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Night Classes: How Do Night Classes Work?

Night classes (also called evening classes) are offered by most postsecondary institutions, including career colleges, community colleges and 4-year universities. Learn more about different types of night classes and program formats.

An Overview of How Night Classes Work

A variety of topics can be covered in night classes, including cooking, painting, computer basics, science, mathematics, music, English and training for a high school diploma. While night classes at career and community colleges may be completed in as little as a few weeks, night classes offered at 4-year schools typically last an entire semester. Night classes provide all of the same academic information and experiences as their daytime counterparts, but they are provided during the evening hours to better serve students with busy schedules.

Types of Night Classes

Night classes generally fall under two categories: those offered for working adults and those offered for academic scholars. Classes directed at working adults are offered by career, community and junior colleges, and these classes help adults seeking vocational training or trying to obtain a High School Equivalency (HSE) certificate. Night classes designed for academic scholars are usually offered by larger colleges and universities as part of their conventional curriculum.

Career, Junior and Community Colleges

Night classes offered by career, community and junior colleges cover a wide range of topics as well as basic high school training. Some students take night classes to fulfill continuing education and professional development requirements, to work towards earning a degree or to become certified in a trade or profession. Others take night classes for fun. The duration of these night class courses varies significantly.

4-Year Colleges and Universities

Large colleges and universities offer night classes as part of their regular degree programs. Schedules for these courses may rotate, meaning that a class may be offered at night one semester and during the day the next. Any registered student interested in attending classes at night can enroll. Most do so because of conflicting work and personal schedules that prevent them from attending class during the day. Others do so because they prefer to be in class at night and spend the day taking care of other business.

The same content and materials covered in day classes are usually covered in night classes. Unlike night courses at career colleges that may only last a few weeks, these courses generally span an entire semester. While not all academic departments offer night classes, a large percentage do provide these classes to accommodate the scheduling needs of the student body.

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