Credit Hour Definition Policy

The U.S. Department of Education posted new regulations, effective July 1, 2011, that define a credit hour; instruct colleges and universities to establish policies and procedures for assuring conformity to the new definition for purposes of determining eligibility for federal program funding; and instruct the institutions’ accrediting agencies to “conduct an effective review and evaluation of the reliability and accuracy of the institution’s assignment of credit hours.”

Emerson College subscribes to the new regulations that define a credit hour as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that as 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 (including exam week) for one semester hour of credit; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in this definition for other academic activities as established by the college, including internships, directed studies, practica, studio/performance work, and other work leading to the award of credit hours.