El Camino College Torrance | 2017-2018 Student Handbook - page 13

Questions and Answers
What is a Unit?
1 unit lecture = 1 hour per week in class lecture
3 units lecture = 3 hours per week in class lecture
Study rule = 2 hours of study per unit per week
12 units or more = full-time student
12 units x 2 hours of study per unit = 24 hours of study
12 units + 24 hours of study = 36 hours per week of class and study time
Note: If you are taking a one-unit “Lab” course, it equals to three hours per week,
not one hour of class lecture.
NOTE: In the example above, if you are taking 12 units, you need to spend close to 40
hours per week toward class time and study time.
In the chart below is the recommended number of units for students who are employed,
correlated with the number of hours worked. The recommended units should serve as a
guideline for enrollment.
Work Hours/Week
Number of
0-15 hours
12-15 units
15-20 hours
12 units
20-30 hours
9 units
30-40 hours
6 units
40 or more hours
3-6 units
How often do classes meet?
The amount of time a class meets per week usually equals the number of units the class is
worth. Class hours can be in a three-hour block, or spread out in a variety of combinations.
The most common time arrangement is for a three-unit lecture class to meet for 1.5 hours,
two days per week. A semester is usually 16 weeks in length in the fall or spring.
However, four-, five-, six- and eight-week classes are offered during the regular semesters.
In the summer, there are six- or eight-week session classes.
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