Academic Credit

Academic Credit

Academic credit toward the degree shall not be given for courses which are designed to fulfill prerequisites for admission.

UWF is responsible for determining the credit hours awarded for coursework in its programs in accordance with the definition of a credit hour for Federal program purposes. A credit hour is 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:

  1. For face-to-face (traditional) courses, not less than one class hour (at least 50 minutes) of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester.
  2. For laboratory courses, internships, clinical practica, field work, studio work, and other academic work leading to academic credit, one (1) credit hour represents at least an amount of student work equivalent to that outlined in item 1 above.
  3. For independent studies, thesis, or dissertation research, one (1) credit hour represents at least an amount of student work equivalent to that outlined in item 1 above.
  4. For e-learning, hybrid/blended, and videoconferencing, one (1) credit hour represents at least the equivalent of the direct instructional time and additional student work as that outlined in item 1 above.
  5. For professional degree programs, the amount of direct instruction and additional out-of-class student work associated with one (1) credit is determined in accord with the standards of appropriate accrediting agencies and professional organizations but may not be less than the equivalent of that outlined in item 1 above.

In determining the amount of coursework to achieve learning competencies and outcomes, the University will take into account and consideration alternative delivery methods, measurements of student work, academic calendars, disciplines, and degree levels.

*UWF AC-19.01

Definition of a Credit Hour

The institution determines the amount of credit for student work.

  1. A credit hour is expected to be a reasonable approximation of a minimum amount of student work in a Carnegie unit in accordance with commonly accepted practice in higher education.
  2. The credit hour definition is a minimum standard that does not restrict an institution from setting a higher standard that requires more student work per credit hour.
  3. The definition does not dictate particular amounts of classroom time versus out-of-class student work.
  4. In determining the amount of work the institution’s learning outcomes will entail, the institution may take into consideration alternative delivery methods, measurements of student work, academic calendars, disciplines, and degree levels.
  5. To the extent an institution believes that complying with the Federal definition of a credit hour would not be appropriate for academic and other institutional needs, it may adopt a separate measure for those purposes.
  6. Credits may be awarded on the basis of documentation of the amount of work a typical student is expected to complete within a specified amount of academically engaged time, or on the basis of documented student learning calibrated to that amount of academically engaged time for a typical student.
  7. The intent of the above flexibility as provided by Federal guidance is to recognize the differences across institutions, fields of study, types of coursework, and delivery methods, while providing a consistent measure of student work for purposes of Federal programs.

Clock hour (34 CFR 600.2 Definitions): A period of time consisting of (1) A 50-to-60-minute class, lecture, or recitation in a 60-minute period; (2) A 50-to-60-minute faculty-supervised laboratory, shop training, or internship in a 60-minute period; or (3) 60 minutes of preparation in a correspondence course.

Credit Hour (34 CFR 600.2 Definitions): A credit hour is 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—

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

*UWF AC-19.01

Modes of Delivery

  1. Face-to-Face (“traditional”): A face-to-face course, also called “traditional” course, is a course that meets regularly on the main campus or at an off-campus educational site and may be supplemented with educational technology, including Internet-based technology, to enhance student learning.
  2. E-learning: An e-learning course is one which is fully online and completely delivered over the web with no in-class requirements. In this model, there is no physical classroom assigned although a professor may opt for students to meet for a proctored examination or course orientation, taking into account that some students are remote and unable to come to the UWF campus. Accommodations will be made for such students.
  3. Hybrid/Blended: A hybrid/blended course is one in which a combination of strategies are used in a distance environment. A classroom will be assigned for hybrid students, but there will be reduced time spent in the classroom. Components of the course may include asynchronous online delivery, video or web conferencing or some other technological media for out of class time. Students will not only need to be able to get to class for in-class meetings, but also are required to have access to the Internet for web-based class meetings. This model works especially well if trying to utilize classroom space to the fullest. This is a very convenient approach for storing class materials, emailing students throughout the week between class meetings, storing URLs and other references, and for assigning interactive homework assignments such as participating in an online chat or threaded discussion.
  4. Videoconferencing: A videoconferencing course provides delivery through the Videoconferencing classrooms located on the main campus or other UWF instructional sites, and linking through video or web conferencing platforms out to the virtual video classroom for students who access via their computer.

*UWF AC-19.01

Instructional Methods


AD - Full Distance Learning
100% of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time, space, or both. All special course components (exams, internships, practica, clinicals, labs, etc) that cannot be completed online can be completed off-campus.
CL - Primarily Classroom
Less than 50% of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time, space or both. This designation can include activities that do not occur in a classroom (ie, labs, internships, practica, clinicals, labs, etc).
HB - Hybrid
50-79% of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time, space or both.
PD - Primarily Distance Learning
80-99% of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time, space, or both. There is a requirement for the student to attend campus or another explicit geographic location for a portion of the course.

*BOG Definitions

Directed Studies

(See the Registration Policies section of this Catalog for more information.)

Master's, Specialist, & Ed.D.

A program may include up to two courses with a maximum total of six semester hours of directed studies. Master's level directed studies must be at the 5000-6000 level.

Ph.D.

A Ph.D. program may include up to three courses with a maximum total of nine semester hours of directed studies. Directed studies must be at the 6000 level.

Nontraditional Credit - Credit by Proficiency

At the request of a department and with the approval of the College Dean and Graduate School, a graduate student may be permitted to take six semester hours or two courses (whichever is greater in credit) of graduate-level credit by proficiency. No fees will be assessed. The department will identify an appropriate method to assess the student’s proficiency related to the course learning outcomes. The grade for the credit by proficiency will be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. Grades will be recorded and UWF’s grading system and policies will be applied. 

A graduate student who previously attempted a course or is currently enrolled in a course may not use the credit by proficiency option for that course. Students may attempt to earn credit by proficiency in a specific course only once, regardless of whether they pass or fail. 

Students must be enrolled at UWF at the time the proficiency is assessed and credit is given.

Undergraduate students are not eligible to request graduate-level credit by proficiency.

* UWF AC-41.01-01/17