Academic Catalog


Academic Credit Policy

The guidelines below establish the minimum standards for academic credit at Denison. 

  1. Minimum standard for one credit: A one-credit course requires three hours of work per week (one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and two hours of out-of-class student work) over a period of 14 weeks of instruction plus one week of exams.  Direct faculty instruction is defined in the “Forms of Instruction” section below. 
  2. Minimum standard for courses over one credit. Courses offered for other than one credit are simply multiples of the one-credit standard.  Therefore, a four-credit course requires four hours of classroom or direct faculty instruction AND eight hours of out of class student work (for a total of twelve hours of weekly work) over 14 weeks of instruction plus one week of exams.  
  3. Intensive Capstone/Practicum/Research/Creative coursesCapstone, practicum, directed/independent studies, research and creative courses may require students to invest a greater amount of time in work outside of class.  These courses may shift the distribution of the minimum standards described above. Reasons for deviations from the one-third/two-thirds ratio should be articulated on course syllabi.  
  4. This policy establishes the minimum expectation for academic credit.  Students often will be required to invest more time than the required minimum to earn the credit awarded by the course.  A student may not petition to add academic credit to a course solely on the basis of the time beyond the minimum they invested in the course.

Courses offered for less than one credit should generally conform to the one-third/two-thirds ratio of classroom or direct faculty instruction to out of class student work.  Partial-term courses must begin and end during the time that the regular semester (14 weeks of instruction plus one week of exams) is scheduled, and students must remain full-time students during the term in which they enroll for a partial-term course.

Faculty may use their discretion in the weekly distribution of the one-third/two-thirds ratio as long as this guideline is generally met by the end of the semester.  

Forms of Instruction and Student Work

Faculty led instruction may take place in a variety of modes, including forms of instruction outside of regularly scheduled course hours. Thus, Classroom Instruction is one form of instruction offered at Denison.  Other forms of Direct Faculty Instruction include, but are not limited to: 

  • Advising for group or individual projects
  • Laboratory meetings outside of regularly scheduled course hours
  • Review sessions
  • Library sessions outside of regular class time
  • Use of discussion board (such as NoteBowl)
  • Required outside speakers
  • Required community service
  • Required video/film viewing with discussion on NoteBowl or outside class
  • Detailed feedback on student writing and other work
  • Faculty-recorded lectures or presentations (as in a flipped classroom)
  • Concerts, museum visits, and associated field trips
  • Required departmental or divisional colloquia

Out of class student work includes, but is not limited to, various types of reading, writing, and research activities; visits to the Writing Center or similar academic support units, and rehearsal, practice, and creative work.