Academic Terminology


Associate degree: A degree received after completing an appropriate course of study consisting of 60 credits. Associate degrees are sometimes called two-year degrees; this term is misleading because the time span is two years if the degree is pursued on a full-time basis. The completion of this degree on a part-time basis would be determined by the number of credits taken each semester. The number of credits needed for the associate degree varies from college to college. 

 Bachelor’s degree or baccalaureate degree: A degree received after completing an appropriate course of study consisting of 128 credits, depending on the degree. Bachelor's degrees are sometimes called four year degrees. Bachelor's degrees may be completed by four years of full-time study or on a part-time basis over a long period of time.


Student Status

Matriculated student: A student who has been accepted by a college for work leading towards an associate or bachelor's degree. 

Non-degree student: A student who is taking courses on a credit basis but who is not taking the courses for degree. 

Full-time student: A student who takes a full course Ioad of at least 12 credits a semester.

Part-time student: A student who takes a full course load of fewer than 12 credits per semester.

Transfer student: A student who applies for admission to college with a record of previous college credit.

Adult Degree student: A student seeking a degree in the General Studies or Liberal Studies program.



Academic Year: The regular school year, which usually runs from September through May. The academic year is divided into terms of equal length. The common method:
The semester system: The division of the academic year into two terms, the fall and the spring semester. 


Courses and Curriculum

Audit courses: Courses attended by students on a non-credit basis. Students taking courses on an audit basis do not receive grades but do pay full tuition.

Credit courses: Courses taken for college credit. Credits are generally determined by the number of periods per week a course meets; for example, a course meeting 2 '/1 hours a week is usually a 3 credit course.

Lower division courses: Courses, which are generally introductory in nature and cover the basic concepts and facts of a discipline, for example, Introduction to Sociology, Survey of Western Civilization. Lower division courses are usually taken in the first two years of college study. 

Upper division courses: Advanced courses in various disciplines, usually taken in the last years of college study. Upper division courses are part of a student's concentration.

A Concentration:  A major program, a specific discipline or field of study, for example, Accounting, English, etc. Depending on each division's requirements, the concentration may mount for 1/3 or 1/2 of the student's degree program or a minimum of 30-36 credits.
Elective courses: A course selected on an open basis by the student, for example, if a program specifies 2 liberal arts electives, the student selects 2 courses from areas of greatest interest to him or her (art, English, history, music, etc.). 

Prerequisites: Courses or requirements which need to be satisfied before a more advanced course may be taken, for example, ACC I06 - Intermediate Accounting I, has ACC 104 - Managerial Accounting, as a prerequisite. 

Core Curriculum: A basic group of courses in the liberal arts, social sciences and natural sciences which form an important pan of any college degree. These courses introduce students to a variety of skills important in the development of the total person. In many colleges and universities, the core curriculum is described as the general education requirement. The core curriculum part of most degree programs is usually one half of the total program.

Student Records

Transcripts: A reproduction of the complete official record of courses taken, credits earned, and grades received. Students may quest unofficial transcripts for their own records. These may be found on FoxLink.

General Information

Advisor: A faculty or staff member who assists the student in planning a program to meet his/her vocational goals and is available for assistance during the semester and signs course approval forms before registration.