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.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Louisiana State University Shreveport

    Louisiana State University Shreveport responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Louisiana State University Shreveport:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Johns Hopkins University

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

    Popular programs at Johns Hopkins University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Lincoln Tech

    Lincoln Tech responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Lincoln Tech:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Columbia
  • Notre Dame de Namur University

    Notre Dame de Namur University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Notre Dame de Namur University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Tulane University

    Tulane University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Tulane University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • American National University

    American National University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American National University:

    • Master
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Indiana: South Bend
    • Kentucky: South Bend, Danville, Lexington, Pikeville, Shively
    • Ohio: South Bend, Danville, Lexington, Pikeville, Shively, Kettering, Youngstown
    • Tennessee: South Bend, Danville, Lexington, Pikeville, Shively, Kettering, Youngstown, Bartlett, Bristol, Memphis, Nashville
    • Virginia: South Bend, Danville, Lexington, Pikeville, Shively, Kettering, Youngstown, Bartlett, Bristol, Memphis, Nashville, Charlottesville, Danville, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Parkersburg, Salem
    • West Virginia: South Bend, Danville, Lexington, Pikeville, Shively, Kettering, Youngstown, Bartlett, Bristol, Memphis, Nashville, Charlottesville, Danville, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Parkersburg, Salem, Princeton
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »