Federal Definition of the Credit Hour
The Federal definition states that "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:
- One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks;
- Or at least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other activities as established by an institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work and other academic work leading toward the awarding of credit hours."
College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University Credit Hour Policy
A semester contains 14.5 weeks of classes plus a 4-day final exam period.
Each undergraduate, full (four-credit) course includes, at a minimum, the equivalent of 160 instructional hours. Students are expected to devote a minimum of 2 hours outside of class time for every hour in class. Some courses carry additional lab or discussion sessions.
Each graduate, full (three-credit) course includes, at a minimum, the equivalent of 120 instructional hours. Students are expected to devote a minimum of 2 hours outside of class time for every hour in class.
These basic measures may be adjusted proportionately to reflect a modified academic calendar and/or format of study.
Credit hours are granted for various types of instruction as follows:
- Individual Learning Project (ILP)
Independent Studies require a minimum of 40 hours of coursework for each credit awarded, yet have no set meeting dates/times. The learning objectives and academic requirements for these courses are established between individual faculty and individual students, and have specific academic outcomes defined before the course work begins.
For additional information, visit ILP Guidelines.
- Experiential Learning
Experiential learning requires a minimum of 40 hours for each credit awarded, yet have no set meeting dates/times. The learning objectives and academic requirements for these courses are
established between individual faculty and individual students before the course work begins. The expectation is that students earn credits based on the number of hours required on-site.
For additional information, visit Registering for Internship Credit.
Registering for Internship Credit.
- Credits Earned Elsewhere
Credit for published examinations applies to the following test series, provided the specified minimum performance levels are met:
Students may demonstrate that through previous experience or study on their own they possess the knowledge, skills and competencies normally obtained by attending a certain class. This demonstration may allow students to be exempted without credit from a course so that they may enroll in a higher level course. When appropriate, they may receive credit for the course. Students may consult with the chair of the department in which the course is offered to determine whether an appropriate examination may be arranged.
Credit hours may be earned in shortened academic sessions (part of term courses, summer sessions, etc.) proportionately to those earned for the same activity during a full term of the institutions. Calculation of credit hours awarded for shortened sessions are verified though the course approval or revision process.
Oversight and Compliance
This credit hour policy applies to all courses that award academic credit at the undergraduate or graduate level. The Academic Curriculum Committee (ACC) reviews and approves new courses for the undergraduate program and the Graduate Theological Studies Committee approves new courses for the graduate School of Theology. Compliance with the credit hour policy is evaluated in their review and approval of all courses. The determination of credit hours is made when a new course or a revision to an existing course is proposed. The submitted syllabus is examined for contact time, as well as for learning outcomes, assignments, and evaluation of student learning.
Last updated 3.20.2018