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What kinds of classes will I take in college?

What Will My College Classes Be Like?

Like most students planning on attending college, you’re likely wondering what college classes will be like.

At most colleges, you’ll be required to take some general education classes or fulfill distributional requirements. That could mean you’ll take a year of foreign language or two classes each in the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. Other schools have a more flexible, open curriculum.

Choose Your Own Path

At Grinnell, we call our academic program the individually advised curriculum. You’ll take only two required classes — a writing class called the First-Year Tutorial and a social orientation course called the First-Year Experience. Beyond that, the classes you take are generally up to you and your advisers.

See for Yourself

In terms of what those classrooms might look like — whether they’re more lab-based,

discussion-based, or lecture-based — that’s going to vary a lot based on the discipline and the institution. I would suggest that you make sure to sit in on a class at any college you visit. Grinnell has a variety of visit options, ranging from in-person to virtual and more.

Work Independently

Another big difference between college classes and high school classes is that you'll probably spend a lot less time in the classroom and a lot more time doing independent work, whether it’s research or homework or readings.

Those are a few of the important things you need to know about what your college classes could look like!

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