Credit Hour: Definition and Policy

Middle Georgia State University defines the credit hour as the amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates:

  1. Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time, or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required outlined in item 1 above 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.

    In addition, the institutional policy for determining the amount of credit for student work conforms to University System of Georgia policy 3.4.1, which establishes the standard measure of a fifteen week semester and requires a minimum of 750 minutes of instruction or equivalent for each semester hour (BOR 3.4.1).

    Middle Georgia State University has a policy of credit hour equivalency that applies to all instruction types and modes of delivery, including credit for traditional classroom instruction, labs, clinicals, studio classes, flight courses, internships, co-ops, fieldwork, independent study, and web-based instruction that is hybrid, partially, or completely online.

    A ‘classroom hour’ is defined as 50 minutes of instruction time in the classroom. Therefore for a one credit hour course that is offered for a period of 15 weeks over a semester, 750 minutes of instruction are required. All credit-bearing classes offered in the traditional classroom instruction mode must include a minimum of 750 minutes per credit hour of classroom instruction time or an equivalent of instructor-mediated alternative instructional activities. In addition all credit bearing classes must include a minimum of 1500 minutes per credit hour of student-driven, “out of classroom” activities. Therefore, a total of 2250 minutes must be required in a 15 week semester for every credit hour awarded.

    For courses that are offered using different modes of delivery, the time spent in classroom instruction or alternative instruction and in “out of classroom” activities can vary, however, the total time spent on the course per credit hour must still be a minimum of 2250 minutes.