Definition of the Credit Hour
In accordance with Federal regulations, a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency reasonably approximating: A) Not less than one hour of faculty instruction (whether by classroom contact or by distance modes such as online podcasts) and a minimum of two hours of additional student work each week (such as reading or research) for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or B) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in item A of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
-Approved by the President
November 11, 2011
Policies and Procedures for Academic Degree Program Approval
The policies and procedures for program approval are established by the State
Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) as part of its effort "to
promote the development and operation of an educationally and economically
sound, vigorous, progressive, and coordinated system of higher education in
the state of Virginia" (Code of Virginia). These policies and procedures
are intended to provide a systematic process for planning and initiating new
Details regarding program proposals and procedures for review are contained
in the Curriculum Development and Change Policies and Procedures Manual which
is available on the university's web site at www.odu.edu/ao/affairs/curric_manual_2007-08.pdf
or from the vice provost.
-Approved by the provost and vice
president for academic affairs
September 5, 2003
College and Department Curricular Recommendations
In order that appropriate faculty consideration be given to the instructional
program, curricular matters that are to be considered at the university level,
for example degree program proposals or recommendations concerning courses
to meet university general education requirements, should be examined at the
department and college levels by appropriate faculty groups and recommendations
of these groups forwarded with the proposal for consideration by the Faculty
Senate or the central administration.
- Approved by the president
May 17, 1982
Policy on Certificate Programs
Old Dominion University offers a variety of certificate programs that meet the same high-quality standards as its academic degree programs, while addressing the specific needs of students and professionals. Certificates may be pursued in conjunction with or independent from graduate or undergraduate degree programs.
Certificate programs offered by Old Dominion University include the following:
Certificate programs: These programs are available for those seeking a formal award certifying completion of undergraduate- or graduate-level work in academic or occupational fields of study. Such certificates are ideal for individuals who wish to explore areas of professional interest or for those who need to fulfill accreditation requirements. Such programs generally include a minimum of nine credit hours and a maximum of 21 credit hours.
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS): The curriculum in such programs is designed for those seeking a formal award certifying completion of study beyond the master’s level in an academic or occupational field of study. These programs are usually intended for professional licensure or professional development, and may be completed prior to or concurrent with doctoral studies, for those interested in such pursuits. The programs generally require a minimum of 24 credit hours.
The Curricular Change Approval Form must be completed for all new, revised, or discontinued credit-bearing certificate offerings, and submitted to appropriate parties for approval within six months of program initiation or discontinuance. Final approval of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is required.
Faculty in departments offering certificates will identify residency requirements for all prescribed coursework. The Office of the University Registrar confers certificates to those who have met requirements for these programs.
Certificate programs: Non-credit certificates in specific fields may be offered and awarded by colleges at the University upon approval by the appropriate faculty and administrators. These programs are designed to provide continuing education experiences to individuals or groups, usually in a specific profession or vocation. Content in these offerings alone will not meet the requirements of credit-bearing coursework, unless otherwise specified.
The design of all non-credit certificates must follow University guidelines as established by the Office of Academic Affairs.
- Approved by the president
October 17, 1978
Revised May 21, 2014
Approval of Curricular Changes, New Courses and Course Changes
- Curricular Changes
Significant curricular changes, such as creation of a major or minor, creation or deletion of emphasis areas, degree policies or changes that exceed the University's minimum, or other substantial changes in curriculum will neither be effective nor implemented without the approval of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Recommendations at the appropriate departmental, college, and University levels will precede the decision by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. This process includes department chairs, departmental and college governance committees related to curriculum, the dean of the academic college and the Faculty Senate (when applicable, such as for General Education requirements).
In addition, all proposed changes in curriculum that rely upon the resources of another college or department will require consultation and agreement by the providing unit prior to approval by the Office of Academic Affairs.
All curricular changes will be fully documented and indicate all approvals. At a minimum, this documentation will include a full description of the change, rationale, resources needed if applicable, and implementation process, which will include a plan for notification of students and a timetable.
Approved changes will be effective with the publication of the next Catalog. Changes shall not normally be applied to students graduating under earlier Catalogs.
Changes may not be accepted during the Catalog preparation period. The deadline for the submission of any curricular changes that are intended to be effective the beginning of the following academic year should be December 1.
All requests for new credit-bearing courses or course changes must be submitted in the proper format to the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs after review and approval by the appropriate department and college committee, the department chair and the dean.
Changes in courses that are offered as service courses for majors in other departments should be discussed with the chairs of such departments prior to approval of the change. Proposed deactivation of courses that are offered as service courses for majors in other departments will require consultation and agreement by the affected department prior to approval by the Office of Academic Affairs.
Requests for changes in existing courses to be active for the next academic year should be submitted before November 1. Approved changes in existing courses will be effective with the publication of the next Catalog. Requests for new courses may be submitted at any time to be effective no sooner than the next semester.
The Office of Academic Affairs will identify courses not offered for five years and inform the affected department chair and dean that the courses will be deactivated. These courses will remain active only upon the request of the department chair and approval from the Office of Academic Affairs.
All requests for new noncredit courses or course changes must be submitted in the proper format to the Office of the University Registrar after review and approval by the appropriate dean.
- Approved by the president
January 22, 1988
Revised August 4, 1996
Revised October 28, 2004
Revised April 9, 2007
Revised October 17, 2012
Policy On Accelerated Courses
This policy is based upon the following general principles:
- The University serves an urban area and a variety of adult, in-service, and military personnel and is committed to providing flexible methods for the delivery of instruction and cannot be limited to the traditional semester format. Development of nontraditional methods of instruction is encouraged.
The University provides and supports the traditional semester credit courses of 15 weeks of instruction during the fall and spring semesters, eight weeks of instruction during the fall and spring, and courses of varying lengths during the summer sessions. Accelerated courses are defined as credit courses provided in a shorter time frame and must meet the following guidelines.
- Accelerated courses should be clearly the academic equivalent of courses
taken on the normal semester schedule.
Traditional lecture courses require students to spend approximately two hours of preparation, research,
or writing time outside of class for each one hour of class time.
Laboratory courses usually require less out-of-class time, but the in-class time
is greater, usually twice as many contact hours as would be expected in a
- No more than one semester credit can be earned in a week or weekend of
instruction if the entire work of the class is contained in that week or weekend.
Under unusual circumstances, and only upon the approval of the Dean of the college, two hours of credit may be offered in a single week or weekend.
- The chair must provide the Dean with the proposed syllabus, a written evaluation of the proposed accelerated course comparison with the same or similar course that is conducted during the usual time-frame, and other evidence of its suitability for acceleration. Other evidence to be provided includes the following.
The course is of a highly intensive nature and the students admitted
to the course are carefully picked for ability to handle such an intensive
The course required graded work done prior to or subsequent
to the week or weekend of classroom instruction so that the total amount of work required
for the course is the clear equivalent of the same number of semester hours
during a regular session.
If any request is submitted for offering a course at a rate of more than
two hours of credit per week or weekend of class sessions, prior approval of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is required. Such approval will only be given upon clear evidence that substantial work is required of the student outside of the week or weekend of classroom instruction and that the course is clearly equivalent to similar courses offered in the regular session.
In cases of dispute, appeal may be made to the Provost and Vice
President for Academic Affairs. The decision of the Provost and Vice President
for Academic Affairs is final.
- Approved by the Council of
Academic Deans and the vice
president for academic affairs
June 21, 1977
- Approved by the President
November 28, 2012
Bookstore Policy and Procedures
All texts and other books and materials required for classroom use in any
college or academic division of the university will be ordered only through
the Old Dominion University Bookstore.
- The following textbook ordering procedure will be followed:
The Old Dominion University Bookstore will provide appropriate forms
for book adoptions to department chairs. The chairs will obtain information
on textbooks and materials to be adopted from the faculty. All books
and materials must be specified on the designated form and returned to
the University Bookstore by the stated deadline.
The forms must be completed giving information relative to estimated
enrollments, author and title of book, publisher, edition and date of
publication, department name, course number, section number, book class
use status, instructor, whether it is anticipated the text will be adopted
in subsequent semesters, whether hardback or softback, and ISBN number,
if available. If there is to be no text adoption, this should be indicated
and the form returned by the designated date.
All book adoption forms must be sent by the faculty to their department
chairs for their signature and forwarding to the Old Dominion University
- Desired deadline for adoption information varies by session:
Fall Semester - Two weeks prior to spring semester exam week
Spring Semester - Twelve weeks prior to the beginning of the spring semester
Summer Semester - Seven weeks prior to the beginning of the first summer
Responsibility for enforcement of these procedures shall rest with the
department chair and the dean. The manager of the bookstore will inform the
dean of difficulties encountered with individual departmental orders.
Required books and materials shall be given first priority in both space
and funds. The director of university stores shall order, as space and funds
permit, a reasonable number of books or other materials which faculty wish
to recommend for their classes but are not required.
In order to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), one copy
of all textbook orders should be submitted to the bookstore manager to be
forwarded to the assistant vice president for auxiliary services.
- Approved by the executive vice president
- Revision approved by the president
March 1, 2001
Textbook Adoption Guidelines
Because of the increasing cost of textbooks, faculty members making textbook
choices are encouraged to consider, where academically feasible, the initial
cost of textbooks and possible savings to the students. Therefore:
Careful consideration should be given in the initial adoption of textbooks.
It is recommended that texts for 100, 200, and 300 level courses, which are
generally introductory in nature, be used for two years. Any changes during
those two years should go through the department chair.
When edition or revision changes initiate text-change decisions, it is
recommended that departmental faculty consult with the bookstore manager
about the possibility of continuing with the old edition if the new edition
does not offer substantive changes.
It is recommended that a common textbook or set of textbooks be adopted
for multiple-section courses whenever possible.
Supplementary texts or reading materials should not be required unless
they are used significantly in the course. Materials can be reserved in the
library if small amounts of supplementary readings are required.
Except in unusual circumstances, textbooks used in sequential courses should
not be changed after the first semester.
- Approved by the president
Resale of Sample Textbooks and Materials
In compliance with section 23-4.3.1 of the Code of Virginia, an employee of Old Dominion University may receive sample textbook copies, instructor's copies or instructional material but these textbooks and materials are not to be sold.
- Approved by the president
May 29, 2009