UNO Glossary of Terms
Do You Speak UNO?
Academic Calendar - A listing of important dates and deadlines for students.
Academic Integrity - Students have an obligation to abide by accepted standards of academic honesty, which dictate that all scholastic work shall be original in nature.
Academic Probation - When a student’s grade point average drops below a 2.0 for any given semester.
Academic Suspension - When a student’s semester GPA is lower than 2.0 and their cumulative NU GPA falls below the following standards:
|Attempted Hours||Cumulative GPA|
|46 or more||2.0|
Academic Term (semester) - Fall, spring, and summer weeks when classes are in session. The fall and spring semesters are approximately sixteen weeks long. The summer semester is between three to eight weeks long.
Academic Year - The period composed of fall and spring semesters.
Add/Drop Period - Days set aside by the university for students to change their schedule by adding or dropping courses
AP (Advanced Placement program) - A program offered by the College Board, a U.S.-based nonprofit educational organization, that allows students to take college-level courses while in high school. Students can then take standardized AP exams; those with qualifying scores can earn credit at certain colleges and universities.
Adjunct - A person working at the university who does not have permanent status.
Advisor - A department or college-based staff or faculty member who helps a student achieve his or her educational goals by providing guidance on courses, program requirements, prerequisites, programs of study, and policies and procedures.
Alumna - Female graduate or former student
Alumnus - Male graduate or former student.
Alumni - Male graduates or both male and female graduates.
Attempted Hours (AHRS designation on transcript.) - All credit hours for courses in which a student was at one time enrolled and received any grade, including a “W”. Attempted hours include all of the coursework on record for a student at UNO: courses passed (including repeated courses), courses failed, AP credit, credit by exam and courses transferred from other colleges or universities
Attendance, Class - Students are expected to attend all class meetings of courses in which they enroll. Students are responsible for all class work whether or not their absence is excused. Most professors will announce their attendance policy on the first day of class or will state their policy in the syllabus. If no mention of attendance is made, ask! Many professors count attendance towards class participation grades, and students who miss classes may receive lower grades.
Audit/Auditor/Auditing - A student who registers for and attends a class but does not want to receive credit for the course
Bachelor's - An undergraduate degree awarded by a college or university upon successful completion of a program of study, typically requiring at least four years (or the equivalent) of full-time study. Common degree types include bachelor of arts (B.A. or A.B.), which refers to the liberal arts, and bachelor of science (B.S.). A bachelor's is required before starting graduate studies.
Bachelor of Arts (BA) - Courses selected from a variety of disciplines with concentrations in one or two areas. A modern language is required for a B.A. degree.
Bachelor of Science (BS) - A specified program of required courses with fewer electives than the B.A. A modern language is not required.
Capstone Course - A senior-level course. Normally among the last courses taken for bachelor degree completion. The course reviews the major issues, themes, theories and research findings for the major discipline.
Catalog - The main academic publication of the university which lists all the programs of study, requirements for a diploma, certificate, associate or baccalaureate degree, and course descriptions.
Chancellor - The highest ranking person on campus. In charge of the entire campus.
Class Standing | Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior - An undergraduate student's academic classification is determined by the number of semester hours of academic credit earned. These titles equate roughly to one, two, three, and four years at the college level.
- Freshman: 0 to 26 credit hours
- Sophomore: 27 to 57
- Junior: 58 to 90
- Senior: 91 or more
CLEP Exam - Examination taken to receive advanced placement credit for a specific subject or course at a college or university:
Closed Course - A term used during the registration process to indicate that a course has reached its maximum enrollment limit and is therefore "closed" to further registration.
College - An academic unit of the university. The University of Nebraska at Omaha has six colleges:
- Arts & Sciences (CAS)
- Business Administration, Communication
- Fine Arts & Media (CFAM), Education (COE)
- Information Systems & Technology (IS&T)
- Public Affairs & Community Services (CPACS)
- Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Architecture, Engineering
Commencement - A graduation ceremony where students officially receive their degrees typically held in May or December ceremonies.
Community College - A public two-year postsecondary institution that offers the associate degree Also known as a "junior college." Community colleges typically provide a transfer program, allowing students to transfer to a four-year school to complete their bachelor's degree
Core requirements - Mandatory courses that students are required to complete to earn a degree
Corequisite - A course that must be taken at the same time as another specified course
Course Description - Prerequisites required for and the description of the main topics covered in a course
Course load - The number of courses or credits a student takes during a specific term
Course number - The letters and numbers assigned to a course to distinguish it from another course. Example: MATH 1310
Course Sequence - Entry level courses must be completed before taking higher level courses. Common course sequences are in math, languages, and sciences, but also apply to most disciplines.
Credit hour - A unit of measurement used in determining the quantity of work taken. Each credit hour is roughly equivalent to one hour of course time per week. For example, a course meeting three hours a week would be a three-credit-hour course
Credit/No Credit - A grading option with successful completion of a course recorded as Credit and failure as No Credit. No other grades are given for such courses and they are not figured into the grade point average.
Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) - A student’s grade point average for all University of Nebraska course work taken at Kearney, Lincoln, Omaha or UNMC, based on the total number of quality points earned and the total number of semester hours attempted.
Curriculum - A program of courses that meets the requirements for a degree in a particular field of study.
Dean’s List - An academic honor of having a 3.5 or higher GPA for any given semester.
Degree - Refers to the bachelor’s degree at the undergraduate level; the masters degree at the graduate level, and so on. In the College of Arts and Sciences, we offer two undergraduate bachelor’s degrees: the Bachelor of Arts, and the Bachelor of Science.
Degree Audit - An analysis of a student's progress toward meeting degree requirements. The Audit provides a summary of institutional requirements, General Studies and major/minor program requirements. Students can access their degree audit through MavLink
Degree Works - A software system that permits one to see academic progress towards specified degree, college and university requirements
Department - A unit within a college representing a discipline.
Department Chairperson - The leader of an academic department. A typical appointment of chairperson lasts only a few years, after which a new chair is elected.
Discipline - On a college campus, a discipline is often synonymous with a major. It usually refers to a field of study, for example math is a discipline and a student can major in math.
Double major - A student may elect to pursue two majors at one time.
Drop - To cancel registration in a course. It is only available during the add/drop period as specified on the academic calendar. Students can drop a course through Mavlink
Dual degrees - A student may elect to pursue two degrees at one time.
Dual Enrollment - When a student earns both high school and college credit for a course.
Duplicate Credit - A course that has already been taken; a student can’t receive credit in the same course multiple times. This can also define taking two courses which are determined to have corresponding content, outcomes, and level
English Placement Exam - The English placement test required by the English department to see what class level of English composition class a student will begin with.
Equivalent - When one course equals that of another course. An example is that Math 1310 Intermediate Algebra at Metropolitan Community College is equivalent to MATH 1310 Intermediate Algebra at the University of Nebraska Omaha
Evaluation - Process by which the department/advising office evaluates transfer credit to determine its equivalence to a UNO course based on similar content, level and outcomes. May also refer to the process by which a student’s degree college evaluates transfer credit which does not have a direct equivalent.
Exempt - Not required to do something that other students may be required to do. For example, a school may require all students to take a freshman English course, but some students may be exempt based on their high scores on a college entrance exam or their previous coursework.
Extracurricular activities - Optional activities, such as sports, that students can participate in outside of academic classes.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) - Application used by U.S. citizens and permanent residents to apply for financial aid from U.S. federal and state governments. International students are not eligible for U.S. government aid, but schools may ask international students to submit a FAFSA to determine financial need. (Note: A social security number is required to complete the FAFSA.)
Fees - An amount of money charged by colleges and universities in addition to their tuition to cover costs of services such as libraries and computer technology.
FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) - Protects a student’s academic record within the post-secondary educational setting.
Financial Aid - Help for a student to pay for college. Aid is available from grants, loans, scholarships, and work study/student worker employment.
Full-Time (student) - Students registered for 12 or more credits in the fall or spring semester.
Good Standing - A designation that signifies that a student is eligible to continue or return to studies, or to transfer elsewhere. It implies good academic standing and at least a 2.00 (C average) NU cumulative grade point average
General Education Requirements - A set of courses and learning outcomes that is required for all students to help students gain a broader education related to social, global, humanity and artistic perspectives in a variety of academic disciplines.
Grade - A score or mark indicating a student's academic performance on an exam, paper, or in a course
Grade Point Average (GPA) - A measure of scholastic performance. A GPA is obtained by dividing the number of grade points by the hours of work attempted.
Graduate student/graduate studies - A student who already holds an undergraduate degree and is pursuing advanced studies at a graduate school leading to a master's doctorate or graduate certificate.
Graduation - Students who expect to graduate with baccalaureate degree must apply for graduation.
Grant - Similar to scholarships in that you don’t need to pay them back. (Sometimes referred to as “Free Money”)
Greek Life/Greek System - A college or university’ s collection of fraternities and sororities on campus whose names originate from letters in the ancient Greek alphabet.
Honors - Designation indicated on the university degree and transcript to reflect outstanding scholarship
Hour - The unit by which course work is measured. The number of semester hours assigned to a course is usually determined by the number of hours a course meets per week.
Humanities - Academic courses focused on human life and ideas, including history, philosophy, foreign languages, religion, art, music, and literature
Incomplete - A grade given, usually under extenuating circumstances, when a student is not able to complete a course within the semester. The professor assigns a grade of incomplete at the end of the semester and works out a contractual agreement for completion. Grades of incomplete do not affect a student’s GPA.
Independent study - An academic course that allows students to earn credit for work done outside of the normal classroom setting. The reading or research assignment is usually designed by the students themselves or with the help of a faculty member, who monitors the progress.
Instructor - An instructor is often someone who is teaching at a college or university but who does not have a PhD. They often, however, have quite a bit of experience in their fields and are otherwise very qualified. Treat an instructor like a professor, since their roles—and power—in the classroom are often the same.
Internship - Work in a firm or agency related to a student’s major program and/or career plans. Involves earning university credit and may involve receiving payment.
Living and Learning Community - This is a community where students who live together also take one or more classes together. There are often events in the hall that connect to what is being covered in everyone’s coursework.
Lower Level (100 or 200 level) - General introductory courses, usually making up the first two years of a bachelors degree. Credit awarded by a community college is generally considered lower division credit.
Math Compass - Placement test used by math department to determine what level of math the student will start with
Matriculation - Formal application to and acceptance in a degree or certificate program during a specific semester.
MavLink - This is the online system used by all UNO students, staff, and faculty. Students use it to enroll in classes and manage their tuition payments and financial aid.
Minimum Grades - The lowest grade accepted to complete a requirement. Each college determines acceptability and applicability of course work with grades lower than “C” (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) including “C-.”
Minor - A program of study requiring fewer courses than a major. Some majors require a minor and other majors do not require a minor.
NU ID - Your NUID (Nebraska University Identification) is an eight-digit number assigned to you when you are admitted to the university. This number will be listed on your student identification card and is used to access your personal information and various campus services.
Office Hours - Professors are usually required to hold office hours on a regular basis throughout the semester, which is when students are able to drop in or make an appointment to meet with them. Often, if you can't make it to a professor's office hours, you can work with them to schedule a different time that works for both of you. If you can take advantage of office hours, you should! It can be a great opportunity to get feedback on your papers or other assignments, and a great chance to get to know your professors a little bit better
Open Registration - Following Priority Registration when registration for the upcoming semesters is open to all students.
Orientation - A program especially designed for new freshmen and transfer students to acquaint them with the university
Plagiarism - The use of another person's words or ideas as your own, without acknowledging that person. Schools have different policies and punishments for students caught plagiarizing, which tends to occur with research papers and other written assignments.
Post-Baccalaureate Student - A student who has already completed a bachelor’s degree and is currently enrolled in a program of study which leads to additional undergraduate baccalaureate degree.
Prerequisite - A requirement, usually credit in another course, which must be met before a particular course can be taken.
Pre-Professional Programs - Pre-Professional is an advising category for students preparing to enter a professional school. Pre-Health and Pre-Law areas are not majors and, therefore, cannot grant students baccalaureate degrees.
Probation (academic or disciplinary) - A status assigned because of unsatisfactory grades or conduct.
Professor - Most students come from high schools where their teachers were called . . . teachers. In college, most of your "teachers" are called professors. This indicates that you are 1) in a college environment, and, more often than not, 2) being taught by someone with a PhD.
Registrar - Record keepers of the university. They process changes of college, changes of major, applications for graduation, schedule room assignments for classes…they do a lot to help the university run.
Repeating a Course - This policy allows students to repeat a course where an unsatisfactory grade was earned and use the higher grade earned during the second or third attempt to be used in GPA calculation. Please note that the initial enrollment in the course remains on the transcript with a note that the grade earned in the second or third attempt is used in GPA calculation.
Resident Advisor (RA) - Usually an undergraduate student, an RA is in charge of smaller sections of a residence hall. You can go to them for help with adjusting to college, problems with your roommates, and advice on just about anything.
Semester - A unit of time, 15 weeks in length, exclusive of exam week, in the academic calendar
Semester Hour - The value assigned each course depending upon the length of time it meets during a week. Generally one credit is assigned for each 50 minute lecture hour per week and a 15 week semester; equivalent to credit hour.
Service Learning - An approach to learning that is often complemented by experiential learning where you go out in the community and volunteer or are in an immersion program.
Special Topics Course - A course which subject matter may vary from semester to semester; it may include current or special topics.
Student Fees - Fees that students pay in addition to tuition. Examples are Technology Fees, Athletic Fees, Recreation Fees, etc.
Student Identification Number (NUID) - A numeric code assigned to students that becomes their identity in university databases. This number is used in place of a social security number so that a student’s privacy can be maintained.
Student Worker - A student who maintains a job on campus. Many units around campus hire students and offer flexible hours to accommodate course schedules.
Substitution - Process by which the degree college agrees to substitute a similar (comparable) course for a particular requirement of a student’s degree. This may occur when a course is not considered a direct equivalent.
Syllabus - A description, table of contents or outline of course content, requirements, textbooks, and assignments provided by the instructor of the to their students.
Teaching Assistant (TA) - Often the same thing as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI), a TA is often a graduate student who helps out in your classes. They made grade papers, lead seminar discussions, and sometimes teach classes.
Tenure - Tenure is something unique to higher education. A traditional path of someone who wants to teach at a college is to get their PhD, and then get a job as a professor on a campus. For the first six years or so that they are teaching, they are usually in a "tenure-track" position. This means that they are focusing on teaching, doing research, getting published, and contributing to the campus community. If all goes well, the professor is then granted tenure. Earning tenure is equivalent to ensuring one's job on a campus. If you have a tenured professor teaching your class, it means you have someone who has been at the school for a while and been judged, by a committee of their peers and the academic dean, to be an essential member of the faculty and campus community.
Tuition - The cost of your classes. Some schools charge tuition based on how many units you are taking, while others charge a base rate per semester as long as you stay within a certain range of units.
Transcript - An official copy of a student’s permanent academic record.
Transfer Course Equivalencies Table - An on-line table of courses from selected institutions listing the courses which have been reviewed by UNO faculty and the current UNO equivalent for those courses. Application of all courses to a specific UNO degree is at the discretion of the UNO College granting the degree. Information can be found on:
Transfer Student - A student who terminates enrollment in another college or university and subsequently enrolls at UNO.
Tuition - Charges to a student by the University for registration in credit courses.
Unofficial Transcript - Unofficial or student transcripts that may have been in the hands of the student such as student copy/unofficial transcripts or letters, grade reports, diplomas or graduation lists are not considered official. Unofficial transcripts are printed on white paper and do not have a college seal or registrar's signature. Unofficial transcripts are issued for use by the student only
Upper Level (300 and 400 level) - Less general, more focused courses, usually making up most of the final two years of a bachelors degree.
Verification of Enrollment - A letter provided on request to a student after the official add/drop period indicating full or part-time enrollment status. Verification of current enrollment can be requested from the Registrar's Office
Work Study - A job you perform on campus, for which you have to apply via the Human Resources employment site. Work study students must qualify for work study through their financial aid. You are usually not allowed to make more money in your work study job than has been allocated in your financial aid package.
Withdrawal from a Course - To drop from a course after the add/drop deadline in the academic course will result in a “W” on the student’s record. Students can drop a course through Mavlink. Grades of a “W” do not affect a student’s GPA, but cannot
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