Handbook of Operating Procedures

Administration of Courses Offered in Shortened Format

Policy Number: 136


Courses offered in shortened format



Date Reviewed:
June 2014
Responsible Office:
Office of the Registrar
Responsible Executive:
Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs


The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("university") offers courses in a shortened format. A course offered in a shortened format is any course for which academic credit is given and for which the elapsed time from the first class meeting until the last class meeting or examination period is less than a normal semester or summer session term.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure courses offered in a shortened format are of the same quality and rigor as courses offered during a normal semester or summer session.

This policy does not apply to rotational classes offered in The University of Texas Medical School at Houston or The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston.


Traditionally-delivered three semester credit hour courses should contain 15 weeks of instruction and 45 contact hours.  In other words, a three credit hour course requires three hours of lecture each week during a normal 15-week semester.  Likewise, a one credit hour course requires one hour of lecture each week during a normal semester.  A one credit hour lab course requires three hours of lab time per week. 

Courses delivered in shortened semesters are expected to have the same number of contact hours and the same requirement for out-of-class learning as courses taught in a normal semester.  For instance, if during a normal semester, a three credit hour course meets three times per week for 15 weeks (45 contact hours), in a shortened format of five weeks, that course must meet for nine hours per week (45 contact hours) to receive equivalent credit.  

The Deans are responsible for designating an individual or individuals at each school who will monitor academic expectations and scheduling of all such courses. The designated individual(s) shall maintain records of compliance with institutional standards for all approved course requests.


ContactTelephoneEmail/Web Address
Office of the Registrar 713-500-3361 registrar@uth.tmc.edu