At $1.2 trillion, student-loan debt in the US exceeds car loans and even credit-card debt. But education is an investment for the future, or so the mantra goes. Students routinely pay hefty costs to come away with the diplomas they desire.
With that in mind, Business Insider rounded up some of the most costly degree programs around the world.
The programs span some of the expected categories, like medical degrees and MBAs, to less likely bachelor of arts programs and music degrees.
The prices listed below reference only tuition costs without room and board and other expenses.
Below are seven of the most expensive programs in the world:
Sarah Lawrence College — $204,784 Bachelor of Arts
Sarah Lawrence, based in Westchester County, New York, costs students $204,784 for four years.
The liberal-arts school has a unique and individualized approach to learning where there are no required courses and examinations mostly don't exist.
Harvey Mudd College — $209,532 Bachelor of Science
Harvey Mudd appears to be one of the most expensive undergraduate program in the US. The Claremont, California-based program runs students $209,532 for four years.
It focuses on science, mathematics, and engineering, and graduates earn an early-career average salary of $78,200 and $133,000 mid-career.
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons — $230,536 Doctor of Medicine
Bard College — $253,520 Bachelor of Music
The music major at Bard is typically five years and provides graduates with a bachelor of music degree as well as a bachelor of arts in a field other than music. It runs $253,520 for the five-year program.
The Bard College Conservatory of Music is ranked in the top 20 for best music conservatories in the nation.
The University of Cambridge — $332,000 Doctor of Business
Though the program is still in proposal phase, the four-year course is a doctorate of business and will cost students $332,000. That makes it one of the most expensive degrees in the world.
The program "will be very small and selective, demanding substantial resources for intensive teaching and support services," a representative from Cambridge told Business Insider in an email.