How Long Are College Classes (And Why)?

How Long Are College Classes (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 50 minutes to 2 hours

College is an exciting moment in one’s life. A new educational environment, style, and organization are just a few of the changes to get used to. When a student’s online college application is accepted, and the applicant says yes, the student is given the reins to design their path to success.

New college freshers’ transfers from a high school class timetable to a college class schedule can be a huge adjustment. The length of college classes is one of the most significant variances between high school and college class schedules. You must schedule time for everything from studying to extracurricular activities in addition to class time.

How Long Are College Classes

How Long Are College Classes?

Types of college classesTime taken
3-hour classes three times a week50 minutes
4-hour classes many times a week2 hours

The length of your college classes is determined by how you measure them. Unlike in high school, college classes can last anywhere from 50 minutes to two hours or more.

Several things influence the length of a college class:

  • The number of credit hours the class is worth — the more credit hours the class is worth, the longer it is.
  • The semester in which you are taking the class – May semester and summer college sessions are lengthier.
  • The number of days per week that the class meets — the more frequently the class meets, the shorter the class will be.
  • Class difficulty — classes in the 3000 or 4000-level (upper-level major or minor) will meet for longer.

An instance, three-credit-hour classes that meet three times a week will be 50 minutes long. However, the three-credit course twice a week lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Classes costing four credit hours, which are upper-level or lab-based, will meet for two hours or longer. You should anticipate being in class for 2 or more hours many times a week if you attend classes during the May semester or throughout the summer.

The majority of college classes begin at either the one-hour or half-hour (thirty-minute) mark. College classes frequently end in the first (00:15) or fourth (00:45) quarters of the hour (00:45).

College students have a ten-minute attention span, especially when sitting in a chair and listening to lectures. Any lecture that lasts longer than this will almost certainly cause students to miss most of the content while wandering in their minds.

There are several ways for keeping students’ attention, such as reducing distractions and offering lots of movement breaks. However, one of the most important strategies for improving student attention is to divide teaching into smaller pieces.

Smaller times assist to break up the day and minimize boredom by allowing students to switch subjects. Due to the shorter time, students have more class time. Longer class time means that students spend less time in class and have more opportunities to learn new information.

Due to a variety of reasons, a college course timetable differs from that of a high school. College offers greater independence and flexibility than high school. During school operation hours, class schedules stay consistent, but college students can customize their classes and class periods to fit their needs. In high school, each institution’s curriculum is significantly influenced, however in college, students have more freedom to pick what they want.

Why Are College Classes So Long?

Credit hours are commonly used to describe the length of time required for college classes. A credit hour is one hour spent in a classroom for a week. A two-credit-hour class would require two hours of classroom teaching per week for the semester.

In college, classes that are scheduled on the same days last the same amount of time. There are, however, some exceptions. The length of the class can be determined in the same way that the subjects can. Labs, for example, can be used in conjunction with class lectures. Specific majors, such as biology and physics, are more likely to have labs.

If the college or university requires it, some language and writing classes may meet for longer periods. To allow enough time for presentations or debates, the class duration should be extended.


It can be difficult for some incoming college students to understand how much college class length can vary between classes. Most of your classes will run either 50 minutes or 1 hour and 15 minutes. Long classes are lab classes or upper-level major classes, so you don’t need to be concerned about them at the start of your college career.


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