Academic Credit Hour Equivalencies Policy
These equivalencies represent minimum requirements.
One academic credit hour delivered in the traditional didactic teaching/learning approach is equivalent to three hours of student work per week (1 hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student homework – Carnegie Unit), typically delivered over a 15 week academic semester. One academic credit hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction is equivalent to 50 minutes of clock time, over 15 weeks of instruction (excluding the final examination period), for a total of 750 minutes of direct faculty instruction over the semester. A 1 credit didactic, lecture class must meet 750 minutes during the semester, excluding the final examination period. Therefore, a 3 credit hour didactic, lecture class must meet 2250 minutes during the 15 weeks of instruction in a typical semester, excluding the final examination period.
One academic credit hour for a laboratory class is equivalent to two scheduled hours of laboratory experience per week (total minimum of 100 minutes), typically delivered over a 15 week academic semester. One academic credit hour for a laboratory class shall consist of one thousand five hundred (1,500) minutes of learning experience in the laboratory. Where a course includes arranged hours, these generally take the place of the hours assigned to homework.
However, there are additional teaching/learning approaches that include, for example, clinical experiences, studio experiences, field studies, individual lessons, recitation/discussion that may follow a modification of the equivalencies for credit hour assignment. Those equivalency models are approved by each academic unit (school/college) dean. At least an equivalent amount of work in the traditional didactic teaching/learning approach is required for these additional types of academic learning activities.
For independent studies, practicum experiences, internships and directed readings academic credit is determined by standards and requirements established in each academic unit (school/college) that is dependent on the discipline/field of study, scope of the planned educational experience(s) and the academic experience and preparation of the student(s). Minimally, these learning experiences follow the model of requiring the student to work in the placement or devote focused study for 3 hours per week, for 15 weeks during the typical semester, to earn one academic credit hour. This translates to an estimated 45-60 hours of experience per semester for one academic credit hour. If a consistent academic equivalency is not established by the academic unit (school/college) for these types of teaching/learning experiences, an individual written agreement must be developed for each individual student experience. This written agreement will outline the scope of the work to be achieved, learning objectives/outcomes and the academic assessment standard to be applied. This written agreement must be approved by the respective chair/program director and dean. The respective dean’s office will be responsible for retaining the appropriate documentation.
Any equivalencies below these minimum equivalencies must be submitted in writing for review and approval by the Provost.