Understanding Academic Credit system in the United States

Just the way credit systems in other parts of the world work so academic credit systems in the United States keep track of a student’s academic progress, help them set tuition fees, which gradually facilitate student transfers to other higher education institutions and even more. Credits are awarded at American universities is important for international students coming from different parts of the world to get a degree, Let’s find out how academic credits are awarded in the United States.

Contact hours and credit hours –

  • contact hour includes a lecture or a lab time wherein the professor is teaching the student.
  • semester credit hour (SCH) is equal to 15-16 contact hours per semester, and it does not depend on the duration of the course.

Academic Credit hours showcase the formal learning done in class and also the independent study or research and preparation a student does for study courses.

Study degrees and credit hours

Most colleges and universities in the United States award 3 Semester Credit Hours  (45-48 contact hours) for the successful completion of a study course. The number of credits for lectures, independent project work, laboratory time and internships vary depending on specific institution requirements.
A full-time study load is usually 30 credit hours per year. They are expected to complete the following in order to graduate with a degree:

  • Bachelor’s degree- 120 to 130 credit hours
  • Master’s degree- 30 to 64 credit hours
    Some universities even use Semester Credit Hours to decide tuition fees and scholarships for potential students.

Semester Credit Hours and Grade Point Average scores

Grade Point Average (GPA)  determined through credits for a semester or academic year in the United States. A grade point average (GPA) is calculated with a 4.00 being awarded for every A grade while 3.00 for every B grade and so on down to 0.00 for an F. A 1.0 GPA average is the minimum average in order to graduate.  The credit hours awarded by the program for that semester.

Hope this article helps you in preparing better for your course in the United States. Comment here and let us know.