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May 2, 2002

Change in evening class time begins next year

Beginning in spring term 2003, undergraduate evening class times that formerly were scheduled to start at 5:45 p.m. will start at 6 p.m., the University registrar said.

According to Sam Conte, no later-evening classes will be scheduled except under special circumstances.

Pitt traditionally has scheduled two evening classes with the second one beginning at 8:20 p.m., but over the past several years enrollment in those later classes has been dwindling. Eliminating later-evening classes does not represent a big change for students' habits, Conte said. "This term, for example, there were no 8:20 classes offered at all. I think last term there were maybe three total," he said.

Pitt averages between 6,000 and 7,000 classes (counting multiple sections of the same course) for each fall and spring term on the Pittsburgh campus.

"We also felt that moving the starting time from 5:45 to 6 has a couple of advantages," Conte said. "It allows us to schedule late-afternoon classes in the 5 – 6 p.m. slot, including during exam period, and it gives an extra 15 minutes for [commuting] students to get to campus, get a parking space, and so on."

The change will be permanent, the registrar said, beginning next spring.

There will be some exceptions, Conte said. "We always try to accommodate faculty who request special times for classes. Some of the professional schools, for one reason or another, have various evening times for their classes. Faculty need to have some leeway. But I think we can say that, as a general rule, undergraduate evening classes will go from 6 to 8:30, and there will not be classes starting after those."

–Peter Hart

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