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Academic Affairs

Realize your Potential

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College of Southern Maryland
8730 Mitchell Rd
PO Box 910
La Plata, MD 20646-0910

Regulatory Information

Credit Hours

The College of Southern Maryland follows the Code of Maryland Regulations regarding the assignment and award of credit hours. More information can be obtained at:

At the College of Southern Maryland, in all credit courses, students are expected to spend a minimum of two hours completing out-of-class course work for every hour of instructional time. For online and hybrid courses, students can expect active instruction time and out-of-class course work to be comparable to a face-to-face courses with the same number of credits.

State Authorization

The U.S. Department of Education has announced rules requiring all institutions of higher education participating in Title IV programs to be able to document compliance with state laws in all states where they offer distance or correspondence education. The Department has indicated that compliance with existing state laws has always been a condition of Title IV eligibility, and the announced regulation simply calls attention to the need for institutions to assure they have legal authority to operate in all the states where they are providing instruction. For additional details, please visit:

MHEC Resolution - Authority to Operate in the State of Maryland

In October 2010, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released a new regulation for higher education institutions. The new regulation requires an educational institution to be an established by name as an educational institution by a State through a charter, statute, constitutional provision, or other action by an appropriate State agency or State entity and be authorized to operate educational programs beyond secondary education, including programs leading to a degree or certificate. The regulation becomes effective on July 1, 2011.

In light of this new regulation, the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) has created a resolution to ease the burden of complying with the USDOE Regulations on Program Integrity Issues (75 FR 66831 66975). The MHEC Resolution authorizes Maryland community colleges, by name, to operate in the state of Maryland.