Credit Hour and Course Designations

Credit Hour and Course Designations 

Credit Hour Assignment  

Erie County Community College employs sound and acceptable practices for determining the level and amount of credit awarded for courses, regardless of format or mode of delivery. As noted in the mission statement, EC3 is authorized to offer undergraduate level courses leading to an associate degree or certificate. Courses are delivered in the traditional semester credit hour (SCH) format. This guideline governs the determination of student credit hours awarded for courses and applies to all courses in all programs at all locations regardless of the delivery method including traditional, hybrid, and online modes of delivery. Courses offered in shorter than full-term semesters require the same faculty instruction time as courses offered in full-term semesters and class meeting times are altered accordingly.   

EC3’s practice on assigning credit hours is consistent with Federal Regulations.  

In short, for each credit hour granted:  

  • 750 minutes of instruction time are expected for traditional lecture courses (for example, one 50-minute period for 15 weeks would earn one credit hour OR one 100-minute period for 8 weeks). 
  • 1500 minutes of instructional time are required for laboratory or studio courses (exceptions may be approved by the VPASA following specialized accreditation recommendations). 
  • Variable minutes are required for internships and practicums as established by specialized accreditation or discipline practice and approved by the VPASA. 
  • Final exams are not included in the 750-minute expectation.  

As a benchmark for course success, students should expect to work on course materials for two hours outside of class for each hour of in-class instruction. 

Course Level Designations 

000-level course designation 

  • Developmental- courses: placement determined by college-wide testing of entering students or through illustration of coursework and grades from other institutions (multiple measures). 
  • Intended to improve student performance to prepare to meet college-level expectations
  • Examples are ENG 090, MAT 090

100-level course designation 

  • Courses, usually with no prerequisites, survey courses, courses defining basic concepts or presenting the terminology of a discipline.
  • Examples are ENG 101, CIS 100, PSY 101

200-level course designation 

  • Courses of intermediate college-level difficulty; courses with 100-level course(s) as prerequisite(s); or survey courses devoted to specific areas or fields within a discipline.
  • Examples are HIST 201 (with no prerequisite) and SOC 211 (with SOC 101 prerequisite)


A prerequisite is a course that teaches the skills, knowledge, and abilities that will be necessary for the successful completion of another specified course.