What Are College Credits?

College credits measure the number of applied hours that are recognized for successful completion of a particular course of study. College credits are a way of standardizing the time spent on college level subjects. Read further for more information about college credits and why they are important to students.

Applications of College Credits

College credits are often measured by hours of lecture time per week in a classroom. Some institutions allow credits for laboratory time and some even include time spent on homework. College credits are important for measuring the cost of tuition, residency requirements and minimum degree requirements. They are also used in determining the grade-point average (GPA) of a student.

Important Facts About College Credits

Online Availability Achievable through online classes
Possible Careers Construction Manager, Elementary School Teacher, Market Research Analyst, Accountant/Auditor
Degrees Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate degrees
College Environments Traditional classrooms and institutions; web-based distance learning; internships

College Credits and Cost for Tuition

College credits are used in calculating tuition costs. Many schools charge a cost per credit hour up to 12 credit hours. A flat tuition rate is assessed for terms in which the number of credits exceeds 12, and full-time status is achieved. In order to qualify for many federal loan and grant programs, a student may be required to carry a minimum number of credit hours, reports the U.S. Department of Education.

Alternative College Credits

Some colleges and universities award college credits for life experiences. Life-experience credits are earned by documenting experience that can be considered comparable to college-based skill building. These experiences can be professional or voluntary, and the terms associated with awarding the relevant credits vary by institution and by the type of academic program. Other credits can be earned through a challenge examination. If a student doesn't need to repeat courses presenting subject matter that has already been learned, an examination over course materials may be accepted instead of class attendance.

Transferring College Credits

College credits earned for a particular course can have different values in schools that are on a semester system from those that are on a quarter system. This factor can create problems when a student transfers from one school to another, or when an institution changes from one academic term system to another. The specific terms for accepting transferred credits are determined by each school.

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • George Mason University

    George Mason University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Georgetown University

    Georgetown University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Georgetown University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Delaware

    University of Delaware responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of Delaware:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Johns Hopkins University

    Johns Hopkins University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Johns Hopkins University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
      • DBA in Management
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. Next »