May 22, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog | 2017-2018 
Undergraduate Catalog | 2017-2018 Previous Edition

Academic Credit

Credits/Semester Hours

The unit of measurement of University work is the credit hour, also referred to as a semester hour. It ordinarily represents one lecture hour per week for one semester; however, this may vary for courses, such as laboratories. A bachelor’s degree requires a minimum of 120 hours.

Course Load

A course load of 15-18 hours constitutes a normal full semester load for undergraduates. A student must complete 15-16 hours per semester to complete a bachelor’s degree in four academic years. Enrollment in more than 18 hours in a semester requires advance approval of the dean of the student’s major college. An undergraduate student enrolled in 12 or more hours is considered to be a full-time student and must pay full tuition and fees.

A standard load for an undergraduate student enrolled in a summer session is up to 7 credit hours. Enrollment in more than 7 credit hours in a single summer session, or in concurrent summer sessions (e.g., a 10-week and a 5-week session), requires advance approval of the dean of the student’s major college.

The appropriate course load for an undergraduate student is dependent on two factors: scholastic ability as reflected by the student’s academic history and available study time. Successful academic achievement usually requires at least two hours of study per week outside of class for each credit hour in which the student is enrolled. For example, enrollment in 16 credit hours would require minimally 32 hours of outside preparation per week.

Student Classification

At the beginning of each semester, students working toward a bachelor’s degree are classified on the basis of earned semester hours (also referred to as credit hours):

Classification Earned Semester Hours
Freshman 0-29
Sophomore 30-59
Junior 60-89
Senior 90 or more