Semester Hour

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Term Definition
Semester Hour

A semester hour is defined in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education as “a credit, point, or other unit granted for the satisfactory completion of a course which requires at least 15 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments. . . . This basic measure shall be adjusted proportionately to translate the value of other academic calendars and formats of study in relation to the credit granted for study during the two semesters that comprise an academic year.”

According to this definition, the typical 3-credit course would require 45 hours in class and 90 hours of supplementary, outside assignments. 

To be full time for financial aid purposes, a student must be enrolled for at least 12 semester hours in a semester of not less than 15 weeks, inclusive of examination periods, or at least eight semester hours in a quarter.

Although not defined in regulation, a quarter credit hour equals two-thirds of a semester hour of credit. Thus, a student attending a school that operates on a quarter calendar and awards quarter credits must enroll in at least 12 quarter credits in a quarter (twelve quarter credits multiplied by two-thirds equals eight semester hours, as required by the regulation).

See also...

Academic Calendar