergraduate tuition, room and board at Ivy League schools 2022/23. In the academic year of 2022/2023, tuition at Columbia University cost 60,420 U.S. dollars, and room and board amounted to 27,860 U.S. dollars, making it the most expensive school in the Ivy League.

What is the #1 rated high school in the US? ›

1. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

What GPA is required for Yale? ›

In truth, you need close to a 4.0 unweighted GPA to get into Yale. That means nearly straight As in every class.

What GPA is good enough for Yale? ›

If your school does not weight GPAs, try to get as close to a 4.0 as possible in all of your classes and your overall GPA. If your school does weight GPAs, aim for a weighted GPA of 4.13 or higher to place yourself in a competitive spot for admission to Yale.

What is a good GPA to get into Yale? ›

You should also have a 4.14 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score. For a school as selective as Yale, you'll also need to impress them with the rest of your application.

What are the hardest degrees in the world list? ›

What are the hardest degrees in the world? Ranked by Experts
  • Chartered Accountancy.
  • Astrophysics.
  • Quantum Mechanics.
  • Law.
  • Aerospace/ Aeronautical Studies, Engineering.
  • Biomedical Studies, Neurosciences, Biochemistry.
  • Nursing.
  • Dentistry, Medicine.
Dec 16, 2022

Which is the most big degree? ›

Doctor degree is considered the most prestigious degree as they have the power to heal and go to Medical Educational Institution to learn medicine. M. B. B. S.

Which country has the most respected degree? ›

The education system of the US is one of the best in the world. According to the QS World University Rankings 2023, 36 USA universities come within the top 150 ranks. Nearly 948,000 international students were studying in the US in 2021/22. 77% of these have come from Asia.

What is the degrees of expensive? ›

The superlative degree of expensive is most expensive. More expensive is the comparative degree.

What is the #1 hardest major? ›


They may also pursue further studies and specialize in one area of chemistry. Chemist jobs are projected to grow by 7% between the years 2020 and 2030 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021). While Chemistry is viewed as the hardest undergraduate degree, graduates receive above-average salaries.

What is the 1st toughest degree in the world? ›

It is believed that a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN is the toughest course in the world as per the Guinness Book of World Records along with courses like MBBS, BCom, IAS, IPS and Engineering, etc.

What are the top 5 most difficult degree? ›

What are the hardest degree subjects?
  • Aerospace Engineering. Aerospace Engineers study the design, manufacturing and testing of aircrafts. ...
  • Architecture. Architecture is one of those degrees that we wish was easy. ...
  • Pharmacy. ...
  • Psychology. ...
  • Statistics. ...
  • Nursing. ...
  • Physics. ...
  • Astrophysics.

What is the highest paying job? ›

Highest-Paying Occupations
Physicians, all otherEqual to or greater than $208,000 per year
Physicians, pathologistsEqual to or greater than $208,000 per year
PsychiatristsEqual to or greater than $208,000 per year
RadiologistsEqual to or greater than $208,000 per year
17 more rows
Apr 4, 2023

What is the #1 educated country? ›

Based on the OECD's data, Canada is the most educated country globally, with 56.71% of adults meeting the OECD criteria. Japan has the second-highest percentage of 51.44%, followed by Israel with 50.92%.

What country is #1 in education? ›

United States

Are American degrees better? ›

The US higher education system is considered one of the best in the world, and offers flexible study opportunities at over 4,000 colleges and universities. US degrees are recognized worldwide for their academic excellence and enhanced learning experiences.

What are the three degrees of wealthy? ›

The comparative form is wealthier, not more wealthy. "I am wealthier now than I was 5 years ago." The superlative form is wealthiest.

What is the 3 degree of rich? ›

The superlative form of the word is formed by adding '-est' to the original word. Therefore, the comparative and superlative degrees of the word 'rich' are 'richer' and 'richest' respectively.

What is the all degree of cheap? ›


The comparative form of cheap; more cheap.


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