Institutional Credit Hour Policy

Effective Date: July 1, 2012

Last Reviewed: July 1, 2015

Review by: June 30, 2016


The purpose of this policy is to provide a definition of a credit hour that is in alignment with the U.S. Department of Education guidelines.

Policy Statement

Meharry Medical College operates on a semester system, with additional sessions offered between semesters, and during the summer. Standard courses offered during the semester in degree programs use contact hours that have been designed around the (Carnegie like) standard for a 3-unit class over a 15-18 week semester. This unit is known by the familiar term, "semester credit hour," and is the primary academic measure by which progress toward a degree is gauged at Meharry. It is recognized that such a unit measures only a part, albeit a major part, of a composite learning experience, based upon formally structured and informal interactions among faculty and students.

The Meharry Medical College follows the guidelines in compliance with the U.S. Department of Education's definition of credit hours as relates to credit hours for assigning credit to all courses taught in the Graduate and Professional Schools, including pre-clinical, clinical, laboratory, rotation, internship/externship, and elective coursework. The number of credits assigned to a course quantitatively reflects the modes of instruction and the amount of time spent in contact with students. 1 credit hour is worth 15-18 contact hours per course.

You can view the full policy to the right or by clicking here.