Credit Hours

Credit Hour Definition

Credit hours represent a combination of direct faculty instruction and out-of-class student work, calculated in minutes per week.

• For direct instruction, one semester credit hour assumes 50 minutes of formalized classroom instruction across a 15-week semester. This results in 750 instructional minutes for one semester.
• For out-of-class work, one semester credit assumes a minimum of 100 minutes of coursework and outside study per week across a 15-week semester. This results in a minimum of 1,500 study minutes for one semester.
• For all courses, each semester credit hour requires a minimum of 2,250 total minutes of interaction with the material (750 minutes of instructional time + 1,500 minutes of study time.) Thus, two-credit hour courses require a minimum of 4,500 total minutes and three-credit hour courses a minimum of 6,750 minutes.

All courses are scheduled to meet the above requirements, and all faculty are required to structure their courses to meet out-of-class coursework expectations.

Online and hybrid courses

MTSM offers both synchronous and asynchronous online courses. The direct instruction time and study time per week follow the same expectations as an in-person course. While students may access lessons on their own time for asynchronous courses, they should expect the same level of direct instruction engagement per week within these courses.

Zero credit courses

Some programs have required courses that do not earn semester credit. These courses do not have uniform expectations for direct instruction or coursework, although the student works with a mentor or supervisor during this time to achieve specified learning objectives. Students must satisfactorily meet the requirements of these courses in order to complete their program. Regular tuition is not charged for these courses, although fees may apply. See our tuition and fee section for more information.

Transfer credit

Students wishing to apply transfer credit to their degree must notify the registrar and ensure that official transcripts from previous institutions are submitted. Decisions regarding transfer credit are made by the dean. See Transfer Credit for more information on these policies.

Equivalency credit

Equivalency refers to awarding graduate credit for undergraduate work or for non-accredited learning experiences of two kinds: a) professional or life experience, i.e., learning that did not occur in a structured educational setting, e.g., counseling, management, etc.; b) learning that occurred in a structured educational setting, e.g., workshops, seminars, certificate courses, etc.

Equivalency is assessed according to an established form. The Dean of the Athenaeum consults with the appropriate professor, who administers an equivalency assessment. Credit is determined through this assessment after review by the professor and dean.

The amount of equivalency credit awarded in any certificate or degree program shall not exceed one-sixth of the units/credits required for completion of that program. Equivalency credit is ordinarily awarded only for required courses in a degree program.

Shared credit

The Athenaeum of Ohio offers two shared credit options. Students pursuing the Master of Divinity degree are able to apply 24 credits toward the completion of an academic master’s degree—either the Master of Arts (Theology) (MAT) or the Master of Arts (Biblical Studies) (MAB). In each case, in accordance with the Standards of Accreditation, students must pursue an additional 12 credit hours to satisfy the 36-credit requirements of the MAT or the MAB. A detailed summary of these shared credit options is available in the Catalog.