Credit Hours and Semester System
The unit of credit used at Missouri State is the semester hour. The University follows the semester system in which the academic year is divided into two instructional semesters with each having 15 weeks of instruction plus a final examination period, and an 8 week summer session. Additional instructional periods such as intersession, blocks, sessions, short, and extended class periods are offered. The amount of credit hours awarded for courses is based upon the instructional time and the type (lecture or lab) of course. Lecture courses meet the equivalent of 50 minutes (in addition to two hours of out-of-class student work time) per week for 15 weeks (or 750 minutes total) for one semester hour of credit. Laboratory and studio courses meet for the equivalent of 100 minutes (in addition to one hour of out-of-class student work time) per week for 15 weeks (or 1500 minutes total) for one semester hour of credit. Courses which include both lecture and laboratory type meetings will utilize the appropriate combination of the above guidelines; as will all courses taken for credit, regardless of length.
Whereas courses taught with an online/blended format may not have specific seat time expectations, they maintain comparable quality and student learning outcomes.
College courses taught in a shorter period of time than regular semester courses described in this catalog shall meet the same number of hours for both lecture and laboratories as required if offered on a semester or summer session basis. Laboratory sessions and activity-type courses which are primarily characterized by hands-on, experimental, and skill-building activities shall be in session 30 clock hours for each hour of credit. Workshop courses may vary, depending on the situation. Some workshops fall into the hands-on, activity-type category while others are structured primarily as lecture classes taught in a more intensive, abbreviated format.
Some courses include "clinical" contact hours which represent the number of hours per week the course will meet in clinical experiences outside the classroom (i.e., nursing, physical therapy, etc.). Normally clinical hours will require three or more hours per week per hour of credit.
Courses with no standard lecture or laboratory contact hours indicate class time is spent outside the normal classroom environment (i.e., field study, internships, practicums, research, service learning, supervised teaching, thesis, etc.). The number of contact hours is determined by agreement between instructor and student.