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Glossary of College Terms

Academic Probation

  • Trial period for student not making satisfactory progress, usually caused by a deficient grade point average.
Advanced Standing
  • Credit or advanced placement for freshmen that have done previous high-level high school or college work or scored high on advanced placement tests.
Associate Degree
  • Degree granted for completion of a course of study, usually two to three years at a community college or junior college.
Audit
  • Attending a course without getting a credit for it.
Baccalaureate Degree
  • Bachelor’s degree awarded for completion of an undergraduate curriculum, usually four years in length.
Bachelor of Arts
  • Academic degree conferred on those completing undergraduate study, usually lasting four years, in liberal arts or humanities.
Bachelor of Science
  • Academic degree conferred on those completing undergraduate study, usually lasting four years, in the sciences.
Bursar
  • College or university collector or various payments (tuition, etc.).
College Work Study
  • A federal financial aid program providing on and off campus employment.
Credit Hour
  • A three-credit course usually represents three credit hours per week or three one-hour classes.  The system of assigning a give number of credits to a college course.
Dean
  • A senior administrative officer of a college or university; examples are Dean of Students or Dean of Admissions.
Deferred Admission
  • Accepted student delays entering college in order to study, travel, or work.
Doctorate
  • Highest academic degree awarded by a college or university of advanced graduate study.
Early Decision
  • A student applies to first-choice college early in their senior year and agrees to withdraw all other applications to enroll at that specific college, if accepted.
Early Action
  • Used primarily in highly selective colleges.  Same timetable as early decision, but allows accepted candidates until May 1 to accept or decline offer of admission
Financial Aid Director
  • The person in charge of determining monetary assistance for college expenses.  This person usually has some discretion to adjust financial aid package or make other decisions relative to a student’s financial aid.
Full-time Student
  • A student who enrolls in at least 12 credit hours per semester.
Humanities
  • Course concerned with thought and human relations, philosophy, literature, classical languages, and the fine arts.
Liberal Arts
  • Courses in humanities, social sciences, and the abstract sciences as opposed to technical or professional subjects.
Major
  • Subject in which a student takes the greatest concentration of courses.
Master’s Degree Degree conferred for completion of a program of postgraduate work, usually lasting for one or two years.
Matriculate To enroll in a degree program or be accepted as a candidate for a degree.
Minor Subject in which a student takes the second greatest concentration of courses.
Registrar University official who keeps records of enrollment and academic standings.
Rolling Admission Policy adopted by colleges under which students can be accepted throughout the school year rather than only in the fall and spring.
Seminar Courses in which a small group of students, headed by a professor, engage in research and discussion.
Syllabus Outlines of a course.
Trimesters Three approximately equal periods of three to four months in the school year.
Undergraduate A student who is attending college who has not yet earned a degree.
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