Wilkes University

Credit Hour Definitions

Each course at the University is assigned a specific number of credits. For example, History (HST) 101 is a three-credit course, and Mathematics (MTH) 111 is a four-credit course. In most cases, credits assigned to a particular course are determined according to the number of hours per week that the class meets; credits may also be defined by the number of hours that the class meets per semester. During the course of the semester, a credit hour is equivalent to

  • 15 hours of classroom contact, plus appropriate outside preparation (30 hours); OR
  • 30 hours of supervised laboratory work, plus appropriate outside preparation; OR
  • 45 hours of internship or clinical experience; OR
  • a combination of the foregoing.

Length of Semester

  • 14 weeks of classes, excluding final examination periods and vacations.

Credit hour

  • 1 credit hour = 50 minutes of lecture or recitation per week (along with two hours of out of class activities) or 2 or more hours of laboratory per week throughout the semester.

Laboratory

Courses with a focus on experimental/experiential learning where in the student performs substantive work in a laboratory or studio setting. The minimum contact time per credit is 1680 minutes or 2 hours per week for the length of a regular semester.

Independent study/research

Courses offered as directed studies with approval and supervision of faculty member. Student(s) meet periodically as agreed upon during the duration of the course. Semester hour credit awarded must be comparable in scope, content, academic rigor and student study time as courses offered in lecture format.

Internships, practicum, clinical, field/cooperative experience, externships

Courses developed for experiential and hands-on learning involving off-site placement. Employers work collaboratively with the appropriate university staff or faculty to develop outcomes, learning experiences, and expectations in order for students to meet credit level requirements. Such credit is awarded at the rate of 45 hours per credit.

Accelerated Courses

Courses offered in sessions less than a traditional 15 week semester. These courses offer the same semester credit hours as traditional semester-length classes. Within the shortened time frame, accelerated courses must meet the minimum contact hour requirements of the lecture format. In the event that courses do not meet the expected contact hour requirements, credit can be awarded for equivalent instructional activities, which can include but are not limited to online videos, online discussions or chats, quizzes and/or exams, article summaries, case analyses, online group activities, etc.

Online

Courses offered entirely online without regard to face-to-face meetings. Students are expected to be academically engaged with comparable learning outcomes of a standard lecture course with alternate delivery methods. Contact time is satisfied through several means, which can include but is not limited to the following: a) web-based synchronous meetings using tele- and/or video-conferencing software at times scheduled in advance by the faculty member; b) academic engagement through interactive tutorials, video lectures, online chats, group discussions moderated by faculty, virtual study/group projects, engaging with class peers and computer tutorials graded and reviewed by faculty.

Hybrid

Courses offered in a blended format with one or more required face-to-face class sessions and with one or more required online sessions. These courses offer the same semester credit hours as traditional semester-length classes. Hybrid courses may also be in an accelerated format with the course length spanning less than the traditional semester. Contact time may be satisfied through several means, which can include but is not limited to the following, web-based synchronous meetings using tele- and/or video-conferencing software at times scheduled in advance by the faculty member, academic engagement through interactive tutorials, video lectures, online chats, group discussions moderated by faculty, virtual study/group projects, engaging with class peers, and computer tutorials graded and reviewed by faculty. Low residency courses and programs also fall into this category.

Graduation Requirements by Level

Requirements for Bachelor’s Degree

Requirements for graduate level degree (master’s or doctoral)


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