Back to Top
credit vs. noncredit classes graphic

Colleges and universities throw around a lot of academic terminology and sometimes we make the mistake of assuming everyone knows what we’re talking about. A common area of confusion seems to be credit versus noncredit.

According to the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), credit is awarded in recognition of attendance or performance in a course or program and may be applied toward a formal award, like a degree or certificate.

Noncredit courses, sometimes called continuing education courses, are for personal or professional interest. Noncredit courses cannot be used toward a credit degree, but (and here is where it seems muddy) many noncredit job training and skill building courses award continuing education units, industry certifications or continuing education certificates.

If that still seems a little confusing, browse our offerings. We divided them into three categories: Credit Degrees and Certificates, Noncredit Job Training and Professional Development, and Noncredit Personal Enrichment. Seeing which programs fall into which categories might help clarify the differences.  Each area of study page has a contact listed. If you still have questions, there is always someone willing to help.