Credit hour

A credit hour is defined as a reasonable approximation of not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time. Credit is based on at least an equivalent amount of work for other academic activities including laboratory work, internships, practice, studio work and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours and is established by individual programs. This definition represents the minimum standard. Student time commitment per credit hour may be higher in individual programs.

Approved 5/13/2013
University Graduate Council

Course numbering

All schools and programs within VCU use the following course numbering system. All course numbers consist of three digits (XXX). The first digit relates to the course level as follows:

0XX noncredit courses

Courses offered for students to make up deficiencies in previous training or to improve certain basic skills.

1XX and 2XX undergraduate, lower level

Courses with these numbers are offered primarily for undergraduate students and may not be used for graduate credit, although graduate students may be required to register for courses at this level to gain a necessary foundation for other course work.

3XX and 4XX undergraduate, upper level

Courses offered for advanced undergraduates and usually constitute the major portion of specific program work leading to the baccalaureate degree. On occasion, graduate students will be advised by their graduate advisers to enroll in prerequisite 4XX courses. Graduate programs can require that 400-level courses be taken, but credit hours in these courses cannot count toward the graduate degree or in the graduate GPA.

5XX introductory graduate courses

Graduate students enroll for credit in these courses through the normal graduate advising system. Departments may limit the number of 500-level courses applicable to a graduate degree program. Advanced undergraduates may enroll in these courses for credit with consent of the offering department. Credit is applicable toward only one degree unless a student is admitted to a course of study that allows a defined number of shared courses.

5XX professional graduate courses

First-year, first-professional (medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and physical therapy) courses normally open to students enrolled in the M.D., D.D.S., Pharm.D. and D.P.T. programs. Certain courses of this group may be designated by the department and approved by the University Graduate Council for graduate credit.

6XX, 7XX and 8XX graduate courses

Graduate students enroll for credit in these courses through the normal graduate advising system. Credit is applicable toward only one degree unless a student is admitted to a course of study that allows a defined number of shared courses.

6XX and 7XX professional graduate courses

6XX: second-year first-professional (medicine, dentistry and pharmacy [second and third year]) courses normally open only to students enrolled in the M.D., D.D.S. and Pharm.D. programs. Certain courses of this group may be designated by the department and approved by the Graduate Council for graduate credit.

7XX: third- and fourth-year first-professional (medicine, dentistry and pharmacy) courses normally open only to students enrolled in the M.D., D.D.S. and Pharm.D. programs. Certain courses of this group may be designated by the department and approved by the Graduate Council for graduate credit.

Course interpretation

A single number listing for a course, such as MGMT 655, indicates that it is a one-semester course and may be offered each semester or only one semester each year.

Courses listed with a double number, such as THEA 603, THEA 604 and designated as semester courses, consist of two one-semester courses, either semester of which may be taken without the other.

Courses listed with a double number, such as APPM 575-APPM 576, are designated as continuous courses and consist of two one-semester courses, the first of which can be taken without the second, but the second of which cannot be taken without the successful completion of the first.

The university reserves the right to withdraw any course or program.