Credit and Contact Hours
The Federal definition of a semester credit hour stipulates that one semester credit hour be awarded for 15 periods of 50 minute classroom lecture each requiring 2 hours of outside preparation by the student. The College of Mount Saint Vincent adheres to the federal definition for both Undergraduate and Graduate Classes as follows:
In any semester, 14 periods of instruction of 55 minutes each normally constitute one credit hour. Variations from this standard are indicated in the descriptions for affected courses. Examinations and quizzes are included within the 14 periods
|55 minutes x 3 days = 165 minutes per week||(x 14 weeks = 2310 minutes per term)|
|85 minutes x 2 days = 170 minutes per week||(x 14 weeks =2380 minutes per term)|
|165 minutes x 1 day = 165 minutes per week||(x 14 weeks = 2310 minutes per term)|
|2310 minutes/50 minutes (50 minutes = 1 contact hour)||= 46.2 contact hours|
30 additional hours of outside preparation/supplementary work is required in all classes.
In any semester, 13 periods of instruction of 180 minutes each normally constitutes three credit hours: 180 Minutes x 13 weeks = 2340 minutes per term
Variations from this standard are indicated in the descriptions for affected courses.
Examinations and quizzes are included within the 12 periods. In addition to the periods of instruction, at least 60 hours of supplementary assignments are also required per credit.
Hybrid and Online Courses
Courses taught in a hybrid and online format comply with New York State rules, which define time on tasks roughly equivalent to the time spent by a successful student in a “in seat” class: as follows:
“Instruction” is provided differently in online courses than in classroom-based courses. Despite the difference in methodology and activities, however, the total “learning time” online can be counted. Rather than try to distinguish between “in-class” and “outside-class” time for students, the faculty member teaching the online course will calculate how much time a student doing satisfactory work would take to complete the work of the course, including:
- reading course presentations/ “lectures”
- reading other materials
- participation in online discussions
- doing research
- writing papers or other assignments
- completing all other assignments (e.g. projects)
The total time spent on these tasks will be roughly equal to that spent on comparable tasks in a classroom-based course. Time spent downloading or uploading documents, troubleshooting technical problems, or in chat rooms (unless on course assignments, such as group projects) will not be counted.
For more information, please visit highered.nysed.gov/ocue/ded/policies.