If you are headed to college, then it is only natural to be curious about how long each class will be. Will these classes be longer than the ones in high school or shorter? Will all classes be the same length?
You can find all the answers to these questions – and more – right here!
How Many Hours is a Standard College Class?
On average, a college class may last anywhere from 50 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes – the exact length can depend on various factors including the type of class you are taking and how many of those classes you have each week.
How Do Course Units Dictate Class Length?
One of the main factors that determine class length is the number of units you have to complete for a particular course. In college, you will find 1 unit course, 2 unit courses, 3 unit courses, and 4 unit courses.
1 and 2-unit courses are often electives – courses that don’t really contribute much to your main degree. They may be Pass/Fail courses in some cases.
Here, these courses are likely to be about 50 minutes to an hour long. It is likely that they will meet just once or twice a week.
Then there are the 3 and 4-hour credits. These courses are much more difficult and are directly tied to your degree. These may be around 1 hour and 15 minutes long or up to one and a half hours long. You are likely to have these classes 3 to 4 times a week.
How Does the Number of Classes Each Week Determine Class Length?
In addition to the number of units for that course, class length is also dictated by how many times a week that you meet. You naturally have more classes per week for a 3 to 4-unit course. However, you also have more material to cover.
For a 1 unit course, you will probably have just one class a week and that class will be 50 minutes or an hour long. For a 2 unit course, the class length will remain the same but you may meet twice a week for class.
In the case of 3 or 4 unit courses, you may have classes 3 to 4 times a week. Of course, this depends on the particular college you are attending and even the semester.
It is possible for you to have just 2 classes a week for these courses as well. In this case, though, the classes will be considerably longer. This means that a class may be around 1 hour and 30 minutes long. It may even go as long as 2 hours, depending on the structure of the course and class.
How Can the Subject or Course Dictate Class Length?
No two subjects are the same. There are plenty of courses where additional classes are required. For STEM subjects this is often a lab, although you may be required to do other practical work as well.
In the case of writing or language classes, you may have additional practical classes as well.
On average, these classes tend to be longer than traditional ones. This is because students need to complete a certain amount of work during these classes.
In the case of experiments or lab work, there may be a set period for each practical task. It is only once this is completed and students get the desired result that the class is deemed over.
Is Class Length the Same for Every Semester?
No, classes aren’t the same length for each semester. This is because semesters can vary by length.
If your college offers just two semesters a year, then it is likely that the classes will be more or less the same length. However, if there is a summer semester or another short, accelerated semester, then class time will be longer.
Here, professors have to fit in the same amount of course time as a regular semester but have less time to do this. Thus, the classes will need to be longer to ensure that just as much work is covered in a shorter period of time.
It is difficult to estimate just how long the classes will be for these shorter semesters. The exact length will determine on the semester length and the number of units.
In many cases, though, you will likely take classes with fewer units during such semesters. This is typically done to prevent each class from running too long.
How Long Are Online College Classes?
Online college classes don’t follow as much of a structured schedule as traditional classes do. This is because there is quite a bit of variation from one online course to another.
Keep in mind that a lot of online college courses tend to be more flexible. They often cater to students who are working full time or have other responsibilities to fulfill. Due to this, they can be quite different in both length and number of classes than traditional universities.
The semesters may be a lot shorter here as well. As a result, there will be fewer classes per week but these classes will be longer. It isn’t uncommon for online college courses to go on for as long as 2 hours at a time.
To determine how long an online college course will be you will need to learn how many credits you have to complete, determine the semester structure, and how many classes there will be each week. This will help you to calculate the length of each individual class.
How Long Will Your College Day Be?
Now that you know the average length of a college class, you may be trying to figure out how long your college day will be.
Unlike in high school, your entire day isn’t taken up by classes in college. This is because professors expect you to do the majority of the studying and assignments by yourself.
Therefore, although you may spend an hour in class, you will need to spend several more, completing in-depth reading about what you covered in class.
To add to this, many in people have to juggle part-time jobs while being full-time students. This means that you need far more free time than you did in high school.
The precise length of your college day will depend on how many classes you have each day and how many units each of these classes are.
On average, though, you will likely spend 3 to 4 hours a day in class. If you have a lab or practical class, then your day may be a little longer.
Keep in mind that if it is a summer semester that much of your day will be taken up by class time.
The good news is that you get to choose your schedule in college. Due to this, you can determine how many classes you take per day.
Of course, you still have to take the necessary number of classes to meet the requirements set by your course, professor, and your college.
What is the Length of Each College Class?
The typical college class can last anywhere from 50 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, although it is possible for them to run longer, particularly if they are a lab or practical class – the class length depends on the number of credits and length of the semester.