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How To: Guide to Choosing Morning or Night Classes

How To: Guide to Choosing Morning or Night Classes

Where to Start

For some students, setting up your  class schedule can be a dreadful experience. You are designated a certain day that you are allowed to sign up and recognize the unspoken time crunch that exists when it comes to picking classes. Whether you prefer morning or night classes, lecture or online formats – the one thing they all have in common is a limited number of seats available. Planning ahead can help save you a ton of anxiety for meeting that deadline.  

The best way to plan your schedule is to research the classes you need to take, the professors that offer that class and the times available to take them. Unlike in high school, college students have more freedom in selecting their class schedules but sometimes we don’t know how to go about picking them. The main questions you should be asking yourself are: “What am I looking for from my schedule and why do I want that?”

There are so many options to consider when picking out your class schedule.  Often times you may have to compromise what you want to prioritize what is necessary for you to succeed. How you choose your schedule can, in some ways, set the tone for how your semester will go.

Feeling overwhelmed?? Below is a quick guide to help you decide whether morning or night classes are the best fit for your schedule!

Early Classes

Pros: Taking an early class can increase your productivity throughout the day as well as your willingness to be active. According to  a study by Nolan G. Pope, an economics professor at the University of Maryland, students who start the day early have shown an increase in their productivity – especially in math. To learn more about this study, click here. Taking early classes helps get them out of the way fast – leaving you with more time to relax the rest of the day.

Cons: Waking up early is the biggest issue with early classes and the reason why most college students tend to stray away from these blocks. Part of learning is about the environment in which you learn in. Consider what it will be like to walk into a lecture hall already drowsy before anything even happened. Getting a good night’s rest is essential if you are going to be engaged and actively participating in the learning objectives.


Night Classes

Pros:  Having all of your classes at night leaves a great deal of  availability for you throughout the day. Not only do you get to sleep in, but you also have extra time to study for that exam or finish up some last minute homework problems. A lot of the NIU Passport Programs also take place during the day so you have time to focus on extracurriculars as well.

Cons: Taking a night class might require sacrificing time you could’ve spent out with friends. Some students may find night classes hard to concentrate in because the body is often conditioned to associate the absence of light with feelings of sleepiness.  More information about how our body’s responses to sleeping schedules can be found here. Consider your own sleeping habits and what time of the day you feel the most active and productive.

Taking all of the options into consideration can help you better prepare for the new semester. One of the best things about college is having your independence. However, that follows with making the tough decisions for yourself. Throughout your college experience you will learn to develop your own kind of lifestyle and learn more about  your own sleeping habits. Having a class schedule tailored to those interests and needs is of utmost importance.  Embrace the opportunity and carefully weigh your options so they can serve you well into the future! Thankfully, you can always reach out to your academic adviser if you are having trouble planning your class schedule 😉



Morning Classes Night Classes
Increased Productivity Flexibility throughout the day
Gets classes out of the way Ability to attend more events /catch up on homework
Difficulty concentrating in class/might be too drowsy Sacrificing a night out with friends


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