The University Success Center
University Advising Services
Terms You Need To Know
Terms used in a university community are often confusing for new students. The terms and definitions listed below will increase your understanding of the terminology used here at UNA.
Academic Advisor: A faculty member who assists you with course selection, explains program requirements, answers questions about catalog information, and discusses career options for your major. Your academic advisor approves your courses before pre-registration or registration each semester.
Academic Honesty: A university policy that requires all members of the university community to adhere to standards of academic integrity. Violations of academic honesty include but are not restricted to cheating, misrepresentation of information and plagiarism.
Alumni: Former students who have graduated from the university.
Academic Standing or Status: A student's grade place the student in either good standing academically or put the student at risk academically. Being at risk academically is denoted by one of four terms: academic warning, academic probation, academic suspension or academic dismissal.
Audit: A student who does not want to receive credit in a course may, with the approval of the dean, audit the course. Regular course fees must be paid but the student does not take exams or receive a grade. Courses may be audited and then repeated for credit in a later semester.
Bachelor Degree: Undergraduate degree that is offered by four-year colleges and universities. UNA grants Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Education, Bachelor of Science in Music Education, Bachelor of Art in Music, Bachelor of Science in Music, and Bachelor of Social Work degrees. Your major and degree program determine which one of these you receive upon completion of program requirements.
Cashier's Window: Located on the basement floor of Bibb Graves Hall, the cashier's window is where students go to pay their tuition, fees and cash personal checks.
Catalog: Published by the university to provide information about the institution's history and philosophy, policies and procedures, accreditation status, programs of study, degrees and other certifications offered, admission and enrollment procedures, tuition costs, financial aid and other aspects of the university.
Class Attendance: Regular and punctual attendance at all scheduled classes and activities is expected of all students and is regarded as integral to course credit. Each student is directly responsible to the individual professor for absences and for making up work missed. Particular policies and procedures on absences and makeup work are established in writing for each class, are announced by the professor at the beginning of the term, and for excessive absences, may provide for appropriate penalties including reduction in grades or professor-initiated withdrawal from class. Official written excuses for absences are issued only for absences incurred in connection with university-sponsored activities. For all other types of group or individual absences, including illness, authorization or excuse is the province of the individual professor.
Classification: Students who are classified according to the credit hours they have earned. Freshmen are those students who have earned 0-31 credit hours; sophomores, 32-63 credit hours; juniors, 64-95 credit hours; and seniors, 96 credit hours or above.
CLEP: An acronym for the College Level Examination Program which offers students the option of obtaining college credit by taking proficiency examinations in selected courses. Minimum scores must be met in order to receive credit. There is a charge for each examination taken.
Co-curricular: Clubs and organizations for students to join as well as activities in which students can participate. Students who take part in these not only feel more connected to the university community, but also encounter opportunities to develop leadership skills.
College: UNA is divided into four academic divisions called colleges. These are: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education, and the College of Nursing.
Commuter: A student who lives off campus and drives to class.
Comprehensive: Professors use this term to indicate that an exam will include all course content that has been covered during the semester, even if prior tests have been given over different sections of the material.
Course Number: Individual courses are denoted by letters and numbers that represent the department that offers the course and the number for a particular course. For example, COM 201 01 is the course number for Fundamentals of Public Speaking. "COM" stands for the Department of Communications and Theatre; 201 is the actual number for the course; and 01 denotes the particular section of the course. The number of the course indicates the level of the course: 100 level courses = freshman level, 200 level courses = sophomore level, 300 level courses = junior level, 400 level courses = senior level, 500 and 600 level courses = graduate level courses. Department abbreviations can be found in the Schedule of Classes.
Credit Hour: Courses taken in college are measured in credit hours that indicate the amount of time spent in class. For example, a 3 credit hour class would meet either three 50-minute classes per week, two 75-minute classes per week, or one 2-hour and 45-minute class per week. Notations for the credit hour(s) per course are listed in the Schedule of Classes at each course listing.
Dean: The head of a college within the university that is responsible for academic decisions related to your program of study.
Degree Requirements: Requirements set forth by the university which must be met for completion of a degree program or program of study. Requirements include completion of a specified number of hours (128), prescribed individual courses for the degree program elected, and minimum GPA overall and within the major. Some degree programs require a minor field of study.
Drop/Add: After registration or pre-registration, a student may decide to withdraw (drop) from a course and/or add (enroll in) a course. Specific details on withdrawing from a course can be found in the Catalog. Pay attention to the deadlines which can be found in your schedule of classes. Courses may only be added through the first week of classes.
Faculty: All instructors or professors who teach for the university. Adjunct faculty are part-time instructors or professors.
Full-Time vs. Part-Time Enrollment: Students enrolled for 12 or more credit hours in a semester are considered full-time students. Students enrolled in less than 12 credit hours are considered part-time students.
General Studies Component: Required of all degree programs offered by the university, general studies courses are the foundation of a college education. These courses are generally completed within the first two years of study.
Grade Point Average or GPA: Letter grades and grade point averages are used in determining student grades. Calculate your GPA by dividing the total number of quality points by the total credit hours attempted. The result is your GPA.
Major: The program of study chosen as the field of specialization.
Minor: A secondary concentration of courses that a student elects to take to complement the major field of study. (Usually requires 18 credit hours in the secondary field).
Plagiarism: A severe form of cheating when credit is not given to another person's work or ideas. It may result in a failing grade on the assignment or failure of the course.
Pre-requisite: A course that must be completed before enrolling in another course, often a higher level course. Pre-requisites are noted in course descriptions found in the university catalog.
Quality Points: Points assigned for GPA calculation based on the grade the student earned in the course. UNA uses the 4 point system meaning that an A=4 points, B=3 points, C=2 points, D=1 point and F=0 points.
Senior Institution: a college or university offering baccalaureate degree programs.
Syllabus: Usually distributed on the first day of class or posted on a professor's website, the syllabus is the student's guide to the course. It includes information on how to contact the professor, the course description and objectives, assignments and exams, grading and attendance policies, and other information pertinent for the course. The syllabus should be read carefully.
Transcript: An official, permanent academic record of a college student. It consists of courses taken, grades received, academic status, academic honors and proficiency and/or exit exams taken.