Academic credit at the University of Southern Indiana is offered by the semester credit hour. At USI, a semester credit hour is based on 750 minutes of instruction per credit hour awarded. This standard is consistent Department of Education credit hour definition, as stated in regulation 34 CFR §600.2.
Credit hours awarded from courses taught via distance education or other in some other non-traditional setting follow the same rules when determining the number of credit hours awarded for a particular class. This practice also follows the credit hour definition found in Department of Education regulation 34 CFR §600.2.
Students may also earn credit hours for internships. The standard number of hours a student must work each hour of academic credit is 50 internship work hours. There are two exceptions. Engineering internships require 600 work hours for one academic credit hour. Health Services internships require 100 work hours for one academic credit hour.
Students in health profession majors, such as nursing, dental hygiene, diagnostic medical sonography, and occupational therapy are also able to earn academic credit for work in lab or clinical sites. The number of hours of work required for one academic credit hour varies by discipline and respective accrediting agency requirements.
Certain courses at USI include a laboratory component or requirement, such as science courses including chemistry, engineering, geology, physics, and biology. Students may earn additional credit hours for the lab component. Minimum credit hour requirements are determined for weeks of lab/activity on a 2:1 laboratory contact minutes to lecture contact minutes ratio. Each department may determine contact time over the minimum requirement as needed.
Beginning academic year 2013-2014, USI reduced the minimum number of credit hours required to complete a baccalaureate degree from 124 credit hours to 120 credit hours and an associate degree from 64 credit hours to 60 credit hours. One exception is the engineering baccalaureate degree program which requires additional course work by ABET – the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. The purpose of this change is to better able undergraduate students to graduate in four years or fewer.
Graduate degree requirements, including minimum credit hours and other program specific requirements, are detailed in the Graduate Studies section of the Academic Bulletin.