CYA prefers to let each school make its own determination based on the transcript CYA issues, mindful of the fact that there is considerable variation among US colleges and universities in the way they calculate credit hours. However, what constitutes a full academic load at CYA is usually the equivalent to a full-time course of study at any institution of higher learning in the US.
The standard practice of what constitutes full-time study according to our own policy and the vast majority of colleges we work with, stipulates that a student must enroll in four courses to ensure full-time status. Students, however, may take up five courses while at CYA at no extra cost. Each semester a certain number of students do so, either because their home institution requires it, or they choose on their own to take an "extra" class.
CYA courses as a rule meet for a total of 45 contact hours over the course of a semester. The exceptions are all Modern Greek language classes and first and second semester of Ancient Greek, which meet for a total of 60 contact hours during a semester.
It should be noted that a considerable amount of instruction at CYA takes place on field trips outside Athens, in museums and on archaeological sites. These field trips are an integral part of our academic program and cover the full range of Greek civilization -- ancient, medieval and modern.
Every student participates equally in the field trips, which in the fall consists of visits to Crete and the Peloponnese, and in the spring to Northern Greece and the Peloponnese, a total of nine days of study travel each semester.
Even though the instruction that takes place on these field trips -- four to five hours each day, or thirty-six to forty-five hours over the semester -- is in addition to the classroom and on-site teaching that occurs in Athens, these extra contact hours do not appear on a CYA transcript enabling schools to be generous in allocating credit because of CYA's additional on-site instruction.
Grades are based on written or written and oral examinations, satisfactory completion of all course assignments, class attendance and participation. Typically, students are required to take a mid-term and final exam and to write at least one research paper.
Some instructors replace a single longish paper (approximately fifteen pages) with two or more shorter writing assignments, and a few instructors assign a research paper in lieu of a final exam after consultation and approval by the Vice President of Academic Affairs.