Academic Credit and Student Workload

The academic year at Purchase College comprises two 15-week semesters. The unit of credit is the semester hour, which represents:

  • one 50-minute class hour of instruction per week in lectures, seminars, and discussions*
  • two 50-minute class hours of instruction per week in studios, labs, field trips, and practica*
  • three 50-minute class hours of instruction per week in studios, labs, field trips, and practica with little or no outside preparation expected of students
  • 37.5 hours per semester of academic work in part-time, supervised independent studies (supervised individual activity)
  • 15 hours per semester of regularly scheduled instruction in tutorials

Courses may be composed of any combination of elements described, such as a lecture course with required laboratory periods or a lecture course having an additional requirement of supervised independent study or tutorial activity.

In credit-bearing courses that meet fewer than 15 weeks (e.g., winter session courses; three-week and four-week summer session courses), the class hours of instruction per week are proportionately increased.

*For each credit, students are expected to complete a minimum of two hours of academic work (study, preparation, etc.) outside of class each week. Some courses may require three or more hours of outside work each week for each credit. In particular, the B.F.A. and Mus.B. programs are intensive professional training programs and require students’ full-time commitment. Students in all majors are advised to limit their job and social commitments in order to give their coursework adequate attention.

For detailed information, please refer to the SUNY Credit/Contact Hour Policy.

Updated Nov. 5, 2010