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Hello Everyone,


When you start looking for Universities that you wish to apply for your MS, you will always come across a term called as Credit Hours. Students get confused as too what are these credit hours. When students see credit hours associated to a subject, they get even more confused.

To start out with, in USA you never refer the term “subject”, here its always called as a course. So in this post I will be giving you some detailed information on what these credit hours are and how does it impact a course.

Credit Hours:

Credit hours can be considered as a unit of measure representing the equivalent of an hour  of instruction per week over the entire term. To put it in simple words, 1 credit corresponds to 1 hour of lecture for a particular course per week. So the credit hours for a course generally differs from one university to another. Here in USA, an MS degree is said to be completed only if you finish the required amount of credits. So its not based on the number of courses you take, but its based on the number of credits you completed.

In Northeastern University, you require 32 credit hours to be completed and each course has 4 credits associated to it.

Courses and Credits:

As I said above, each course will have certain amount of credits associated. This varies from one university to another. So when the difficulty of the course raises, the number of credit hours associated with it also raises. If you have an easy course, the credit associated with it will be 1 or 2. Generally universities have 3 credits associated to a course. In Northeastern, each course has 4 credits associated with it. Here you require 32 credits to complete your MS. This means that you have to take 8 courses to complete your MS.

Student Status:

You would not believe it but even your F-1 student status depends on the credit hours. Officially a student taking 8 or more credits per term/semester is considered to be a full time student. Anyone taking less than 8 credits is considered to be a part time student. So in order to maintain your full time student status, you must take 8 or more credits per semester.


To conclude, credit hour represents the number of lecture hours to be taken per week throughout the term/semester. The more the credit hour the more difficult the course gets. You must take 8 or more credits to maintain your full time student status in USA.

What are Credit Hours?

20 thoughts on “What are Credit Hours?

  • July 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm


    Thanks for the post. I have a question. In the university which I am going to has 3 credit hours per each course and 9 credit hours must be taken to maintain full time student status. I was given two prerequisites courses, which will not get count in my total credit hours. So, In order to maintain full time student status, do I need to take 3 courses along with two prerequisites? Please reply if you can.

    Thank you,

  • August 2, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    My son is studying B.tech mechanical eng in autonomous college in Mumbai.He is now in 7th sem.He had just cracked GRE with 324 score. and will appear fir Toffel in Sept.
    My que is can u suggest best counsellor for him to help him out for getting good us univ?

    • August 3, 2015 at 6:21 pm

      Jay Rege (jayrege@gmail.com) He’s great when it comes to selecting Univs. I went through him to apply for Univs.

      • October 11, 2015 at 4:17 pm


        Is Jay Rege counselling is good for selecting University.

        What about SOP,LOR & Essay ?

        Ekta Shah

  • August 12, 2015 at 11:22 am

    hello sir,
    Actually i am bit confused with respect to university selection. How to compare each and every university with respect to their place placement offers, tuition fees and other factors for course of mis only.

    Also my profile is 303- GRE and TOEFL -94.
    and Undergrad -64 % in engineering in IT with 1.5 years of Work ex as a business Analyst with an internship in IIT.

    It would be very grateful if you could suggest me universities which are favorable both ambitious and moderate to safe for me.

  • September 12, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Hello Sir,
    Please suggest if the universities selected by me are of Ambitious/Moderate for Fall’16 MS CS.

    TOEFL: 98 (Oct 2013), Will have to retake
    BTech IT: 72.2% (Affl. to JNTU-Hyd)
    OCJP Certified, May 2012
    3 months virtual Internship as BlackBerry Application developer(sponsored program by BlackBerry)
    1 IEEE Journal Publication August 2015
    1.5 yrs exp as Tester (-ve point) for an MNC
    Organised an event in college fest

    Colleges selected for MS CS’16:
    2.Stony Brook,(SUNY)
    3.TAMU, College Station
    4.University of Texas, Dallas
    5.Arizona State University
    6.Indiana, Bloomington

    Also,please suggest if there are any moderate universities that I can try for.

  • November 3, 2015 at 11:12 am

    i m dental doctor , i have given my ielts-6.5 overall and my question is i want to apply for mastersin health or hospital administrator course .Will i able to find good university widout any requirement of GRE and what will be the chance of visa

  • November 8, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Please suggest universities for my profile
    GRE 327 (Q169 V158 Awa 3.5)
    Toefl 106(R 29 L 29 S 23 W 25)
    Ug 7.5 cgp in Eee from Tier 2 Enginnering college
    Done two projects in electrical
    Part of team which Developed Ipl fantasy league website and revamped college website under the guidance of a Phd professor
    No research publications
    Work exp of 2 years in TCS as Database administrator.
    Applying for CS in fall 16.
    Thinking of the below universities
    Maryland College Park
    Tamu college station
    Suny Buffalo
    Please suggest my chances for these

  • November 20, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    please suggest universities for my profile
    GRE 303(quant 155; verbal 148)awa 4.0
    TOEFL 105(R 25; L 28; S 26; W 26)
    ug 62% in cs from tier 2 engineering college
    no work ex nor published any paper
    course interested ms in cs and msim.
    thank you in advance

  • December 2, 2015 at 9:06 am

    HI Shrinivas Raghav,

    I am planing to pursue MIS from US, though i am not good in coding stuff, do MIS course have coding if Yes then which language i need to learn.

    What will be duration of the Course?

    Please reply.

  • February 6, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    I have GRE 294 and toefl 72 can u please suggest me universities? I have aggregate 57% in engg.

  • March 7, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Please am applying to university of Louisiana , chemical engineering.
    GRE: quantitative 147, Verbal 148 Away 3.0, TOEFL 92.
    What are my chances. I also applied for funding.
    GPA: 3.5/4


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