Credit Hours

Credit for study at Clayton State University and at all institutions in the University System of Georgia is measured quantitatively in semester hours. One semester credit hour presumes one hour (actually 50 minutes) in class per week plus about two hours (100 minutes) outside of class in study, review, project preparation, and related activities. Most courses are three credit hours, meaning that the class will normally meet 150 minutes per week and that the student should normally plan to spend an additional 300 minutes studying, reviewing, and preparing. A laboratory or activity period of two or three clock hours is normally considered the equivalent of one class hour, since less extensive out of class preparation is required.

This rule of thumb for time management will, of course, vary from student to student and course to course depending on student background and course content. Although many studies have shown that the amount of time that a student spends on task is a critical factor in determining the likelihood of success, students should remember that success in a course is ultimately measured by the degree of mastery of educational objectives, not just by the time invested.

Online courses and web courses are also measured by semester hours. Although the delivery method is non-traditional, the general calculation of spending about 150 minutes per week on task per semester credit hour is still a useful rule of thumb. There are also additional circumstances in which the “standard” number of instructional minutes per week is not consistent with the out of class minutes per week due to the nature of the course and material.