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Bachelor-Master-Doctorate (BMD)

FTBM follows the North American Bachelor-Master-Doctorate system, shortened as BMD.

The BMD system divides the academic year into two main semesters: First Semester (August–December), Second Semester (January–May). These two semesters each comprise 15 calendar weeks.

Credit Hour/Credit Units System

The BMD track at FTBM uses the credit hour system. Each course is worth a certain number of credit hours.

One credit hour requires 1.1 hours (1h06’) of class time and 2.2 additional hours (2h12’) of personal work per week, for one semester. Below is a recapitulative table of the workload required for one course according to its value in Credits (CH):

Credit Hours
Class Time
Personal Work
Total Workload
1 1.1 2.2 3.3
2 2.2 4.4 6.6
3 3.3 6.6 9.9
4 4.4 8.8 13.2

Accordingly, a student enrolled in courses totaling 12 credit hours should expect approximately a 40-hours workload per week, for the semester.

The course description indicates the number of credit hours for each course.

How it works?

The student is encouraged to consult the section in the academic catalog which details each program with its core curriculum and electives.

Each program is composed by a “core curriculum” category and an “electives” category. The “core curriculum” lists all the courses that the student must take and receive credit for in order to graduate. Additionally, the student has the possibility to choose some electives to complete his/her degree. Usually, the student chooses electives that meet his/her interests. Electives can also be chosen with the intent to constitute a minor (see Bachelor’s degree program).

Before the beginning of each semester, the student registers to a certain number of courses that are required to complete his/her degree. If the student passes the class at the end of the semester, he/she earns the number of credit units corresponding to that class. All the credits units the student gets are cumulated in his/her account. Take note:

  • You must complete 59 credits to receive the Associate of Theology degree. That represents about 24 courses.
  • You must complete 120 credits to receive the Bachelor of Theology degree. That represents about 45 courses.

All the credits that the student obtains are cumulated. They can also be transferred to another degree. Thus, a student who already earned an Associate of Theology degree only needs 61 credits (120-59) to complete the Bachelor of Theology degree.

Full-time Status

A student who is taking 10 or more credits (hours/units) in a semester is considered full-time for that semester.


  • The credit hour system gives the student the flexibility to decide about the number of credits he/she can take each semester. Thus, the student can map out a timeline to complete the program at his/her own pace.
  • The student can decide to apply without pursuing a degree. Indeed, he/she may be interested in attending only some specific courses. The credit that he/she gets from these courses are still cumulated in his/her account should the student later decide to pursue a degree.