• Have there been any changes to the 2020-2021 academic calendar?

    • We have made adjustments to the academic calendar to ensure community safety and to be in alignment with best practices regarding COVID-19.

    What are the important dates for Fall 2020?*

    • August 31, 2020: First Day of Instruction
    • September 7, 2020: Labor Day, no classes
    • November 24, 2020: Last Day of In-Person Instruction
    • November 30, 2020: Instruction Continues Remotely
    • December 11, 2020: Last Day of Instruction
    • December 14-18, 2020: Finals

    *We are carefully working on a plan for move-in that will observe Public Health safety guidelines, and we will communicate this plan as soon as possible.

    How will my classes be offered in the fall?

    • LMU has adopted a flexible hybrid learning environment that includes varied modes of instruction. These instructional modalities include in-person, hybrid, online synchronous, and online asynchronous. Faculty are preparing over the summer to create enriching and engaging classes that allow students to interact and build community and experience academic excellence in all modes of delivery. 

    Why has LMU adopted a flexible learning environment that includes online and hybrid modes of instructional delivery?

    • We are committed to providing students with a learning environment that follows best practices as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meets LMU’s high standards for academic excellence and allows us to accommodate our students’ needs. Practices include physical distancing, limiting the numbers of students in classrooms and flexibility to provide remote instruction to students who need it.

    Limited Classroom Capacity

    • Public health regulations require us to reduce seating capacity in all classrooms. The flexible hybrid learning environment enables faculty and students to meet in smaller groups in person and to incorporate remote learning at other times.

    Flexibility to Pivot to Remote Instruction

    • We anticipate that individual students or instructors may not be able to be physically present in class (for reasons of illness, self-isolation, a compromised immune system, delays in gaining a student visa, etc.), such individuals will still be able to engage remotely.

    If a class is designated as “in-person”, what does that mean?

    • In-person courses mean that students will attend classes on campus in a classroom. All in-person classes will be listed in PROWL with a class time and classroom location.

    If a class is designated as “hybrid”, what does that mean?

    • Hybrid courses are taught both in-person in the classroom and remotely. The percentage of time spent in-person versus online will be dependent upon course types and academic disciplines. All hybrid courses will be listed in PROWL with a class time, classroom location and the instructional method will be designated as hybrid. If you are already registered for a course, you can click the title of the course to view the instructional method. If you would like to search for a hybrid course, use the advanced search feature in PROWL to search for hybrid courses specifically.

    If a class is designated as “online”, what does that mean?

    • Online courses are offered 100% online in either a synchronous or asynchronous mode of learning.
      • Online Synchronous – This mode of learning is delivered via online channels and has real-time interactions between the faculty and students. All online synchronous courses will be listed in PROWL with a class time and cannot be taken concurrently with another class listed at the same time.
      • Online Asynchronous – In this mode of learning students, do not attend class at a set time, rather they engage with their faculty and fellow students through digital curriculum materials, discussion boards, pre-recorded lectures, email and collaborative documents at a time of their own choosing. All online asynchronous courses will be listed in PROWL and will not have a day or time for the class listed. There are limited courses with this type of modality and are intended for those students who need to study remotely.

    How can I tell if a class is offered in-person, hybrid, online synchronous or online asynchronous?

    • All course listings and mode of learning changes will be made available in PROWL and will reflect all updates in real-time. While there is also an online schedule of classes on the LMU website, please always refer to the PROWL course listings for the most up-to-date information.

    Is it possible to take all my courses online asynchronous or online synchronous?

    • Students who elect not to live on campus due to health concerns, travel restrictions or delays with visa processing may study completely online.

    Is it possible to take all my courses in-person?

    • In some cases, and depending on your course selection, this may be possible, but this is not something we can guarantee at this moment.

    What if I cannot physically attend my class(es) in-person?

    • LMU is committed to meeting students where they are, either on campus or virtually. Students who cannot attend classes on-campus or in-person due to health concerns, travel restrictions or delays with visa processing will be able to participate in their courses remotely. Please let the Office of the Registrar know via email at registrar@lmu.edu if this is your plan for the Fall semester.

    What if I am enrolled in hybrid and in-person courses but become sick during the semester? Or if I am required to self-isolate or quarantine?

    • If a student becomes sick or is required to self-isolate or quarantine and, cannot attend their hybrid or in-person courses, they will be able to participate in their courses remotely.

    When will the fall schedule be finalized?

    • Modifications to the fall course schedule will continue over the next several weeks and the schedule will be finalized by July 20, 2020.

    When can I review my fall course schedule and make changes?

    • All incoming and continuing students will be able to log into PROWL to review and make changes to their course schedule beginning July 20, 2020.

    I have questions about my schedule, who should I talk to?

    • If you have questions about your fall schedule or would like to talk to someone before you make any adjustments, please refer to the advisor contact information below for your college or school.

    LMU College of Business Administration (CBA)

    1. Advisor Skylar VanDam: Skylar.VanDam@lmu.edu
    2. Advisor Suzanne Calderon: Suzanne.Calderon@lmu.edu
    3. Advisor for AIMS/ISBA majors: Linda.Leon@lmu.edu
    4. Associate Dean: Renee.Florsheim@lmu.edu

    LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts (BCLA)

    LMU College of Communication and Fine Arts (CFA)

    LMU Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering (SCSE)

    LMU School of Film and Television (SFTV)

    LMU School of Education (SOE)

    What if I have a course conflict that was not there before?

    • If you have a course conflict, you will need to un-enroll from one of the courses.
    • If you need assistance, contact your Dean’s Office as shared in the above FAQ.
  • Which parts of the Credit/No Credit policy are (or are not) changing this semester?

    • Below is a copy of the current Credit/No Credit policy from the 2019-20 bulletin. The items highlighted in yellow and underlined are the portions of the policy that are impacted.

     

    2019-2020 LMU Bulletin: Credit/No Credit Grading Policy

    Undergraduate

    • Students may take courses which are offered on a Credit/No Credit basis for up to 20% of their total semester hours requirement for graduation (excluding courses taken for CR/NC in spring 2020). For undergraduate courses, a grade of CR may be given for performance equal to or greater than a grade of "C." A CR/NC course will not affect the grade point average. Courses offered on a CR/NC basis will count toward fulfilling requirements of the academic major, academic minor, or University Core. Courses offered on a graded basis which a student elects to take on a CR/NC basis will NOT fulfill the above requirements (except in Spring 2020, where a course taken for CR/NC can count for Core, major, and minor).

    Graduate

    • Graduates may take courses on a CR/NC basis only with the permission of the program director and/or dean of the college or school.

    Spring 2020 Semester: the last day to withdraw from classes or apply for Credit/No Credit grading has been extended to Monday, May 11, 2020.

    The provost recently announced an option around CR/NC grading. What are the specific changes to the policy?

    • Core/major/minor: In the spring 2020 semester, a course taken for CR/NC can be used to meet a Core/major/minor requirement.
    • Deadline: The final date to request a withdrawal or a grade option change is Monday May 11, 2020.
    • CR/NC grade value: For undergraduates, CR is equivalent to a C or better. For graduate students, the minimum grade is based on the Policy set by your particular school/college. Contact your advisor for additional information.
    • 20% rule: Courses taken for CR/NC during the spring 2020 semester will not count against the maximum percentage of semester hours allowed for graduation.

    Why should I speak to an advisor before deciding to change a course’s grading to CR/NC?
    There may be circumstances where you might be advised not to take the CR/NC option. Here are some categories and examples of this:

    • Career choices: There are some careers where letter grades are required. One example is for those seeking to become a physician, which requires medical school. Med schools have traditionally required letter grades for all premed courses and the AAMC has yet to issue a statement on whether they will accept CR/NC courses to count for medical school admission this year.
    • Graduation credits: Changing to CR/NC raises the bar for getting credit for a course, which may, in turn, affect progress toward graduation. For example, a student who expects a C- in a course might think to change the grading to CR/NC to protect one’s GPA. However, a C- will earn a NC under the policy, which means that the student will not earn course credits toward graduation. A grade of NC will also mean that the course will not count toward Core, major, or minor requirements. Currently, the minimum grade required to get course credit toward graduation is D. In some cases, students need to decide which is more important, protecting their GPA or earning credit toward graduation.
    • Some programs have required grades to advance in the program or degree: Let’s say you are expecting a B- in a course and don’t want that to bring down your GPA. If your major, for example, requires a B- or higher to move on in the program/major, and you take the CR/NC option, that course might not be allowed to count toward fulfilling the major or degree program (because the minimum grade to earn credit is a C).

    Why can’t the university allow all CR/NC courses that earn credit count for all majors and degree programs?

    • Individual departments have developed good reasons for requiring minimum grades in certain courses in order to progress in the program. For example, the faculty in a department may have determined that a grade of B in a course signifies the minimum level of proficiency in that course and that students who do not have that proficiency will not succeed in the next course or should not be engaged in activities in that program (such as seeing patients or working with minors). The faculty have the expertise and it would not be right for the university to lower those standards.

    Why didn’t LMU adopt other grading options?

    • Both the Faculty Senate and the academic Deans’ Council considered many options and reviewed what other academic institutions are doing. After careful consideration, these options were deemed most appropriate and recommended to the provost.

    Can I take a Core class for CR/NC? Why would I want to do that?

    • Yes, you may choose to take a Core class on a CR/NC basis. If you are worried about the impact of a Core class on your GPA, you may want to consider this option. However, please note that while in classes taken for a letter grade, a C- is sufficient to fulfill a Core area requirement and a D will satisfy a Core flag, you must earn the equivalent of a C to get a grade of CR for a course taken on a CR/NC basis and have that course count toward your Core requirements.

    This is all very confusing.

    • In the majority of cases, a student can simply opt for CR/NC grading without any adverse effects. However, there are some circumstances, as indicated above (as well as others), where taking a class CR/NC would result in unintended consequences. This is why it is so important to consult with an advisor or someone in the dean’s office for your school or college.

    Can international students take courses CR/NC?

    • While taking courses CR/NC should not impact your visa status (unless you get NC and thus do not make academic progress), you must consult with your academic advisor/someone in your school or college’s dean’s office prior to making the decision as it can impact several other important considerations. For students sponsored by their governments, please also consult with your sponsor prior to filing for CR/NC to make sure they allow you this option.

    Can I change my grade option to CR/NC and then change it back to a letter grade option?

    • Yes, until the May 11 deadline.

    Will I be able to request a letter grade option once a final grade of CR has been issued?

    • No. The final date to request a change of grade is May 11, 2020.

    I am on Academic Probation. Can I change my grade change option?

    • Please consult with your academic advisor.

    If I am on Academic Probation and I take all courses spring 2020 as CR/NC and I pass them all with a grade of CR in each course, will I remain on Academic Probation?

    • Yes. CR grades do not earn grade points and therefore, do not impact your GPA.

    Should students whose first semester at LMU is spring 2020 be required to complete a certain number of units as a letter grade in order to establish a GPA?

    • Please consult with your academic advisor.

    Will my LMU scholarship be impacted by grades of CR/NC?

    • No. However, if you received an outside scholarship, please contact the administrator of the scholarship to ask about their requirements.

    I am a graduate student. Can I change my grade option to CR/NC?

    • Yes. Be sure to complete the form to request a grade option change to CR/NC.

    I am a graduate student. What grade does CR equal?

    • For graduate students, the minimum grade is based on the Policy set by your particular school/college. Contact your advisor for additional information.

    I am using VA benefits. Can I change my grade option to CR/NC?

    • Yes, but only if the course will continue to meet a degree requirement. For more information, please email: VA.certification@lmu.edu

    If a student gets NC in a course, are they able to retake for a letter grade?

    • Yes, but only for spring 2020 courses recorded as NC and only if spring 2020 is the first occurrence of a course taken for CR/NC. Please see the bulletin under Repeat Courses for applicable policies.

    If a student earns a NC in a course, will they be able to retake the course in a later semester for CR/NC even if the course would normally require a letter grade?

    • Yes, but the option to have CR/NC courses count for Core, major, or minor is only applicable to spring 2020 courses.

    Where can I find the Credit/No Credit Grade Option request form?

    • The form is available on the Office of the Registrar’s website with a quick link on the landing page and on the Forms page.
  • When will the University come to its decision about its plan for May commencement?

    President Snyder has outlined his approach here.

    How did the University come to a decision about its plan for May 2020 Commencement?

    • In his letter to the LMU community, President Snyder remarks, “As we continue to follow public health guidelines to ensure our community’s well-being and safety, our Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount values and mission embolden us to discern with our community, and to reflect on the circumstances and consequences of each policy change and decision related to the COVID-19 pandemic.“
    • “I thank our LMU community, particularly the Class of 2020, for your passionate engagement in our discernment process. Your input was essential in determining how commencement will be celebrated this year.”

    Will there be a ceremony in May 2020?

    • The University is currently exploring alternative dates for the May 2020 ceremonies. The public health guidelines will determine the best time to schedule the ceremonies. Graduates and their families will receive adequate notice of the scheduled date so they are able to plan for the event.

    Will I still be a member of the class of 2020?

    • Yes.

    Will there be any celebration in May?

    • The University is planning virtual celebrations in May. These celebrations will not replace the Commencement Ceremonies. Details will be shared when available. 

    Should I buy or rent my cap and gown now?

    • It is not necessary to buy or rent your regalia now. There will be another opportunity to do so once a Commencement date has been determined.

    I pre-ordered my cap and gown online through the Herff Jones website. Should I cancel my order?

    • Any regalia pre-ordered from the Herff Jones website will be appropriate for the scheduled commencement ceremony. Therefore, we recommend students do not cancel the cap and gown order.
    • If you choose to cancel your reserved cap and gown and would like a refund, you can do so at herffjones.com/collegereturns. Please print the refund confirmation for your records and be patient; it may take approximately 30 days for refund credits due to business closures.

    I pre-ordered a diploma frame online through the Herff Jones website to pick up at the bookstore, but the store is now closed. How do I get my frame?

    • Framing Success, a subsidiary of Herff Jones, will be shipping all diploma frame orders received on the Herff Jones website at no additional charge to you. You should expect to receive an email or phone call from them in the next couple of weeks to confirm your current shipping address. If you do not hear from them, please call 800-200-2044 with your order number to be assisted.

    I ordered announcements online through the Herff Jones website and they have the original commencement date on them. What should I do?

    • Graduation announcements are intended to be an acknowledgement of student achievement; these are not invitations to the commencement ceremony. With the new brand identity, the University rebranded the announcements and replaced the commencement date/time/location with Class of 2020. You can now share your achievement with family and friends without concern for incorrect information.

    What will be my degree conferral date?

    • Undergraduate diplomas will have a conferral date of May 9, 2020.
    • Graduate diplomas will have a conferral date of May 10, 2020.

    When will I receive my diploma?

    • Upon the determination that all degree requirements have been met, diplomas will be mailed to each graduate through the month of June 2020.

    Whom should I contact if I have additional questions regarding LMU Commencement?

    • https://registrar.lmu.edu/services/transcripts/Do I Need My LMU Email Address - Yes. LMU will send all official communications with the student to the Lion Mail address. You may forward your Lion Mail to another personal email, but you must ensure that you are receiving emails through Lion Mail.
    • Find info about the Schedule of Classes, Final Exam, and other academic information >>
    • Find the Registrar Forms >>
    • How do I find out what this means >>
    • Locked out of PROWL? Tell the Helpdesk >>
    • Make adjustments to my degree audit >>
    • Request a Transcript >>
    • Request an Enrollment Verification >> 
    • Not end up on academic probation >>
    • What do I need to know about LMU Policies >>
    • When do I take my finals >>
    • When do the semesters begin and end >>
    • Veteran Benefits and Certifications >>

    Have a Question Not Answered in the FAQs? Contact Us

  • Federal Law which protects the students' educational records. More

  • Final Grades are issued at the end of each semester and summer session. An email with the grades is sent to the Lion email account.

    Faculty submit grades on the third business day after the end of final exams.  

    All grades submitted by that deadline will appear on the grade email; if a grade assignment has been delayed, the student will see an "NR" in the grade field for that particular course.

    When the final grade is submitted by the faculty member, the student will receive an updated grade email to the Lion email account.

  • What is Academic Good Standing?

    A student must maintain in each semester the stated minimum cumulative grade point average for each of the requirements in the degree program and may not be on academic probation or subject to disqualification. The calculation of standing is based on all courses taken at LMU:

    • Undergraduate students must maintain a C average (2.0) in term, major, program, and cumulative GPA. The calculation is based upon courses taken in Fall and Spring semesters only.
    • Graduates must maintain a B average (3.0) in term, major, program, and cumulative GPA. The calculation is based upon courses taken in Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

    What is Academic Probation?

    Undergraduate and graduate students are subject to academic probation if their term, major, program, or cumulative grade point average on all courses taken at LMU is lower than the following:

    • Undergraduates: C average (2.0) in term, major, program, or cumulative GPA
    • Graduates: B average (3.0) in term, major, program, or cumulative GPA

    Academic probation constitutes a serious warning to students that their academic performance is unsatisfactory and continued failure to improve this record may result in being disqualified from the University. Additionally, a student who does not make satisfactory progress in the course of study is subject to probation. Further, the Dean or Director may impose restrictions on students on probation regarding the program of study and their participation in extracurricular activities at LMU.

    What is Academic Disqualification?

    Undergraduate and graduate students are subject to disqualification if, in two consecutive semesters on probation, their term, major or cumulative grade point average on all courses falls below the stated career requirement. The first semester in which an undergraduate or graduate student is placed on probation is the first of the consecutive semesters used to determine the student being subject to disqualification.

    • Undergraduate disqualification is based upon two consecutive semesters (Fall or Spring) in which work of less than a grade of C (2.0) average is earned or in which the student fails to meet conditions imposed by the Dean or other academic entity. Summer sessions are not used in the calculation disqualification.
    • Graduate disqualification is based upon two consecutive semesters (Fall, Spring, or Summer Sessions) in which work of less than grade of B (3.0) average is earned or in which the student fails to meet conditions imposed by the Dean or other academic entity. Summer sessions are used to calculate if a graduate student is subject to disqualification.
    • Executive MBA Program: a student who receives a failing grade in any of the prescribed courses will be subject to disqualification.

    Disqualification terminates a student’s relationship with the University for a minimum of one year. A disqualified student may not register in any division or session (including summer) of the University and is denied all privileges of the University and of all organizations or activities in any way connected with it.

    Consult the University Bulletin.

  • Grade points are a measure of the quality of the academic work completed, just as semester hours are a measure of the quantity of this work. The University uses a letter grade to indicate the level of individual student achievement. Each letter grade has a point value assigned for the grade achieved. The point value assigned to each letter grade is as follows:

    A 4.0 grade points C+ 2.3 grade points
    A- 3.7 grade points C 2.0 grade points
    B+ 3.3 grade points C- 1.7 grade points
    B 3.0 grade points D 1.0 grade points
    B- 2.7 grade points F 0.0 grade points


    The LMU grade point average is determined by dividing the total number of LMU grade points by the number of LMU semester hours completed with a letter grade.

    The grades of AU, CR, NC, I, IP, and W have no point value and are not used in calculating the grade point average.

  • More information here

  • Have an official transcript sent from the originating institution to:

    LMU Office of the Registrar
    Charles Von Der Ahe Building Ste 150
    1 LMU Drive, MS 8325
    Los Angeles, CA 90045-2659

  • Undergraduate
    Any undergraduate student regularly enrolled as a degree candidate who elects to take courses at a college or university other than Loyola Marymount University must obtain a Transfer Course Approval form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar. After its evaluation, the TCA is scanned to the student who meets with the Associate Dean of the student’s College or School prior to enrollment. Courses taken without this approval may not be counted toward the degree. Entering transfer students generally receive credit after admission to LMU for courses from other colleges and universities.

    Approved undergraduate courses with a grade of C (2.0) or higher may be counted for LMU credit. Credit will not be accepted for courses which:

    1. Are taken at colleges not accredited, trade schools, extension programs, or correspondence programs or have been identified as being remedial or in other ways as being non-transferable.
    2. Are taken on a CR/NC or Pass/Fail basis where the CR or Pass grade is not equivalent to a grade of C or higher.
    3. Are identified as duplicates to course work already completed (excludes courses that may be taken multiple times for degree credit).
    4. Exceed the limitations of resident requirements.
    5. Exceed the 60 semester hour maximum allowed for undergraduate course work from community colleges, or exceed the 90 semester hour maximum allowed for undergraduate course work from four-year institutions.

    Graduate
    At the time of admission to a program, and if approved by the academic Department, Program Director, and/or Dean of the student’s college or school, a student may transfer a maximum of two applicable courses of approved graduate credit, six (6) semester units total, from an accredited institution for work completed no more than five years ago.

    1. A course credit may be transferred when the grade received was at least a “B” (3.0), and if taken on a CR/NC or Pass/Fail basis, where the CR or Pass grade is equivalent to a grade of B (3.0) or higher.
    2. If a course was used to satisfy a degree requirement, it usually cannot be used for transfer credit, with the exception of core or prerequisite requirements.
  • POLICY

    Courses from a government-accredited and LMU-approved institution with a grade of C or higher are acceptable for transfer. LMU credit will be given only after the receipt of an official transcript from the school attended at the request of the student. A combined maximum of 60 semester hours may be transferred from community colleges. Only approved courses on this form are eligible for transfer. By signing the form, the student acknowledges and accepts these policies.

    • Undergraduate
      • Any undergraduate student regularly enrolled as a degree candidate who elects to take courses at a college or university other than Loyola Marymount University must obtain a Transfer Course Approval form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar. After its evaluation, the TCA is scanned to the student who meets with the Associate Dean of the student’s College or School prior to enrollment. Courses taken without this approval may not be counted toward the degree. Entering transfer students generally receive credit after admission to LMU for courses from other colleges and universities.
      • Approved undergraduate courses with a grade of C (2.0) or higher may be counted for LMU credit. Credit will not be accepted for courses which:
        • Are taken at non-accredited colleges, trade schools, extension programs, correspondence programs or have been identified as being remedial or in other ways as being non-transferable.
        • Are taken on a CR/NC or Pass/Fail basis where the CR or Pass grade is not equivalent to a grade of C or higher.
        • Are identified as duplicates to course work already completed (excludes courses that may be taken multiple times for degree credit).
        • Exceed the limitations of resident requirements.
        • Exceed the 60 semester hour maximum allowed for undergraduate course work from community colleges, or exceed the 90 semester hour maximum allowed for undergraduate course work from four-year institutions.
    • Graduate
      • At the time of admission to a program, and if approved by the academic Department, Program Director, and/or Dean of the student’s college or school, a student may transfer a maximum of two applicable courses of approved graduate credit, six (6) semester units total, from an accredited institution for work completed no more than five years ago.
      • A course credit may be transferred when the grade received was at least a “B” (3.0), and if taken on a CR/NC or Pass/Fail basis, where the CR or Pass grade is equivalent to a grade of B (3.0) or higher.
      • If a course was used to satisfy a degree requirement, it usually cannot be used for transfer credit, with the exception of core or prerequisite requirements.

    PROCESS

    • A student must complete and submit a Transfer Course Approval (TCA) form to the Office of the Registrar to begin the process.
      • Processing by the Office of the Registrar (OTR): The institution and courses will be evaluated for accreditation and LMU acceptance; the approval/disapproval to take those courses as transfer credit to LMU will be marked on the TCA and scanned to the student's Lion email.
      • Processing by the Dean's Office: The student should contact the Dean's Office to obtain the Associate Dean's approval for the courses.
        • With both approvals, the student may take the courses and expect to receive the credit on transfer.
        • If the institution or the courses have been disapproved for credit, no further processing is possible. The option is to choose other courses to submit, or, if the institution is non-acceptable, choose another institution.
        • No credit will be given to transfer work without an approved and filed TCA and a final transcript.
        • Only approved courses submitted on the TCA are eligible for transfer.
  • PROWL: Student Services Tab

    • Registration:
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    PROWL: Proxy Menu Tab

    • proxy management
  • As a working definition at LMU for degree seeking programs:

    • Fall and Spring semesters are defined as: 16 weeks - 15 weeks of instruction and one (1) week of final examination.
    • Summer sessions are defined as: six (6) weeks of instruction inclusive of the final examination. Each six week session is an accelerated study of material normally covered in a 15 week semester. The minimum amount of scheduled instruction is the same in both instances.
    • A credit hour (semester hour or course unit) is equivalent to a minimum of one (1) hour of scheduled instruction per week in the semester (exclusive of student preparation or work assigned outside of the hour). 
    • A single unit of credit is equivalent to 15 hours of instruction; a three-unit (3) course is the equivalent of a minimum of 45 hours of scheduled instruction

    The official definition from the Department of Education website:

    Semester Calendar Credit Hours. Most U.S. higher education institutions operate on an academic year divided into two equal semesters of 15-16 weeks’ duration, with a winter break of 2-3 weeks and a summer session of 10-12 weeks, plus additional shorter breaks. The actual amount of academic work that goes into a single semester credit hour is often calculated as follows:

    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. Most laboratory courses are awarded up to 4 credit hours. 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.

    A typical bachelor’s degree program of study on a semester calendar requires at least 120 credit hours to be earned by the student. Normal full-time registration is usually 15 credit hours per semester or 30 per academic year (shortfalls can be made up in summer sessions or independent study). This roughly translates into at least 30-40 courses (depending on the major subject and thus the proportion of types of credit hours earned) and represents at least 5,400 – and probably more – actual hours of dedicated academic work for a non-science or non-art concentration, and well over that total for graduates of programs in the sciences, engineering, fine arts, or performing arts.

    A master’s degree program requiring at least 33 credit hours and including a research thesis or project represents over 4,000 actual hours of supervised and unsupervised (independent research) study.

    A doctoral program can represent 8,000 or more actual hours of advanced study and research beyond the master’s degree.