Credit Hour


Credit hours will be assigned to courses according to Federal, accreditation, and Board policy. An approval structure at the university ensures adherence to guidelines and regular review of the policy and of practice.


Credit Hour:

For purposes of the application of this policy and in accord with federal regulations, 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

1. Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours 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

2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required outlined in item 1 above 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.   


According to IHL Policy 506, regarding course requirements for the purpose of contact minutes, course requirements shall include at a minimum the following:

  • The Board required minimum of 2,250 minutes per three semester hour course, which may include final exam time.
  • The number of weeks must meet Federal financial aid requirements.

According to accepted practice and to adhere to IHL requirements regarding contact minutes, a three-hour course at DSU requires a minimum of 150 minutes of classroom or faculty-directed instruction per week for a period of 15 weeks. All courses offered on a different schedule or in alternative methods provide the equivalent per credit hour assigned.

The Academic Council is responsible for ensuring that credit hours are appropriately attached to course work. See “Curriculum Development and Revision Policy.”

Responsible Office: Office of Academic Affairs



  • June 12, 2012 (Academic Council Minutes)
  • IHL Policy 506
  • SACS: CS 3.4.6, FR 4.9, Credit Hour Policy
  • University Curriculum Development and Revision Policy




Policy Effective Date:
June 12, 2012