Courses, Credits, Hours

Availability of Offerings

Information in this catalog and semester offerings are subject to change. Please go to the Registrar's webpage or the live semester course browser for up-to-date information including faculty teaching assignments. For more information about a specific course, talk to the course instructor listed in the current or previous registration booklets. Prerequisites and co-requisites may occasionally be waived with permission of the course instructor.

Course Numbering Nomenclature

Course numbers are composed of an alphabetic prefix and a numeric suffix. The alphabetic prefix indicates the primary area of the course, according to the following table. Note that some courses earn credit for multiple areas (see Course Listings Table below).

Alphabetic Prefix Primary Area
AHSE AHS/Entrepreneurship
ENGR Engineering
MTH Mathematics
SCI Science
SUST Sustainability

The first digit of the numeric suffix indicates the nominal level of a course according to the following table.

Numeric Suffix Level
0XXX Any
1XXX Introductory
2XXX Intermediate
3XXX Advanced
4XXX Summative/Capstone

Hours/Week Nomenclature

The definition of a credit hour at Olin, is 1 credit is equal to 3 hrs of work per week. Olin's standard calendar is 15 weeks.

To better allow teaching staff, facilities schedulers, and students to manage the time requirements of every course, the number of expected hours per week is indicated by a triplet of numbers, as follows: (Contact) – (Non-Contact) – (Preparation)

  • Contact: The first number indicates approximately the number of hours per week teaching staff and students will spend together in scheduled school facilities.
  • Non-Contact: The second number indicates approximately the number of hours students will spend each week working on their own in scheduled school facilities.
  • Preparation: The third number indicates approximately the number of hours per week a well-prepared student with good study habits should expect to spend studying and completing homework, reading assignments, projects, etc.

For example, the AHSE 1100 History of Technology: A Cultural and Contextual Approach course is described as a 4-0-8 course, so students in the course can expect to spend four hours in class with an instructor, and approximately eight hours outside of class completing course-related assignments.