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School of Music Credit Hour Policy

The School of Music uses Ohio Department of Higher Education and university definitions of credit hours as guiding principles in assigning course credit for its academic courses. However, due to the complex nature of the School’s course structure, it is necessary to further explain credit hours from the perspective of certain classifications of the School’s courses.

  • Applied lessons. For all applied lessons in the School, each major receives one 55-minute lesson per week and two additional studio/master class hours per week. Applied lesson credit is determined by program, with the vast majority of our programs having applied lessons for 2 credits. Applied study in our performance programs is for 4 credits. Due to student concerns about overall credit loads (please see italicized note in “Ensemble classes” immediately below), the School is reviewing the 4-credit requirement in our performance programs.
  • Ensemble classes. Large ensembles are variable credit .5–2.0. The amount of credit that the student enrolls in is the student’s prerogative, but normally is dependent upon the student’s total credit load for a particular semester. Small ensembles are variable credit .5–1.0 and the amount chosen is again the student’s choice. NOTE: Students at Ohio State must petition the college to register for more than 18 hours of coursework per semester and are charged an additional fee for any credit amount over 18 credits per semester (see Surcharge Fee on Overload Enrollments). The variable credit option is intended to assist students with their financial need to stay below the cap, as well as have multiple varied ensemble experiences. There is also potential for the higher credit amount for each ensemble registration to be for students in the Honors Program.
  • Academic courses. The School of Music follows the Board of Trustees' definition of a credit hour in establishing course credit for its academic courses. Examples of academic courses in the School are courses which can come from music theory, music education, musicology, composition, and jazz studies.
  • Other skill-based courses. Many other courses in the School that focus on developing a skill on secondary instrument, like instrumental techniques or keyboard skills, meet two or three times per week for one credit. The School’s conducting courses are also in this category of courses.