What Does a Typical College Class Schedule Look Like?

A day in the life of a busy college student.

Photo: Thinkstock

Entering college is a very exciting time. But there is a big difference in the schedules of a high school student and a college student. In addition to time for class, you need to schedule time for everything from studying to extracurricular activities.

Here is a look at a typical day in the life of a new college student.

In college, it’s up to the individual student to create his own schedule of classes.

24-hour Schedule for a Hypothetical College Student

6:30AM: Rise and shine, shower and dress, eat breakfast and prep for classes. Organize books and notes and make sure you have everything ready for class.

8AM: First class.

9AM: Class ends, rewrite notes to study later.

10AM: Second class.

11AM: Class over, rewrite notes to study later and take care of any business in the administration department. Grab an early lunch and prepare for classes later in the day.

1PM: Third class

2PM: Class over, rewrite notes, head to dorm to change for internship

3PM-5PM: Internship

6PM: Dinner, socialize

8PM: Hit the books or attend campus event

10PM: Last-minute studying before bed

This schedule is for a Type-A student who gets up early and goes to bed early. Time between classes can be spent studying or preparing for extracurricular activities or club meetings. The weekend for this student will likely be spent studying or volunteering on Saturday afternoon, and having fun on Saturday night while Sunday will be devoted to doing laundry, preparing for the coming week, or hanging out with friends.

Semester Class Schedule for a Hypothetical Student

In high school, course schedules are scheduled back-to-back. In college, it’s up to the individual student to create his own schedule of classes. When making up your schedule of classes, whether online or in person, keep in mind the following:

Course load: Are you planning to be a full-time student? Or do you also plan to work part time? Make sure that your course load is only as full as you can handle with your work schedule. If you feel you can add more classes, add them in the second semester when you are more adjusted to college life.

Time of day: The hypothetical student above is clearly a morning person who takes classes early in the day and goes to bed early at night. If you are a late riser, you should consider scheduling your classes later in the day so you are less likely to skip them.

Location: Depending on the size of the school campus, you may need to schedule your classes so they are not back-to-back, and allow time to get from point A to point B on the other side of the campus. Large schools often have trams or encourage bicycle riding for this purpose.

Other Class Schedule Considerations

Some classes may have labs or discussion components that need their own timeframe. Students involved in honors programs will also need time to schedule special meetings.

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