University credit is the term used to identify all credit offered by the University of Arizona with the exception of correspondence credit and Special Examination for Credit. Only the grades of courses taken for University credit and by Special Examination for Grade are used in calculating the grade-point-average (GPA).
Unit of Credit, Definition
Utilizing the definition that an hour of work is the equivalent of 50 minutes of class time (often called a contact hour) or 60 minutes of independent-study work, university policy requires at least 45 hours of work by each student for each unit of credit. Contact hours required for specific types of courses are as follows:
Since it would be virtually impossible for a student to complete satisfactorily 45 hours of work in less than one week, the policy regarding the duration of courses maintains that a course must cover at least a one-week period for every unit of credit given. During the summer session, however, 6 units of credit might be given over a five-week period.
It is understood that, when the official university calendar deviates from these guidelines, that calendar shall prevail.
It is also understood that the hour requirements specified above represent minimums for average students and that considerable deviation in excess of these requirements may occur, particularly at the graduate level.
Also see the Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual Definition of a Unit of Credit (pdf) format.