Credits, Equivalencies, Prerequisites, Overload

This is an archived copy of the 2017-18 Catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Award of Credit
  • Credits and grade points shall be awarded only for those University courses for which a student is properly registered.
  • Credits, not grade points, for approved courses taken by a Norwich student at other accredited institutions may be transferred, subject to the residence requirement and provided grades earned are C or higher.
  • Federal regulation defines a credit hour as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutional established equivalence that reasonably approximates
    1. Not less than – one hour of classroom, or direct faculty instruction, and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week, for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
    2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) above for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
  • Whether the delivery of the course is traditional, hybrid, or distance learning, each credit hour awarded should represent approximately 45 hours of student effort.

Norwich ensures that courses and programs offered for credit off campus, through distance or through continuing education, evenings or week-ends are consistent with the educational objectives of the institution. This maintains the same academic standards as courses and programs offered on campus. Programs offered through Distance Learning receive sufficient support for instructional and student services. Online students have ready access to support for using appropriate learning resources.

Students enrolled in Distance Learning courses, and/or Hybrid courses have sufficient opportunities to interact with faculty regarding course content and related academic matters.  Norwich has procedures that establish students who register for a Distance Learning or Hybrid course are the same students who participate in and complete the course requirements and receive academic credit.

Norwich defines an online, or Distance Learning course as one that is conducted entirely and exclusively via the course management system assessable from the Internet. The online format is the primary method to deliver the course materials. Communication and interaction occur online between faculty and students. All assessment of student work is conducted online

  • On-campus Distance Learning courses are designated with a code of DL preceding the section designation in the Class Schedule.

Norwich defines a Hybrid course as a course that combines 30% to 70% traditional, face-to-face weekly class time with online, out-of-class course work. Hybrid instructors determine what instructional activities are offered online or face-to-face depending on the learning goals, course objectives, content, and available resources.

  • Hybrid classes are designated with a code of HB preceding the section designation in the Class Schedule.
Credits for Graduation
  • Graduation requirements are measured in courses and credits. Courses and credits re­quired for graduation are specified within each Major or Minor Curriculum Map.
  • Major and minor curriculum maps are structured to deepen NU graduates knowledge in their chosen field of study.  Free electives are designed to broaden student knowledge to meet specific career goals.  A Free Elective is any course taken that is not specifically required by the major or minor field of study.  Any non-ROTC course can be used as a Free Elective.  Any six ROTC credits can be used toward Free Electives for any active student.  A student will receive the equivalent of one three-credit course to fulfill published credit or course requirements as a Free Elective in a Major or Minor when one or two credit courses in the same discipline are combined.  A student is limited to one such course, except for ROTC courses. Courses numbered below 100 may not be used.
  • See the Graduation Requirements policy for further graduation requirements.
Requests for Course Equivalency or Exemption
  1. To waive a prerequisite course requirement students must present the adviser's affirma­tive recommendation to the course’s department chair for approval. The basis for such a waiver will be the student’s demonstrated knowledge in the area concerned.
  2. To waive a degree course requirement on the basis of an exemption, examination, or other documented extra institutional learning; a student must present the affirmative recommendations of major and course department chairs and academic adviser on a Degree Program Waiver /Substitutions form. The credits for the waived course must be replaced by free electives.
  3. To obtain credits and grade points for a course on the basis of an equivalency examination, a student must present the affirmative recom­mendations of the major and course department chair and the academic adviser on the form. Second semester seniors are not eligible for an equivalency examination unless an Academic Peti­tion is approved not later than one week after mid-semester grades are due. The repeat grade policy does not apply to credits earned by way of an equivalency examination.
  4. Course equivalency by examination is treated as transfer credit and is subject to the limits described below.  If the examination is for credits and grade points, a grade will be as­signed and appropriate grade points awarded, unless the Pass/Fail option is selected prior to the administering of the examination
  • Examinations for course equivalency, or exemption given at Norwich University, will be given only if a nationally validated examination covering the same subject matter is not available.
  • Before administering an exemption or an equivalency examination, Department Chairs/Directors should determine whether the student wishes to waive the course require­ment, or wishes to obtain credits and grade points for the course. 
    • An examination for waiver should be designed to test the student’s general knowledge and competency in the tested area.
    • An examination for credits and grade points should be typical of a final examination that covers the entire course con­tent. Where appropriate, term papers, projects, etc. may also be required.
    • An exemption, or equivalency examination, for laboratory courses may require demonstrated laboratory proficiency.
  • An extra tuition charge may be assessed by the Bursar’s office for examinations.
  • Credits, not grade points, are to be awarded when evidence that the minimum required grade has been achieved on a nationally validated examination, such as, Advanced Placement, CLEP, International Baccalaureate examinations.

Students shall not register for a course having prerequisites without having successfully com­pleted those prerequisites, or be allowed to remain scheduled for the successive course if the prerequisite course was not completed successfully. Prerequisites are identified in Course Descriptions.


Students shall not register for courses having co-requisites without registering for the co-req­uisite course. Students must drop, or withdraw, from all co-requisite courses simultaneously.  Co-requisites are identified in Course Descriptions.


Students shall not schedule courses which require conflicting hours of attendance unless it is approved by faculty teaching the conflicting courses.  

Extra Credit Charges (Course Load & Overload)

Extra credit charges will be applied at the part-time rate for credits over 19, except as specified differently in the Major curriculum. This excludes ROTC courses, LD 101 and MU 260.

  • MU 200 Applied Music is subject to the extra credit charge.
  • Students should be familiar with published Fees & Financial Policy as published on the Bursar's website.
  • There will be no charge for extra courses if they are dropped before the Add/Drop deadline.

Students no longer are limited to a certain number of credits per term (unless they are on academic probation or not fully admitted).