The credit hour is the primary unit of measurement that indicates a student's progress toward degree completion.
The United States Department of Education defines credit hour as follows:
- An amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:
- One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or trimester of credit, or 10–12 weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or,
- At least an equivalent amount of work as required in item #1 of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practice, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.