Student Services

Credit Hour Definitions-Policy on Assigning Credit

Credit Hours

A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement. Academic credit for each course is approved and assigned by the Instructional Affairs Council and the Coordinating Council. This information is published in the MCC catalog, the class schedule, and the Web Advisor online student registration system.

The standard of class time shall be one hour of class and two hours of out-of-class (homework) student work per week over a semester.

Most colleges require a semester credit hour to be not less than 800 instructional minutes. At Muskegon Community College, each credit hour equates to 825 instructional minutes (55 minutes x 15 weeks = 825).

Muskegon Community College follows a semester schedule for its academic programs. In addition to a fall and winter semester of fifteen weeks, the College offers a twelve-week summer term. 

Program length is determined by the number of credits required for each degree. All Associate in Science and Arts (ASA) and Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degrees require at least 62 credits. A full-time student could complete an ASA or AAS degree in two years, provided the classes are available in the correct sequence for the student. The College also offers a variety of certificate programs, which range from the 12-credit Customer Service Specialist Certificate to the 39-credit Electronics Technology Certificate. 

Contact Hours

Tuition is assessed by the number of weekly contact hours. The contact hours for a course are the number of hours per week in which a course meets. The definition of a contact hour is a total of 55 minutes of student instruction in which the student comes into contact with an instructor or with tutorial or laboratory equipment.


For laboratory experiences where the contact hours exceed the number of credit hours for a course, the academic department will decide, based on past experience, how much of the designated contact time will be devoted to lecture or classroom activities, and how much contact time will be devoted to laboratory experiences. This information will be spelled out in the class syllabus. For every one hour of laboratory time per week, the students will be responsible to complete two hours of outside student learning activities or homework for the length of the semester.     

Distance Education

For online or hybrid classes, the same 55 minute credit and contact requirement for regular classes will be followed. The standard of class time shall be one hour of class and two hours of out-of-class student work per week over a semester for a semester. For distance education, academic engagement is defined as, but not limited to, submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam, an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; attending a study group that was assigned by the institution; contributing to an academic online discussion; and initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course. Merely logging into an online class does not constitute academic engagement or attendance. Each faculty member shall maintain an accurate daily record of attendance of each student enrolled in each of the faculty member’s classes, while also defining “online attendance” in their distance learning courses.


For internship experiences, one credit is equal to 60 hours of supervised training or work experience. Students can earn 1-5 credits through a documented and approved internship experience.

Transferring Credit to MCC 

Muskegon Community College welcomes transfer students. We may award transfer credit for coursework from accredited institutions of higher education and the United States Military Service. Transfer credits may also be awarded for some Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP) examinations and Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES).

Muskegon Community College will award equivalent course credit when applicable, and when direct equivalencies are not available, elective credit in appropriate academic subjects may be awarded. MCC’s policies on Transferring Credit can be found in the MCC Catalog and the College website.