Credits, Equivalencies

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 transfer course policy.
  • 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 institutionally 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 weekends 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 accessible 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.

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.
  • For students to be VA certified for Hybrid courses, the course must meet face-to-face at least once every other week. 
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. A maximum of six ROTC credits can be used toward Free Electives.  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.
  • See also Degree 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; the Major department chair will request an academic petition to the student record. When waived credits short the major credit hour requirement or the overall degree credit hour requirement, free electives are necessary to fulfill credit hour requirements. Petitions are applied to the student record, weekly on Friday.
  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. 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 content for the entire course. 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.