Academic Catalog 2023-24

The 2023-2024 Earlham College Academic Catalog reflects the academic policies, course and program offerings, personnel, tuition and fees, and degree requirements that are effective at the time of publication. Though every effort was made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in this catalog, the College reserves the right to make changes to the policies, charges, any course or program offering, or other matters when necessary. Thus, the information in this catalog should not be regarded as a contract between any student and the College.

Earlham seeks students who are curious and compassionate.

Our academics are rigorous for a reason: We want to help you become the best version of yourself, and our distinctive community will provide the support you need to achieve your goals. At Earlham, education is an all-in, immersive activity that takes place inside and outside the classroom.

Earlham seeks students who are academically prepared and intellectually curious. We also look for students who are comfortable in their own skin and embrace differences.


This policy provides guidelines for how credit hours are counted in Earlham courses.

Federal policy statement

The Code of Federal Regulations (34 CFR 600.2), states:

“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 that reasonably approximates not less than—

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately 15 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
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) 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.”

Earlham College academic credit definition

In accordance with the above federal policy, Earlham expects that for each academic credit of a course, a student shall work (a minimum of) 37.5 hours = 2,250 minutes over a period of 15 weeks. (Note that 37.5 hours is equivalent to 45 hours, with a 10 minute break each hour. That is, 50 minutes x 45 = 2,250 minutes.) This assumes 14 weeks of instruction plus one week of exams. As discussed below, some courses at Earlham are taught over different numbers of weeks. In such cases, the number of minutes per week is adjusted accordingly from the 15 week definition. The total number of work-hours/minutes for courses of various credits is summarized below.

Credits 1 2 3 4 5
Total Hours 37.5 75.0 112.5 150.0 187.5
Total Minutes 2,250 4,500 6,750 9,000 11,250

The number of credits assigned to each course will be published in the college catalog and in curriculum materials. The College’s electronic registration system will also reflect the approved credit hour assignments.

The catalog was prepared by the Registrar’s Office. Publication date: August 2023 (updated January 2024). Questions concerning the catalog may be directed to the Registrar’s Office at