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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. View article »

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  • 0:00 How Night Classes Work
  • 1:00 Types of Night Classes
  • 1:41 Career, Junior &…
  • 2:09 4-Year Colleges and…

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Video Transcript

How Night Classes Work

Night classes are available at several career and community colleges, as well as some four-year schools. Learn more about how night classes work, what topics they cover, and how they differ at the different kinds of schools.

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

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. These institutions may also offer graduate programs that are online or offered in the evenings for adult learners. These programs can usually be taken full- or part-time to accommodate schedules as well.

Career, Junior & 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. These include programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. 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.

To summarize, night classes are available in the evenings to accommodate students who need a more flexible schedule and can cover a wide variety of topics, including music, science, and more. Career, community, and junior colleges tend to offer night classes for working adults, while four-year schools offer night classes for academic scholars.

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