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Division of Continuing Studies

College Terminology

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Sometimes, it may seem that college terminology is a completely different language! One key to being successful at college is to learn the college lingo. Here is a list of must-know terms:



If a school is accredited, this means that the school has met the accrediting organization's competency requirements. UNO is accredited by North Central. The Division of Continuing Studies accepts transfer credits from colleges and universities that are accredited by a post-secondary regional association.

Academic Amnesty

The Division of Continuing Studies (DCS) offers an amnesty policy to qualifying students. This "second chance" policy is one way to provide relief from a poor GPA. All UNO colleges will accept the results of the DCS Amnesty.

To Be Eligible:

  • Academic Amnesty can only be given for F and D grades made within the University of Nebraska system. The system includes University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Omaha, Kearney, and the Medical Center.
  • Students must sit out of the Nebraska system at least one year.
  • Only courses with F and D grades earned prior to the year out will be included in the amnesty contract.

To Complete the Contract:

  • Amnesty coursework will begin with the first course taken upon your return.
  • Twenty-four (24) semester hours must be completed.
  • Amnesty candidates must maintain continuous enrollment with at least six (6) semester hours completed with a grade each academic year.
  • A 2.5 GPA must be maintained. If not completed within the 24 hours, the contract is continued until the 2.5 GPA is achieved.
  • An academic adviser must be informed by the student when an amnesty is completed. The adviser will request a re- computation of your GPA.

When Contract is Complete:

  • Amnestied grades will remain on your transcript but will be annotated as not included in the GPA.
  • Academic amnesty completion makes you ineligible for academic honors at graduation. You still can be eligible for Dean's List and Chancellor's List honors.


Students register for an additional class after initial registration. Check the catalog or website for registration deadlines and possible fees.


Students who wish to earn a degree must apply and be formally admitted to a program. Students admitted to UNO have submitted an Application for Admission, paid the appropriate fee, met all admission requirements and received a Certificate of Admission. Complete admission is required in order to receive most types of financial aid.


The advisor guides students on University policies and procedures, general and degree requirements, and career options associated with their specific fields. The Certificate of Admission lists the department and phone number for the student's academic advising contact. It is the student's responsibility to seek advising. Students in the Division of Continuing Studies can make an appointment from the website or can contact 554-2370 with any questions.

Allied Field

Within the BGS Option I certain Areas of Concentration have Allied Fields. Allied fields have been authorized for some concentrations, recognizing that work in a closely related discipline may be as valuable as further specialization in a primary area of concentration. There is no obligation to use the allied field option and some concentrations do not have allied fields. A student may elect to have their area of concentration consist of a primary area of concentration (21 to 30+ credit hours) and an allied field (0-9 credit hours).

Area of Concentration

In the Bachelor of General Studies degree Option I, the Area of Concentration is your primary area of study. The BGS has over 40 Areas of Concentration. There are Areas of Concentration that have specific course requirements and others that allow you to choose your courses.

Area of Emphasis

The Bachelor of General Studies degree Option II features three Areas of Emphasis of 15 credits each. Two of the three disciplines selected as areas of emphasis must be available at UNO, and all UNO undergraduate disciplines are eligible for selection. The third area of emphasis may be any recognized collegiate discipline, whether available at UNO or not as well as nontraditional areas such as military science, flight training, or secretarial science.


Students may enroll in a course on an audit basis (no credit). The audit fee is one-half of the resident tuition rates. Registration for audit requires the permission of the instructor and cannot be done until the first week of classes.

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Bachelor's Degree

A degree awarded by a four-year institution requiring a minimum of 125 semester hours. In addition to providing extensive preparation in specific knowledge areas, the content and activities found in the bachelor's degree promote in students the abilities to reason, research, and analyze, and to form, support and communicate their ideas and opinions.


Know at UNO as MyUNO, Blackboard is a course management system available on the web. It is designed to enhance courses taught on the UNO campus as well as with may UNO Distance learning courses. Course documents are on the web for easy access by students at any time. Features include on-line quizzes and exams, on-line gradebooks, course calendars, group activities, as well as discussion boards and chat.

Classes are automatically loaded at the start of each semester. If you aren't seeing one of your courses, the instructor may not have made the course available or is not using MyUNO/Blackboard.

Additional Information can be found at

Blue Book

A booklet with a blue cover that contains lined paper for writing essay test answers. Blue books may be purchased in the UNO Bookstore if required for a course.

Building Codes

Abbreviations used to designate the buildings on campus where classes are held. A table of those abbreviations can be found on the Registrar's page on UNO's website.

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Call Number

Each course is designated a specific number that must be used during registration to ensure proper class placement.


A book printed annually which defines every degree program being offered during one academic year (fall, spring, summer). It is the student's responsibility to become familiar with the policies, regulations and graduation requirements in the catalog. The academic year that a student is admitted into a degree program is called a Catalog Year. The catalog is also available on UNO's website.

Chancellor's List

Students seeking their first bachelors degree are eligible for this academic honor. Students must earn a minimum of 12 quality hours with a minimum GPA of 4.0 in a given fall or spring semester for full-time students, and consecutive fall or spring semesters for part-time students. These academic honors are not offered during the summer term.

Class Standing

Class standing is based on the total credits a student has earned and does not necessarily reflect the progress a student has made toward completion of a degree. Students are classified as follows:

Freshman: 0 through 26 semester hours
Sophomore: 27 through 57 semester hours
Junior: 58 through 90 semester hours
Senior: 91 semester hours or above

Code of Conduct

The University requires students to conduct themselves honestly and responsibly and respect the rights of others. Violations of the Code of Conduct are subject to University judicial review and disciplinary action. Please read the Code of Conduct in the catalog.

Course Load

Number of credit hours for which a student is enrolled during a semester.

Course Number/Numbering

Each class is identified with a number which indicates the level of academic instruction. Courses are considered lower level (1000-2999) and upper level (3000-4999).

Credit Hour

Courses are assigned credit hours which correspond to the amount of time spent in class. This may range from one to eight hours, including any laboratory work or independent study.

Credit/No Credit

The credit/no credit privilege is often chosen by students who wish to take courses not related to their area of concentration or secondary fields. At the time of registration, the student should indicate their selection of the CR/NC option. Courses completed under this option will be shown on the transcript, but will not be used in computing the student's grade point average. DCS students can take a maximum of 24 semester hours credit/no credit.

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Dean's List

Students seeking their first bachelors degree are eligible for this academic honor. Students must earn a minimum of 12 quality hours with a minimum GPA of 3.5 in a given fall or spring semester for full-term students, and consecutive fall or spring semesters for part-time students. These academic honors are not offered during the summer term. Part-time students whose honors are considered on a continuous enrollment will have summer hours included in their calculations for Dean's list.


An academic title conferred by universities and colleges indicating the completion of a course of study. In the Division of Continuing Studies our degree is the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS).

Degree with Honors

The Baccalaureate degrees with honors are awarded as follows:

  1. To all graduates whose scholastic average for their entire university career and at UNO is 3.51 or above, but below 3.63, the degree cum laude.
  2. To all graduates whose scholastic average for their entire university career and at UNO is 3.63 or above, but below 3.87, the degree magna cum laude.
  3. To all graduates whose scholastic average for their entire university career and at UNO is 3.87 or above, the degree summa cum laude.

To qualify for honors, a student must have earned at least 60 semester hours within the University of Nebraska system, 30 hours of which must be completed at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and in which letter grades are received. Grades awarded in all courses taken at all colleges and universities attended are included in computing the GPA for determining eligibility for honors. It should be noted that the GPA included in the student grade reports issued by the Registrar's Office reflects only courses taken at UNO, UNL, UNMC, and UNK.

Distance Education

Distance learning provides access and opportunity for individuals who cannot attend traditional classes on campus. With anytime, anywhere learning, more people are able to reach their educational goals.

Division of Continuing Studies

The Division of Continuing Studies administers the Bachelor of General Studies degree. The Division of Continuing Studies is part of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service.

Double Area of Concentration

BGS degree-seeking students may choose to complete two areas of concentrations.

Double Degree

A student can earn multiple degrees simultaneously by following the guidelines in the catalog.


The process of withdrawing from one or more classes during the first week of classes at 100% refund. It is possible to drop a course after that date, please check the catalog or website for deadlines and refund schedules.

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Students must take a certain number of required courses. They also have courses that they are able to choose, or 'elect', to take; those courses are called electives.


Students registered in classes at UNO are enrolled.

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Students taking courses for academic credit pay student fees that support a variety of programs and services. An outline of the fees is available on UNO's website.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, was designated to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings.

Financial Aid

Most types of assistance students receive in order to pay for tuition. Students must be admitted to a degree-seeking program and maintain satisfactory academic progress to be eligible for financial aid.

Full-Time Student

Student with a course load of 12 or more credit hours per semester (Fall, Spring).

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Grade Point Average (GPA)

Determined by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of credit hours attempted. A GPA calculation guide can be found on the Student Resources page of the DCS website.

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ID Number

Identification number assigned to the student by the University. The University system is now using NU ID numbers, not Social Security Numbers. The NU ID is a unique number so that students will have the same number or the Lincoln, Kearney and Omaha campuses.


An instructor can assign a grade of "I" or "Incomplete" if the student has completed the major requirements of the course. The student has until the end of the next regular semester to remove the "I" or the grade will automatically revert to a grade of "W".

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Lower Division

First and second year college courses or courses numbered 1000 to 2999.

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UNO transitioned from the public use of social security numbers on MAVLINK and the Student Information System (SIS) to an eight-digit sequence called the NU ID number. Each NU ID will be a unique number in the University of Nebraska system so that a student or faculty/staff member will have the same NU ID number at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln or the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Currently, the University of Nebraska Medical Center has not adopted the NU ID number.

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Courses which meet at an off-campus location. These courses are designated by an 800 section number.

Offutt Air Force Base

The Division of Continuing Studies administers UNO credit-granting courses at Offutt Air Force Base for active military personnel and their dependents as well as civilian employees. Classes lead toward a UNO degree and are scheduled in either 7- or 14-week sessions on weekdays (late afternoons) or evenings and on weekends.

Option I

The Bachelor of General Studies degree Option I features an Area of Concentration (30 hours minimum) and two secondary Fields of 12 credits each. Also included is a 45 credit hour liberal arts core and a substantial number of elective credits.

Option II

The Bachelor of General Studies degree Option II features three Areas of Emphasis of 15 credits each. Also included is a 45 credit hour liberal arts core and a substantial number of elective credits

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Part-time Student

Student with a course load of less than 12 credit hours per semester (Spring, Fall).


Specified conditions, requirements, or courses that must be completed before enrolling in a class.


A student whose cumulative grade point average is below 2.0 after having attempted six or more semester hours work will be placed on probation. Probationary status will remain in effect as long as the student's cumulative GPA remains below 2.0. No student will be allowed to enroll for any courses on a pass/fail or Credit/No Credit basis while on probation. Probation constitutes a period of formal warning that the student is doing unsatisfactory work.

The student is encouraged to use every opportunity during time on probation to seek counsel and guidance from various university agencies which have been established to offer assistance in study and academic planning. For information on such services, the student should consult with his or her academic adviser.

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Refers to the way in which colleges divide up their academic year. A college that is on quarters will have four academic terms (fall, winter, spring, summer). To convert quarter hours to semester hours, as a general rule, the equivalent of a semester hours is two-thirds of a quarter hour (i.e. 4.5 quarter hours equals 3 semester hours).

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Before the beginning of each term, students must sign up (register) for classes. Students at UNO use MAVLINK to register for classes.

Required Course

A course needed to complete a degree program.

Residency Requirement

In the Division of Continuing Studies, a minimum of 24 or the last 48 semester hours must be UNO graded academic credit. Included as graded credit are courses in which the department gives only credit/no-credit options.

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Student financial aid based on academic achievement, need or a combination of factors.

Second Degree

Students wanting a second degree need to have 30 new hours at UNO and must also meet the requirements for their Area of Concentration. Hours from previous study may be used to complete the second degree.

Secondary Field

In most cases the two secondary fields that are required in the Option I BGS degree provide for additional breadth in the degree program. Each secondary field must be "pure." That is, all twelve credits must be from the same academic department or the same professional curriculum. The discipline chosen for the area of concentration cannot be used as a secondary field. However, an allied field discipline may also be selected as a secondary field.

Section Number

A course may be taught at more than one time or location. The section number is found after the course number and distinguishes offerings of the same course.


Traditionally half an academic year, about 16 weeks in length. Fall semester begins in August and Spring semester begins in January.


Students who are on probation will be suspended at the end of the spring semester when their semester grade point average is lower than 2.0 and the cumulative GPA falls below the following standards:

Hours Attempted

Cumulative GPA


No Suspension


No Suspension

13- 45




46 or more


Suspensions under these conditions will be automatic. Academic suspension will be for a minimum period of one year.

Students will be notified by DCS of their suspension, and given instructions on how to appeal, should they choose to do so, and any appropriate deadlines associated with an appeal.


A course outline and information on classroom policies, tests, dates and materials to be used in a class, usually given to students by the instructor at the first class meeting or posted on the course's Blackboard site.

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A record of student's course work and grades.

Transfer Credit

Credit earned at another college applied to the BGS degree.

Transfer Student

A student who enters UNO from another institution of higher education.


Tuition is the amount students must pay for academic instruction.

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Upper Division

Courses usually taken during junior or senior years at four-year institutions. At UNO these courses are numbered 3000-4999.

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Classes removed from a student's schedule after the drop deadline. The course will appear with a status of "W" on the student's transcript.

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