Ever wonder which majors require the most study time? A new survey sheds some insight…

By Terence Loose

Are you ready to take on school but not sure you’re ready to take on the hours of coursework and studying?

Good news. A new study by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) could help you decide which major might be the best fit for your lifestyle. The study surveyed 416,000 full-time, first-year students and seniors attending 673 colleges and universities during 2011.

Although the study included factors like the number of hours spent commuting to class or caring for dependents, let’s focus on the areas associated with study time and working:

  • Average Weekly Hours of Study/Class Prep Time: This is the time students spent studying out of class each week.
  • Number of Hours Faculty Expects You to Study: This is the amount of time faculty members told researchers that students needed to study to be fully prepared.
  • Percentage of Seniors That Spent 20+ Hours Preparing for Class: Again, in this study, “preparing” equals studying.
  • Number of Hours Working for Pay: The number of hours that students spent working at a paid job outside of school.

It’s important to note that not all majors are included in the study. “Some, such as architecture and nursing, for example, were not included,” says Alexander C. McCormick, NSSE director and associate professor of education at Indiana University.

But McCormick is confident in the study’s findings and hopes it helps students and faculty alike better understand what is, and should be, expected of them.

It’s also important to note that the number of hours that students reported for relaxing or socializing was virtually the same for each major: 10 to 11 hours per week. Seems like whether you’re a science whiz or studying big biz, you’ll still find some time to minor in fun.

Check out some key findings from the NSSE study. Consider it time well spent in the “Preparing for Class” category.

Read full list here