Have you ever wondered which lectures seem to drag on more than others? Especially after a night out, where it is easy to just skip a lecture in an auditorium filled with 200 people. Or when you have definitely not completed your assigned readings in a class of 40 people and your professor can see your sheepish expression? At the Stack, we analyzed Registrar data to look at lecture lengths and lecture class sizes across the different departments of UCLA for the 2017-2018 academic year.

There were lots of data we gathered from the UCLA Registrar. We wanted to look at lecture lengths and lecture class sizes across different filters (so you could also play around with the data and see patterns within the data) – be it school, North or South Campus, quarter, or upper or lower division classes. For the 2017-2018 academic year, the average lecture length per day was 100.68 minutes. We compared this across the different undergraduate schools and saw that Art had the highest average at 216.86 minutes while Program in Computing had the lowest at 50. Art had the highest average number of lecture minutes per week at 383.24 minutes – that’s 6.4 hours for a single class’s lectures (excluding discussions!) in a week.

Across all departments in all schools, we found that the top 20 departments by lecture length ranged from Art to Yiddish, while the bottom 20 departments ranged from Physiology to Life Sciences. You can use the interactive radial chart below to visualize the departments with respect to filters such as average lecture length per day, average lecture length per week, average lecture size and average number of lectures per week. We filtered out schools with only one department represented. The lecture lengths in minutes are relative to the lowest value. We also categorized departments by North and South Campus, partially based on Stack's previous post on departmental similarity..


Graphs are not viewable on mobile devices. Check out the article on a desktop screen and be amazed.

We also looked for patterns using the interactive scatter plot below where you can mouse over the data points to learn more about different insights related to a particular department, such as average lecture length per day, average lecture length per week, average lecture size and average number of lectures per week. Play around with the filters to find some trends! The first four filters manipulate the dataset, the fifth filter changes the x-axis of the scatterplot and the sixth filter changes the y-axis of the scatter plot.


Graphs are not viewable on mobile devices. Check out the article on a desktop screen and be amazed.

Wondering how courses are designed? According to Vice Chair of Undergraduate Affairs and Assistant MIMG Professor Beth Lazazzera, we found that each faculty member determines the length and frequency of lectures when the course was first created and/or revised. Afterwards, the course (and its lecture lengths) must be approved by their department and the Faculty Executive Committee of their School or College.