Credit Hour Definition

Credit Hour Definition

Wilmington University adheres to the U. S. Department of Education definition of a credit hour for cumulative contact time per semester.

At Wilmington University, three credit hours will be awarded for 40 hours of structured learning activities with a normal expectation of at least two hours of outside study for each hour of structured learning. The above definition of the credit hour applies to all courses at all levels (graduate and undergraduate) that award academic credit (i.e. any course that appears on an official transcript issued by the University) regardless of the mode of delivery.

The Department of Education recognizes that institutions are innovating with new delivery models and is not making seat time the sole metric of credit hour equivalency. For non-traditional delivery, we permit the following equivalencies:

Internships, Service Learning, and Co-operative Education

Wilmington University awards credit hours for learning acquired outside of the classroom if it is an integral part of a program of study. When work experience receives academic credit, it should both be suitably supervised and of sufficient length to be meaningful. Co-op experiences run for 2 - 4 fourteen week semesters for a total of 300-600 hours and are awarded 6 – 12 credits for the 2 or 4 semesters. Internships run for 1 fourteen week semester for a minimum of 90 hours of internship work in addition to work required for assignments and are awarded 3 credits for the 1 semester. Service Learning projects run for 1 semester for 3 credits for a minimum of 150 hours in addition to additional faculty-assigned work.

Fully Online Courses

Online courses must mirror the learning outcomes and academic standards of the equivalent face-to-face course. Thus, while students may spend no time “in class,” they complete the equivalent amount of work. Federal regulations recognize the special nature of “class time” in the online environment.

Credit hour policy oversight

Each College will oversee adherence to the policy on credit hours in its review and approval of all new courses and in assuring that the expected student learning in the course meets the credit hour standard. The determination of credit hours is made when a new course or a modification to an existing course is proposed. Credit hour review will be a permanent part of the Academic Program Review process, conducted every three years, or re-accreditation by an external body.