Policy Manual

Student-to-Faculty Ratio--Calculating the

The student-to-faculty ratio at Georgia College is calculated using a formula provided by the Common Data Set (CDS) Initiative. This formula is favored because it takes into account both full-time and part-time student counts, both full-time and part-time faculty counts, and the percentage of faculty who have predominately instructional responsibilities. U.S. News & World Report requires colleges to use the CDS formula when submitting student-to-faculty ratios for its college rankings issue. The formula is as follows:

Student-to-Faculty Ratio = [ SF + SP/3 ] / [ FFI + (FFN + FPI)/3 ]

where SF = the number of full-time enrolled students, SP = the number of part-time enrolled students, FFI = the number of full-time instructional faculty, FFN = the number of full-time non-instructional faculty who teach part-time, and FPI = the number of part-time instructional faculty.1

Using the Common Data Set formula, the ratio for Fall 2004 is [ 4284 + 1242/3 ] / [ 269 + (23 + 139) ], or approximately 15:1, the same value that was published in U.S. News & World Report from Fall 2003 data.

The student-to-faculty ratio is not to be confused with the average class size, although the two numbers typically are close to one another. For Fall 2004 the average class size is 16 students.


The CDS definitions of 'full-time instructional faculty' and of 'part-time instructional faculty' are those used by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in its annual Faculty Compensation Survey. These detailed instructions from the AAUP are reproduced in the 2004 CDS documentation:

Instructional Faculty is defined as those members of the instructional-research staff whose major regular assignment is instruction, including those with released time for research. Use the chart below to determine inclusions and exclusions:

Full-time Part-time
(a) instructional faculty in preclinical and clinical medicine, faculty who are not paid (e.g., those who donate their services or are in the military), or research-only faculty, post-doctoral fellows, or pre-doctoral fellows Exclude Include only if they teach one or more non-clinical credit courses
(b) administrative officers with titles such as dean of students, librarian, registrar, coach, and the like, even though they may devote part of their time to classroom instruction and may have faculty status Exclude Include if they teach one or more non-clinical credit courses
(c) other administrators/staff who teach one or more non-clinical credit courses even though they do not have faculty status Exclude Include
(d) undergraduate or graduate students who assist in the instruction of courses, but have titles such as teaching assistant, teaching fellow, and the like Exclude Exclude
(e) faculty on sabbatical or leave with pay Include Exclude
(f) faculty on leave without pay Exclude Exclude
(g) replacement faculty for faculty on sabbatical leave or leave with pay Exclude Include

Full-time instructional faculty: faculty employed on a full-time basis for instruction (including those with released time for research).

Part-time instructional faculty: Adjuncts and other instructors being paid solely for part-time classroom instruction. Also includes full-time faculty teaching less than two semesters, three quarters, two trimesters, or two four-month sessions. Employees who are not considered full-time instructional faculty but who teach one or more non-clinical credit courses may be counted as part-time faculty.

(Source: 2004-05 Common Data Set, section I-1.)