Course Information

Academic Credit Policy


All credits at Wabash College are issued as course credits. Each course credit is equivalent to four (4) credit hours. Each one-half course credit is equivalent to two (2) credit hours. Credit values of courses are assigned on the basis of instructional time, which is a combination of direct faculty instruction and out-of-class student work.  Direct faculty instruction is defined in the “Forms of Instruction” section below. Instructional time is measured on the basis of an academic hour, which is 50 minutes in length. A Fall or Spring semester at Wabash College includes 14 instructional weeks plus one week of exams. Summer semesters may be of different lengths, but summer courses require the same amount of instructional time in alignment with their credit values as courses in a Fall or Spring semester. 

The credit value assigned to courses at Wabash College is in accordance with the definition of a credit hour from the Code of Federal Regulations (34 CFR 600.2), which states “a credit hour is 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 instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition 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.”

To meet this standard, Wabash College courses valued at one course credit must require a minimum of 60 academic hours of direct faculty instruction, which assumes an additional 120 hours of  student work apart from direct faculty instruction (i.e. “non-instructional” time) - thus a total of 180 hours of direct faculty instruction and non-instructional time. A course valued at one-half course credit (two credit hours) must require a total of 90 hours of direct faculty instruction and non-instructional time. This applies to all Wabash credit-bearing courses no matter the schedule, term length, or modality. Different course types have different combinations of direct instruction and non-instructional student work time. Students should consult their course syllabi for the instructional and non-instructional requirements for each course.

Wabash College Course Credit Standards

Minimum standard for a half-credit course: A half-credit course (two credit hours) requires six hours of work per week (the equivalent of two hours of classroom or direct instruction and four hours of out-of-class student work) over a period of 14 weeks of instruction plus one week of exams.  Half-credit courses that meet for half the length of the full semester are thus expected to require the equivalent of 12 hours of work per week (the equivalent of four hours of classroom or direct instruction and eight hours of out-of-class student work).

Minimum standard for a one credit course: A one credit course requires 12 hours of work per week (the equivalent of four hours of classroom or direct instruction and eight hours of out-of-class student work) over a semester of 14 weeks of instruction plus one week of exams. 

Minimum standard for courses over one credit. Courses offered for more than one credit, should Wabash ever elect to offer such courses, are multiples of the one credit standard.  A 1.5 credit course offering requires 18 hours of instructional time per week (the equivalent of six hours of classroom or direct instruction and 12 hours of out-of-class student work over the semester). A two-credit course offering requires 24 hours of work per week (the equivalent of eight hours of classroom or direct instruction and 16 hours of out-of-class student work) over the semester.

Capstone/Research/Independent Study/Internship courses. Capstones, directed/independent studies, research and similar courses may require students to invest a greater amount of time in work outside of class.  These courses will frequently shift the distribution of the one-third/two-thirds ratio described in the minimum standards above. These shifts should be articulated in course syllabi or on the independent study/special registration application, as applicable. 

If in the future a course is ever offered for less than a half-credit, it should conform proportionally to the one-third/two-thirds ratio of classroom or direct instruction to out-of-class student work.

Many courses at Wabash will require students to invest more time than the required minimum to earn the credit awarded by the course. A student may not request or petition to be awarded additional academic credit for a course solely on the basis of the time beyond the minimum he invested in the course.

Forms of Instruction and Student Work

At Wabash College, classroom instruction is just one form of direct instruction.  Direct instruction may occur in a variety of methods, including forms of instruction outside of regularly scheduled course hours. Instruction that defines the credit value of Wabash courses will have the characteristics of being:

  • determined by instructional faculty and made clear to students, typically via the course syllabus;
  • organized by instructional faculty, even if someone other than the course’s faculty of record is delivering the instruction;
  • evaluated by instructional faculty, i.e. included in discussions, exams, or other assignments so that students are responsible for the information.       

Direct instruction at Wabash may include the following approaches, among others:

  • Laboratory meetings outside of regularly scheduled course hours (especially science, world language, and studio art courses)
  • Required review sessions before or after scheduled examinations
  • Required library or discussion sessions outside of regular class time
  • Use of the discussion board in a learning management system (e.g. Canvas) when such assignments are directed, organized and evaluated by instructional faculty
  • Required attendance at specific lectures by outside speakers, on or off campus
  • Required participation in community service activities
  • Required video/film viewing with discussion on Canvas or outside class
  • Faculty-recorded lectures or presentations assigned to students and evaluated by faculty
  • Concerts, museum visits, and associated field or immersion trips with required attendance
  • Required rehearsals, music lessons, or ensemble participation with faculty members
  • Required departmental or divisional colloquia
  • Out-of-class student work (separate from scheduled class time) may include various types of required reading, writing, and research activities, visits to the Writing Center, Quantitative Skills Center, or similar academic support units
  • Rehearsal, practice, and creative work when such assignments are presented as requirements for students in the course, and are directed, organized and evaluated by teaching faculty.

Course Credits

All credits are issued as course credits. Each course credit is equivalent to four (4) semester hours. Each one-half course credit is equivalent to two (2) semester hours.

Course Numbers

Wabash courses are numbered according to the following scheme:

000 Courses not counting towards the major, minor, or distribution
100 Introductory Courses
200 Introductory and intermediate courses
300 Advanced courses
400 Departmental capstone courses

Schedule of Class Periods


8:00-8:50 a.m.
9:00-9:50 a.m.
10:00-10:50 a.m.
11:00-11:50 a.m.
1:10-2:00 p.m.
2:10-3:00 p.m.
3:10-4:00 p.m.


8:00-9:15 a.m.
9:45-11:00 a.m.
1:10-2:25 p.m.
2:40-3:55 p.m.

Normal Course Loads

The curriculum is limited to full credit and half-credit courses. The typical student course load is four, four and one-half, or five course credits per semester. Freshmen are advised to take no more than four credits in their first semester.

Students who wish to take six or more course credits in a semester must petition the Curriculum Appeals Committee for approval. Full time student status requires a minimum of three course credits. Courses that do not apply toward the 34 required credits for graduation (such as internship courses), and all no credit courses, do not count in determining full time status. Courses graded on a conversion to credit/no credit basis do count toward determination of full-time status.

Freshmen wishing to drop to three course credits in a semester need the approval of both their advisors and the Dean of Students. If any student’s academic program drops below the minimum full-time load of three course credits, he is classified as a part-time student, and is subject to loss of financial aid (e.g. Wabash, State and Federal assistance).  He is also no longer eligible to participate in the Student Health Center Reimbursement Plan.

Internship Courses

Internships allow Wabash students to work and learn in a variety of off-campus organizations. Exploration of a possible career area, development of new skills (or recognition of established skills and abilities in a new setting), the challenge of confronting new ideas and problems, and the chance to make a contribution to our society are but a few of the uses Wabash students have found for the program.

The internship course is a non-divisional course with the value of either one-half or one course credit. This credit cannot be applied toward the 34 credits required for graduation. The course is recorded on the student's transcript, and is graded according to Credit/No Credit option. Application for this course is made directly to the faculty member whom the student wishes to have supervise the internship. An internship course proposal requires the approval of the supervising faculty member, that faculty member's department or program chair, and the student's academic advisor. Internship applications are available from the Registrar's Office. Registration in INT-298, INT-398, and INT-498 is processed through the Registrar's Office.