Contact and Credit Hours

Contact and credit hours may vary depending on the course and approved component. A detailed list of the required number of contact hours per credit hour, based on scheduled component, can be found here. NC State adheres to the Carnegie unit for contact time, which is 750 minutes per term for each credit awarded. Ratios between contact and credit hours are important to consider.

Course sections may not deviate from the approved number of credit hours officially listed in the course catalog. This is with the exception of variable credit courses, where the range can be narrowed or widened as long as the contact hours accurately reflect this change and the credits remain within the range listed in the course catalog.


Three credit hour Lecture

Lectures have a 1:1 ratio between contact hours and credit hours. Since each credit hour requires 750 minutes of contact time, this would be 750 (contact) x 3 (credit) giving a total of 2,250 minutes of required contact time for the term. This then needs to be divided by 15 for a full fall or spring course, resulting in 150 minutes of required time per week. This can be divided into 50 minutes MWF, 75 minutes MW or TTh, or 165 minutes one day per week (including a 15-minute break).

*It is recommended to provide a 10-15 minute break for every 90 minutes of instruction. This break should be accounted for in the scheduled class time, similar to the lecture above.