Semester ConversionSemester ConversionUniversity of Cincinnati

Semester Conversion

Academic Credit FAQ

How many credits will be required for graduation under semesters?

How will class levels be determined under the semester system?

If I begin on the quarter system and finish on the semester system, will I lose credits?

Will I lose transfer credit during the conversion process?  

How will my quarter-hour credits be converted to semester-system credits?

How will my GPA (grade point average) be affected?

How many credits/courses will I take in a typical semester?

How many credits will be required for full-time status?

How many credit hours will comprise an undergraduate minor?

What are the general guidelines related to an undergraduate minor?

How many credit hours will comprise an undergraduate certificate?

What are the general guidelines related to an undergraduate certificate?

How many credit hours will comprise a graduate certificate?

What are the general guidelines related to a graduate certificate?

If I’m in the middle of a two- or three-quarter sequence of courses, how will I complete it on the semester system?

If a quarter system course is phased out or no longer required under the semester system, will the credits earned still count toward graduation?

How will credits transferred from other colleges and universities be counted?

How will advanced-placement credits be counted on the semester system?

If I’m enrolled during the transition, how will I know what my graduation requirements will be?

How will I know what my semester requirements are?

How can I tell if I will still be at UC when the conversion occurs in Fall 2012?

A professor holding class outdoors.
How many credits will be required for graduation under semesters?

Graduation requirements will be as follows:

  • Associate degree programs – 60 semester credit hours
  • Baccalaureate degree programs – 120 semester credit hours
  • Master’s programs – minimum of 30 semester credit hours
  • Doctoral programs – minimum of 60 semester credit hours after completing a master’s degree or minimum of 90 semester credit hours after completing a bachelor’s degree

Note: These requirements are the minimum for graduation. Some programs may require additional hours.

How will class levels be determined under the semester system?

Class levels for students at the University of Cincinnati are determined based upon a student’s academic program and the total number of credit hours accumulated (total transfer hours plus UC hours earned) at the start of the semester. (Credits earned under a quarter system will be converted to semester credit hours.)

The semester-based credit hour breakdowns are based upon the provost-mandated minimum of 120 credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. A student’s class is determined as follows:

Academic Programs Freshman   Sophomore   Pre-Junior   Junior   Senior  
Associate degrees offered 0-29 30+ NA NA NA
Baccalaureate degrees (non-co-op)   0-29 30-59 NA 60-89 90+
Baccalaureate degrees (co-op) 0-23 24-47 48-71 72-92 93+
Non-degree undergraduate 0-29 30-59 NA 60-89 90+
If I begin on the quarter system and finish on the semester system, will I lose credits?

You will not lose credits. Whatever you’ve earned on the quarter system will apply in the semester system.

See UC’s Pledge to Students.

Will I lose transfer credit during the conversion process?

No. UC’s Pledge to Students guarantees that credit you earn on the quarter system, including transfer credit, will apply in the semester system.

If you are an incoming transfer student, you can learn more about how credit you’ve earned at other institutions will transfer to UC at the Undergraduate Admissions website.

How will my quarter-hour credits be converted to semester-system credits?

Since 120 credits required for a semester system bachelor’s degree is roughly two-thirds of the 180 quarter credits required for a bachelor’s degree, your quarter credits will be converted to semester credits by multiplying your quarter credits by two-thirds.

How will my GPA (grade point average) be affected?

Your semester system GPA will be identical to your quarter system GPA. You can check your grade point average under the “Check My Grades” option at www.onestop.uc.edu.

How many credits/courses will I take in a typical semester?

In order to complete an associate’s degree in two years, you should complete 30 semester hours per year. This is the equivalent of 15 semester hours, or five courses, per semester.

In order to complete a bachelor’s degree in four years, you should complete 30 semester hours per year. This is the equivalent of 15 semester hours, or five courses, per semester.

Full-time master’s and doctoral level students typically carry 12 credits per semester.

How many credits will be required for full-time status?

This remains the same. Full-time status for undergraduates will be 12 credit hours per semester. Full-time status for graduate students will be 10 hours.

How many credit hours will comprise an undergraduate minor?

18-36 semester credit hours. This may entail additional prerequisite or co-requisite coursework not included in this count.


What are the general guidelines related to undergraduate minors?

Minors generally do not include tracks. They need not require capstone courses/experiences. They generally require at least one course as the 3000 level or above. The may include prerequisite course grades or overal GPA requirements to begin or to earn the minor. The may include residency requirements of no more than 50 percent of the credit-hour requirement. Different versions of a minor are not permitted on different UC campuses.

How many credit hours will comprise an undergraduate certificate?

12-35 semester credit hours (not including prerequisite courses), unless otherwise specified by accreditation standards or professional practice.

What are the general guidelines related to undergraduate certificates?

Undergraduate certificates generally require an admission review process. They need not required capstone experiences or courses. They generally require at least one course at the 3000 level or above, unless otherwise specified by accreditation standards. The generally require course grade or GPA requirements to begin or earn the certificate. They may include residency requirements of no more than 50 percent of the credit-hour requirements. For students not in a degree program, a certificate must include 16 hours in order for students to qualify for financial aid. Different versions of a certificate are not permissable on different UC campuses.

How many credit hours will comprise a graduate certificate?

12-24 semester credit hours (excluding prerequisites) unless otherwise required by accreditation standards or other external, professional credentialing organizations as approved by the Graduate School.

What are the general guidelines related to graduate certificates?

Graduate certificates are intended to validate competency and knowledge of a skill or topic. They may, but need not, complement a degree program. Some are available only to matriculated students. Some are available to non-matriculated students. All require a completed bachelor's degree, and some require completed graduate or professional degrees. All certificate courses are at the 6000 level or above. Minimum GPA is set by the program offering the certificate, and a 3.0 gpa is the minimum for awarding a certificate. All certificates must require an admission review process by program faculty. Certificates may or may not lead to admission to a degree program.

If I’m in the middle of a two- or three-quarter sequence of courses, how will I complete it on the semester system?

Whenever possible, complete all sequences you have begun on the quarter system while you are on the quarter system. If you see that you are not going to complete a sequence on the quarter system, you may want to consider delaying beginning the sequence until the conversion to semesters is made. If you have already begun a sequence and are unable to complete it, you will contact and work with your academic advisor to determine the best sequence completion plan for you.

If a quarter system course is phased out or no longer required under the semester system, will the credits earned still count toward graduation?

Yes. You will receive credit for all courses taken on the quarter system and for the completion of requirements that existed in the quarter system.

How will credits transferred from other colleges and universities be counted?

Credits transferred from any institutions still on quarters will be converted to semester credits via the previously mentioned two-thirds ratio. Credits transferred from institutions on the semester system will remain as semester credits.

How will advanced-placement credits be counted on the semester system?

Quarter credits received because of AP test scores will be converted and applied as semester credits. Questions regarding Advanced Placement processing should be directed to the Admissions Credit Evaluation Center, 513-556-1100 or at http://admissions.uc.edu/transfer/transfer_autoequiv.html

Applicants and current students can login to view their Individual Credit Evaluation Reports at https://admissions.uc.edu/cer/UIUnAuth/Login.aspx and obtain the AP Key at http://admissions.uc.edu/highschool/adv_placement/ap_key.html 

If I’m enrolled during the transition, how will I know what my graduation requirements will be?

You will consult with your academic advisor. Generally speaking, you will be required to complete the semester-course equivalents of the quarter courses that were required but not yet completed.

How will I know what my semester requirements are?

Your academic advisor will continue to advise you on degree-completion requirements.

How can I tell if I will still be at UC when the conversion occurs in Fall 2012?

If, in Fall 2010, it will take you longer than two years to graduate, then you will likely be impacted. The typical full-time, undergraduate student completes 45 quarter hours per year. If you are more than 90 quarter hours from degree completion, then you are likely to be impacted.

An easy way to check this is to run your individual degree audit at OneStop or consult your college advising office.