What does a low student-to-professor ratio mean?

It means that there are a bunch of expert scholar-teachers on campus. It also means that class sizes are pretty small — especially compared to large universities.

Depending on your major, the largest class at Grinnell may have up to 50 students. The average class size is 17. Most of your classes will likely have fewer than 20 students, and a few classes may have only a handful of students.

The First-Year Tutorial, the only required course, typically has 12 students.

Why does small class size matter?

Smaller classes give you more direct connections with professors. At Grinnell, your professors will quickly learn your name. They will also learn your academic strengths and weaknesses. They will challenge you and chat with you and get to know you as an individual.

When professors get to know you, it’s easier for you to get the advice and academic help you need. Ultimately, those connections will help you achieve your academic goals.

Your First-Year Tutorial professor will be the first one who gets to know you well. Check out Tutorial in Context to see how this happens.

Plus it’s way easier to stop for a quick chat when you both know each other’s name.