URP: II.11.f Definition of a Credit Hour


This URP defines a credit hour in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) and outlines authority for awarding credit.


Credit hour: A credit hour at Texas Woman’s University is defined in accordance with federal government regulation  34 CFR 600.2 and TAC, Title 19, Chapter 4, Subchapter A, Rule 4.6, which stipulate the following,

34 CFR 600.2

“Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), 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

  1. 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 for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  1. 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.“

Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter A, Rule 4.6

  1. Traditionally-delivered three-semester-credit-hour courses should contain 15 weeks of instruction (45 contact hours) plus a week for final examinations so that such a course contains 45 to 48 contact hours depending on whether there is a final exam.
  1. Every college course is assumed to involve a significant amount of non-contact hour time for out-of-class student learning and reflection. To ensure the quality of student learning, institutions should not allow students to carry more courses in any term (that is, regular or shortened semester), which would allow them to earn more than one semester credit hour per week over the course of the term. For example, in a five and a half week summer term, students should not generally be allowed to enroll for more than six semester credit hours.
  1. Institutions should have a formal written policy for addressing any exceptions to subsection (b) of this section.
  1. Courses delivered in shortened semesters are expected to have the same number of contact hours and the same requirement for out-of-class learning as courses taught in a normal semester.
  1. Institutions may offer a course in a non-traditional way (for example, over the internet, or through a shortened, intensive format) that does not meet these contact hour requirements, if the course has been reviewed and approved through a formal, institutional faculty review process that evaluates the course and its learning outcomes and determines that the course does, in fact, have equivalent learning outcomes to an equivalent, traditionally delivered course.


Academically qualified faculty and university academic administrators, including, but not limited to, program directors, chairs, directors and associate directors of schools, assistant and associate deans, deans, assistant and vice provosts, and the  Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs are responsible for determining the amount and level of credit awarded for courses regardless of format, or mode or location of delivery.




Cross-Reference and Related Materials

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Standard 10.7

Texas Administration Code, Title 19, Chapter 4, Subchapter A, Rule 4.6

Federal Government Regulation 34 CFR 600.2


Article ID: 39681
Tue 9/26/17 4:36 PM
Tue 4/2/19 8:44 AM