Will students only be in huge lecture halls?

College Experience

Our counselors answered:

Will students only be in huge lecture halls?

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

Will students only be in huge lecture halls?

Some will, some won't.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Will students only be in huge lecture halls?

Some campuses don't even have HUGE lecture halls. There are certain introductory courses: Psych 101, Sociology 101, Chem 101, etc that tend to lean toward a large lecture with smaller labs or discussion groups. Depending on your major course of study, you may be able to dodge the whole experience if it doesn't fit your learning style. Most campus tours touch on this subject. There are definitely schools out there that intentionally market themselves as anything but the campus that teaches to large audiences. If it matters to you, ask the admissions folks, current students and the faculty.

Karen Ekman-Baur
Director of College Counseling Leysin American School

Will students only be in huge lecture halls?

Some of your classes might be in huge lecture halls, but some schools don't even HAVE huge lecture halls, so it really depends on the institution. If a school does offer some classes in large lecture halls, they are usually the first year introductory classes in courses that a lot of people are required to take. As you go further along with your studies, your classes would proportionately get smaller, as the number of people required or wanting to take the classes gets smaller. In some cases, after a lecture in a large lecture hall, follow-up seminars are scheduled later in the week with students broken up into smaller groups in which the students have a chance to participate more actively, ask questions, discuss points of interest, and in general, process more fully the information that was presented in the large-group lecture. This is not always the case, however. For some classes at some institutions, all instruction (particularly at the introductory level) may be presented in a large-group lecture format, so when you do your research, it will be worthwhile to find out exactly how classes are structured and scheduled at the institutions at which you are looking and to discover whether or not follow-up seminars are part of the instructional plan.

Lora Lewis
Educational Consultant Lora Lewis Consulting

Will students only be in huge lecture halls?

This depends on the size of the school you are attending and the average student to teacher ratio. At large universities, many classes are held in huge lecture halls, but they also commonly have a "section" meeting where students meet in smaller groups, usually under the instruction of a graduate teaching assistant. You'll likely find that some of your classes (usually general ed courses) are very large, but others will be much smaller (usually courses within your major). If you need support outside of class, don't hesitate to visit your professor during office hours or to seek out a graduate teaching assistant.

Megan Dorsey
SAT Prep & College Advisor College Prep LLC

Will students only be in huge lecture halls?

Only? Probably not, but your choice of college and major will determine how many large lecture style classes you have. If you select a popular major at a large state university, expect more huge lecture classes than if you have a small department or attend a smaller private college. I attended two private universities and had large (over 50 people) lecture classes at each. I never had a class with over 150 students and most of my classes had between 15 and 35 students. My smallest classes were upper level classes taken my junior and senior year and had 5, 9, and 11 students. Ask on campus visits so you will know what to expect at each school.

Jessica Brondo
Founder and CEO The Edge in College Prep

Will students only be in huge lecture halls?

No! This depends on what classes, you take, the size of the school you attend, and what level of classes you take. Generally, introductory level classes (101, etc) will be very large, especially in classes like economics, psychology, etc. The higher up with a subject you go, the smaller the classes will get. Language classes tend to be smaller than lecture based classes, as the teacher needs to be able to work with the students, and the class must be small enough so that each student may practice speaking. Lastly, attending a very large school may result in 400 person lectures, while a smaller school may only have 100 person lectures or fewer. Keep this in mind too: in classes with very large lectures, the class will often meet for an additional hour every week broken into small groups called Recitations. The professor or a TA will spend the hour going over material covered in lecture, adding supplementary material, and giving students a chance to have more time face to face with a teacher, so as to make the lecture experience less impersonal.