Awarding of Credit

Statement of Policy

This policy sets forth the principles and procedures at New York University (“NYU,” the “University”) for assigning credit hours to courses completed for academic credit, and how the University maintains ongoing compliance with this policy through regular evaluation of internal procedures and practices.

NYU is committed to providing all students with an excellent, comprehensive academic experience that supports achievement of their course and program learning outcomes. As part of this commitment, and to ensure ongoing compliance with federal, state, and accreditation requirements, NYU uses the credit hour as the measurement of academic credit granted for course work completed. A credit hour is “a unit of measure that gives value to the level of instruction, academic rigor, and time requirements for a course taken at an institution of higher education” (1).  The appropriate assignment of credit hours to courses plays a critical role in meeting the requirements of government and accrediting agencies, disbursing federal financial aid to students,  awarding transfer credits, and conducting internal reviews of new and existing program requirements.

NYU adheres to the New York State Education Department (“NYSED”) semester hour regulations, United States Department of Education (“USDE”) credit hour guidelines (2) , and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (“MSCHE,” “Middle States”) credit hour policy and procedures (3).

To Whom the Policy and Procedures Apply

The policy and procedures apply to all schools of NYU, at all campuses, locations and sites, that offer classes for credit.

Credit Hour Procedure

At NYU, the Dean or Director of each school, institute, or center is responsible for ensuring that their unit establishes, maintains, and tracks appropriate procedures for assigning course credit hours. While internal protocols may vary depending on school culture and practices, they must align with the requirements as outlined in the University-wide credit hour policy and procedures. 

Assigning Credit Hours and Calculating Instructional and Supplementary Time

The number of credit hours awarded to a student upon successful completion of a course reflects achievement of the stated course learning outcomes and the appropriate amount of instructional and supplementary time associated with the course requirements. Course expectations should be clear to students prior to the start of the course.

Regardless of program, discipline, credential, length, location, semester, term and modality, all credit-granting courses must include the appropriate amount of instructional and supplementary minutes according to the number of credits granted. Instructional time includes any required and supervised course activity, such as lectures, labs, recitations and proctored exams, as well as other synchronous and asynchronous activities that occur outside the class meeting time. Supplementary time includes all required, non-supervised work a student is expected to complete for a course, such as homework, assigned reading, independent research and non-supervised group work.

The total amount of instructional and supplementary time required for a given course is determined according to NYSED regulations (4), which also align with federal and accreditation guidelines. A 15-week semester using a 50-minute measure of an “hour” requires 750 total minutes of instructional time and 1500 minutes of supplementary time for a 1-credit course. Regardless of the semester or session length, the total minutes required should add up appropriately in relation to the credit hour awarded.

Instructional time may be provided through both scheduled class meeting times and other supervised and required course activities outside the regular meeting time. Required, supervised, and regularly occurring synchronous course activities outside the classroom should be included in the class meeting pattern in Albert SIS, the University’s student information system.  Course syllabi should also reflect other required and supervised course activities that are either asynchronous or synchronous and not offered on a weekly or regular basis.

Online courses, studio and performance-based courses, and non-class-based courses (i.e., internships, field experiences, independent study, thesis writing, etc.) involve specific approaches to the assigning and documenting of credit hours. Schools are responsible for providing their faculty with direct guidance for demonstrating how credit hours are appropriately assigned in these cases.  Academic Associate Deans  should consult with the Office of Academic Program Review & Assessment (“OAPRA”) when further support is needed in working with their faculty on questions related to credit hour. 

Programs leading to licensure and those with specific external accreditations may require additional considerations with the appropriate awarding of credit hours. Schools should consult with the OAPRA for further support as needed. 

University-Wide Program Review Procedures

The University-wide Undergraduate Program Committee (“UPC”) and Graduate Program Committee (“GPC”) are responsible for reviewing and confirming appropriate credit hour calculations for all course syllabi submitted as part of new program proposals.  

Schools are responsible for ensuring that all proposals for new programs and program changes prepared for NYSED review and submitted to OAPRA appropriately demonstrate on course syllabi how instructional and supplementary time requirements are met. NYSED approves proposals for new programs and substantial program changes for existing programs when all requirements are met, including successful demonstration of credit hour compliance on course syllabi. 

Periodic Evaluation of Policy and Procedure

To ensure ongoing consistency in the appropriate assignment of credit for all credit-bearing courses, and to ensure ongoing alignment with course and program learning outcomes, NYU schools are charged with developing and maintaining internal systems to review and document the appropriate assignment of credit hours for all courses. This includes documenting any instructional time that occurs outside the class meeting pattern captured in Albert SIS. Schools, and any university-wide committees which do such reviewing, are charged with having elected T-Faculty and C-Faculty representatives involved. 

On an annual basis, all Deans are responsible for providing the Office of the Provost with an accounting of how all courses are appropriately assigning credit hours, including how instructional time is met in those courses. 

On an annual basis, the UPC and GPC will review templates and forms used by schools’ curriculum committees to evaluate proposals for new courses, with a particular focus on guidelines for meeting instructional time requirements.    

On an annual basis, the Office of the Provost will review this policy and procedure to confirm it continues to comply with NYSED semester hour regulations, USDE credit hour guidelines , and the Middle States credit hour policy and procedures. 

NYU reserves the right to modify this policy and the accompanying procedures as necessary to comply with federal or state law.

  1. Credit Hour Policy, Middle States Commission on Higher Education effective July 1, 2022 
  2.  Institutional Eligibility Under the Higher Education Act of 1965, U.S. Department of Education, 600.2 Definitions, Clock Hour & Credit Hour, p. 78
  3.  Credit Hour Policy & Credit Hour Procedures, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, effective July 1, 2022
  4.  Commissioner’s Regulations, Section 50.1(o), New York State Education Department