College Terminology

Term Definition
Academic Advisor A faculty or staff member who assists students individually with planning their course of study and understanding academic policies and procedures.
Academic Probation This is a warning to the student that his or her academic progress is unsatisfactory. In some colleges, there are several degrees of academic probation.
Add/Drop Deadline During the first two weeks of the semester, students are allowed to drop a course and add another course for that semester.
Associate Degree Degree given upon completion of two years of full time study or equivalent. Most Associate degrees are awarded by two year colleges. Some associate degrees transfer to four year universities.
Bachelor Degree A student receives this degree upon completing his or her undergraduate studies. There is a Bachelor’s of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor’s of Science (B.S.).
Catalog A campus publication, used by students and faculty. This book provides information ranging from specific college academic and non-academic programs; rules and regulations; and admission policies. Also included are the institution’s academic and non-academic calendars.
CLEP College Level Examination Program. Tests given to college students that allows them to prove their knowledge in certain areas of studies. By passing these test, students can earn credit and advance to higher course levels.
College The department responsible for coordinating courses and advising for a set of particular majors. Typically the majors are similar or related to one another.
Corequisite A course which must be taken at the same time as another course.  For example, you must take a laboratory course in a biology course at the same time you are in the biology lecture course.
Credit What a student receives upon completing a college course. Credits are based on the number of hours spent in a class.
Dean Senior academic officer of a college. A college or university may have several schools headed by deans.
Degree What a college student receives once he or she fulfills a course curriculum.
Doctorate An academic program with a research focus that is pursued after a Master’s degree. A Doctoral degree signifies original scholarship in an academic field or discipline.
Electives Courses of interest that can be taken for credit but cannot apply toward a major or minor. These courses are outside of a student’s required curriculum.
Full-Tme Student An undergraduate student enrolled in at least 12 credit hours or a graduate student enrolled in at least 9 credit hours. Or the equivalent, in one semester or academic term.
Grade Point Average (GPA) The grading system used in college. Numbers instead of letters are used to calculate academic progress and success.
Major A specialized field of study that a student chooses to pursue through his or her college career.
Masters A degree awarded to a graduate student once he or she has completed the first level of graduate school.
Minor Along with a major, students can take additional courses to compliment their academic concentration and curriculum.
Pass/Fail A system where a student does not receive a letter grade for taking a course. Depending upon the student’s achievement in the class, the word PASS or FAIL appears on the transcript.
Prerequisite A course which must be completed before taking another course.  For example, you must first complete a math course with a minimum grade in order to take chemistry.
Registrar The office who processes and maintains student transcripts and other official records affiliated with student attendance and accomplishments.
Semester The school year is composed of semesters. Depending on the institution, there can be two or three semesters per year. Semesters usually last three to four months.
Syllabus A professor’s plan of action for the class. It is a schedule of requirements usually explain the intent of the course and what the student’s responsibilities are, such as assigned readings or papers and when the tests are due during the semester.
Transcript The compilation of the student’s grades, credits, honors, ect., received through his or her college career.

 *Terms and definitions used from East Central Campus University's Educational Talent Search website, October 26, 2016.*

Back to top