When picking college classes, there are many factors to consider.

Before enrolling, you have to figure out if it fits your schedule and counts toward your major. Plus, you might want to take classes with specific professors that you want to connect with

However, one factor that many students overlook is class size. Some classes are extensive, lecture-style courses with hundreds of students in them. Others occur in smaller, more intimate settings with fewer than twenty students.

Each classroom style works well for different types of people.

I’ll discuss the differences between large and small classes in this article. Along the way, I’ll point out some pros and cons of each. Hopefully, it helps you find courses that you can thrive in.

So, let’s begin.

Professor Interaction vs. No Professor Interaction

In a smaller classroom, your professor will know you. They’ll become familiar with your work. After graduation, you can ask them for a recommendation letter, and they’ll remember who you are.

They might even help you find college internships!

Conversely, your professor might only learn your name during the entire semester in a big classroom.

This might not matter to you. Many students feel like they learn just as much in a big classroom. But, to find professors who can become mentors, you should consider taking smaller classes.

More or Less Attention in Classrooms

Smaller classes are better if you learn better from one-on-one interactions and mobile modular classrooms. Lectures offer very little in terms of face-to-face time.

In a large lecture hall, it can be challenging to ask questions. After all, you could compete with ten other people to get the professor’s attention.

And there’s a good chance that the professor might never actually read your work. In a large, lecture-style classroom, the teacher usually has TAs who grade their papers.

There are exceptions, as some professors go to ensure every student understands the material. But it’s nearly guaranteed that you’ll get more attention in a small class than in a bigger one.

Different Benefits for Introverts and Extroverts

Introverts and extroverts have vastly different experiences in college. Extroverts might be excited to sit in the front of the classroom and engage in lively discussions. But introverts often prefer to sit in the back and listen.

Each class style works well for different types of people. Your personality type can help you choose the best classes.

Large Classrooms Are Perfect for Introverts

Are you an introvert? Do you loathe being the center of attention?

If that’s the case, being in a large classroom is ideal.

As an introvert in college, taking lecture courses is helpful because you can focus on the material. You don’t have to worry about the professor calling on you. You can relax without feeling anxious.

If you have questions but prefer not to raise your hand, you can talk to the professor before or after class.

Small Classrooms Are A Better Fit for Extroverts

A small classroom is perfect for you if you’re the type of person who learns best from group conversations.

Small classes' great benefits are that you’ll get immediate answers to your questions. In a larger classroom setting, you may have to wait for the professor to answer five or ten other questions before they get to yours (if they do).

Of course, this is just a guideline. Some introverts enjoy taking miniature, intimate courses, while some extroverts are more comfortable in a large lecture hall. Ultimately, you should assess your personality to figure out the types of classes you’ll enjoy more.

Types of Assignments

Certain types of coursework lend themselves better to small settings.

For example, you don’t usually find creative writing classes taught in a lecture format with 100 students in each room. Chemistry labs, which require each student to physically engage with the tools of the trade, are also small. In these courses, students learn by doing things, not just reading about them.

For the most part, extensive courses are reserved topics that can be taught through lectures and readings. In these classes, students must write papers and take exams to demonstrate their knowledge.

Most schools ask their students to take a mixture of lecture classes and workshops. But, if you learn better by doing, take as many of the latter as possible.


Perhaps you’re one of those who thrive in a large lecture hall environment. You don’t mind sitting and listening while the professor talks. You absorb information just as well as you would in a small classroom.

If that sounds like you, taking big classes shouldn’t be a problem.

However, if you prefer more attention and like knowing everyone in the room, a small classroom setting is probably more your style.

The choice is yours. Before you finalize your schedule this semester, consider your options and review your past performance. Do you tend to do better in classes with many people or ones with a small group?

Taking all choices into account will ensure you excel in school. Figure out which type of environment works best for you so you can earn your degree and enjoy yourself along the way.