Apr 22, 2024  
Catalog/Handbook 2020-21 
Catalog/Handbook 2020-21 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Credit Hours Explained

Credit hours are the units by which Polk State College measures course work. The number of credit hours assigned to a course usually corresponds with the number of hours per week a class meets in a standard 16-week term.

Polk State College uses a semester plan. Generally a semester credit hour is equivalent to approximately one hour of classroom or faculty instruction and a minimum of 2 hours of study outside the classroom for each week in a 16-week semester; therefore, a 3-credit hour class should require approximately 3 hours of instruction per week and a minimum of six hours of study or work per week outside the classroom meeting time. All courses are assigned credit hours by the College’s Academic Quality Council based on review of the course’s content by subject-matter experts to ensure compliance with Federal Regulation §600.2’s definition of a credit hour.

Transfer credits earned from institutions using quarter hours are converted to semester hours as follows:

Quarter Hour   Semester Hours  
1 = 0.66  
2 = 1.33  
3 = 2.00  
4 = 2.66  
5 = 3.33  
6 = 4.00  


When calculating for graduation requirements, fractions of hours are not rounded up to the nearest whole number. For example, if a student earns 59.5 hours toward a 60 credit-hour degree requirement, the student does not yet qualify for graduation.

A student is classified a Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior based on the total college-credit hours earned. The following classifications are recognized at Polk State College:

Freshman Less than 30 college-credit hours
Sophomore At least 30 college-credit hours
Junior At least 60 college-credit hours
Senior At least 90 college-credit hours