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Credit Hour Policy

The purpose of Oklahoma City University’s credit-hour policy is to ensure compliance with national and state credit-hour standards and to provide guidance on determining credit-hour assignments for courses.


Federal Definition

The definition of a credit hour as published in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 34, Part 600.2 is as follows:

“Credit Hour: Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than

(1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one-quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or

(2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.”

State Definition

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) define the credit-hour policy in Chapter 3.19.3.

The semester credit hour is the standard and traditional unit of credit to be used by institutions in evaluating a student's educational attainment and progress. Semester-hour of credit is calculated as follows:

  • One semester-hour of credit is normally awarded for completion of a course meeting for 800 instructional minutes, (50 minutes per week for sixteen weeks), exclusive of enrollment, orientation, and scheduled breaks. Organized examination days may be counted as instructional days. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education 186
  • Laboratory credit is normally awarded at a rate not to exceed one-half the instructional rate. One semester-hour of credit is normally awarded for completion of a laboratory meeting a minimum of 1600 minutes (100 minutes per week for sixteen weeks).
  • Instruction offered through a combination of class and laboratory meetings would normally observe the standards set forth above on a pro rata basis. For example, a course offered for four semester hours of credit might meet for 100 minutes of organized instruction plus 200 minutes of laboratory per week for 16 weeks.

Credit Hour Oversight

The faculty at OCU are responsible for the curriculum. Course development and credit-hour determination originates at the departmental level and relies on faculty expertise and course objectives. New courses or substantial changes to courses are reviewed at multiple levels to ensure compliance with national and state standards.

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