A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement. UNC Charlotte adheres to the Carnegie unit, which is a nationally recognized equivalency that consists of not less than:
- 750 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of 1500 minutes of out of class student work for one semester hour of credit. Each credit hour corresponds to 50 minutes per week of classroom or direct faculty instruction and 100 minutes of out of class work per week for a 15 week semester, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
- At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities or instructional modes of delivery as established by the institution including distance education, hybrid, and face-to-face instruction, laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
A course load of 15-18 credit hours constitutes a normal full semester load for undergraduates. A student must complete 15-16 credit hours per semester to complete a bachelor’s degree in four academic years. Enrollment in more than 18 credit hours in a semester requires advance approval of the dean of the student’s major college. An undergraduate student enrolled in 12 or more credit 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.
At the beginning of each semester, students working toward a bachelor’s degree are classified on the basis of earned credit hours:
||Earned Semester Hours
||90 or more