Policy H-13

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This is an archived version of the policy. See the most recent version here


(This policy was presented in response to a request from the US Department of Education, and is intended to bring IUB into compliance with that DOE request. The policy was approved by the Bloomington Faculty Council on February 21, 2012.)

The definition of a credit hour at IU Bloomington is consistent with the Carnegie Unit and is defined as one hour of faculty instruction and two hours or more of additional work or study each week for approximately 15 weeks (an academic-year semester) or the equivalent amount of instruction and studying over a different amount of time. In this context, an hour of faculty instruction at the undergraduate level is typically defined as 50 minutes.

At IU Bloomington, a standard 3 credit lecture class at the undergraduate level meets three times per week for 50 minutes per session or twice a week for 75 minutes per session. Following the ending of classes, a week is reserved each semester for final examinations. The 120 minute (2 hour) final examination period has been included in computing class contact minutes and number of meetings. Indiana University policy requires a minimum of 2000 minutes of instructional activity for a three credit lecture class.

Non-traditional delivery methods

For courses that meet online or through blended formats (blended courses have an in- person residency requirement that complements the online instruction), one unit of academic credit shall be determined by what is judged by the appropriate faculty to be equivalent to a time commitment of three hours per week for an average student, or, alternatively, demonstration of competency, demonstration of proficiency, or fulfillment of learning outcomes as judged by the appropriate faculty to be equivalent to a traditionally defined unit of credit.

Internships, Student Teaching, Independent Study and Service Learning

For internships, student teaching, independent study, and service learning, one unit of credit is determined by the awarding academic unit and is commensurate with the hours involved and the quality of the learning experience.

Special Credit

Special credit may be awarded to degree seeking IU Bloomington students who possess, by previous education or experience, a background in a discipline represented by an IU Bloomington program. Credit may be awarded based on the student’s credentials, experience, or completion of an examination that documents proficiency in the subject area. Each academic unit has policies that define how special credit hours are awarded.