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what does 1 credit hour mean in college?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So as the time gets closer for me to start college more and more questions come to mind. And I figure we have quite a few people here who have gone to college so they may be able to help with this one.

This is my course load that I will have to take to get my chosen diploma:

71 total credit hours. So my question is: How many regular hours are in 1 credit hour?
post #2 of 5
Usually 1 credit hour means a 1 hour class a week. So, for a 3 credit class it can either be an hour 3 times a week, or 1 1/2 hours twice a week. Anything over 3 credits usually means that there is a lab which can be an addition 1-2 hours a week on top of the 3 for class room time.

I've never seen basic requirements being 5 hours (ie math and english), but it's been 15 years since I've been to college so they may have changed it. That probably means those classes will be 1 hour every day.

Hope this helps and congrats!!!
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
So basically 5 credit hours means 5 hours a week in that class.

I believe the math one is both a math class and a math lab.
post #4 of 5
In my experience, a 4 credit class is about 3 hours a week... depending on the course. Then you get 1 credit for every 3-ish hours of lab. (Labs usually require less work than lecture.) I think there's something about the number of hours per week you should spend studying outside of class for each credit, but I don't remember, it might be something like 3! Anyhow, these are just guidelines.. I've been in classes that were each worth 4 credits but required very different amounts of work.

ETA: As an example, I had a chemistry class that was 3 hours/week lecture, and 3 hours/week lab. The lecturewas worth 3 credits and the lab was worth 1.

I also had a 4 credit oceanography class, and that was just 3 hours/week.

The amount of time I spent studying each material was different. I spent way more time on chemistry than I did on oceanography. I did not spend, by any means, 12 hours/week outside of class on oceanography.
post #5 of 5
In my experience, it depends on the class.

My 4 credit A&P and Microbiology classes had 1.5 hrs of lecture 2x a week (3 hrs lecture) and 2 hours of lab each week, for a total of 5 hours. The lab and lecture were graded separatly, you had to pass lab in order to pass the class.

But then I've had 3 credit classes (an Ethics class) that was 1.5 hrs of lecture 2x a week- total of 3 hours.

And then there's online classes. I have to take a 5 credit developmental math class before I can take college algebra in the summer. I have no idea how many hours that is. The last developmental math class I took was also 5 credits, and I remember spending HOURS on that class.
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