Banner Hours Help
Since Fall 1974, the University has been on an "early semester" calendar, so courses offered at the University have been done so on a semester credit hour basis. One semester hour of credit represents the work done by a student in a lecture course attended fifty minutes a week for one semester, and in the case of laboratory and activity courses, the stated additional time.
What this means is that the student who successfully completes a course offered for credit will have that number of credit hours noted on their academic transcript for that course in that semester. That student will also have that number of credit hours count toward the satisfaction of their degree requirements (in most cases). And that number of credit hours will be factored into their tuition and fee charges for that semester (even if the student does not successfully complete the course but stays registered in it past the refund deadlines).
When a student consults their Catalog or the Schedule of Classes to find appropriate courses for which to register, they will see the number of credit hours that such courses will award. Most courses award a fixed number of credit hours, most commonly 3 or 4 (though some award fewer or more than those). Instead of a fixed number of credit hours, some courses award a variable number of credit hours.
At the Catalog level, a course described as having variable credit hours may have individual semester course offerings (at the Schedule level) that have variable credit hours as well, or it may have individual semester course offerings (at the Schedule level) that have fixed credit hours that can vary from semester to semester (or even from course offering to course offering). In the latter case, a student who goes to register for such a course offering will not have a choice in the number of credit hours for the particular course offering. In the former case, the student will have a choice and must make that choice when registering for that course offering.
A student who has a choice (on an individual course offering) in the number of credit hours for which to register should consult with their academic advisor (or their major department) as to the appropriate number of credit hours to choose to fit their particular degree requirements.
Notes: Depending on what the student is looking at, the number of credit hours may alternatively be referred to as the number of credits or the number of hours. Both terms mean the same as the number of credit hours (or the number of semester credit hours). Also, prior to Fall 1974, courses were offered on a quarter credit hour basis. One semester hour is equivalent to one and one-half quarter hours.
What is the maximum credit hours that can normally be taken in a semester?
See here for more information, as well as for a way to petition to take more than that maximum number (i.e., a registration "overload").
Why do I have a minimum credit hours restriction for the term?
See here for more information.