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:

Cooperative Education, Internships and Service Learning

Wilmington University recognizes the value of experiential learning as an integral component of its academic programs. The university grants academic credit for learning experiences acquired outside the traditional classroom setting, provided they align with the educational program's requirements. In order to be eligible for academic credit, work experiences must adhere to suitable supervision and possess a substantial duration to ensure their educational significance.

For Cooperative (Co-op) Education experiences, a minimum commitment of two consecutive semesters is required, with the option to extend up to four consecutive semesters. Co-op experiences are eligible for a maximum of 15 academic credits. Each Co-op semester necessitates a minimum of 150 hours of engagement.

Internship experiences typically span a single semester and require a minimum of 90 hours of internship participation. These experiences are eligible for the award of 3 academic credits per semester.

Service Learning projects, designed to promote community engagement and learning, also extend over a single semester. Participants must dedicate a minimum of 90 hours during the semester to be eligible for 3 academic credits.

Wilmington University is committed to recognizing and fostering experiential learning opportunities that enrich students' education and prepare them for successful careers.

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.