# What Does Student-to-Faculty Ratio Mean?

A student-to-faculty ratio is the number of students compared to the number of faculty. This number varies from school to school. But besides how many teachers there are compared to students, what does this number really tell you?

## What is a Student-to-Faculty Ratio?

A student-to-faculty ratio is a comparison between the number of students and the number of faculty at a particular school. It’s calculated by dividing the total number of students by the total number of faculty members at the college. If a college has a 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio, it means there are six students for every one faculty member.

Some schools will have very low ratios such as 5:1 while others may have 29:1. The larger the student portion of the ratio, the larger the class sizes tend to be.

A small, or low, student-to-faculty ratio would be 10:1 or lower. An average student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1  (according to data from 2020). Any class size that exceeds 14:1 could be considered a large student-to-faculty ratio.

## How Much Does it Matter?

Flickr user Jeremy Wilburn

Yes, student-to-faculty ratio can matter to a lot of students. For individuals who want smaller, more intimate class sizes, for example, a lower ratio is ideal. While there still can be some lecture style courses at these colleges, a lower ratio will usually mean class sizes are smaller and students can have a better chance of making an impression on their professors.

Lower ratios generally means that professors have more time for students in their classes. It may also be easier to talk to them outside of class, for example, and it can mean more personal attention and assistance during their office hours.

However, for students that are looking at larger schools or those who prefer lecture style courses, the ratio may not be as important.

## Top 10 Schools With Lowest S:F Ratio in the United States

### 1. Northcentral University

• Location: San Diego, CA
• Total number of students: 11,578
• Student-to-faculty ratio: 1:1
• Highest degree offered: Doctor’s

Northcentral University is a private online university that was opened in 1996. Although it was opened as a for-profit institution, it was acquired by the National University System of California in 2019 after which it became a non-profit school. Their motto is Unus Ad Unum Doctrina Per Experientiam which is Latin for “One-to-One Education by Experience.”

### 2. Curtis Institute of Music

• Total number of students: 151
• Student-to-faculty ratio: 2:1
• Highest degree offered: Master’s

The Curtis Institute of Music offers degrees for a number of instruments including piano, violin, organ, bass, and cello, among others. They currently have 113 faculty members. The school was established in 1934, and today all students receive full-tuition scholarships based on merit in addition to need-based aid for living expenses.

### 3. University of Nebraska Medical Center

• Location: Omaha, NE
• Total number of students: 3,660
• Student-to-faculty ratio: 2:1
• Highest degree offered: Doctor’s

The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) was founded in 1869 and chartered in 1881 as the Omaha Medical College. Made up of several colleges, the campus is also home to immersive virtual reality (VR) technology, advanced simulation clinical settings, research facilities for clinical trials, visual rehabilitation centers, and more.

### 4. University of Puerto Rico – Medical Sciences

• Location: San Juan, PR
• Total number of students: 2,034
• Student-to-faculty ratio: 2:1
• Highest degree offered: Doctor’s

The University of Puerto Rico – Medical Sciences (UPR-RCM) is part of the University of Puerto Rico System. They offer degrees in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, biosocial science, environmental health, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, nutrition, and demography.

### 5. California Institute of Technology

• Total number of students: 2,401
• Student-to-faculty ratio: 3:1
• Highest degree offered: Doctor’s

California Institute of Technology, also known as Caltech, is a private research university. In 2024, we named them #5 in our Top Best Colleges in the United States rankings list. Caltech was founded in 1891 as Throop University and would get its current moniker in 1920. The school’s motto is “The truth shall make you free.”

### 6. Loma Linda University

• Location: Loma Linda, CA
• Total number of students: 4,280
• Student-to-faculty ratio: 3:1
• Highest degree offered: Doctor’s

Loma Linda University was originally known as the Loma Linda Sanitarium when it was founded in 1905. Affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church and with over 1,000 administrative staff, popular majors among students include Registered Nursing, Dental Hygiene, and Clinical Laboratory Science.

### 7. Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – New Orleans

• Location: New Orleans, LA
• Total number of students: 2,740
• Student-to-faculty ratio: 3:1
• Highest degree offered: Doctor’s

A part of the Louisiana State University (LSU) system, Louisiana State university Health Sciences Center – New Orleans was established in 1931. It’s comprised of several schools including Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Graduate Studies, Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health, and it has a teaching hospital and two clinics.

### 8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

• Location: Cambridge, MA
• Total number of students: 11,858
• Student-to-faculty ratio: 3:1
• Highest degree offered: Doctor’s

In 2024, College Raptor named the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) #4 in our Top Best Colleges in the United States rankings list. The school has produced Nobel laureates, Turing award winners, MacArthur Fellows, and astronauts. Their motto is Mens et Manus, which is Latin for “Mind and Hand.”

### 9. New York Film Academy

• Location: Burbank, CA
• Total number of students: 1,285
• Student-to-faculty ratio: 3:1
• Highest degree offered: Master’s

The New York Film Academy – School of Film and Acting (NYFA) has locations in Burbank, Miami, New York City, Australia, and Italy. It’s a private for-profit institution with over 400 academic staff members. The two most popular majors are Cinematography and Film and Acting.

### 10. San Francisco Conservatory of Music

• Location: San Francisco, CA
• Total number of students: 437
• Student-to-faculty ratio: 3:1
• Highest degree offered: Post-master’s certificate

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music was originally known as the Ada Clement Piano School when it was founded in 1917. It got its current moniker in 1923. In addition to a low student-to-faculty ratio, it has a 90% first year retention rate and accepts 41.6% of students who apply.

The student-to-faculty ratio may not be the most important thing you’re looking for in a college, but it should be something you pay attention to, especially if you want to attend a small or large school. These numbers can give you insight into how many students will be in your courses.

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