Academic Credit

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Definition of a Credit Hour

In accordance with federal guidelines, 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.

The NDSU established equivalency for courses bearing academic credit reasonably approximates and is not less than:

  1. One semester hour of credit is awarded for 750 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of 1800 minutes of out-of-class student work; over a fifteen-week semester this is equivalent to one 50 minute period of direct instruction and two hours of out-of-class work each week; 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, practicum, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
  3. For laboratories, a minimum of 100 minutes per week for 15 weeks is equivalent to one credit.
  4. One semester credit of field experience (courses numbered 196-496; 595-895) requires a minimum of 40 hours of direct experience.  Students may earn up to 15 credits per semester with the number of credits to be determined in consultation with the student's academic adviser/department. Cooperative Education credits and limits are determined by the Career and Advising Center.
  5. For undergraduate research experiences, a minimum of 360 minutes per week for 15 weeks is equivalent to 1 credit.
  6. For hybrid and online courses, which do not meet the faculty contact requirements, credit is awarded based on the equivalent face-to-face course or by assessing the amount of work required by the student.