The University of Miami adopted the following Federal Definition of the Credit Hour at the Faculty Senate meeting on April 17, 2013 that appears in the Credit Hours policy statement of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS), Federal Requirement 4.9:

For purposes of the application of this policy and in accord with federal regulations, a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates:
1. Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time, or
2. At least an equivalent amount of work as outlined in item 1 above for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
This credit hour policy applies to all undergraduate and graduate programs that award academic credit (i.e., any course that appears on an official transcript issued by the University) regardless of the delivery method including, but not limited to, self-paced, online, hybrid, lecture, seminar, and laboratory. Academic units are responsible for ensuring that credit hours are awarded only for work that meets the requirements outlined in this policy. 
The expectation of contact time inside the classroom and student effort outside the classroom is the same in all formats of a course whether it be online, a hybrid of face-to-face contact with some content delivered electronically, or one delivered in lecture or seminar format. The University operates on the semester system and, for its measure of academic course work, uses academic credits (referred to as semester credits, semester hours, credit hours, hours, or credits).
Courses that have less structured classroom schedules, such as research seminars, independent studies, internships, practica, studio work, or any other academic work leading to the award of credit hours, at a minimum, should state clearly learning objectives and expected outcomes and workload expectations that meet the standards set forth above.
Two or three laboratory hours each week throughout a semester are considered the equivalent of one lecture hour in counting credits earned in an undergraduate laboratory or studio course.
No grades or credits are given for audited courses.


The University of Miami adheres to a reasonable approximation of the Carnegie unit for contact time.  In addition, students are expected to spend two hours outside of class in preparation for every classroom hour. The Academic Calendar is the official record of academic instruction. The standard meeting times for three-credit courses are a 50-minute, Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule or a 75-minute, Tuesday-Thursday schedule. The calendar is planned to ensure 69 class days (41 Monday-Wednesday-Friday meeting days and 28 Tuesday-Thursday meeting days) and at least five days for final examinations.  The policy allows a mandatory examination period to be counted in the minutes of instruction, but does not count reading days. The University has a required two-and-a-half-hour final examination policy that adds 150 minutes of instruction, resulting in a minimum of 2,200 minutes of classroom instruction in a three-credit hour course for all undergraduate and graduate terms in the Academic Calendar. The calculation for summer sessions and other abbreviated terms follows this same standard which means longer class meeting times over the duration of the shortened term.

The University Registrar maintains the official Academic Calendar on its website: .

School of Business Administration
In the School of Business Administration, graduate programs include terms of varying length.  The School follows federal and SACS guidelines for the credit hour.  All graduate business programs have a minimum of 750 minutes of instructional contact time per credit hour, including the final examination.  Students are expected to dedicate at least two hours of course-related work for each hour of instruction.

School of Law
The School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association and follows federal and SACS guidelines for the credit hour.  Ordinarily, full-time students must enroll for a minimum of 11 credits and a maximum of 16 credits (please consult the Student Handbook and Honor Code).  For one credit hour, a student receives 700 minutes of instruction, exclusive of examination time.  For a three-credit hour course, this equates to 2,100 minutes of classroom instruction.  An additional 180 minutes of instruction is allotted for the final exam session in a three-credit course. The faculty expects students to spend at least two hours outside the classroom in preparation for each hour of instruction. 

Miller School of Medicine
The Miller School of Medicine is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).  The School’s Department of Physical Therapy is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).  The length of all educational programs is appropriate for each degree, based on national standards and accreditation criteria. The School follows federal and SACS guidelines for the credit hour. Completion of the M.D. program ordinarily takes four years. Although credit hours are not specified by the LCME, the medical education program leading to the M.D. must include at least 130 weeks of instruction.  The University of Miami’s curriculum consists of 161 weeks and may be referenced here:

Each College or School within the University of Miami is charged with following the policy on credit hours in its review and approval of all undergraduate and graduate courses and for certifying that the expected student learning for the course meets the credit hour standard. The determination of credit hours is made when a new course or a revision to an existing course is proposed. The submitted syllabus is examined for contact time as well as for assignments and evaluation mechanisms.

The Office of the University Registrar requires training for class scheduling before granting access to any departmental staff approved by a department for scheduling classes.

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Course changes after the completion of registration must be approved by the student’s academic dean.
Dropping of any course for which the student has registered is official only when the appropriate approvals are obtained and the drop has been fully processed by the Office of the Registrar. Failure to attend classes or merely giving notice to instructors of one’s absence will not be considered as an official withdrawal and may result in failure in the course.

The last day to drop a course or make a change in credit-only option is noted on the Academic Calendar located on the Office of the Registrar’s website at Students enrolled in a course after the withdrawal date must receive a final grade in the course.

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Regular and punctual class attendance is vital for all students. Instructors will distribute course syllabi which include policies regarding class attendance and missed or late work. Any student may be dropped from a course or receive a lowered grade for unauthorized absences in excess of those permitted by the instructor. It is each student’s responsibility to know and understand the instructor’s policies. It is also the student’s responsibility to give the instructor notice one week prior to any anticipated absence and to contact the instructor within one week after any unanticipated absence.

All students are responsible for material covered during their absence. However, the instructor must allow each student who is absent for a University-approved reason either the opportunity to make up, or to be excused from, work missed, without any reduction in the student’s final course grade as a direct result of such absence.

Other than absences for a University-approved reason, the instructor determines whether or not an absence is for an acceptable reason and whether or not students shall have the opportunity to make up missed work. If the instructor does not recognize the reason as acceptable, the student may appeal to the chair of the department in which the course is offered.

The following constitute University-approved reasons for absences:

  • Participation in an activity approved by the Academic Deans Policy Council, such as musical and debate activity, R.O.T.C. function, or varsity athletic trip; participation in a special academic activity such as a field trip or other special event connected with academic coursework. Verification of a student’s participation shall be issued by the sponsor when authorized by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.
  • Observance of a religious holy day as described in the Religious Holy Day Policy, below:

Religious Holy Day Policy

The University of Miami, although a secular institution, is determined to accommodate those students who wish to observe religious holy days. It seeks to reflect its awareness of and sensitivity to religious holy days whenever possible when scheduling University activities. The following provisions are meant to apply equitably to all religious groups and to provide opportunities to all to meet their religious obligations.

  • Except as specifically provided to the contrary, this policy is binding on all students in undergraduate programs.  Schools offering graduate or professional programs, including undergraduate professional programs, are strongly encouraged to adhere to these policies to the maximum extent practicable.
  • Any student absent from class in observance of a religious holy day shall not be penalized in any way for an examination or assignment missed during the period of absence.  Absence in observance of a religious holy day does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence.  Students who are absent on days of examinations or class assignments shall be offered a reasonable opportunity to make up the work without penalty, if the student previously arranged to be absent.  Nothing in this policy shall preclude faculty members from limiting the number of student absences to a reasonable number of absences for any reason.  The faculty member has discretion to determine how the make-up obligation will be fulfilled.  A faculty member who penalizes a student contrary to these provisions may have committed unprofessional conduct, and thus may be subject to a complaint to the Committee on Professional Conduct under the provisions of Section B4.9 of the Faculty Manual.
  • It is the student’s obligation to provide faculty members with notice of the dates they will be absent due to observance of religious holy days, preferably before the beginning of classes but no later than the end of the first three class days.  For religious holy days that fall within the first three class days, students must provide faculty members with notice no later than two class days before the absence.  Missing a class due to travel plans associated with a particular religious holy day does not constitute an excused absence.  Absences due to observance of religious holy days that are not pre-arranged with the relevant faculty member within the first three class days may be considered unexcused, and the faculty member may therefore prevent the student from making up examinations or assignments missed during the period of absence.
  • Faculty members are encouraged to anticipate days when a substantial number of students will be absent for observance of religious holy days and should avoid scheduling examinations and assignment deadlines on those days. Faculty members are expected to reasonably assist students in obtaining class information the student missed during the period of absence in observance of a religious holy day. In that regard, faculty members are urged to allow taping or recording of the class session, with the reproduction limited to the student’s personal use, when a student misses a class due to observance of a religious holy day. To assist in identifying religious observance days, faculty members are encouraged to consult the illustrative list provided in the Interfaith Calendar ( Faculty members are urged to remind students of their obligation to inform faculty members within the first three class days of any anticipated absences due to observance of religious holy days and should include that information in the syllabus or course requirements document for that course.

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The following course-numbering system is used:

Courses in the 100 series are primarily for freshmen.
Courses in the 200 series are primarily for sophomores.
Courses in the 300 series are primarily for juniors.
Courses in the 400 series are primarily for seniors.
Courses in the 500 series are open only to qualified undergraduates and graduate students.
Courses in the 600 and 700 series are open only to graduate students.

Courses in some departments, with the specific numbers 100, 200, 300, 400 are offered, in most instances, on an experimental or trial basis. When listed in CaneLink’s Course Offerings, a more descriptive title will normally be attached.

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Veterans of the military services may make application for academic credit for schooling received while in the armed forces. Credit may be awarded for work that the American Council on Education Guide regards as college level. Students must have credits approved by their departmental chairperson.

Credit for military service and experience is usually in the elective area and may not take the place of subjects required for graduation. Such work is not assigned quality points and is not included in quality point computations.

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The credit only option has been established to encourage students to explore academic areas outside their major and minor fields of concentration. Students may use this option with free electives and receive a CR (Credit Received) or NC (No Credit). These courses become part of a student’s record, but they do not count in the grade point average as computed by the University of Miami.


To be eligible to enroll for courses under the CR/NC option, a student must:

  • hold the standing of Sophomore or above, and, if a transfer, must have completed one semester of residency at the University of Miami;
  • at the time of registration have a minimum cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00;
  • elect the CR/NC option within two weeks following the last day of registration for Fall and Spring semesters. Election of CR/NC options for Summer Sessions must occur no later than the fifth class day following the last day of registration. No changes except withdrawals from the course are permitted after this time.

Regulations and Restrictions

  • Eligible students may take one course per semester for credit only, to a maximum of 9 credits.
  • Only free electives may be taken under this option. Free electives are defined as courses not taken to fulfill the requirements for the major, minor, or general education requirements (including prerequisite course work) of the University and the individual schools.
  • ENGLISH 105 and ENGLISH 106 cannot be taken for credit only.
  • Grading standards for the credit only option are the same as for students who register for the course under the regular grading system. Letter grades will be submitted by instructors to the Office of the Registrar. The Office of the Registrar will change all grades A through C (including “C-”) to CR (Credit Received) for those enrolled under the CR/NC option.
  • A grade of NC (No Credit) will be recorded by the Office of the Registrar for all grades of D and F. The student will not receive credit hours or quality points for the grade of NC.
  • Should a student subsequently change his/her major, free electives taken for credit only prior to the declaration of this major may be counted toward fulfilling major, minor, or general education requirements at the discretion of the department chairman and the academic dean.

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Final Examinations may not be given during a regularly-scheduled class period.

No examination shall be permitted during the reading period.

Final Examinations may be rescheduled only with the permission of the dean.
No student shall be required to take more than two final examinations in a twenty-four hour period. A student having three or more final examinations scheduled during a twenty-four hour period may request the instructor of the course most easily rescheduled (normally the course with the smallest enrollment) to reschedule the examination for that individual. The request shall be made no later than two weeks before the last class day.
A student who has a conflict between a final examination and a religious observation may request that the instructor reschedule that student’s examination. The request shall be made no later than two weeks before the last class day.
For the resolution of any problem pertaining to the scheduling of final examinations, a student should consult with the following entities or persons in this order: the relevant instructor, the department chair, the Dean or designee. If the matter cannot be resolved at the school or college, the student should contact the Office of the Provost.

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Registration dates are shown on the University Academic Calendar, and all students are expected to register on these days. If a student is permitted to register late, a fee is charged.

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Students who select courses and fail to make payment and/or financial arrangements with the Office of Student Account Services (OSAS) prior to the payment deadline will have their course schedules canceled.  Reinstatement of classes can only occur after payment arrangements have been made with the OSAS to cover all financial obligations including reinstatement fees.  Reinstatement to cancelled classes will be on an “as available” basis after financial arrangements have been completed. 

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A student may repeat a course, but the repetition will not eliminate the previous grade from the record. A course may be repeated only once unless written authorization is provided by the chair of the department in which the course is offered or, in the case of an undepartmentalized school, by the dean.


A student may not repeat a course in which a grade of C or higher has been earned. This is considered an illegal repeat.


  • If the initial grade is D+ or lower (or a C- in cases where an academic unit requires a C or higher), both the initial grade and the repeat grade are included in the computation of the student’s cumulative grade-point average (CGPA).
  • If the initial grade is a D or D+ (or a C- in cases where an academic unit requires a C or higher) and the repeat grade is passing, the number of credits required for graduation will be increased by the number of credits repeated.
  • Registrations that involve repeating a course in which a grade of C or higher (or C- in cases where an academic unit does not require a C or higher) has already been earned do not earn quality points or credit hours, nor count as credits attempted.
  • Courses repeated after graduation will be posted to the transcript showing the grade received; however, the CGPA and credits earned will not be modified based on the grade received for the repeated course.


  • A student may elect to repeat up to two courses that were taken at the University of Miami within that student’s first two semesters of college work and in which the student earned a grade of D or F. Each repeated course must be taken at the University of Miami, must be the same course as the course initially taken, and must be completed within 12 months after the end of the semester (or summer session) in which the initial course was first taken.
  • No course may be repeated more than once under this rule. A course repeated more than once under the University’s General Repeat Rule will not qualify under the Freshman Repeat Rule.
  • Enrollment for a second time in a course constitutes a repeat of that course for the purposes of this rule, unless the student withdraws from the course on or before the University’s published Last Day to Drop a Course date.
  • For each repeated course, only the second grade (whether higher, or lower, or the same as the first grade) will be used in the computation of the student’s CGPA. The initial course will not count as credits attempted or earned, although the initial course grade will remain on the student’s permanent record.
  • Students who plan to apply to graduate and/or professional school should be aware that such institutions may recalculate the CGPA to include the initial grade earned before the repeat.

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Fifteen or sixteen semester hours constitutes a normal schedule at the University. Academic deans and advisors will determine the appropriate credit load for their students. (A schedule of charges for credits is found in the Financial Payment Policies section of this Bulletin.) The schedule of any student whose outside interests cause unsatisfactory scholastic attainment may be reduced by the dean.

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In order to withdraw officially from the University, a student must notify the Office of the Registrar and complete the withdrawal process. Veterans and children of deceased or totally disabled veterans attending the University as students under the government’s educational benefit bills must also be cleared by the Veterans Affairs Certifying Official.

Varsity athletes or any athlete registered with the department of Athletics must obtain approval and be cleared by the Athletic department prior to any change in their registration status, including withdrawal from the university.

During the academic year, tuition will be refunded on a prorated basis depending on the date that is noted as the ‘Total Withdrawal Date’. Tuition will be refunded on a prorated basis through 60 percent of the semester.

Dropping courses in a summer session, thereby reducing a student credit-hour load to zero, is not construed as a formal withdrawal from the University.

Title IV financial aid and tuition will be refunded on a pro rata daily basis through 60 percent of the semester. This date is determined based on the student notifying the Office of the Registrar of his/her intent to withdraw. If the student fails to notify the Office of the Registrar, federal guidelines for determining refunds will be followed. Please see the Refund Policy under the Financial Payment Policies section of this Bulletin.

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  • On the recommendation of the Dean of the school, students who withdraw after the 12th week of the semester because of official orders to active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States may either be awarded credit (CR) or an academic grade for any course in which they have achieved a C or better up to the time of withdrawal.  Instructors must certify that the student had achieved satisfactory accomplishment on the basis of previous work in the course by awarding an appropriate grade.  Accomplishment of less than C should be entered on the permanent record as a withdrawal without prejudice (W).
  • Credit granted for courses under this policy should count toward graduation.
  • There should be no refund of tuition for courses for which credit has been awarded.  Refunds for courses not awarded credit should be on the same basis as complete withdrawals for military service.
  • The above recommendations are procedures for determining the awarding of credit and do not release the student from the usual withdrawal procedures.

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