Credit Hours

ADA University uses the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) to define a semester credit hour. ECTS credits express the volume of learning based on defined learning outcomes and associated workload. 


At ADA University, 1 credit corresponds to 30 hours of work in a semester. Workload is an estimation of the time an individual typically needs to complete all learning activities such as lectures, seminars, projects, practical work, internship, and individual study required to achieve the defined learning outcomes in formal learning environments. 


ADA University uses a formula to calculate, record, and interpret the amount of earned academic or training credits that students accumulate toward completion of certificates, diplomas, degrees, and other qualifications. In most cases, earned credits are identified by the term “credit hours” or “credit units.” Several important points need to be understood about credit: 


Credit hours or units represent a mathematical summarization of all work completed, and are different from actual classroom contact or instructional hours. 


Registered student status is usually defined as being enrolled in each semester or quarter for a specified minimum number of credit hours, which are assigned for any type of study recognized and required by the faculty. 


Semester Calendar Credit Hours 


Fall and Spring Semesters include 15 weeks of instruction, while Summer Term includes 6 weeks of instruction. 


The actual amount of academic work that goes into a single semester credit hour is often calculated as follows, in relation to astronomical hours: 


  • One credit hour represents 25 minutes of scheduled class time per week. Hence, one credit hour is equivalent to at least 6 hours and 15 minutes of class time per semester. 


Most courses are awarded 6 credit hours. This represents 150 minutes of scheduled class time per week and a total of 37.5 hours of class time over a semester. 


Research, internships, independent studies, labs, and other academic work leading to the award of academic credit, at a minimum, should clearly state learning outcomes and workload expectations that meet the standards set forth above. 


Workload of Bachelor’s Degree Programs 


A typical bachelor’s degree Program of Study on a semester calendar requires at least 240 credit hours to be earned by the student. Normal full-time registration is usually 30 credit hours per semester or 60 credit hours per academic year. This roughly translates into 40 courses, depending on the student’s program of study. 


Workload of Master’s Degree Programs 


A typical master’s program requires at least 90 credit hours, including research thesis or project such as capstone. Normal full-time registration is usually 42 credit hours per academic year. This roughly translates into 12 courses and a capstone or master thesis experience, depending on the student’s program of study. 


Professional Degree Programs 


Some programs such as EMBA use a quarter calendar, in which the academic year is divided into terms, called quarters, of 12 weeks’ duration, a short winter and other calendar breaks. Quarter credit hours represent proportionately less work than semester hours due to the shorter terms. Normally, courses are 3 ECTS each. Thus, a professional degree such as EMBA on the quarter calendar may require some 70 credit hours.