Each course is measured in credits. Following the federal credit hour definition (34CFR 600.2) and accepted practices in higher education, Quinnipiac University defines a credit hour as equivalent to 50 to 60 minutes of direct faculty instruction and two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately 15 weeks. During fall and spring semesters, a 3-credit course typically meets for 150 minutes per week (three 50-minute class meetings or two 75-minute class meetings) for 15 weeks. At least an equivalent amount of direct faculty instruction and out-of-class student work is required for other activities leading to the award of academic credit (e.g., internships, clinical), for modalities in which classroom instruction (“seat time”) is not the primary method of instruction (e.g., online courses), and for work completed in compressed semesters (summer and J-term). For example, to earn 3 credits for an internship or clinical course, students must complete a minimum of 120 hours of supervised work.

Regular class attendance is expected. A student whose attendance is unsatisfactory may be forced to withdraw from a course at the discretion of the instructor and consistent with Quinnipiac’s withdrawal policy. See Class Attendance Policy.

So far as is practicable, final examinations are regarded as part of the regular work for undergraduate courses. In courses for which a final examination would serve no useful purpose, a term essay or personal conference, problem-solving exercise or other assignment may be substituted; work on the substitute exercise may take place during the final examination period. In some cases, faculty members may exempt from the final examination students whose work is of high quality. Conditions governing exemptions are determined by the faculty of the school concerned. See Final Exam Policy.

Fall and Spring Course Load for Undergraduate Students 

The usual full-time course load for undergraduate students is 12-16 credits per semester (fall and spring). Students in accelerated dual-degree programs and in some majors may be required to take more than 16 credits per fall or spring semester. See the program’s curriculum for more information. Conversely, a student who enters with deficiencies may be allowed to take only three or four courses (12 credits or fewer). Some academic programs may limit the number of credits that may be taken in the fall and/or spring semesters.

Fall and Spring Course Load for Graduate Students

The usual load for graduate students is program-specific. See the program’s curriculum for more information. 

J-Term and Summer Course Load for Undergraduate Students

The usual load for undergraduate students in the condensed January term (J-term) is 3 or 4 credits. In the Summer I and/or Summer II sessions, the usual load for undergraduate students is one to three courses (3-10 credits total) per session. Some academic programs may limit the number of credits that may be taken in J-Term and/or the summer sessions. When determining the number of credits for which they plan to register, students should consider the rigor of their selected coursework, their history of academic success, work and other personal obligations, and other factors that may impact a student’s academic life.  

J-Term and Summer Course Load for Graduate Students

J-term and/or summer course loads for graduate students are program-specific (if applicable). See the program’s curriculum for more information.