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Definition of Credit

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Definition of Credit

The University of Oklahoma counts units of credit in semester hours. Each semester hour represents one class period, 50 minutes in length, each week for 16 weeks (including final examinations) or the equivalent. One semester-hour of credit requires a minimum of 800 instructional minutes. This equivalent is calculated based on the number of credits per course and length of the term/block.

Laboratory or field courses are practical experiences that require a total of 100 minutes of laboratory or field work per week for each hour of credit, totaling a minimum of 1600 minutes of work per semester-hour of credit.

Discussion courses are tied to lectures as non-credit bearing. Students are expected to participate in approximately 50 minutes of discussion per week as part of their credit in the lecture course to which the discussion is tied.

Performance-based courses such as studio or dance company courses vary. To determine the exact time requirement for a performance-based course, contact the department.

During the summer session, the number of instructional or practical minutes per semester credit is adjusted depending on the length of the part of term.


Some programs permit students to participate in internships or cooperative education and earn credit for experience in the workplace. Students earn credit hours for a certain number of work minutes determined by the credit-granting department or college. Generally, students are expected to work a minimum of 3200 minutes, or approximately 53.3 hours, per semester credit hour earned. The amount of work required per semester credit hour may vary depending on the program. Students must work with their supervising faculty member to ensure they meet the requirements of the internship or co-op.