How Many Classes Do College Students Take? (Your Guide Throughout the Semester)

College students sitting in the same row, working on an activity during class.

When you’ve succeeded in getting into a college you truly wanted, you then start to see a picture of yourself inside the campus premises with your newfound friends. What is more exciting is that you will get the opportunity to meet and interact with other college students for every class.

As the thought pops into your head, you begin to wonder and ask yourself, “How many classes do college students take?” 

Your brother had a part-time job while in college, so you rack your brains trying to figure out how college students do that.

To give you a heads-up, some people choose to go to college as full-time students, while others want to be part-time students. Students’ decisions may be influenced by certain circumstances, like when they decide to support themselves financially, be passionately dedicated in their study to get a graduation award, or develop the necessary expertise in their chosen field.

I hope this article will guide you on how many classes you will take as a college student. With that, ready your college requirements so you won’t have to cram during the enrollment period! 

The Allowed Number of College Classes Per Semester

First things first, the number of credit hours, or also called the course load, is used to evaluate college courses or classes and varies from institution to institution. The number of course credits a college requires depends on what year you are entering the institution. 

There are usually two semesters each year, which translates to a maximum of 15 credit hours a semester. Let us tackle each of them:


College freshmen smiling while listening to a university lecture of their professor inside a classroom.

Freshman year is the first year in college where you’re introduced to the institution. Although it is not customary at most colleges to make decisions about your major straight away, you may complete your general education requirements and Gen Eds during this whole term.

Most would argue that college students should complete at least the minimum number of credits needed each semester, or perhaps the maximum amount, between their first and spring semesters of their freshman year.


In your sophomore year, you may begin to assess the credit hours required for your major, and then you can make plans for managing your time.

While there will be less to juggle in your sophomore year, this may also be an excellent opportunity to overload on credit hours since you know what you can manage better this year. But note that overloading may make things more complicated, and it can really cause stress and harm your academic performance.


While in your junior year, your attention should begin to focus on post-collegiate pursuits. It is also recommended that you should be able to meet with the on-campus jobs office and consult with them.

The year leading up to college graduation is a time when many college students undertake internships for college credit. It may keep you from using time you might otherwise devote to a class. You might be receiving course credit, but you’re also helping the school, so it’s advantageous for you as well.


The senior year is often seen as the lap of honor in college, as the rest of the year prepares you for the future. As previously said, now is no longer the time to take a few courses or blow off steam.

To succeed in senior year, a balance has to be established. It’s okay to take as few credits as required to maintain full-time status during your final year. Alternatively, you can ways to improve your chances of getting and knowing about the real world, whether by obtaining additional job hours, finding an internship, preparing for tests, or improving your interview and networking skills.

Factors to Consider in taking College Classes

To strengthen your decision, let us now discuss the factors that may affect your taking college classes:

Course Prerequisites

A college student solving a mathematical equation on the blackboard using white chalk.

Taking prerequisite courses in college refers to the classes that you must finish before enrolling in another class the following semester. In the event that you want to enroll in a particular course and have met all of the requirements, this won’t definitely be a problem.

Course Availability

The capacity of a class to admit students is usually determined by a quota or the availability of instructors who can manage the course load. There are instances when a college student may not be taken due to this, which may result in a slight delay on your end. The good news is that they may be able to provide courses like this during the summer semester.


Independence should be your first priority while entering college. Personally, I’m a huge fan of college students who support themselves financially by working. For working students, you should consider attending courses that will fit into your schedule. Take care, however, that you do not overstretch yourself and keep your mental health in check.

Summer Semester

College students used to enroll in advanced courses during the summer semester in order to free up some time before their senior year begins. Also, during the summer semester, some students may also enroll to catch up with their peers if they have been rejected from a class from the last semester or to finish a prerequisite in advance of the following semester.

Financial Aid

Some college students are not fortunate enough to be able to enroll in all of the courses they want to take for the semester, which is a terrible situation to be in. Additionally, college students in the United States may have difficulty receiving financial assistance because of the number of classes they attend.

I strongly advise that if you are eligible to apply for scholarships or financial aid programs offered by the government. You do not have anything to lose, so you should try it.

Frequently Asked Questions

College students listening to their classmate discuss an assigned topic during a class in college.

How many classes a day is full-time in college?

Class schedules stay consistent from day to day throughout school operation hours. College students often attend six classes each day in the same building on average. While certain courses, such as electives, are only offered during the autumn or spring semesters, others, such as English or math, are offered throughout the whole academic year.

Is it better to take 4 or 5 classes in college?

If a college student is capable of handling four classes but not five, it is almost always preferable to attend four classes rather than five classes. Pick five instead of four if you think you can manage them. As with any balancing act, there are additional variables to take into consideration.

Is college hard or easy?

High school classes are easier than college-degree classes because the subjects are more complicated, the learning is more rapid, and the expectations for self-teaching are significantly greater. College-degree classes, on the other hand, are not inherently more difficult to succeed in.

Is it bad to be a part-time student?

Being a part-time student may be a viable choice for individuals who have already started their job and are on their path to being financially self-sufficient. The Times Higher Education performed a study that found that part-time students earn more money, learn new skills, and are given more responsibility at work.

What are the hardest college majors?

Below are the 13 most difficult college majors according to NSSE statistics in 2016:

  1. Architecture
  2. Chemical Engineering
  3. Aero and Astronautical Engineering
  4. Biomedical Engineering
  5. Cell and Molecular Biology
  6. Physics
  7. Astronomy
  8. Biochemistry or Biophysics
  9. Bioengineering
  10. Petroleum Engineering
  11. Mechanical Engineering
  12. Neuroscience
  13. Chemistry

College students with their laptop and notebooks, working on a collaborative project as one of their course requirements over coffee.

Is it bursting at the seams due to your expectations? Don’t worry, because for me, college is just as fun as high school, but classes are at a higher level, thus making you ready for the real world!

Written by The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis is a lifestyle blog about the journey of college to adulting. Here you can find the tips for college, self-improvement, adulting, and more.

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