Credit System at IIT Madas
(Approved by Senate on July 1, 2015).
A semester at IIT Madras lasts 14 working weeks. The number of credits is meant to be indicative of the time per week that needs to be put in by the student. The following is the current credit system :
- One credit indicates an effort of 50 minutes (1 credit-hour ) per working week.
- One credit-hour of lecture is assumed to need two credit-hours (1 hour 40 minutes)
outside the class room in terms of student effort to thoroughly comprehend the subject
material, do the homeworks etc. Thus, a course with 3 lectures a week will be a 3+ (3 x 2) = 9 credit course, indicating that a student needs to put in 9 credit-hours (7 hours 30
minutes) of work a week on this course, inside and outside the classroom put together.
- A 1 credit-hour supervised session with no effort required outside should count for one credit. Thus, an afternoon (2 hours 30 min-
utes) laboratory session, where the student runs an experiment, collects data, interprets
it and writes a report should be awarded 3 credits. If a laboratory course requires effort
outside of the allotted 2.5 hour slot, appropriate credit should be awarded (1 credit for 1
credit-hour , i.e., 50 minutes). In the same vein, a 1 credit-hour tutorial session should
be awarded 1 credit, if no work is expected outside.
- In any given semester, a student should not be required to register for more than 60
credits. This means a maximum academic time commitment of about 50 clock hours
every week. However, students who are registering for honors courses, can take more than 60 hours per week, in consultation with the faculty advisor.
In addition to the total credits being indicative of the total academic commitment expected for the course, the course credit structure is supposed to be indicative of the expectation from the student on various activities lectures, tutorials, extended tutorials, at-home work etc.
The course credit structure has the following format:
where L indicates total number of lecture credit hours, T indicates total number of tutorial hours, E indicates total number of extended tutorial hours, P indicates total number of hours for practicals (if the course has such a component, if not it is set to 0), O indicates total number of hours expected to be spent towards the course outside the class, C indicates total number of credits. The first five components should add up to the last number.
Several examples of credit calculations are given below.
- Theory course with 3 lectures and one tutorial per week: 3 + (3 x 2) + 1 = 10 credits,
assuming the tutorial does not require any work outside (3-1-0-4 in the current system). The structure will be (3-1-0-0-6-10)
- Theory course with 2 lectures and one afternoon laboratory session per week: 2 + (2 x
2) + 3 = 9 credits, assuming the laboratory session needs no work outside of the three
hour slot (2-0-3-4 in the current system). The structure will be (2-0-0-3-4-9)
- Theory course with 3 lectures and two credit-hours of tutorials per week: 3 + (3 x 2) +
2 = 11 credits, assuming the tutorial does not require any work outside (3-2-0-5 in the
current system). The structure will be (3-0-0-0-6-9)
- A 24 credit project, carried out during a semester, entails an average effort of 24 credit-
hours a week (20 clock hours). The structure will be (0-0-0-0-24-24)
- One afternoon laboratory course that requires no work outside the lab session: 3 credits
(0-0-3-2 in the current system). The structure will be (0-0-0-3-0-3)
- One afternoon laboratory course that requires 2 credit-hours (1 hour 40 minutes) for
preparation/analysis (before/after the lab): 3 + 2 = 5 credits. Depending on the time
needed outside the lab session, appropriate credits should be awarded. (There is no
provision for this in our current curriculum). The structure in this case will be (0-0-0-3-2-5)