The University of Alabama, Office for Academic Affairs

Course Credit Hour Policy

Unit:  Academic Affairs
Contact: Dr. Luoheng Han
Title:  Senior Associate Provost
Effective Date: 6/13/2013
Revision Date: 07/05/2022



The purpose of this policy is to guide the determination of credit hours to be awarded for course work in all The University of Alabama degree programs, regardless of academic level or mode of delivery, in accordance with Federal regulations.


A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that reasonably approximates:

  1. At least one hour (50 minutes) of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time, or;
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as outlined in item 1 above for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, clinical, research, directed study, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours, regardless of the mode of instructional delivery.

Time expectations for work outside of class are minimums and may be higher depending on the nature and level of the course as well as the ability, commitment, and learning style of the student. The University reserves the right to assign student work that exceeds the minimum credit hour time requirements stated.


Faculty and academic units as well as department chairs, deans, and UA committees that review courses and curriculum are charged with following the credit hour policy. The determination of credit hours is made when a new course, or a revision to an existing course, is proposed.


Office of the Provost

Approved by Dr. Lesley Reid, Associate Provost, 07/05/2022