Skip to content

School for Adult Learning Undergraduate Programs

Browse Department

Accelerated Classes & Time Management

3.0 credit hours = 168.0 clock hours

The “Gold Standard” for university-level classes is the Carnegie standard. The Carnegie standard specifies that a 3.0 credit hour course equals 168 clock hours in combined classroom and outside study activity.

Traditional 14-week Semester (12 clock hours per week)

A student attends three hours of class each week for 14 weeks (a total of 42 hours of lecture per course), and studies three hours outside of class for each hour of class. Thus, a 3.0 credit hour course requires 9.0 clock hours per week in outside study (a total of 126 clock hours of outside study per course). 42 hours of class + 126 hours of outside study = 168 hours.

Note: In practice, institutional expectations range from 2.0 to 3.0 hours for each hour in class.

Accelerated 5-week Session (34 clock hours per week)

Accelerated courses have similar time requirements, but there are two important differences:

  1. The total time in the classroom is reduced.
  2. The course is completed in five weeks.

For a 3.0 credit hour course, a student still needs to budget a total of 168 clock hours in combined classroom and outside study activity (approximately 34 clock hours per week).

An accelerated student attends 4.0 hours of class each week for five weeks (a total of 20 hours of lecture per course), and studies 10 hours outside of class for each hour of class. Thus, a 3.0 credit hour course requires 30 clock hours per week in outside study.

What is a credit hour?

At UIndy, the guideline is that one credit hour equals 60 minutes in the classroom per week per semester. So if you are taking a 3.0 credit hour course, you should expect to sit in class about three clock hours each week for the duration of the session or semester. This formula does not apply to accelerated courses. You should expect to sit in an accelerated class about 3 hours and 45 minutes each week, regardless of the number of credit hours.

The time spent in class may be broken up into smaller time blocks. For example, in the Day Division, the three clocks might be one hour each on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. In the Extended Programs Division or the Accelerated Programs Division, typically the entire amount of class time is concentrated in one evening each week.

For Additional Information

For more information about this topic, contact the School for Adult Learning at 317-788-3393, or visit the SAL office in Esch Hall 103.