Webpage Offers Overview Of Credit-Hour Changes

Students with questions about the credit-hour changes that will take place next fall can now find several answers online.

In a College-wide email sent to students yesterday evening, the University announced the launch of a webpage providing information on the credit-hour changes.

“We have tried to anticipate some of the biggest questions that students will have regarding these changes,” Steve Savage, communications specialist for the Office of Undergraduate Education, wrote in the email. “To help answer those questions, we are launching an information webpage. This site outlines some of the biggest questions we think students will have, and we’ll continue to add questions and answers to the site as we discover other common questions students are asking.”

Next fall, the College will begin following the Carnegie Credit System, meaning that the number of credit hours designated for each course will match the amount of time students are in the classroom each week.

As a result, the “standard” course will be worth three credits, though others — particularly those with an extra component, such as a lab — can range from four to six.

The site provides some information that, until now, has been unknown to students. Specifically, students will have to complete at least 32 academic courses during their time at Emory, even if they reach the graduation requirement before then.

The website states that it would be possible, for instance, for a student majoring in a subject with mostly four- or five-credit hour courses to reach the 124 hours required for graduation much more quickly than other students.

“The 32-course requirement is a way of ensuring that all graduates of Emory College have appropriate depth in their majors as well as breadth across the curriculum,” the website states.

According to the site, summer 2013 courses will adhere to the current credit-hour system, but the changes will affect these classes — including those offered during Maymester — in the following summer.

In addition, courses that satisfy the continued writing requirement GER will be worth four credit hours, reflecting an extra hour needed to revise assignments, meet with faculty and, in some cases, attend writing workshops, according to the site.

Courses satisfying the writing requirement will simply carry the letter “W” in the course name. According to the website, HIST 301W would fulfill the writing requirement, but HIST 301 would not.

Science courses with lab will be designated as Science, Nature and Technology with Lab (SNTL). Currently, all courses are designated as “SNT” either with or without a lab component.

“[The current designation] makes it difficult for students to identify which courses satisfy the lab requirement of SNT,” the site explains.

Another change described on the website — but one that will not affect current students — is an adjustment to the requirement for Humanities, Arts and Performance (HAP) and Humanities, Arts and Languages (HAL) courses.

Students presently can take four HAL courses to satisfy the requirement for two HAP and HAL courses. But, with the credit-hour changes, students will be able to either complete two HAL courses and two HAP courses, or three HAL courses and one HAP course.

Essentially, students will have to take at least one HAP course. This change will only affect students who enter the College in fall 2013 and later.

The College catalog, which will list courses and their designated credits, will be available Feb. 15.

The College will also host town hall events late next month for more information and to provide answers to students’ questions.

—By Jordan Friedman

jordan.m.friedman@emory.edu