UMMC Policy and Procedure Manual E-SPH-GEN-GEN-PO-00048
Subject: SOPH Credit Hour
Revised Date: 5/3/2021 Effective Date: 12/6/2016
Prepared By:
Jeanna D. Wilkes
Approved By:
Natalie W. Gaughf

Reviewed By:
Sydney R. Murphy

John D. Bower School of Population Health

DOCUMENT TYPE: Policy

REVIEW PERIOD: 3 years

TITLE: Credit Hour

PURPOSE: To define the credit hour in the John D. Bower School of Population Health.

POLICY: The University of Mississippi Medical Center measures academic credit for course work by credit hours.

A credit hour is an amount of work that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One (1) 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 (3) 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.

The Bower School of Population Health credit hour policy utilizes the following formula for all courses to determine credit hour assignments: 

((minutes/hour) x (hours/day) x (days/week) x (weeks/semester)) รท 
((ratio x 750 minutes)) = credit hours


Courses comprised of lecture-based learning environments and whose students meet in person with a faculty member are awarded one (1) credit hour for a minimum of 50 contact minutes per week. The contact hour to credit hour ratio for lecture-based courses is 1:1 (1 credit hour equals 12.5 contact hours per semester).

Courses involving practical learning under the direct supervision of a faculty member with students conducting laboratory experiments, teaching or clinical practicums, research experiences, dissertation work, or other academic work and lead to the award of academic credit require a minimum of 100 to 300 contact minutes per week per credit hour based on program ratios. The ratio for laboratory research, practicums, dissertation work, or other academic work leading to the award of credit hours ranges from 2:1 to 5:1 (1 semester credit hour equals 25 to 75 contact hours per week).

Credit hours awarded for laboratory rotations, practicum, or thesis/dissertation work are awarded within a range. The awarding of variable credit hours within a course from semester to semester is appropriate and is an accurate measurement based on the amount of academically engaged time and amount of work expected. For example, doctoral students may be awarded one (1) credit hour for laboratory rotation courses during one semester but may be awarded three (3) credit hours in another. In this case, the student may only work in one laboratory during the first semester but work in three laboratories during the second semester. Similarly, in dissertation research courses, students may be awarded six (6) credit hours during a semester in which they are booked for traditional lecture-based courses, while they are awarded nine (9) credit hours during another semester when they are solely focused on writing their dissertation or performing laboratory experiments directly related to their dissertation work.

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 SOPH students

REFERENCES: University of Mississippi Medical Center [Intranet].  Credit Hour. [Effective 3 November 2014].