What is a credit hour?
A credit hour is another term for semester hour. Colleges and universities require students to complete a specific number of credit hours to fulfill graduation requirements. Most degrees require a minimum of 120 credit hours to graduate. These credit hours must be completed by taking courses that fall within specific areas of study. These areas of study include the university's general education requirements, the school or college in which the student is enrolled (i.e. the university's School of Business or College of Arts & Sciences), and the specific requirements of the student's area of specialization.

How many credit/semester hours does a student normally take each semester?
Twelve hours in a semester is considered a full-time academic load. Usually students must maintain the status of full-time student to receive and keep financial aid. If a student only carries 12 hours each semester, however, they will not be able to graduate within four years. First semester freshmen are often encouraged to only take 12 hours to allow for adjustments necessary for a successful transition from the high school to college environment. Students most often increase their credit load during subsequent semesters and may, under special circumstances, be allowed to register for as many as 18 hours in a given semester.

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What are general education requirements?
Every university requires students to successfully complete the institution's general education requirements. These requirements apply for all degrees. General education requirements afford students the opportunity to develop and use intellectual tools and to acquire a breadth of knowledge necessary in our challenging, technological, and diverse world. The program challenges students to investigate various disciplines as potential majors and prepares them for success in major fields of study.

The General Education Program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis develops the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in today's changing world. There are six specific general education goals, and students must select from certain courses designed to fulfill these goals.

Skill Goals:
1. Communicating [C] (minimum 2 three-hour courses or 6 hours)
2. Managing Information [MI] (minimum 1 three-hour course or 3 hours)
3. Valuing [V] (minimum 1 three-hour course or 3 hours)
Knowledge Goals:
4. Social and Behavioral Sciences [SS] (minimum 3 three-hour courses or 9 hours)
5. Humanities and Fine Arts[H] (minimum 3 three-hour courses or 9 hours)
6. Mathematics and Life/Natural Sciences [MS] (minimum 4 three-hour courses or 12 hours)

Please see the University of Missouri-St. Louis Bulletin at http://www.umsl.edu/bulletin for detailed information and to more fully determine how Advanced Credit courses meet specific General Education requirements.

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Do UMSL Advanced Credit courses transfer to other colleges or universities?
The general answer to this question is yes. In fact, the Missouri Department of Higher Education - Dual Credit Policy clearly states that up to "Five courses shall be assured in transfer to all public institutions and independent/propriety signatory institutions. 'Equivalence of five courses' means five individual courses, regardless of the credit hour value of those courses." It is ultimately the student's responsibility to consult with the college/university of their choice regarding the institution's specific course transfer policies. A full excerpt from the Missouri Department of Higher Education Dual Credit Policy concerning transferability of courses follows.

Dual credit programs are not designed to replace a substantial segment of the academic experience on a college campus, but rather the programs are created to provide high-achieving high school students with opportunities for acceleration. High school students vary in their academic preparedness and in their capacity to complete collegiate-level work while in high school. The number of credit hours successfully completed by a high school student in dual credit programs will be related to her or his ability level. Since dual credit programs are predicated on the portability of transcripted college credit, the following guideline should anchor the decisions made by the high school student and the receiving institution: students receiving dual credit from institutions in compliance with these policy guidelines can expect to transfer credit up to the equivalent of five courses.

[Clarifying comment: Five courses shall be assured in transfer to all public institutions and independent/proprietary signatory institutions. "Equivalence of five courses" means five individual courses, regardless of the credit-hour value of those courses.]

Students who wish to transfer more than five dual credit courses should consult the institution of higher education to which they intend to transfer in order to determine if the institution has a policy regarding the acceptance of dual credit courses used for the completion of a college degree.

[Clarifying comment: All courses presented for transfer shall be evaluated based upon written transfer agreements in force among/between institutions. However, institutions shall be cognizant of the impact of their policy concerning courses above the assured five courses on articulated transfer agreements with other institutions. Institutions are encouraged to review their articulated transfer agreements' consistency with their dual credit policies. Dual credit courses shall be evaluated on the same basis as on-campus courses for the purposes of transfer. Each institution's dual credit acceptance policies shall be uniform. Institutional policies concerning dual credit should be applied equally to all institutions, including one's own institution.


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What if the college I go to doesn't accept the Advanced Credit courses I have taken?
We encourage students to consult with the college/university they are planning to attend to determine whether or not a course will be accepted before they register for the course. You will want to know what the institution's transfer policy is so you will be able to select courses that will transfer and meet specific general education requirements. If the college/university you attend does not accept a particular Advanced Credit course, UMSL will not provide a refund to you for the course.

Are the Advanced Credit course grades I receive automatically sent by my high school to the university I plan to attend?
No, your high school will forward only your high school transcript. When you enroll in an Advanced Credit course, you are assigned a UMSL student number, and a University transcript is established. Once your final grades are submitted by your high school teacher to the University and are posted to your student record, you must request an official University transcript be sent to your desired university. As an Advanced Credit student, the final grades you earn for your courses become a part of your permanent University record and appear on your transcript. (For information on how to request a transcript, see the ACP Student Guide.)

If I do not earn a passing grade in my Advanced Credit course, does that mean the course is dropped from my record?
No, the grade submitted by your teacher at the end of the semester is the grade that will permanently appear on your official University transcript. This grade may be averaged in with other college/university courses to determine your GPA and will stay with you throughout your college career. If you are aware that you will earn a D or an F for your Advanced Credit course, we encourage you to officially drop the course with the University before your teacher assigns final grades and submits them to the University. If you decide to drop your course, contact the Advanced Credit office immediately at (314) 516-7005 to initiate the required paperwork.

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