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Credit hours in a semester of college

credit hours in a semester of college

Full Answer

At the college level, professors expect students to prepare for their classes. The class sessions represent one-third of the total time the course requires for successful completion. Students should spend two hours of preparation time for each session. The preparation includes reading the text and completing homework for the course.

Some schools use the quarter system instead of the semester system. Quarters are significantly shorter than semesters; for example, a quarter hour is equivalent to two-thirds of a semester hour.

Learn more about Colleges & Universities

to Need the. You about Know in What Academic Credit Systems

So, here are the basic things you should learn about credits and grading system used in American colleges and universities.

Why is understand American academic credits important?

  • USA credits are different in comparison to credit systems used in Europe, or other parts of the world;
  • Credits determine if you need to take a preparation programme to meet degree course requirements;
  • Credits influence the GPA you graduate with.
  • Especially in the U.S., the number of academic credits a programme has may determine tuition fees for the degree.

6 top questions about credit types in the U.S.

1. What is a contact hour?

A contact hour includes any lecture or lab time when the professor is teaching the student, and they usually equal 50 minutes in real time.

3. What is a semester credit hour?

A semester credit hour (SCH) is the amount of credit a student earns for successful completion of one contact hour and two preparation hours per week for a semester. One semester credit hour equals 15-16 contact hours per semester, regardless of the duration of the course.

Basically, for a one semester credit hour course, you should invest one contact hour in class and two additional preparation hours each week that take place out-of-class. These can represent homework, fieldwork or practical courses.

4. How many credits does a course have?

Most colleges and universities award 3 Semester Credit Hours (SCH) (45-48 contact hours) for the successful completion of a study course. The number of credits for lectures, independent project work, laboratory time and internships vary depending on specific institution requirements.

A standard full-time study load is usually 30 credit hours per year. Typically, in order to graduate with a degree, universities expect students to complete:

  • 120-130 credit hours for a Bachelor’s degree
  • 30-64 credit hours for a Master's degree

Some universities use Semester Credit Hours to set tuition fees and scholarships for prospective students. During a semester, an international student has to take between 9 and 12 credit hours, depending on each college or university.

6. What are Quarter Credits?

Some universities in the United States use Quarter Calendar Credit Hours, where, the academic year is divided into three terms. In this case, a Bachelor’s degree usually requires a minimum of 180 quarter hours to complete instead of 120.

Semester credit hours and GPA

In the U.


  1. Vofowoqokoli

    I spent two months sleeping just 2-3 hours and the semester I had a daily sleep of 4-5 hours, so yeah, I"ve been sleeping

  2. Fohogeye

    Favorable teaching evals despite coming to class on four hours of sleep for most of the semester and finishing a dissertation

  3. Lujenafewehivi

    I"ve been done with the semester for 4 hours and I already feel uneasy about having so much free time

  4. Yefusexogu

    I knocked out 21 hours in one semester once while only going to four classes during the actual semester.

  5. Nezigubo

    Finished all my hours passed every semester, now for these damn finals : (

  6. Suhuhubebegoc

    I took 19 hours this semester and I finished with 5 A"s and 1 A-

  7. Gavopub

    I got straight A"s this semester!!! And took 18 hours

  8. Xumegogilide

    Am i crazy for wanting to do 21 hours next semester

  9. Heqodujeraja

    Finished the semester was 375 hours at internship

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