Academic Credit

The basic rule for determining academic credit is 1 credit represents a total student time commitment of 3 hours each week in a 10-week quarter, or a total of 30 hours in a quarter. Total time includes time spent in class, if any; time devoted to individual conference with instructors; time devoted to reading or other study, problem solving, writing, laboratory work, exercises, or any other activity required of the student. A special number of credits must be earned for a degree.

There are three basic types of credit:

  1. Residence credit is academic credit earned in courses offered by the UW through the quarterly Time Schedule and other approved courses offered by UW Extension. To gain residence credit, students must register for such courses during the official registration period.
  2. Extension credit or credit earned through examination is credit earned by completing courses offered as extension courses or credit earned through special examination. Such courses are not included in the UW grade-point average.
    No more than 90 total extension credits, including a maximum of 45 credits from other institutions, may be counted toward the baccalaureate degree. Ordinarily, extension and independent (correspondence) study credits may not be applied toward the final year.
  3. Transfer credit is credit earned at another institution that is accepted by the University as being applicable toward satisfaction of degree requirements.

Quarter Credit Versus Semester Credit

Colleges and universities that operate on a semester system award semester credit. The UW awards quarter credit. To convert semester to quarter credits, multiply by 1.5. For example, a student who earns 30 credits in an institution on a semester calendar would have earned 45 quarter credits at the UW.

Alternative Credit Options

The UW does not award general credit for work or life experience. However, two avenues exist for obtaining credit under selected circumstances.

  • Once enrolled at the UW, students may explore the possibility of obtaining departmental approval for transfer of credit earned through course work taken at an unaccredited institution. Contact Admissions.
  • Students may arrange to challenge specific UW courses via credit by examination if the same knowledge has been gained through independent study outside a formal educational setting. Review the Credit by Special Examination information on the Registrar's website.

Both situations require a formal approval process and a $30 fee per course.

In addition, students often earn credits from internships and community service, but these experiences are always tied to a specific UW course offering and involve an academic component.