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Credit Assignment Policy

Graduate Divisions

Note: The minimum requirement for maintaining full-time and half-time graduate student status varies with the individual school. All schools, with the exception of the School of Law, comply with the federal definition of a credit hour as defined above, and most also award equivalency credits for certain academic activities outside the formal classroom setting. These matriculation requirements and equivalency policies are outlined under the individual schools below. Graduate student status is monitored every semester (or trimester) by the University Registrar and Director of Academic Records as well as by the Director of Compliance in the Office of Student Financial Services.

Specific types of graduate courses include online courses and hybrid courses. On-line courses are offered without any on-site face-to-face meetings. They have the same learning outcomes and substantive components of a standard lecture/seminar course with an alternate delivery method. Contact time is satisfied by several means which can include, but is not limited to, (1) regular weekly instruction or interaction with a faculty member for the duration of the course, and/or (2) academic engagement through interactive tutorials, group discussions moderated by faculty, virtual study/project groups, engaging with class peers and computer tutorials graded and reviewed by the faculty member. In all cases, these courses meet the definition of credit hour and out of class student work as defined above. Hybrid courses consist of a combination of alternative delivery and on-site instruction, and their credit hour assignment is calculated according to the above definitions.

Gabelli Graduate School of Business

The graduate division of the Gabelli School of Business operates on a trimester rather than a semester basis, but this arrangement falls within the parameters of the federal credit hour regulations. Although the School does not offer equivalency credit for non-traditional/non-classroom work, there are instances where graduate students can receive academic credit for participating in an external professional internship. This only occurs under the supervision of a Gabelli School of Business faculty member as partial fulfillment of the requirements of a formally established credit-bearing course.

The minimum requirement for maintaining full-time student status in the graduate division of the Gabelli Schools of Business is 9 credits per trimester and 6 credits per trimester for half-time graduate student status.

Graduate Division of the Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies

In addition to the equivalency academic credit a student can earn for demonstrated “life experience” (See Undergraduate Division of PCS), equivalency credit can also be awarded by the graduate division of PCS to a student who is participating in an external professional internship. As in the graduate division of the Gabelli School of Business, this only occurs under the supervision of a faculty member and within a formally established credit-bearing course.

The minimum requirement for maintaining full-time student status in the graduate division of the Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies is 9 credits per semester and 5 credits per semester for half-time graduate student status.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

At the time of registration each semester, the GSAS Department Chair/Program Director assesses the academic related activity for which their students may be seeking equivalency credit. The Department certifies that the work conforms to the credit hour definition above and uses the Matriculated Student Status Certification Form to award equivalency credit toward forced half- or full-time status. (View the Credit Equivalencies Used by Each Department/Program).

The minimum requirement for maintaining full-time as well as half-time student status in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences varies with the program. Most programs require 12 credits to maintain full-time graduate student status and 6 credits to maintain half-time graduate student status, but the following exceptions apply: programs in Biomedical Informatics, Biological Sciences, Classics, Clinical Psychology, Conservation Biology, Computer Science, Applied Development Psychology, English, Ethics and Society, Financial Computing, Humanities and Sciences, Latin American and Latino Studies, Medieval Studies, Public Communications, Philosophy, Psychometrics, Sociology, Theology, Urban Studies, and Economics require 9 credits to maintain full-time graduate student status and 5 credits to maintain half-time graduate student status. Health Care Ethics require 9 credits for full-time and 6 credits for half-time status. History requires 10 credits for full-time status and 5 credits for half-time status. Finally, the minimum requirement for full-time graduate student status in the programs of Management of Human Action and Operational Humanitarian Assistance is 8 credits, with 4 credits required for half-time graduate student status in those fields.

Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education

Only one program in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education offers equivalency credits: the 60 credit counseling degree requires 600 hours of field work. Students register for 3 credits of field placement for every 200 hours of work in the field.

The minimum requirement for maintaining full-time student status in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education is 6 credits per semester and 3 credits per semester for half-time graduate student status.

Graduate School of Social Service

Equivalency credits are awarded only to those students who are seeking academic credit in order to maintain full or half-time graduate student status in the School. Half-time equivalency per semester is awarded for students engaged in “research for dissertation” (View Fordham University Graduate/Professional School Matriculated Student Status Certification form); in the case of GSSS, this amounts to 6 credits per semester or, if the student is enrolled in the Nonprofit Leadership program, 5 credits per semester. Nine equivalency credits per year (5 in one semester and 4 in the other semester) are awarded to students for field placement work ( = 21 hours a week internship) when they are enrolled in the concomitant credit-bearing field placement course.

The minimum requirement for maintaining full-time student status in the Graduate School of Social Service is 12 credits per semester (9 credits for the Nonprofit Leadership program) and 6 credits (5 credits for the Nonprofit Leadership program) per semester for half-time student status.

Graduate School of Education

The Graduate School of Education has devised a consistent credit hour equivalency policy which matches up a certain number of equivalency credits with concomitant enrollment in specific credit-bearing courses in order to determine full- or half-time status for its graduate students. View the specific breakdown; course credits range from 0 to 3 credits per semester, equivalency credits range from 3, 6, and 9 to 12 credits per semester. In the case of the zero credit Teach for America externship (TFA), which entails approximately 35 hours of teaching per week, the Assistant Dean checks with the school placement to verify the student’s hours and duties before awarding 12 equivalency credits, or full-time status, per semester. The same procedure is followed in the case of the 0 credit counseling internship in the Psychological and Educational Services program. The various department codes refer to different divisions within the School’s curriculum: C&T (Division of Curriculum and Teaching); ELAP (Educational Leadership, Administration, and Supervision), and PES (Psychological and Educational Services). The student must be enrolled in the specified course in order to earn the equivalency credits associated with it. Since this credit hour policy is specific to the Graduate School of Education, it uses its own matriculation maintenance form (View Graduate School of Education Matriculation Student Status Form), but in all instances it complies with the federal definition of “credit hour.”

The minimum requirement for maintaining full-time student status in the Graduate School of Education is 12 credits per semester and 6 credits per semester for half-time student status.

Fordham School of Law

Unlike the other schools within the University, including the graduate division of the Gabelli School of Business, Fordham School of Law operates on the basis of two 13-week semesters and an optional 7- week summer session per year. Its courses carry 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 credits, all of which are calculated in accordance and compliance with Standard 304: Course of Study and Academic Calendar as stipulated in the 2013-3014 ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools. The section regarding the definition of "credit hour" is found in Interpretation 304-4, which reads as follows:

  • "Law schools may find the following examples useful. Law schools on a conventional semester system typically require 700 minutes of instruction time per ‘credit,’ exclusive of time for an examination. A quarter hour of credit requires 450 minutes of instruction time, exclusive of time for an examination. To achieve the required total of 58,000 minutes of instruction time, a law school must require at least 83 semester hours of credit, or 129 quarter hours of credit."
  • "If a law school on a semester system offers classes in units of 50 minutes per credit, it can provide 700 minutes of instruction in 14 classes. If such a law school offers classes in units of 55 minutes per class, it can provide 700 minutes of instruction in 13 classes. If such a law school offers classes in units of 75 minutes per class, it can provide 700 minutes of instruction in 10 classes."
  • "If a law school on a quarter system offers classes in units of 50 minutes per class, it can provide 450 minutes of instruction in 9 classes. If such a law school offers classes in units of 65 minutes per class, it can provide 450 minutes of instruction in 8 classes. If such a law school offers classes in units of 75 minutes per class, it can provide 450 minutes of instruction in 6 classes."
  • "In all events, the 130-day requirement of Standard 304(a) and the 58,000 minute requirement of Standard 304(b) should be understood as separate and independent requirements."

Please note that when the ABA updated its standards for 2014-2015, they eliminated this interpretation with no replacement. The School of Law continues to follow the 2013-2014 interpretation, and it does not award any equivalency credits.

The minimum requirement for maintaining full-time student status in the School of Law is 12 credits per 13-week semester for full-time student status and 6 credits per 13-week semester for half-time student status. A student’s status is considered ¾ time if he/she maintains 8 credits per 13-week semester.