Contents, Related Policies, Applicability ▾
This policy defines a credit hour and describes the processes designed to assure that the definition is followed throughout the university.
The university measures academic credit in credit hours. In accordance with federal regulations, a credit hour for all courses and programs at the university is an amount of 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 instruction and a minimum of two 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
- At least an equivalent amount of work as required in #1 of this definition for other academic activities as established by the university, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
The university has determined that fifty minutes of classroom or direct faculty instruction reasonably approximates one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction. BYU’s fifteen-week semesters and seven-and-a-half-week terms may include an examination period.
The university’s credit hour definition does not dictate a particular amount of classroom time versus out-of-class student work. Also, credit hours may be assigned to courses for an amount of work represented by verifiable student achievement of institutionally established learning outcomes. Credit may be awarded on the basis of documentation of the amount of work a typical student is expected to complete within a specified amount of academically engaged time, or on the basis of documented student learning calibrated to that amount of academically engaged time for a typical student.
Condensed course offerings may not grant more than one credit hour per week unless special authorization is obtained from the academic vice president.
New courses and changes to existing courses’ credit hours are reviewed by the University Curriculum Council (UCC) and must be consistent with the above credit hour definition to be approved. See the University Curriculum Handbook for details on UCC reviews.
In connection with academic unit reviews and academic support unit reviews, a unit that offers university credit must review all of its courses and other credit-bearing activities to ensure the accuracy and reliability of credit hour assignments. The review should examine, for example, syllabi, course learning outcomes, the amount of time scheduled for classroom or direct faculty instruction, academic activities, assignments, the types of assessment methods used (e.g., examinations, papers, projects, performances), course evaluations, and evidence of student achievement to confirm that the credit hour assignments comply with the university’s credit hour definition. The unit must report on the review to the Office of Assessment and Planning. If deficiencies are found, the unit must make corrections to comply with the credit hour definition.