USNA’s credit hour policies are consistent with commonly accepted practice in higher education, the federal definition, and MSCHE Credit Hour policy. One hour (50 minutes) of classroom or direct faculty instruction is equivalent to one credit and two hours of laboratory instruction is equivalent to one credit for a 15 week semester. For each credit, two hours of out-of-class time is recommended.
Most courses carry three credit hours and meet for three 50-minute sessions or alternately two 75-minute sessions per week. Courses carrying fewer or more credit hours meet for the appropriate corresponding time per week.
USNA frequently refers to course credit in a "R-L-C" triplet, where "R" represents the number of Recitation hours per week, "L" represents the number of Lab hours per week and "C" represents the total credits for the course. The number of credits is equal to the number of recitation hours plus half the number of lab hours, or C = R + L/2.