II. Academic Calendar
Georgia Tech's standard Academic Calendar consists of a Fall Semester, a Spring Semester, and an accelerated Summer Session. Each Fall Semester and each Spring Semester normally includes approximately fifteen weeks of instruction plus one week of final examinations. A normal Summer Session includes approximately eleven weeks of instruction plus one week of final examinations. Each Academic Year consists of one sequence of a Fall Semester followed by a Spring Semester. The word "term" may refer to a Fall Semester, a Spring Semester, or a Summer Session. The Office of the Registrar publishes the official Academic Calendar for each term. Due to variations in the yearly calendar and the need to balance the dates of campus events, particularly in the Fall Semester, the Registrar uses discretion, as appropriate, to set dates on the Academic Calendar, such as Fall Recess, the Last Day to Withdraw from Individual Courses without a Penalty, and the Progress Report Grade Due Date. See Catalog Regulation V. Grades and Scholastic Average for more information.
B. Other Academic Terms
In addition to the standard Academic Calendar, some programs may be offered on other schedules. All such offerings are subject to the approval of the Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Institute Graduate Committee, and/or the Registrar, as appropriate. With approval, such programs may operate under different academic rules, such as credit hour limits or withdrawal dates, than those specified for standard academic terms.
C. Curriculum Year
- Requirements for degrees and minors shall be specified for each Curriculum Year, which is comprised of a Summer Session plus the immediately following Fall Semester and Spring Semester. This designation shall be independent of any schedule for publication of such requirements in printed or electronic form.
- All changes in degree and minor requirements shall become effective at the beginning of the next Curriculum Year following final approval by the Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Institute Graduate Committee, Academic Senate, and/or University System, as appropriate.
- The Office of the Registrar shall maintain an archival record of all degree and minor requirements associated with each curriculum year.
D. Unit of Credit Defined
The current Academic Calendar is semester‐based, consisting of 15 weeks of instruction in a standard Fall/Spring semester where one contact hour is equal to 50 minutes of instruction. The amount of class attendance is 750 minutes for each scheduled credit hour in a standard semester.
One unit of credit represents how much time a typical student is expected to devote to learning in a typical week of study. Each unit of credit is representative of in‐seat effort and out‐of‐seat effort. One credit awarded yields a total of 3 contact hours of effort on the student’s behalf. The breakdown of effort from in‐seat effort (scheduled time) vs. out‐of‐seat effort (non‐scheduled time) differs by course structure and schedule type.
For scheduled time, one 15‐minute instructional break per 75 minutes of continuous instruction will be included for courses meeting in durations of greater than 75 continuous minutes.
This policy is consistent with specifications in the University System of Georgia Academic and Student Affairs Handbook, Section 2.1 Semester System, Uniform Academic Calendar, Cancellation of Classes and Religious Holidays. The policy is also consistent with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools policy statement on credit hours.
The amount of time that students should expect to spend in‐seat (scheduled time) and out‐of‐seat (nonscheduled time) should be commensurate with catalog structure of the course as approved by the Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and/or the Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee. The appropriate committee must approve exceptions to this policy.
At Georgia Tech, courses have historically been classified as ‘lecture’ with a 1:1 ratio and/or ‘laboratory’ with a 3:1 ratio. These labels have become increasingly inconsistent with the creation of new scheduling types as faculty introduce new pedagogies in the classroom. The list below offers flexibility in how the Institution refers to the in‐seat/out‐of‐seat efforts for existing and new scheduling types.
Effort 1 (Lecture)
“Lecture” based courses yield a 1:1 ratio of in‐seat effort to credit hours. This means that for every 1 credit hour of lecture, there is 1 scheduled contact hour and an expectation for 2 contact hours of nonscheduled effort.
Effort 2 (Studio)
“Studio” based courses yield a 2:1 ratio of in‐seat effort to credit hours. This means that for every 1 credit hour of studio, there are 2 scheduled contact hours and an expectation for 1 contact hour of nonscheduled effort.
Effort 3 (Laboratory)
“Laboratory” based courses yield a 3:1 ratio of effort to credit hours. There are three types in Banner; Supervised, Unsupervised, and Mixed.
- “Supervised Laboratory” means that for every 1 credit hour of supervised laboratory, there are 3 scheduled contact hours and an expectation for no non‐scheduled effort besides the completion of a post‐laboratory report.
- “Unsupervised Laboratory” means that for every 1 credit hour of unsupervised laboratory, there are 3 non‐scheduled contact hours and an expectation for no scheduled effort.
- “Mixed Laboratory” means that for laboratories worth 2 credits or more in even increments (ie: 2, 4, 6, credit hours, etc.), that half of the total credit hours are treated as supervised laboratories and half are treated as unsupervised laboratories. Breakdown in whole credits only.