Jul 22, 2018  
2018-2019 University Catalogue 
2018-2019 University Catalogue

Credit Hour Definition & Methods of Instruction


Credit Hour Defintion

Credit-to-contact ratios listed below are the minimum University standards. Some programs may require more to fulfill accreditation, certification, or other requirements.

The University awards credits in semester credit hours. Fall and spring semesters are 15 weeks in length. Courses scheduled over a period of time other than a semester reflect proportionate instructional hours within the academic term. Critiques, juries, and examinations are considered instructional time.

The University adheres to the U.S. Department of Education definition of a “credit hour,” as required by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which is defined as:

Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l)1, a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of classroom student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

The University approximates class time using the Carnegie unit equivalent of 1 hour = 50 minutes or the equivalent of 50 minutes of classroom instruction. This policy applies equally to courses of varying credits, duration, and methods of instruction. All methods of instruction provide appropriate credit hour equivalencies to classroom instruction, as specified.

This policy applies to all academic levels and all modes of instruction at the University. Student learning outcomes for courses and academic programs are to be uniformly satisfied regardless of the mode of instruction.

Periodic Review

As part of the approval process for new courses or course revisions, credit hours are reviewed by the Office of the Registrar.

Compliance Responsibility

The academic unit offering a course is responsible for ensuring that scheduling is consistent with the credit hour definitions for the instruction method of the course.

Distance Learning

Approved courses may take place when the instructor and students are separated by location and/or time, but are able to communicate through the use of technology such as videoconferencing and the Internet. The exchange between instructor and students may be synchronous or asynchronous and may be a hybrid delivery, whereby a specific percentage of in-class activities are required.

Credit hours are determined as the equivalent amount of instruction and student effort leading to equivalent learning outcomes as required for the on-campus instructional methods as defined.

Methods of Instruction

Method Description Credit Hour Definition
Lecture Organized instruction in a lecture format in which course material is presented from instructor to student in a one-way format with little discussion. One credit hour represents 1 hour per week of scheduled class time and 2 hours of student preparation time during the standard 15 week semester. One credit hour represents a total of 15 hours of scheduled class time and 30 hours of student preparation time.
Studio Students develop technical or creative skills utilizing studio facilities and equipment respective to the area of study. One credit hour represents a total of 3.0 hours per week during the standard 15 week semester, which includes 1.5 - 2.0 hours per week of scheduled class time; the remaining time is student preparation time. One credit hour represents a total of 45 hours, which includes 22.5 - 30 hours of scheduled class time; the remaining time is student preparation time.