weeder course
n. An extremely difficult course that serves to remove unsuitable students from a program of study.
For families looking to adopt children, such as Columbia residents Ann-Marie and John Eichelberger, yesterday's matching party was a chance to meet the children casually and spend a few hours getting to know them….

Ann-Marie Eichelberger, also 33, acknowledged that "some people find these parties to be very invasive and a little tense."

"I consider it like a college weeder course," she added. "They're to make sure that you really want to become an adoptive parent and are willing to stick through the whole process."
—Jill Hudson Neal, “Trying to bridge the adoption gap for older kids,” The Baltimore Sun, April 25, 1999
1998 (earliest)
Basic science courses, such as chemistry and organic chemistry,…are known to students on the med-school track as "weeder" courses. Making the grade in such courses typically determines whether someone gets into a medical school program. Those who do not survive grading curves for courses in chemistry or physics are "weeded" out.
—Laura Schiebelhut, “Pre-Meds Flee UC-Berkeley Program,” Daily Californian, February 03, 1998
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