College Vocabulary

Vocabulario Universitario

  • Adjunct Professor: A professor who is part-time and/or not on campus

  • Academic Advisor: You will be assigned an Academic Advisor when you begin college. This person is similar to your high school counselor. Their purpose is to assist and advise you in your college career. They can help you choose a major and a minor. They also ensure that they meet all the requirements to graduate with a major in your chosen field. Academic Advisors are knowledgeable in all areas of academic life they are a great resource if you have questions.

  • Academic Probation: A warning that your academic performance does not meet your college/university’s requirements to be in “good academic standing”. This usually means that your GPA has fallen below a C average. You will have a specific timeframe, generally one semester, to raise your academic performance or you can be dismissed/expelled.

  • Alumna/us: Someone who has graduated from that college/university. Plural: alumni

  • Associate’s Degree: A two-year postsecondary degree. Generally, translates into the first two years of a Bachelor’s degree

    • AA: Associate of Arts

    • AAS: Associate of Applied Science

    • AS: Associate of Science

    • ABA: Associate of Business Administration

    • ABS: Associate of Business Science

    • AASCET: Associate of Applied Science in Computer Engineering Technology

  • Audit: Attend an academic course without receiving credit. You may choose to attend a class without receiving a grade for that class or it appearing on your transcript. This is typically done when you find a class interesting but do not want to risk scoring poorly and it lowering your GPA and it is not required for your major.

  • Board of Trustees: Governing body of the college

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A four-year postsecondary degree. Generally, this is around 120 credit hours or roughly 40 classes. This is the degree received upon competition of undergraduate studies from a University

    • BA: Bachelor of Arts

    • BS: Bachelor of Science

  • Capstone: A course and/or project completed at the end of the undergraduate career that asks you to synthesize everything you have learned over the previous four years. Some universities and/or degree plans require a capstone while it is optional at others.

  • Certificate: Awarded upon completing of courses in a concentrated skill, takes months to achieve rather than years

  • College:

    1. Typically, smaller postsecondary institutions that do not offer graduate degrees and do not have multiple schools

    2. Universities are often broken into colleges or schools; ex: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Education

  • Commencement: The common term used for a college graduation ceremony

  • Community College: A type of higher education institution where you can get an Associate's Degree

  • Credit/Credit hours: Recognition that a course has been completed. The numerical value that is attributed to each class a student takes; example credit hours. You are required to have a certain amount of credit or credit hours to graduate.

  • Curriculum: what will be covered during a given class; usually highlighted in the course syllabus

  • Dean: An administrator of a college or university; ex: Dean of Students

  • Degree Plan: Your degree plan lists the requirements for graduation

  • Department: a section of the university and/or school faculty dedicated to a particular academic discipline; ex: The Sociology department

  • Developmental Classes: Non-credit classes dedicated to basics in English, Writing, or Math

  • Drop: You can stop taking a class in the first couple of weeks if you decide that you are no longer interested or that the course work is going to be too difficult

  • Doctorate Degree: An postgraduate academic degree higher than a Bachelor’s degree; generally, takes five to seven years after completion of a Bachelor’s degree

  • Early action: Early action applicants apply early, receive an admission decision early in the admission cycle (usually in January or February); NOT binding, can still choose to attend another college/university

  • Early decision: Early decision applicants apply early (usually in November) to first-choice college, receive an admission decision from the college well in advance of the usual notification date (usually by December), and Agree to attend the college if accepted and offered a financial aid package that is considered adequate by the family.

  • Electives: Classes that are not general education requirements or major/minor requirements; allow you to explore other interests

  • First-Generation College Student: Students whose primary parent/s or guardian/s do not have a four-year college degree. They will be the first in their immediate family (not counting siblings) to graduate from college

  • Flagship University: The most prominent universities in a state

  • FRA: Fitness and Recreation Activity. These are physical education classes

  • GA: Graduate Assistant, may lead class is the TA is unavailable. Generally tutors in their subject of interest

  • General Education Requirements/Core Curriculum Classes: The courses every student is required to take no matter what major they have declared

  • Grant: "Free" money given to attend college; generally you have to meet certain financial need qualifications to receive

  • Hybrid: Courses that take place both in a classroom on campus and online

  • Lab: Hands on learning tasks, usually paired with a lecture

  • Lecture: Typical class style where a professor addresses a room of students

  • Liberal Arts: A liberal arts curriculum is interdisciplinary, covering topics in humanities, social sciences (ex: political science), natural sciences (ex: biology), and formal sciences (ex: statistics)

  • Loan: Borrowed money used to pay for college that you must pay back

  • Major: The main academic area you have chosen/will choose to study; ex: Psychology

  • Major Requirements: These are the courses you are required to take to be proficient in and graduate with your chosen major

  • Master’s Degree: An postgraduate academic degree higher than a Bachelor’s degree; generally, takes two-years after completion of a Bachelor’s degree

  • Matriculation: Admission to a university; you matriculate when you official begin taking classes at that college/university

  • Minor: A secondary field of academic concentration where fewer classes are taken; you are not required to have a minor

  • Office Hours: Professors specify certain hours that they will be in their office on a regular basis to meet with students and answer questions

  • Philanthropy: The act of donating money or time to a cause; colleges and universities generally like their students to be engaged in some type of philanthropic action

  • Pre-requisite: Classes that must be taken prior to upper level classes to prepare you for the rigor of those upper level classes

  • Recitation: A regularly scheduled session where students discuss difficult material with the TA. The session is usually done in small groups to give students one-on-one time to learn material. Not all colleges or universities have courses with required recitation

  • Residence Hall: Dorm

  • Retention rate: The rate at which students who enroll in that particular college/university graduate

  • Room & Board: The cost of housing and food. If you live on campus and have a meal plan, then it is the cost of your dorm and meal plan

  • Scholarship: money given to you for college from either your college/university, an organization, or a contest

  • School: Universities are often broken into colleges or schools; ex: School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, School of Education

  • Seminar: Discussion classes on advanced topics

  • Student Union/Campus Center: a location on campus students go for recreation

  • Studio: Half of class is lecture and the other half is creation; typically, art or music classes

  • Syllabus: Includes summary of what will be covered in the course, the rules and policies related to grading and attendance, and a tentative calendar for readings, tests, and assignments

  • TA: Teaching Assistant; typically, a graduate student in that area of study

  • Term: Semester; Fall, Spring, Summer

  • Thesis: Typically done in the senior year, a large independent research project and paper

  • Transcript: List of the courses you have already taken in college as well as the ones you are currently taking. The list will include how many credits each class is worth, your grade for each class, and overall GPA

  • Tuition: The cost of your college classes

  • Undergraduate: Students who have not yet received their Bachelor’s Degree

  • University: Typically, larger postsecondary institutions that do offer graduate degrees and have multiple schools

  • Vocational/Trade School: A postsecondary school teaching a skilled trade

  • Wait-list:

    1. Students who are not formally accepted or rejected admission to a college or university are placed on a wait-list to see if spaces for admission become available

    2. If a class fills up students may be placed on a wait-list to take that particular course and can be added if another student drops

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