A question for the teachers…

For teachers or others familiar with the process:

Given a single average undergrad college class, how many hours a week would a teacher typically devote to the class, including lecture, preparation, grading, and anything else related to the class?

View All


  1. “Should” be several hours for all of the administrative overhead, particularly if the topic is one that you know to a level less than sufficient to write the textbook for it.
    This is irrespective of office hours to help the poor wee undergrads.
    In actuality, as I was walking people through an MS Office introduction, I frequently shortchanged the students.
    Thus, I worked a very lengthy example in Excel, showing how we can hand crank a linear regression, and then predict the next value for the function, only to discover that a right-click on a chart object opens a dialog that does all that and more.
    So much for pedagogy. 😉

  2. I teach a 1-credit lab, and I spend approximately:

    30 minutes – 1 hour for lecture
    1 hour – 2 hours for consultation and observation while the students work on the experiment
    1 hour – 2 hours for grading
    1 hour for office hours

    For a total of 3.5 – 6 hours per week for a 1 credit hour course. (Multiply times two for me; I teach a Wednesday lab and a Saturday lab.) Most undergraduate classes are three credit hours; your experience may vary. Keep in mind that other than grading, I have to do next to nothing for prep because the lab activities are defined in the manual, and this is my fifth semester teaching the course; I could probably teach it in my sleep.


  3. I agree with the previous post…

    about 4-6 hours per hour of credit seems about right… Furthermore.. most full professors here (UW-Wisconsin) are epected to teach 5 3 credit classes a year in the humanities.. (or at least in history of science)–which translates into somewhere between an average of 30-45 hours a week on their classes each semester–and then research is supposed to be on top of that..

Comments are closed.