HEB FAQs : what are credit hours? How do they affect Full time vs Part time status?

Many aspirants in their initial days have a lot of confusion about the term “credit hour” and they keep posting their queries on our FB page , So I thought I will write a quick little post and answer the question about credit hours.

Here’s the fundamentals that you need to know about credit hours: Credit hours generally refer to the number of hours per week that a course is allotted as per academic calendar. Before you wonder what is a course, let me put it this way, “course” is what we Indians refer to in college as “subject”.

What are credit hours ?

To put a more formal yet basic explanation, credit hours are the most basic unit for measuring the effort towards degree or program. Every program has their own set of minimum credits that need to be achieved for graduation. For a masters degree program the minimum credit requirements can be anywhere near 30 to 40.

Is there any relation between a course and credit hours?

Yes, fundamentally, the weightage of a course towards the degree program is measured by the number of credits that the course is assigned. Generally Masters level courses will be of 3 credits hours, Seminar courses can be 1-2 credits and an internship can be of 1.5 or no credits.

How does credit hour affect my Full-time vs Part time status?

As per the guidelies by USICS and the Dept. of Homeland Security, Universities must make it mandatory for their international students to keep Full Time status if they are on a F1 Non-immigrant visa for their duration of study in US. This means that there would be some minimum amout of course-load (read credits) that you need to take each semester to keep the full-time visa status. Failure to comply to this may result in program termination and deportation to the home country. Usually the minimum credit hour requirement is 9 credits per semester.
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