Academic Credit

NDSU Credit Hour Definition

NDSU defines and assigns credit hours in accordance with the requirements articulated by the United States Department of Education, the Higher Learning Commission, and the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education.

Specifically, NDSU defines a “credit hour” as an amount of student work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that reasonably approximates:

  1. Not less than 50 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester, or the equivalent amount of work over a different period of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as outlined in item 1 above 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.

A clock hour at NDSU is normally represented as 50 minutes of lecture or structured student/faculty interaction or 2-3 hours of laboratory session each week of the semester or at least the equivalent of work.

The University adopts the federal and state definitions of the credit hour, regardless of the mode of delivery, including but not limited to: self-paced, synchronous online, asynchronous online, hybrid, lecture, seminar, and laboratory.