2.18 / Definition and Assignment of Credit Hours
The purpose of this statement is to set forth University policy
with regard to the definition of "credit hour" and the
assignment of credit hours to courses and other types of academic
Regulations of the U.S. Department of Education require
institutions of higher education to define "credit hour" and to
develop policies and procedures for assignment of credit hours to
courses and other types of academic work consistent with the
1. A "credit hour" is a measure of graduate or undergraduate
academic work represented in intended learning outcomes and
verified by evidence of student achievement that reasonably
approximates not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty
instruction1 and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class
student work for each week of instructional time for approximately
fifteen weeks for one semester, or an equivalent amount of work
over a different amount of time. This unit of measure, commonly
referred to as the "Carnegie unit," is a reasonable approximation
of a minimum amount of student work for an on-campus course.
2. For purposes of laboratory work, internships, practica,
clinical rotations, ensemble, studio work, distance learning and
other academic work leading to the award of credit hours, each
credit hour should reasonably approximate an equivalent amount of
work as described in Paragraph 1 above. The following definitions
are provided as general guidance for approximating a minimum
amount of student work in the learning formats described
- Distance learning: One credit hour for distance
learning is defined as three (3) hours of instruction and/or
student work per week that leads to equivalent learning outcomes
required for an on-campus course.
- Field placement, internship, practicum, or clinical
rotation: One (1) credit hour for field placement,
internship, practicum or clinical rotation is defined as at
least forty-five (45) hours of supervised work each
- Laboratory: One (1) credit hour for laboratory credit
is defined as a minimum of two (2) class hours of work each week
in a laboratory under the supervision of a lab
supervisor/instructor and an expectation of one (1) class hour
of additional out-of-class student work each week.
- Individual study: One (1) credit hour for
individualized study (e.g. thesis and independent study) is
defined as a minimum of three (3) class hours of direct
instruction and/or individual work each week.
As studio and ensemble work varies between fine art disciplines,
assignment of credit hour should be according to discipline
standards and/or accreditation criteria.
3. The following procedures describe the University's
process for determining the assignment of credit hours to courses:
- In the process of developing a new course, faculty will
propose the appropriate assignment of credit hours to a course
on the Curriculum Change Form.
- The proposed assignment of credit hours must be submitted to
the following administrators and committees, in sequential
order, for review and approval:
- Department Chair;
- College Curriculum Committee;
- Dean of the College; and
- Academic Affairs Committee (for undergraduate courses) or
Graduate Council (for graduate courses)
- The Provost and Senior Vice President or designee will provide
final verification of the assignment of credit hours, and will
be responsible for the interpretation of policies and procedures
pertaining to the assignment of credit hours to a course or
other types of academic work.
- The Provost and Senior Vice President or designee will consult
with departmental faculty to make changes when the assignment of
credit is inconsistent with this policy.
- Courses and/or academic work must be scheduled in a way that
conforms to the above definition of credit hour.
- Faculty must provide sufficient information and detail in
syllabi to establish that the minimum amount of work expected of
students is consistent with the assignment of credit hours to
1 A class hour at Wichita State University is
typically 50 minutes.
This policy shall be included in the WSU Policies and
Procedures Manual and shared with appropriate
constituencies of the University.
The Office of Academic Affairs shall have primary responsibility
for publication, dissemination and implementation of this
October 15, 2012