Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Credit Hour Policy

Regardless of the type of academic activity, schedule, or method of delivery, one credit hour at UH Hilo represents the expected amount of work a student must expend to achieve intended learning outcomes consistent with that of a traditional course (i.e. one that meets one hour per week, with a minimum of two hours additional work such as preparation, research, homework, investigation, etc. over the course of on approximate 15 week semester).

This definition of credit hour implies:

  1. One credit hour for courses with a non-traditional schedule (e.g. labs, directed studies, internships, etc.) or with alternative methods of delivery (e.g. online, hybrid, reverse lecture, etc.) represents an equivalent amount of work, as defined by intended student learning outcomes. Since there is no substitute for time spent in study or research, at least as much time must be spent "learning" regardless of the academic activity or method of delivery.
  2. courses with equivalent department course numbers should be consistent in terms of learning outcomes, regardless of the method of delivery.
  3. Each credit hour represents approximately 45 hours of work. Departments should particularly keep this in mind when assigning non-traditional credit for activities such as independent study, service learning, laboratory, practica, seminar, internships, and courses with variable units, etc.
  4. Only students who are able to demonstrate they have achieved the minimum intended learning outcomes will be awarded the credit hour.

Review Process

The application of the credit hour policy will be reviewed within the Academic Program Review process, New Course Approval (Curriculum Review Committee(s) and Curriculum Central), and General Education Certification and re-Certification.