Academic Credit Hour Policy

Academic Credit Hour Policy


The credit hour serves as ESU’s common measure of instruction based on the expected number of contact hours of coursework during the semester/term. All credit hours awarded by East Stroudsburg University will conform with the definitions and guidance outlined by the U.S. Department of Education (CFR, Title 34: Education, Part 600 – Institutional Eligibility under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, Subpart A-General, Section 600.2), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education Curricular Credit Policy (22 Pa. Code Chapter 31, §§ 31.21) and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (Verification of Compliance with Accreditation-Relevant Regulations, 2016). One credit hour of instruction equals 15 hours over the term, forty-five hours for a three credit course. Please note that not all of this instruction is necessarily conducted face-to-face with an instructor. Different types of courses require different amounts of contact time and may be delivered in multiple formats to students including but not limited to distance education, face-to-face, hybrid and interactive media.


A semester hour of contact time is defined as at least fifty minutes of contact each week in a standard semester. East Stroudsburg University follows the Pennsylvania System of Higher Education Common Calendar (Board of Governor’s Policy 2002-04). The standard semester – fall and spring – includes 16 weeks where 14 weeks are used for instruction, one week is assigned for final examinations each semester and once week used for non-teaching days in the fall semester and spring break in the spring semester. In the absence of a Common Calendar, ESU will follow the USDOE guidance that defines a semester as having 15 weeks inclusive of 1 week for final examinations.


The following standards are intended to specify the minimum contact time for the assignment of one (1) semester / credit hour. Some courses may exceed these minimum standards.


Course Type

Total Semester Hours (minimum)

Total Actual Contact Minutes




150 minutes X 15 = 2,250



50 minutes X 15 = 750



100 minutes X 15 = 1,500

*Internship/Practicum/Field Experience


60 minutes X 15 = 900



100 minutes X 15 = 1,500

Physical Activity


150 minutes X 7.5 = 1,110

 *calculated based on an actual work week.

Additional information regarding the Academic Credit Hour policy can be found online at