Credit Hour Definition Policy

The basis of the credit hour is semester hours of credit, which are based upon the average weekly number of hours of instruction during a 16-week period or the equivalent amount of hours over a different length of time (such as a 10-week summer or 8-week mini-term). An hour of instruction is defined as not less than 50 minutes of instructor/student contact. A variety of class meeting schedules that fall within this structure may be present within the institution. 

The ratio of weekly contact hours to credit hours varies with the type of instruction utilized. All sections of the same class must use the same ratio. There are six general categories of types of instruction:

(1) Theory (1:1) - one hour of credit for one hour of theory instruction

(2) Experimental Laboratory (2:1 or 3:1)* - one hour of credit for two or three hours of experimental instruction

(3) Practical Application Laboratory (2:1 or 3:1) * - one hour of credit for two or three hours of practical application instruction

(4) Clinical Practice (3:1) - one hour of credit for three hours of clinical practice instruction

(5) Preceptorship (5:1 or 3:1) * - one hour of credit for three or five hours of preceptorship instruction

(6) Internship (5:1) – one hour of credit for five hours of internship instruction.

* Programs of study for which accreditation and/or licensing bodies require a different ratio must comply with discipline-specific time-to-credit criteria.

Prerequisites and Requisites Definitions

Pre-requisites are other courses or competencies that must be completed or attained before registering for some courses. Co-requisites refer to other courses that the student must be registered for simultaneously with the course in question.

Course Load

The student course load for a full-time student at GSCC is 12 to 19 credit hours per fall, spring and summer terms. Credit hours above 19 semester hours constitute a student overload. The appropriate chief instructional officer must approve a student overload. No student will be approved for more than 24 semester credit hours in any one semester or term for any reason.