- Overview: This policy defines the academic credit hour at the University of Texas at Arlington (UT Arlington) in accordance with federal regulations and policies of the southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC).
- Background: According to the SACS-COC, "academic credit has provided the basis for measuring the amount of engaged learning time expected of a typical student enrolled not only in traditional classroom settings but also laboratories, studies, internships and other experiential learning, and distance and correspondence education.
- Definition:At UT Arlington, courses are measured in terms of credit hours. In determining the number of credit hours associated with a course, members of the academic community consider a number of factors, including:
- The amount of time students are expected to commit to the course on a weekly basis;
- The nature of the student-teacher interaction (including, but not limited to, the amount of time spent in class);
- The amount of outside preparatory work expected for the class; and;
- Other considerations relevant to the educational context.
- Credit Guidelines: Credit equivalencies established by UT Arlington closely follow federal guidelines in that one credit hour "reasonably approximates not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction [plus] a minimum of two [to three] hours 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 for other academic activities including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and experiential learning.
- Semester credit hours for each course are calculated according to ratios established with regard to class type and duration:
- LECTURE, SEMINAR: One credit hour is associated with a class meeting for 1 hour (50 minutes) per week for an entire semester (or the equivalent 750 semester minutes, excluding final exams).
- LABORATORY: Credit hour assignment will vary depending upon the type of laboratory experience (stand-alone vs. course-associated; experimental vs. creative/studio), the amount and type of activity associated with the laboratory, the nature of faculty supervision, and other factors.
- CUSTOMIZED COURSES, INCLUDING PRACTICUM, INDEPENDENT STUDY, PRIVATE LESSON, THESIS, DISSERTATION, INDIVIDUALIZED, CLINICAL: Credit hour assignment will vary depending upon the amount and type of activity associated with the course, the nature of faculty supervision, and other factors.
- For online, hybrid, alternate format, and other nontraditional modes of delivery, the number of credit hours assigned will be equivalent to those awarded for a corresponding course delivered in a traditional course setting, based on the expectation that students will achieve comparable student learning outcomes, regardless of delivery format.
- Procedure for Exceptions: Certain situations may warrant variance from the above guidelines. If such a situation should arise, a request should be sent via the Provost through the appropriate curricular channel requesting the variance. This will permit the University to document any variances and will assist in determining any needed revisions to the guidelines.
Relevant Federal and State Statutes
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 34: Education, Part 600 - Institutional Eligibility under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as Amended, subpart A - General. http://federal.elaws.us/cfr/title34.part600.subparta
"Credit Hours Policy Statement", Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges last edited January2012. http://www.sacscoc.org/pdf/081705/Credit%20Hours.pdf
Relevant UT System Policies, Procedures and Forms
Who Should Know
This policy is applicable to all University colleges, schools, divisions or departments and all current and prospective students and faculty.
UT Arlington Office(s) Responsible for Policy
The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is responsible for the official interpretation of this policy and is responsible for making revisions as necessary to meet the changing needs of UT Arlington, The University of Texas System, and statutory requirements.
Dates Approved or Amended
March 10, 2016
Questions or comments about this policy should be directed to the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.