General Catalog

Credit Hour Policy

United States University offers credit bearing programs and courses in semester credit hour system. A semester is composed of two sessions of 8 weeks (a total of 16 weeks). At USU, one credit hour is defined as 15 hours of direct faculty instruction and a minimum 30 hours of out-of-class student work for the 8 weeks session.

USU’s definition of a credit hour is consistent with the federal regulation (CFRs 600.2 and 600.4), which defines the credit hour as “the amount of work represented intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours."

One hour of direct faculty instruction is equal to 50 minutes of classroom time. In courses in which direct instruction does not apply, a credit hour may be measured by an equivalent amount of work, as demonstrated by student achievement.

For nursing laboratory and clinical courses, one credit is awarded for 48 hours of supervised laboratory or clinical instruction.