Units & Contact Hours


Variable Units: Select this box for variable unit courses. If selected, the form will make both “from” and “to” fields available.

Override Calculation: If your course does not conform to standard Carnegie Rule calculation, Select this box to override the automatic calculation of unit value.

Override Calculation Justification: This field is required when Override Calculation is selected. During data migration to CurricUNET, the text from the “Justification of Units” field in the old ICMS was copied to this field.

Select one: For Carnegie Rule calculation, choose the appropriate length of your course. Usually this is the standard 10-week quarter.

Units: When you enter the Learning Activities, the total units will calculate. To override the Units, mark the Override Calculation field.

Variable to: For variable-unit courses, select the Variable Units box and the "Variable to"  field will display.

Learning Activity: To ensure general classroom assignment, enter Lectures and Discussion activities first.

Learning activity refers to the teaching method(s) being used; e.g., lecture, laboratory, discussion. Hours per week/session are the contact hours between student and instructor for each teaching method.

The learning activity provides important information about the course's unit value and the contact hours between instructor and student. Most learning activities require contact hours but some do not. When a learning activity does not require contact hours, the nature of the learning activity (the kind of paper, its length, etc.) should be fully described under Summary of Course Contents and be properly justified under the Justification of Units in the Expanded Course Description. This will help students and the Course Committee understand the unit value assigned to the activity.

Select the activities that best match the course and then describe the activities more fully under Summary of Course Contents.

In Classroom (Hours/Week or Session): The number of hours per week or hours per session that a student is in a classroom with an instructor.

NOTE: Some Learning Activities will automatically calculate the Out of Classroom time, but will not show the hours in the Out of Classroom field. The following Learning Activities assume two hours of outside work for every hour in classroom:

  • Discussion
  • Discussion Laboratory
  • Laboratory/Discussion
  • Lecture
  • Lecture/Discussion
  • Lecture/Lab
  • World Wide Web Electronic Discussion
  • World Wide Web Virtual Lecture

Out of Classroom (Hours/Week or Session): The number of hours per week or hours per session that a student works on preparing for the class, or activities that occur within the Learning Activity but not in a formal setting or standard classroom assembly.

Total Hours: Calculates hours based on in/out classroom time and type of learning activity as stipulated by the Academic Senate.

Units: The units this activity calculates to. Carnegie calculation is Credit Hours x (Weeks/Sessions) ÷ 30.

Justification of Units: To help complete the calculator, courses will show the justification from old ICMS approval systems.


In order for the new Units Calculator to work correctly, you must remove the check next to Override Calculation, then select the length of the term, and confirm the hours on the Learning Activities are correct.

The Justification of units from the previous ICMS Expanded Course Description will display when the course is first opened. This information should help you make any adjustments. It will no longer display after a new proposal has been approved.

Tips and Additional Information

If the Learning Activities or Units do not load correctly, try reloading the page.