Academic Credit

A credit is the basic unit of measurement of educational accomplishment. One credit normally connotes 10 hours of lecture-recitation or 20 or more hours of laboratory, studio, or activity work. The majority of courses at Portland State University involve three or four hours per week of lecture-recitation. PSU is on the quarter-system calendar. Semester credits transferred from other accredited United States schools may be converted to PSU’s credits by multiplying by 1.5.

The 1.5 multiplication rules apply only to semester credits transferred from U.S. schools. Semester credits transferred from accredited schools outside the United States will be converted according to established international transfer credit guidelines and policies.

An undergraduate student should enroll for an average of 15 credits per term in order to be graduated within the normal 4 years/12 terms. Employed students should make sure they are not overloading themselves. They may want to plan to spend more than 12 terms to complete degree requirements. Undergraduate students desiring to take more than 21 credits must obtain approval as follows:

22-25 credits: Obtain approval of adviser on Consent for Overload form online at or from the Registration window, Neuberger Hall lobby.

26 or more credits: Petition to Academic Requirements Committee. Forms are available online at or from the registration window, Neuberger Hall lobby. Such petitions must be submitted by the last day to pay without a late fee.

Class standing

Class standing is based on the number of credits a student has completed, according to the following schedule:

Acceptable status Credits completed
Freshman 1-44
Sophomore 45-89
Upper-division standing 90 or more
Junior 90-134
Senior 135 or more
Postbaccalaureate Hold a degree from an accredited college or university