May 24, 2024  
Catalog/Handbook 2022-2023 
Catalog/Handbook 2022-2023 [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 that a class meets in a standard 16-week term.

Polk State College uses a semester plan. Generally one semester credit hour is equivalent to approximately one hour of classroom or faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of study outside the classroom for each week in a 16-week semester; therefore, a three-credit hour class should require approximately three hours of instruction per week and a minimum of six hours of study or work per week outside the classroom meeting time (i.e., the student needs to plan to devote a minimum of nine hours per week for the specific class). All courses are assigned credit hours by the College’s Curriculum Committee based on review of the course’s content by subject-matter experts. This process ensures compliance with the definition of a credit hour in Title 34 section 600.2 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

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  


Note: 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, 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