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:
FEDERAL DEFINITION OF THE CREDIT HOUR
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.
APPLICATION OF CREDIT HOUR POLICY
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.
CAMPUS PROCESSES – ACADEMIC CALENDAR
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: http://www.miami.edu/index.php/registrar/calendar/ .
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: http://admissions.med.miami.edu/md-programs/general-md/curriculum
CAMPUS PROCESSES – CURRICULUM REVIEW
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.
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 www.miami.edu/registrar. Students enrolled in a course after the withdrawal date must receive a final grade in the course.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
Regulations and Restrictions
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.
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.
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.
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.
GENERAL REPEAT RULE
FRESHMAN REPEAT RULE
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.
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.