Course Credits are Based on Contact Hours with Instructor

Course credit is based on contact hours (time spent in class with the instructor) for all LSA courses. This means one contact hour per credit for Lectures, Discussions, Recitations, and Seminars. Students do not get credit for homework, field trips, film screenings, or reading and writing assignments. For each credit earned, students are expected to spend in 3 hours of work each week outside of class. The same rule also applies to Experiential and Independent Study courses.

Labs that meet in an actual laboratory classroom such as used in Biology and Chemistry must meet for at least 2 hours for each credit earned.  When departments schedule a “lab” for the purpose of film screenings, for example, this is just a scheduling tool to ensure students set aside that time for required class activity.  In this case the instructor need not be present and therefore this time is not considered a part of contact hours for the course.

In the case of Discussions, students are spending time with the instructor (or GSI) to deal with more complex or detailed course content.  This is considered a part of contact hours, so students earn one credit for each hour of discussion.

Although there is a provision that states: “Exceptions shall be granted on a course-by-course basis and under truly special circumstances”, the emphasis is on the words “truly special circumstances.”  Exceptions are rarely made.  If a department wanted to make an appeal for such an exception, contact Phil Deloria (pdeloria@umich.edu), Associate Dean for  Undergraduate Education.


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