Small Class Sizes

Chart showing DFW rates

The DFW rate for math classes as a result of the small class initiative. 


In 2016, UGA implemented the “small class initiative” that reduced class sizes and added seat capacity in select classes that had high demand, served multiple majors, and which had high rates of students earning a grade of “D” or “F” or high rates of withdrawal from the class (“DFW-rates”).

Through this initiative, UGA hired 56 new faculty and added over 300 small class sections, most of which had fewer than 20 students. The initiative has been an overwhelming success and has improved students’ academic performance and time-to-degree. As anticipated, this initiative has resulted in wider availability of critical classes, a reduction of the DFW-rates, improved student assessment of teaching, and improved time-to-degree.

Undergraduate enrollment at UGA has grown from 27,951 students in Fall 2016 to 30,166 in Fall 2021, a growth of nearly 8%. To ensure continued access to critical classes, maintain small class sizes that allow greater engagement between faculty and students, and preserve the improvements in DFW-rates, a need to expand the small class initiative in the 2022-23 academic year was recognized. Following a review of course enrollment data, we have identified 6-10 courses that could be targeted for reduction in class sizes through the addition of new sections. All of these courses are in high-demand areas of study where projected enrollment is expected to grow.

The Expansion of the Small Class Initiative will add between 15-20 additional faculty in select, high-demand areas of study. We anticipate these hires to add approximately 80-100 smaller sections ofexisting classes to ensure that UGA continues to provide a highly engaged environment for student learning.”