Credit Hour Policy

Credit Hour Policy


Rationale: Under federal regulations effective July 1, 2011, both institutions and accrediting agencies were required to come into compliance with regulations regarding the definition and assignment of credit hours under Section 600.2. and 600.24.  As such, Dominican University of California’s Credit Hour Policy includes sections for the definition and periodic review of the credit hour.

I.          Definition

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 a) two hours of out of class student work for undergraduate students or b) three hours of out of class work for graduate students, each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  • 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, practicum, studio work, community-based learning, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours. 

For the purposes of this policy, one hour of student work is assumed to be 50 minutes of classroom time or an equivalent amount through personal instruction or supervision. This work can be fulfilled in a variety of ways, but not limited to direct faculty instruction and systematic outside reading; experiments or research under the supervision of an instructor; studio, field, clinical, or laboratory work; and internships, service learning, or directed study.

Alternative and Compressed Time Frames: For courses offered in alternative or compressed time frames, in-class instructional time and outside-of-class student time in total will be equivalent to that required in a 15-week semester.

Technology-enhanced, Hybrid, or Online Courses: Courses offered through these modalities are to be delivered so that the sum of faculty instruction and student preparation time is equivalent to the relevant credit hour calculations above. 


II.          Periodic Review

Application of the Credit Hour Policy will be reviewed during the Academic Program Review process to ensure that credit hour assignments are accurate, reliable, and appropriate to degree level.  Supporting evidence includes syllabi, learning outcomes, assignment schedules, and class schedules identifying the times that classes meet (if applicable).

New courses, or changes in the unit value of existing courses, should be reviewed and approved by the school dean for compliance with the credit hour policy.

(updated 3/2015)