Undergraduate Catalog 2024-2025

Course Credit

Definition of a Credit Hour

Credit Hour as required by the U.S. Department of Education (34 C.F.R. § 600.2)

An amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; OR
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Base Contact Hour

The faculty Base Contact Hour represents a standard measurement of consumption of faculty resources by students. It consists of the number of scheduled minutes of instructional activity involving direct contact of faculty with students in a given term utilizing a particular method of instruction. The standard measurement for a faculty Base Contact Hour is:

  • Semester system term. One Base Contact Hour = a minimum of 750 minutes. This translates to a MINIMUM of fifteen 50-minute hours per semester.

The base contact time will vary based on type of course. The required contact time is represented in the schedule of classes. Some UNC courses may be repeated for credit; they are specifically noted in the course description section of this Catalog with the maximum amount of credit allowed for each course.

For repeated courses, grades of “F,” “U,” “NC,” “NG,” “IP,” “UW,” “W,” and “I” that have not been completed within the allotted time, the credit hours are not included in earned credits.

Students may audit a course for “no credit” but must pay the same tuition and fees as those taking the course for credit. No audit or visitor cards are issued. Students auditing a course must enroll through the Office of the Registrar before the add deadline. Students need not complete assignments or exams used but are expected to attend classes when auditing a course.

If you are age 65 or older and wish to audit a course, you may do so with no tuition charge (course fees may apply).  

Registration may occur beginning the first Monday following the last day of pre-registration for UNC students. Registration is subject to space availability. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Office of the Registrar at 970-351-4UNC (4862).