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Credit Hour Policy


Contact Academic Affairs: (440) 826-2251, (440) 826-3577 (fax),

The Higher Learning Commission requires that the institution award credit hours in a manner that conforms with commonly accepted practices in higher education. The institution is expected to develop a written credit hour policy that conforms to the definition of a credit hour as defined in the Federal Register. The Federal Definition of a credit hour is the "… amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  • one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester … or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time;
  • or at least an equivalent amount of work as required [above] of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practice, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of academic hours."

Baldwin Wallace University awards semester credit hours on the following basis, which is informed by the Ohio Department of Higher Education guidelines for public institutions:

  • one semester credit hour in a lecture or seminar course corresponds to 750 minutes of classroom instruction, or 50 minutes of instruction per week for fifteen weeks, and 1,500 minutes of out-of-classroom work by the student, or 100 minutes of independent or directed work per week for 15 weeks;
  • one semester credit hour in a laboratory, studio, workshop, large ensemble, clinical, or practicum course corresponds to 1,500 to 4,500 minutes of supervised or independent work, or 100 to 300 minutes per week for fifteen weeks;
  • one semester credit hour in a private instrument or voice corresponds to a minimum of 30 minutes of time per week with the instructor plus independent practice as prescribed by the instructor;
  • one semester credit hour in an internship course corresponds to 2,700 to 5,400 minutes, or 180 to 360 minutes of independent work per week for fifteen weeks;
  • one semester credit hour in field experience corresponds to 5,250 minutes, or 350 minutes per week for fifteen weeks;
  • semester credit hours for independent study, thesis, and dissertation shall conform to the minimum standard of 2,250 minutes of student work per credit hour, or 150 minutes per week for fifteen weeks; and
  • courses offered in on-line, hybrid, or accelerated formats shall be consistent in quality, assessment, learning outcomes, and requirements as courses of the same departmental prefix, number, credit hours, and title taught in a traditional semester structure.