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Credit Hour

The CSULB credit hour definition is consistent with the California State University system and federal law (Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations, sections 600.2 and 600.4 revised July 1, 2020). The law requires all accredited institutions to comply with the federal definition of the credit hour. For all CSU degree programs and courses bearing academic credit, the "credit hour" is defined as the amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement.

  • Such evidence is an institutionally established equivalency that approximates not less than:
    • One hour of direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit (or 10 to 12 weeks for one quarter hour of credit) or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
    • At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph 1.a. 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; and

A credit hour is assumed to be a 50-minute period. In some courses, such as those offered online, in which "seat time" does not apply, a credit hour may be measured by an equivalent amount of work, as demonstrated by student achievement. CSULB follows a course classification system which correlates to the credit hour. Courses are scheduled in rooms according to that course classification system, which provides a checks and balances process during the scheduling process. CSULB Credit Hour definitions are reviewed on an annual basis and communicated to the campus community via the CSULB Catalog. All course syllabi are to be submitted to University Library Archives (PS 11-07) and a representative sample of these syllabi is reviewed periodically by the CSULB Academic Programs Office for credit hour compliance.