Credit Hour Policy and Procedures

Procedures for Ensuring Compliance with the QCC Credit Hour Policy

All courses and credit assignments at Queensborough Community College are reviewed and approved by department faculty, the college's curriculum committee, the college's Academic Senate, the CUNY Board of Trustees, and the New York State Education Department so as to ensure that the credit hours awarded are appropriate to CUNY policy and that the student learning outcomes and course requirements accurately reflect the amount of credit to be awarded for the course. In those cases in which courses are part of a degree program, they are specified in the program proposal along with hours and credit. Procedures for the awarding of credit, course proposals, and program proposals are specified in the guidelines of the College Curriculum Committee

These guidelines address but are not limited to the assignment of course hours and credits, organization of syllabi, general education and programmatic learning outcomes addressed, and equivalent courses at other colleges and universities.

Subsequent to their review and approval by the curriculum committee, documents are preserved in minutes of the college curriculum committee which is available on the Curriculum Committee Agenda and Minutes page, minutes of the College Faculty Senate and minutes of the CUNY Chancellor's Report.
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A credit hour statement is available for each course and is published in the course description in the Queensborough Community College Catalog.

The course schedule is created by the department chair who is responsible for assuring that the course schedule complies with the credit hour policy. This schedule is then submitted to the Office of the Registrar for review and publication.

Information on the number of credit hours and the dates, time, part of term, and delivery format for each course is published online through the course schedule and is publicly accessible prior to student registration each term. This process is monitored by the department chair, the registrar, The Office of Student Affairs and The Office of Academic Affairs.

Changes to the credit hour statement of a course must be approved through the institutional curriculum process.

Definition of Credit Hours

Queensborough and CUNY policies and regulations in regard to credit hours adhere to all guidelines of the New York State Education Department, whose guidelines, in turn, adhere to all guidelines of the United States Department of Education (NYSED). All courses and programs are submitted to and are approved by the NYSED.

Official CUNY guidelines for the assignment of credit hours are available in the Office of the Registrar.

Semester credit hour means a credit or unit granted for the satisfactory completion of a course, which require at least 15 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments. This basic measure shall be adjusted proportionately to translate the value of other academic calendars and formats of study in relation to the credit granted for studying the two semesters that constitute an academic year. Following CUNY guidelines, QCC operates on an academic year divided into two equal semesters of 15 weeks duration, a short winter intersession of three weeks, and various shortened summer sessions.

Consistent with codes and regulations of the State of New York (NYSED) and CUNY, the actual amount of academic work that is required of a single semester credit hour is calculated as follows:

  • Lecture, seminar, discussion, recitation
    A semester credit hour is an academic unit earned for fifteen 50-minute sessions of classroom instruction with a normal expectation of two hours of outside study for each class session. Typically, a three-credit-hour course meets three 50-minute sessions a week for fifteen weeks for a total of 45 sessions.
  • Laboratory, practicum, workshop, studio
    A semester credit hour is awarded for the equivalent of fifteen periods of such activity in which each activity period is 150 minutes or more in duration with little or no outside preparation expected. Forty-five 50-minute sessions of such activity also normally earn one semester credit hour. Where such activity involves substantial outside preparation by the student, the equivalent of fifteen periods of 100 minutes duration each earns one semester credit hour.
  • Fully online and hybrid course

Credit hours are based on the same formula as above. A course that is fully online or partially online (hybrid) requires the same amount of direct computer-based work as the time spent in the class. The amount of student preparation is equivalent to the standard course models above.

  • Credit by Examination
    At its discretion, an institution may award semester hour credits for mastery demonstrated through credit by examination. When such credit by examination is allowed, it may be used to satisfy degree requirements or to reduce the total number of remaining hours required for a degree.
  • Short Sessions
    Credit hours are earned in short sessions (e.g., summer sessions, winter intersessions) proportionately to those earned for the same activity during a regular session of the institution. Required minutes are divided over the number of days in the shortened session.
  • Internships
    For internships, the college practice is to require 40 work hours (on site or in related class or working on home assignments) for each academic credit awarded. For a typical 3-credit internship, this means that students would spend 90 hours on site, 15 hours in class, and 15 hours doing related work assignments.

Based on a 50-minute credit hour, minutes for all course sections are computed according to the following table used by the Registrar's Office:

Minimum minutes per semester based on a 50-minute credit hour
Class Hours Minimum Minutes
for Semester
Minutes per Class
Once per week (15 weeks)
Minutes per Class
Twice per week (15 weeks)
Minutes per Class
Three times per week (15 weeks)
Minutes per Class
Four time per week
1 750 50      
2 1500 100 50    
3 2250 150 75 50  
4 3000 200 100 67 50
5 3750 250 125 84 63
6 4500 300 150 100 75

The day and evening course schedule is arranged according to the following time slots:

Day Schedule

Day course schedule is arranged by time slots
Letter Time of Day
A Before 8:00 a.m.
B 8:00 to 8:50 a.m.
C 9:00 to 9:50 a.m.
D 10:00 to 10:50 a.m.
E 11:10 to 12:00 Noon
F 12:10 to 1:00 p.m.
G 1:10 to 2:00 p.m.
H 2:10 to 3:00 p.m.
J 3:10 to 4:00 p.m.
K 4:10 to 5:00 p.m.
L 5:10 to 6:00 p.m.
X Section with multiple start time

Evening Schedule

Evening course schedule is arranged by time slots
Letter Time of Day
M 6:10 to 7:00 p.m.
P 7:10 to 8:00 p.m.
Q 8:10 to 9:00 p.m.
R 9:10 to 10:00 p.m.
S 10:10 to 11:00 p.m.

Section Key to Weekday

Weekday section key
Number Day of Week
1 Monday
2 Tuesday
3 Wednesday
4 Thursday
5 Friday
6 Saturday
7 Sunday
0 Section meets 4 or more days/week


Queensborough Community College has policies and procedures in place to determine the number of credit hours awarded for courses and programs. These policies and procedures include faculty, staff, and administrators at multiple levels (departmental, college, and institutional). They comply with commonly accepted practice in higher education as well as CUNY policies and regulations which adhere to all guidelines of the New York State Education Department, whose guidelines, in turn, adhere to all guidelines of the United States Department of Education (NYSED). The college's policies and procedures apply to courses in all delivery formats (online, face- to-face, or hybrid) and at all locations (main campus or approved external instructional sites). These policies and procedures are published and available on the campus web site, college catalog and CUNY website.

These policies and procedures are available in the following locations:

Curriculum committee documents and guidelines

College catalog

Faculty handbook

Blackboard support

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