Jul 18, 2024  
Catalog/Handbook 2023-2024 
Catalog/Handbook 2023-2024

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 and is based on an established system common to postsecondary institutions.

Polk State College uses a semester plan to determine meeting lenghs and credits within a give term. 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 regardless of modality). All courses are assigned credit hours by the College’s Academic Quality Council (AQC) 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. Polk State recognizes the following classifications:

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