Home 9 Policies 9 Academic Credit Hour Policy

Academic Credit Hour Policy


A semester credit represents 37.5 hours or more of academic engagement in instructor-designated learning activities for the average student (traditionally, a minimum of 50 minutes of instruction per week over a 15-week period, supplemented by 2 hours of preparation for each hour of instruction).[1] An equivalent class time is used in short terms or alternative formats (online, hybrid, intensive). The result for a 3-credit hour semester course is a minimum of 112.5 hours of total work (in-class plus out-of-class) but does not exceed 149 hours. All CCBS courses are required to meet this minimum standard.

In-class work represents all modes of delivery, including hybrid, online, and extension classes as well as seated classes on campus.

Out-of-class work may include reading of required textbooks and other readings, researching and writing papers, taking online exams, reviewing of lecture notes and presentations, studying for quizzes/exams, and any other activities related directly to course requirements.

Instructors must ensure their courses meet this minimum standard, and they must include the following statement prior to the learning activities in the course syllabus:

Students are expected to fulfill satisfactorily all of the following listed requirements. Since this is a 3-credit hour semester course, the professor expects the student to complete a minimum of 112.5 hours of total work in class and/or outside of class. This course satisfies the CCBS credit hour policy. 

The following allotments should be used for planning coursework:

Assignment Type Undergraduate Graduate
Reading Rate 15 pages/hr 20 pages/hr
Research Paper writing rate 3 hrs/pg[2] g 3 hrs/pg
Book Review writing rate 1 hr/pg 1 hr/pg
Essay writing rate 1.5 hr/pg 1.5 hr/pg
Journaling (if not measured by the page) 20 min/entry 20 min/entry
Oral presentation preparation (includes sermons) 20 min per min of presentation 20 min per min of presentation
Scripture memorization 1 hr per verse 1 hr per verse
General assignment 1.5 hrs/assignment 1.5 hrs/assignment
Quiz, Survey, or Major Exam

1 min per multiple choice question

2 mins per short answer question

20 min per essay question

1 min per multiple choice question

2 mins per short answer question

20 min per essay question

Evangelistic Encounter/Interview 45 min / event 45 min / event
Study for a final/midterm exam 4 hrs in the week of exam 4 hrs in the week of exam
Synchronous interaction (in class, online meeting, required event, video lecture, etc.) # of minutes of interaction scheduled # of minutes of interaction scheduled
Threaded discussion 120 minutes per thread 120 minutes per thread
Peer Review papers/Writing in stages 180 minutes 180 minutes
Guided group work (hybrid format course) # of minutes of interaction # of minutes of interaction
Study (non-exam week) 1 hr per week 1 hr per week
Language Study 30 words/hr each week 30 words/hr each week

It is understood that the parameters of an assignment and the difficulty of the work for particular courses may vary; thus, faculty have some flexibility in these guidelines. When deviating from the recommended allotments, faculty should provide an explanation of their assumptions and expectations in their course syllabus.

[1] Based on the ABHE Commission on Accreditation glossary definition of a “credit hour.”

[2] For professors that choose to give assignments per word count, a page may be generally assumed to be 250 words of text.

Last Updated: July 2023