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Credit Hour Policy

Federal law now requires all accredited institutions to comply with the federal definition of the credit hour.

Notations/Clarifications:

  1. A credit hour is assumed to be a 50-minute (not 60-minute) period.
  2. TMU’s credit hour policy is “benchmarked” against the California State University system.
  3. In courses, such as those offered online, in which "seat time" does not apply, a credit hour may be measured by an equivalent amount of work, as demonstrated by student achievement.
  4. Credit hour calculations (below) use the grand total of our credit hour (50 minute) periods, add the accompanying out-of-class work, and then express total student work in normal “hours” (60 minutes).
  5. Per WSCUC guidelines, adherence to TMU’s credit hour policy will be reviewed and audited periodically by TMU faculty to ensure that credit hour assignments are accurate and reliable.

Definition of a Credit Hour:

For all TMU degree programs and courses bearing academic credit, the "credit hour" is defined 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 not less than:

1) one (1) hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two (2) hours of out-of-class student work 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  

2) “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, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours."

Application of Credit Hour Policy:

This credit hour policy applies to all courses at all levels (graduate, professional, and undergraduate) that award academic credit (i.e. any course that appears on an official transcript issued by the College) regardless of the mode of delivery including, but not limited to, self-paced, online, hybrid, lecture, seminar, and laboratory.

Credit Hour Calculations (per semester):

Example: a 1-unit course equates to 50 in-class minutes X (times) 15 semester weeks = (equals) 750 in-class minutes

Semester
Course Units

Semester
In-Class Minutes

Semester
Out-of-Class-Minutes

Total Minutes
(In + Out)

Minimum Total Student Work
(expressed in 60-minute hours)

 

1

 

750

 

1500

 

2250

 

37.50   clock hours

 

2

 

1500

 

3000

 

4500

 

75.00   clock hours

 

3

 

2250

 

4500

 

6750

 

112.50   clock hours

 

4

 

3000

 

6000

 

9000

 

150.00   clock hours

 

5

 

3750

 

7500

 

11,250

 

187.50   clock hours