COM102 Credit Hour Determination – COM Medical Education

No./Title: COM102/Credit Hours

Resp. Office: Office of Medical Education (OME)

Approval Body: Committee on Undergraduate Medical Education (CUME)

Effective Date: 08/20/18

Category: COM UME

Last Review: 09/20/21

Next Review: 09/19/24

Contact: Michael Whitt, Ph.D.

Interim Assoc. Dean, Med Ed

🕿 901-448-4634


Related Policy: AA101 – Credit Hour Policy


It is the policy of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine (COM) to establish a formal review process for assigning the appropriate number of credit hours to each course or clerkship, aligning the process with federal guidelines.


  1. Assigned credit hour values correspond to the approximate duration of student work required to achieve the intended learning outcomes.
  2. Since pre-clerkship and clerkship years differ with respect to the nature of student experience, different criteria are used to determine credit hours for these activities:
    1. Preclinical courses (years 1 and 2)
      1. Credit hours for a course will reflect the number of contact hours per week, averaged over a 15-week semester.
      2. Each classroom hour will be considered one contact hour. Pre-recorded lectures and pre-reading assignments that replace live lectures (e.g., the pre-lab assignments in Structural Basis of Normal Body Function) also will count as contact hours. For laboratories, simulations or group activities such as team-based learning sessions, two hours of activity will count as one contact hour.
      3. It is assumed that for every hour of contact time students will spend two additional hours in out-of-class activity. Estimated time spent in study (e.g., on assigned readings that do not specifically replace contact hours) does not contribute additional credit hours. A course load of 20 credit hours per 15-week semester would correspond to an estimated total effort of 60 hours per week.
    2. Clinical rotations (years 3 and 4)
      1. The intensity of experience may vary among clerkships and electives, but it is considered that a week of experience in one clinical rotation is equivalent to that in another with respect to student achievement of stated learning goals. Therefore credit hours are determined by the duration of the experience in weeks, rather than by specific clinical attendance hours.
      2. The average required attendance of 60 hours is taken to correspond to 1.5 credit hours per week.
      3. Correspondingly, residents in the oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS)/MD program, for whom average maximum duty hours are considered to be 80 per week, would receive 2 credit hours per week of residency.


Effective: 08/20/18

Revised: 09/20/21

COM102 Credit Hour Determination – COM Medical Education
Version: 1 // Effective: 08/20/2018
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