The Washington State University Catalog

Academic Regulations Search Result

Washington State University and its various colleges reserve the right to change the rules regulating admission to, instruction in, and graduation from Washington State University and any other regulations affecting the student body. Such regulations shall go into effect whenever the proper authorities may determine and shall apply to prospective students and to those who may at that time be enrolled.



Academic credit is a measure of the total minimum time commitment required of a typical student in a specific course. For the WSU semester system one semester credit is assigned for a minimum of 45 hours. The expected time commitment may include: 1) time spent in scheduled course activities organized by an instructor (lectures, discussions, workbooks, videotapes, laboratories, studios, fieldwork, etc.); 2) time spent in group activities related to course requirements; and 3) time spent in reading, studying, problem solving, writing, and other preparations for the course. The minimum in-class time commitment, based on a 15-week semester and a traditional format, should follow these guidelines: 1) lecture—1 hour of lecture per week for each credit hour; 2) laboratory—3 hours of laboratory per week for each credit hour; 3) studio—2 hours of studio work per week for each credit hour; 4) ensemble—4 hours of ensemble work per week for each credit hour. The minimum time commitment for independent study is 3 hours of work per week for each credit hour. Courses taught in different time frames than the 15-week semester or in a different format need to define how the time commitment leads to the achievement of stated course goals. Achievement of course goals may require more than the minimum time commitment.


As part of the initial approval process for new courses, the Catalog Subcommittee reviews course syllabi for adherence to credit and minimum time commitments.  For ongoing adherence to credit and minimum time commitments, colleges review the schedule of classes each term to check a judgment sample of scheduled courses.


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