Credit Hour Policy
Drew University complies with federal (U.S. Department of Education), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) regulations pertaining to degree requirements and credit hours. Drew University’s undergraduate degree requires the successful completion of 128 semester credit hours. Graduate programs range from 18 to 84 credit hours depending on the degree and the standards.
Drew University’s academic year is separated into fall and spring semesters, each running 15 weeks, a two to three-week January term, and two summer terms, each six weeks, with two embedded four-week sessions. The Theological School has a three-week January term, a twelve-week regular semester, and a range of hybrid and online course formats.
Drew adheres to the Federal standard of a total of 45 learning hours for every 1-credit earned in a semester, regardless of the time frame or format of instruction. A credit hour is the equivalent of one hour of classroom instruction (50 minutes) with an average of two hours of out of class work for each hour in class. For example, a 3-credit hour course requires a total of 135 hours of combined in and out of class work, while a 4-credit hour course requires a total of 180 hours.
All course formats and schedules are monitored by the curriculum committees or academic dean’s office of each school to comply with the university’s credit hour policy. The credit hour calculation worksheet is completed for every Drew credit-bearing course or experience and are kept on-file in the appropriate Dean’s office. Existing courses are reviewed periodically by the curriculum committees or academic dean’s offices of each school to ensure that the workload is consistent with the credits to be earned. For accelerated and non-traditional course formats, faculty use the credit hour calculation worksheet to document how these courses meet the minimum semester credit hour requirement. Credit hour calculation worksheets are also reviewed as data for departmental external reviews.
Policy on Undergraduate Students Enrolled in Graduate Courses
Upper-level undergraduate students may, with instructor permission, enroll in graduate-level courses. The assignment of credit hours in these cases follows all aspects of Drew’s credit hour assignment policy. In these cases, the increased level of difficulty of graduate work generally requires undergraduates to spend more time completing assignments and reading advanced texts. As a result, undergraduates in these courses generally earn one more credit than graduate students therein.
Policy on Graduate Students Enrolled in Undergraduate Courses
In limited cases, graduate students may take courses in the College of Liberal Arts and apply the credits toward graduate degree completion. The assignment of credit hours in these cases follows all aspects of Drew’s credit hour assignment policy. In recognition of the difference in level of undergraduate and graduate coursework and the amount of time that it should take a graduate student to complete work in an undergraduate course, graduate students earn only three credits for completing a four-credit undergraduate course. In addition, faculty teaching undergraduate courses in which graduate students enroll may replace some assignments to ensure appropriate rigor or enhance the graduate student’s professional and disciplinary goals. Such curriculum adjustments include alternative readings, research work, and performance or portfolio work. These curricular adjustments should not exceed the total hours appropriate to a three-credit graduate course.