Credit Policy

York University operates on a semester calendar. The academic year is divided into two semesters (fall and spring) and summer sessions. Each class is assigned a number of credit hours. The minimum full-time undergraduate load is 12 credit hours per semester.

Definition of a Semester Credit Hour

A “credit hour” is an approximate measure of effort/time required for a typical student to achieve the learning outcomes of an educational experience. Typically, a credit hour represents 750 minutes of formalized instruction accompanied by an average of twice that amount of time at out-of-class assignments (1,500 minutes). Effort/time calculations may differ by modality of instruction, but shall require a minimum of 2,250 total minutes of student effort/time per credit hour, and shall remain consistent with Federal Credit Hour Definitions [34CFR 600.2].

Equivalence of Course Offerings

Student learning outcomes for a course, and the approximate amount of student effort/time for a typical student required to meet those objectives, shall be reasonably equivalent regardless of the instructor or the modality of instruction used. The faculty is responsible for communicating course learning outcomes, clearly communicating the goals of unsupervised learning effort/time (homework), and assessing the achievement of individual student mastery of the course learning outcomes. Every course offering is expected to have approximately equivalent student learning outcomes and to require approximately the same amount of student effort, regardless of the particular instructor of record or the modality of instruction. For example, online courses that have traditional lecture course equivalents are expected to require and demonstrate equivalent student effort/time and achievement of student learning outcomes. The responsibility for the oversight of equivalence lies both with the instructor of record of each instance of the course specifically and the curricular oversight bodies of the faculty in general.

Credit Hour Procedure

Traditional lecture courses. In this modality, each credit hour consists of 750 minutes of supervised/scheduled instruction or assessment activity and a minimum of 1,500 minutes of out-of-class “homework” or other unscheduled learning activity.

Number of weeks and credits/course

Minimum # of direct instructional minutes/week

Total of direct instructional minutes per course

Minimum # of indirect learning minutes/week

Total # of indirect learning minutes/week

1 credit

50 minutes


100 minutes

1500 minutes

2 credits

100 minutes


200 minutes

3000 minutes

3 credits

150 minutes


300 minutes

4500 minutes


Lab courses. For the typical laboratory course, at least two-thirds of the course effort/time are scheduled directed laboratory time. Any remaining effort/time is spent on unscheduled learning activity supporting the laboratory. In this modality, each credit hour of a typical laboratory with homework consists of 1,500 minutes of scheduled laboratory activity supported by 750 minutes of homework. Each credit hour of a typical laboratory without homework consists of all 2,250 minutes of effort/time as a scheduled laboratory activity.

Fully Online courses. For courses in which 100% of the instruction is delivered in an online mode, each credit hour consists of 750 minutes of instructor-led, computer-assisted modules, multimedia interaction, discussions, and/or assessment activities as documented in the course syllabus, and 1,500 minutes of supporting “homework” consisting of independent preparatory work, such as readings, viewing of instructional materials or writing done online. Online courses that have traditional lecture course equivalents are expected to achieve equivalent student learning outcomes in the equivalent number of credit hours. Any set meeting times will be clearly stated in the course schedule.

Mostly and Partially Online courses. These modalities use the same requirements as Fully Online courses with the exception that each credit hour may include on-campus scheduled direct/in-person faculty-directed instruction or assessment.

Online/Face-to-Face and Synchronous/Asynchronous Delivery Choice courses.  Courses that provide students with a choice of online/face-to-face or synchronous/asynchronous instructional delivery.  These courses must ensure that students receive the full instructional time of any traditional lecture or online equivalent course to meet the course learning outcomes irrespective of delivery method.

Studio courses. In studio courses representing music and theatre, each credit hour is equivalent to 1400 minutes of direct faculty instruction and a minimum of 850 minutes for studio class preparation.

Other courses.  Student teaching, clinical experience, cooperative education, study abroad, internship, field placement, experiential learning activity, independent study, thesis, dissertation, non-contact courses, or other academic work that fit no other classification may receive credit if the work is performed under the supervision of and with approval from a member of the Faculty, with a formal written agreement noting the nature of the academic work, approved also by the appropriate academic program director, chair, or similar overseeing authority at a program-wide level. In this modality, each credit hour consists of no less than 2,250 minutes spent on approved work during the term of instruction. Specific curriculum/programs may require more hours in order to award one credit hour. Credit for these experiences may be determined in accordance with recommendations of a program’s specific accreditor or applicable regulations.