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Course Credit and Clock Hours

Definitions and Award Policy

Credit Hour Definition
One credit hour is equal to 50 minutes of structured instructional activities delivered in the classroom or through alternative delivery modes (e.g. online, hybrid, directed study) and a minimum of 2 hours of additional student work each week for approximately 15 weeks or the equivalent.

Credit Award Policy
The number of credits awarded for individual courses will be determined by the academic department originating the course. When determining credit, departments/programs should consider the goals and competencies/learning outcomes of the course, professional judgment and external certification requirements (e.g. field placement, clinical experience).

  1. Most liberal arts courses are awarded one credit for each hour of structured instructional activities (lecture, recitation, discussion, exam, etc.), and one credit for two or three hours of laboratory work.
  2. In the non-liberal arts areas, courses are awarded one credit for each hour of structured instructional activities (lecture, recitation, discussion, exam, etc.), but there is a much wider variation in the awarding of credit for labs. Awarding of credit for non-liberal arts lab time is determined according to professional standards.
  3. External Experiential Learning includes site work, structured instructional activities, and additional student work. A minimum of 45 contact hours or equivalent is required for one (1) credit. (Note: Experiential Learning includes internship, cooperative education, practicum, field work, field placement, and clinical experience.)
  4. Prior Learning through professional/life experience or licensure requires evaluation of learning outcomes, based upon criteria set by academic departments, which are comparable in depth, breadth and quality to successful completion of classroom courses. A minimum of 45 contact hours or equivalent is required for one (1) credit. (Note: Prior Learning assessments are based on review of documentation that may include portfolios, professional certificates/licenses, transcripts of military training or courses completed at non-accredited institutions, or some combination of documents that verifies achievement of college-level learning outcomes.)

Clock Hour Policy
One 60-minute class or lab equals one clock hour. The total number of clock hours will be governed by licensing regulations.

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