Workload Expectations for SJSU Courses

Over the fifteen week semester, students are expected to dedicate 135 hours to a three-unit course, and 180 hours to a four unit course, inclusive of attending lectures, reading course materials, etc.  Or in other words, students are expected to dedicate 9 hours a week to a three-unit course, and 12 hours a week to a four-unit course, inclusive of all course activities.

The precise language that defines the requirements for a unit of credit can be found here:

That document defines one “credit hour” as “the 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 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.”

 As in the past, a credit hour is assumed to be a 50-minute (not 60-minute) period. In courses, such as those offered online, in which “seat time” does not apply, a credit hour may be measured by an equivalent amount of work, as demonstrated by student achievement.