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Credit Hours vs. Contact Hours

Credit Hours vs. Contact Hours


Overview of credit hours and contact hours


Credit hours are a unit of measurement applied to the approximate quantity of college coursework in a particular course, and is usually based on the number of hours per week in class.  Most classes are three credit hours, but some are worth more or less. Labs are usually one credit hour, although you may spend more than one hour in the lab per week.  In order to be enrolled full time, you must take 12 credit hours or more. 

Contact hours are the total hours of class/lecture, lab and clinic coop/shop required per week in a course.

Contact hours are used to calculate the amount of credit hours a course may be worth. Credit hours are used to calculate tuition and are a factor in a student’s grade point average (GPA).

Both contact and credit hours can be found in the course catalog or by visiting abtech.edu/course-descriptions. To calculate the contact hours, you must add class, lab and clinic coop/shop hours together. The image below shows how credit and contact hours are listed in the catalog.

Credit and contact hours diagram


Key Words: Credits, credit hour, contact hour

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