Credit Hour Policy at Sage

A contact hour is described as interaction between faculty and students via lecture, discussion, research, project/problem, debate, etc.  For lecture class formats, one credit requires a minimum of 12.5 faculty contact hours (750 minutes) and a minimum of 30 hours of out-of-class student work over the course of the 15-week semester.  A three-credit course is thus equal to a minimum of 37.5 faculty contact hours (2,250 minutes) with the expectation of 90 hours of student out-of-class work time.  Summarized below are the credits awarded to students enrolled in a lecture course format based upon the faculty contact hours and expected student work hours.

Credits Awarded for Lecture/Seminar Courses (15 week semester)
  Direct Faculty Instruction (in hours) Direct Faculty Instruction (in minutes Student Out-Of-Class Work (in hours)
1 credit 12.5 750 30
2 credits 25.0 1500 60
3 credits 37.5 2250 90
4 credits 50.0 3000 120

In addition, the following define standard practices for awarding credits for other types of class formats:

Online or hybrid courses

Online and/or hybrid courses provide direct instruction time equivalent to 12.5 hours per credit awarded.  Students are expected to engage in a minimum of 30 hours of additional work for every credit awarded.

Weekend, summer, or accelerated courses

Courses offered at an accelerated pace during the semester or during the summer must meet the same learning outcomes as an identical course offered during the 15-week semester at the standard pace.  Faculty direct instruction time is a minimum of 12.5 hours per credit awarded.

Laboratory Courses

Science and clinical labs with 2 contact hours/week over the 15-week semester are awarded 1.0 credit.  Labs with 3 contact hours/week over the 15-week semester are awarded 1.0 to 1.5 credits.  Labs with 4 or more hours/week over the 15-week semester are awarded 2 credits.

Internship, Practicum, Student Teaching, Clinical Placement

The specific number of required hours per credit awarded varies depending on the discipline and/or the requirements set by the program’s accrediting body.  All require a minimum of 40 supervised clock hours per 1.0 credit awarded.

Thesis, Dissertation, Independent Study

Courses in which students are working on independent projects such as thesis/dissertation conform to the standard minimum of 3 hours of student work per credit hour, per week throughout the course of the semester, or the equivalent amount of work distributed over a different period of time.  Courses offered through independent study are awarded a varying number of credits depending on the agreement between the student and the faculty member.  Students in each of these course types meet periodically with the professor at a schedule or frequency agreed upon at the start of the semester.  Assignments and evaluations are communicated to the student at the start of the semester.