Following the Federal guidelines, a credit hour is defined as:

  • One lecture (taught) or seminar (discussion) credit hour represents 1 hour per week of scheduled class/seminar time and 2 hours of student preparation time. Most lecture and seminar courses are awarded 3 credit hours. Over an entire semester, this formula represents at least 45 hours of class time and 90 hours of student preparation.
  • One laboratory credit hour represents 1 hour per week of lecture or discussion time plus 1-2 hours per week of scheduled supervised or independent laboratory work, and 2 hours of student preparation time. The laboratory component of most courses is counted as 1 credit hour. This calculation represents at least 45 hours of class time, between 45 and 90 hours of laboratory time, and 90 hours of student preparation per semester.
  • One practice credit hour (supervised clinical rounds, visual or performing art studio, supervised student teaching, field work, etc.) represents 3-4 hours per week of supervised and /or independent practice. This in turn represents between 45 and 60 hours of work per semester. Blocks of 3 practice credit hours, which equate to a studio or practice course, represent between 135 and 180 total hours of academic work per semester.
  • One independent study (thesis or dissertation research) hour is calculated similarly to practice credit hours.
  • Internship or apprenticeship credit hours are determined by negotiation between the supervising faculty and the work supervisor at the cooperating site, both of whom must judge and certify different aspects of the student’s work. The credit formula is similar to that for practice credit.

The most common course formats at Mount Saint Joseph University are as follows:

Traditional format courses: Courses that meet face-to-face on campus following the above guidelines. For example, a 3-credit-hour course typically meets for 50 minutes at a time on three days of a week; 75 minutes at a time on two days of a week; or 170 minutes at a time on one day of a week for 15 weeks plus one, 2-hour exam period.

Accelerated format courses: Courses that meet face-to-face on campus, and supplemented with out of class work meeting the above guidelines. The most common accelerated formats meet for 5, 6, 7, or 8 170-minute sessions, with a required pre-assignment, and a substantial amount of student work between sessions. These courses typically also have a substantial post-assignment following the last class session. These courses are reviewed by CCEP for a workload that meets the above Federal guidelines when they are submitted for approval.

Mixed FTF/Blended format courses: Courses where instructors interact with students in the same physical space (used for face-to-face courses) for less than 75% of the instructional time with the remainder of the instructional time provided through distance or correspondence education. These courses are reviewed by CCEP for a workload that meets the equivalent of the above Federal guidelines when they are submitted for approval.

Distance/Online format courses: Course work is entirely delivered through online means. Instructors interact with students through one or more forms of distance delivery. These courses are reviewed by CCEP for a workload that meets the equivalent of the above Federal guidelines when they are submitted for approval.