Credits, Program Length and Tuition

North Central Missouri College (NCMC) follows all guidelines and policies concerning credits, program length and tuition as established by the Higher Learning Commission and the Missouri Coordinating Board of Higher Education.

Credits and Course Length

Course credit is awarded in semester hours as recorded on the academic transcript. The fall and spring semesters are approximately 16-weeks in length. The summer session consists of either one eight-week session or two four-week sessions. NCMC also offers two intersessions, which occur between semesters. Each intersession is affiliated with the semester immediately following the intersession and consists of 4 weeks. Course delivery consists of traditional on-ground, online, as well as the blended format which allows for reduced in-class instructional contact plus an online component.

NCMC calculates credit hours by semester based on the standard Carnegie unit. The semester credit hour is the unit of measure used to determine college-credit course work. A credit hour is defined as one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately sixteen weeks for one semester of credit. Thus, a unit of credit equates to three hours of student work per week (1 hour lecture plus 2 hours of homework OR 2/3 hours of lab/activity) for 16 weeks. Lecture courses are considered to be one hour of lecture class time and two hours per week of homework. For the typical three-unit class, a student spends three hours per week in class and should be prepared to complete six hours per week of homework. A unit of a laboratory/activity course is equal to two/three hours per week. In order to earn credit hours, students must also meet institutional and state learning outcomes at a satisfactory level.

NCMC meets and/or exceeds the minimum course length requirement set by the Federal Student Aid Program (FSA) regulations. At NCMC, one credit hour is granted for 750 minutes of contact lecture time. Credits at NCMC are awarded based on the number of minutes a lecture class meets per week as well as, if the students successfully meeting the stated learning outcomes. One credit is awarded for each 50 minute session for a 16 week semester or 750 minutes per credit. Labs must meet additional instructional time, as required by state regulations. NCMC courses exceed the minimum class time required and meet 50 minutes for three day courses, 110 minutes for two day courses and 165 minutes for one day courses for a minimum of 2250 minutes per semester. These standards are adhered to when developing class schedules each semester.

The foundation for online/blended courses is to ensure that students are meeting the same learning outcomes as those delivered in traditional on ground coursework. Students are expected to spend comparable amounts of time in achieving the course objectives. However, because learning cannot be quantified in terms of minutes and hours in online and blended courses, emphasis is placed upon successfully achieving student learning outcomes and additional evidence of student learning. For a course to be able to be offered online faculty must follow the process for curriculum proposals and complete the Teaching Online course. In addition, the online/blended courses must include information about the estimated work time needed for students to satisfactorily complete assignments; incorporate a measured student outcome within the first week of the course offering to help verify all students are enrolled and engaged in the learning process; and propose an instructional platform that significantly engages the student weekly in some manner that is instructor initiated.

North Central Missouri College utilizes the following sessions to provide students with a variety of program lengths:

  • Fall and Spring Semesters: variation of 16, 10, 8 and 4 week sessions (depending on subject matter and program)
  • Winter Intersession: approximately four-week session
  • Spring Intersession: approximately four-week session
  • Summer: typically two four-week sessions or one eight-week session

The following degree programs and certificates are offered by the College:

  • Academic Degrees: Associate in Arts, Associate in Arts in Teaching, Associate in General Studies
  • Occupational Degrees (Associate in Applied Science): Agriculture & Natural Resources, Applied Technology, Business Technology, Criminal Justice, Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Early Childhood Development, Emergency Medical Technology-Paramedic, Industrial & Energy Systems Technology, Medical Assistant, Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Paraprofessional & Substitute Teaching, Pharmacy Technician, Radiology Technology, Surgical Technology
  • Occupational Certificates: Accounting & Business Technology, Business Management, Business Technology, Criminal Justice, Crop Production, Equine Management, Industrial Maintenance Skills, Manufacturing Skills, Marketing Management, Pharmacy Technician, Practical Nursing, Professional Accounting, Welding Skills
    *Please see our Gainful Employment page for more information about our certificate programs

*The Missouri Department of Higher Education has established a statewide articulation agreement that guarantees 42 general education hours to transfer to any Missouri public or private institution in the state which has signed on to the agreement. The 42-Hour General Education Core also fulfills all lower-division requirements for transfer.


NCMC’s tuition and fee rates are established by the Board of Trustees adopted each year. Tuition and fees are posted on the NCMC website. Some courses have an additional course fee, also approved by the Board of Trustees.