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What are Credit hours?

A course credit (often credit hour, or just credit or "unit") is a unit that gives weighting to the value, level or time requirements of an academic course taken at a school or other educational institution.

Some colleges will also allow college credit for work experience. While the student may not technically receive credit hours, they may be allowed to skip pre-requisite courses and enter advanced classes if they can show proficiency at the basics of the subject. Some schools also allow students to "test out" of a prerequisite or entry-level class, permitting them to complete their course work in less time and go straight to advanced classes.

Click here to learn college credit hours.

Click here to learn university credit hours.

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1. The Carnegie Unit and the Student Hour (also called a Credit Hour) are strictly time-based references for measuring educational attainment used by American universities and colleges; the Carnegie Unit assesses secondary school attainment, and the Student Hour, derived from the Carnegie Unit ...

2. The semester hour shall be the unit of University academic credit that shall represent approximately three hours of work per week by an average student throughout a normal semester, or its equivalent in total work for short courses.

3. The number of hours per week that courses meet are counted as equivalent credits for financial aid and used to determine you status as a full- or part-time student.

4. The number of classroom hours per week throughout a school term; at ACC, the number of credits a course is worth is indicated by the 2nd digit. For example, HIST 1301 is worth 3 credits. BIOL 1406 is worth 4 credits. FREN 1511 is worth 5 credits.

5. A measure of value of individual courses expressed according to the type of calendar under which the school operates - eg semesters, quarters, or other. Critical Thinking:

6. Courses taken in college are measured in terms of credit hours. To earn one credit hour, a student must attend a class for one classroom hour (usually 50 minutes) per week for the whole semester (usually 16 weeks). Classes are offered in 1 - 5 credit hour increments, and sometimes in larger amounts.

7. The amount of credit you receive for completing a specific course.

8. Generally the number of hours a course meets each week determines its worth in credit hours.


College Credit hour :

College credit hours are awarded to students for completing certain activities, classes or special tests in addition to the normal curriculum.

These hours can help meet completion requirements for courses, allowing a student to get closer to graduating.
 Students are often awarded college credit hours for honors classes or for life or work experience equivalent to course training.

If a typical semester of school is approximately 16 weeks, and a student takes a class that is two hours per week, he or she would need a total of 32 college credit hours in the same subject to cancel out the requirement for that class. The amount of college credit awarded depends entirely on the school, so prospective students should check the school policy extremely carefully before applying. In addition, it is recommended that you meet with an admissions counselor to determine exactly what credit you will earn.

Receiving college credit hours is done in a variety of ways, but one of the most common is by taking academically advanced classes. These classes, often called “honors” courses, may meet the requirements of general education classes taken in the first two years of college. In many countries, a global program called the International Baccalaureate, or IB, allows students to take extra classes or do additional projects and tests to receive possible college credit. At certain universities, it is possible for a freshman-level student to enter as a sophomore or junior if they have successfully completed enough qualifying courses as a high school student.

College credit hours can not only shorten the time between entrance and graduation, they can also lessen the financial burden of a student by a considerable amount. If a high school student is able to complete a university program in two years rather than four, they will save two years of tuition, housing, and expenses. This allows students to enter post-college life at a younger age and, for students who rely heavily on student loan programs, with half the debt of a typical four year education.

Parents and students should beware, however, of overburdening a student with college credit classes. These classes are typically taught at college-level difficulty, and may include arduous projects, essays and tests. Some students may struggle with the difficult coursework, or be unable to pass the tests typically given at the end of the class. Failure to pass tests often results in no credit given, no matter how hard a student has worked to do well all year. Students may wish to start with one or two classes to make sure they can keep up with the workload, before taking on any more.


University Credit hours :

First of all, what is a credit hour? Each of your classes is worth a certain amount of “credit hours” at Illinois. In my major, you need 120 credit hours to graduate, so you’re generally supposed to take 30 credit hours/year for 4 years. I think this is pretty standard.

Normally, you will sign up for 4-6 classes/semester. Each traditional lecture/discussion class is normally 3-4 hours, while lab classes are 1-2 hours of credit. Normally, the more time you spend attending class, the more credit hours you receive for it (although this isn’t always the case because of labs).

But here’s where I’m going to be honest with you: there is NO good way to figure out how much time you will spend on a class based on the number of credit hours alone. For example, a lot of music classes are one hour of credit, but you meet for several hours a week to rehearse. As another example, although my organic chemistry classes were each 3 credit hours, I spent more time preparing for those than I have on 4 credit-hour seminar classes. For my physiology lab, which was worth only 1 hour of credit, I spent as much time studying for the class and writing up lab reports for it as I did studying for my 3-credit-hour physiology lecture course!

I’m not trying to scare anyone with this, but the point of the above is that your best bet is to find people you trust who have taken the classes you’re interested in and ask them how much time they spent on them.
Generally, a good rule of thumb is that the more hours you take, the less of a life you will have. 18-hour semesters are horrible. I took one of these, and I hated it! It was really intense. 12-hour semesters can be pretty light, unless you are taking all advanced classes. A good happy medium for me is 15-16 hour semesters, which is what I’m doing right now in addition to a few extracurriculars, and so far it has been manageable.

As a freshman, I would recommend taking 14-15 hours your first semester, because this will leave you ample time (hopefully) to get involved in other social/professional activities. You can always do more later, but what I’ve found is that most people get involved on campus their freshman or sophomore year, or they don’t at all. If you decide to push yourself to take heavier semesters later on, in my experience it has been better to do it as an upperclassman when you know the ropes of the university better.

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