UMMC Policy and Procedure Manual E-AA-GEN-GEN-PO-00019
Subject: Credit Hour
Revised Date: 1/21/2021 Effective Date: 11/3/2014
Prepared By:
Daphne K Secrest
Approved By:
Ralph H. Didlake

PURPOSE: To provide a definition for the credit hour.

POLICY: The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) measures academic credit for course work by credit hours. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement. UMMC’s definition of credit hour aligns with the federal definition of credit hour found in the “Federal Student Aid Handbook;” the Mississippi Board of Trustees for State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), UMMC’s governing board’s, Policies and Bylaws; and the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Policy Statement on Credit Hours.

A credit hour is an amount of work 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 work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; (2,250 minutes per three semester hour course, based upon 50 minutes for each hour); or

2. at least an equivalent amount of work for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, clinical, practica, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours. Each school will identify the calculations used to determine the credit hours accrued for other academic activities.

Depending on the course level or as directed by a discipline-specific accrediting body, programs may require more than the number of expected hours required by the credit hour definition.  Assurance of appropriate substance and rigor of a credit hour for the level of educational attainment is demonstrated through compliance of specific accreditation bodies and/or equivalence with field specific trainings otherwise meeting good educational practice. 

For courses taught in an online and/or asynchronous format, the amount of instruction and student work must be comparable to that which would otherwise be required for a traditional course.

SCOPE: All courses

PROCEDURES: None applicable


Federal Student Aid Handbook. United States Department of Education. School Eligibility and Operations. Vol. 2. Washington, D. C.; 2018-2019; p. 2-38 Available from:

Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning [Internet]. IHL Guidelines: Policies and Bylaws. Current edition.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Credit Hours: policy statement.