Credit Hour Definition

Albany State University bases the awarding of credit hours on section 3.4 Academic Calendar, of the University System of Georgia Policy Manual, which states:

A minimum of 750 minutes of instruction or equivalent is required for each semester credit hour. A course offered in fewer than 15 instructional weeks shall contain the same total hours (contact hours, preparation time, content, and requirements) as the same course offered in the standard 15-week semester.

ASU expands on this definition by stipulating not only the number of hours of instruction, but also by stipulating the number of hours (or equivalent) that students are required to devote to each course outside of class. By so doing, the University policy explicitly aligns with both SACSCOC and federal policies on the awarding of credit hours: 

For each credit hour, a student is to be engaged for 50-minutes of instruction time per week (or the equivalence of 750 minutes) over the entire semester of approximately 15 weeks through time in the classroom or direct faculty instruction, or on assignments, discussions, and/or examinations, excluding the final, to meet the required learning outcomes and two hours of student work outside of class each week with course activities, as reflected in the course syllabus. The credit hour definition for courses or portions of a course designated for learning activities that involve experiences or take place outside of the classroom varies according to the course. Students in these courses are expected to perform these out-of-class activities including work-place observation, shadowing, technical training, supervised teaching, etc., for a specified period of time—number of weeks, days during the week, and hours per day. The ratio of credit hour to contact time will vary with the program involved, but are designated in the course syllabus (the hours for class and hours for lab/clinical/other). Academic credits assigned to these courses align with each program’s accreditation standards and are determined by the number of out-of-class contact (work) hours the student is required to complete. The definition for a credit hour is the same for face to face or online courses.