The “semester credit hour” is the unit of credit at the College of Law. All credit-bearing courses or activities at the College of Law must meet the credit hour requirements set out in this policy.
Contact hour requirement. A traditionally delivered semester course should contain 15 weeks of instruction, plus a week for final examinations. For instance, a three-SCH course should contain 15 weeks of instruction (45 contact hours) plus a week for final examinations, so that such a course contains 45 to 48 contact hours depending on whether there is a final exam. A course that includes fewer contact hours or is delivered in a shortened time period must receive formal, written approval in advance from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Amount of work. A semester credit hour is an amount of work that reasonably approximates:
- Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and two hours of out-of-class student work per week for 15 weeks, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
- At least an equivalent amount of work as required in subsection (1) for other credit-bearing academic activities as established by the College of Law, including simulation, field placement, clinical, co-curricular, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
For purposes of this definition, fifty minutes is sufficient to constitute one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction, and an “hour” for out-of-class student work is sixty minutes. The College of Law may award credit hours for coursework that extends over any period of time, if the coursework entails no less than the minimum total amounts of classroom or direct faculty instruction and of-of-class student work specified in subsections (1) and (2), above. For purposes of (1) and (2), the time may include time on final examination and midterm examinations, as well as other work.
The following are examples of work that satisfies this requirement:
Exam course: 42.5 hours per credit of time spent in class, preparing for class (reading or completing class assignments or assessments), and preparing for and taking exams.
Paper course: 42.5 hours per credit of time spent in class, preparing for class (reading or completing class assignments or assessments), and researching and writing the required paper(s).
Field placement or clinic: 42.5 hours per credit of time spent in class, performing field placement or clinic work, preparing for class or completing class assignments (including any reflective papers), and preparing for and taking an exam, if applicable.
The College of Law will regularly monitor adherence to this policy, through methods such as ongoing curriculum review and assessment, the course approval process, and the ongoing management of the College of Law’s academic program.
Approved as Revised, June 2016