Advising Terms


Question mark icon

Advising Terms

Academic Advising
Academic advising is a personal partnership between a student and an advisor. The purpose of advising is to help students develop their personal goals, use school and community resources, and understand campus processes and degree plans.
Academic Standing
Academic standing is a method SHSU uses to evaluate student academic success. Based on students’ SHSU and/or overall GPA, this system consists of three parts: (a) Good Academic Standing (2.00+ GPA), (b) Probation (See Probation), and (c) Suspension (See Suspension).
Advanced Courses
Courses with content designed to be taken during the junior or senior year. At SHSU, 3000s or 4000s are the associated course numbers.
Advanced Credit
Credit earned for advanced courses at universities. Courses transferred from a community college do not earn advanced credit.
Advanced Hour
Hours earned by undergraduate students by taking courses in the 3000 and 4000 series. Students must complete 42 semester hours of advanced course work for a degree.
Academic Year
A calendar indicating key dates and deadlines for important academic requirements and/or activities including, but not limited to, the start and end dates of classes, holidays, exam days, and registration dates.
Accreditation
An endorsement from an oversight organization indicating that the educational institution and/or academic degree program meets or exceeds specific measures of quality. SHSU is accredited by SACSCOC
Application
This is the process by which prospective student apply to attend SHSU. The ApplyTexas application is the general online college application used to apply to SHSU and any other Texas Universities.
Attempted Hours
All hours students attempt, whether they received credit or not. This excludes AP and CLEP credit and grades for developmental coursework.
Certified Program of Study (CPOS)
A program of study is the courses required to complete an approved degree as indicated in their degree evaluation. A course must count in the evaluation of their degree using the degree evaluation tool (i.e., Degree Works) to count as part of the student’s program of study. This Title IV regulation is a part of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and states that federal aid (e.g., Pell Grant, Direct Loans, Perkins Loan, Work Study, FSEOG) may only be paid for eligible courses that count towards the program of study (i.e., Federal financial aid will only pay for courses in a student’s degree plan). Scholarship awards are exempt.
Classification
A six-tiered system to delineate student populations based on credit hours completed and academic level. The six tiers are Undergraduate (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior), Graduate, and Doctoral. Hours earned at SHSU and hours accepted in transfer from other institutions count toward a student’s classification. Credit awarded by examination and hours earned with the grade of CR are counted in determining classification, but are not included in determining grade point average.
CLEP
College Level Examination Program. A series of tests available to students to demonstrate proficiency in various college subjects. CLEP exams may provide college credits for select courses.
Completed Hours
All hours students completed (i.e., grade of D or higher). This excludes AP and CLEP credit and grades for developmental coursework.
Concentration
A concentration is a structured plan of study within a major. Required courses vary for each concentration. Declaring a concentration informs the types of classes needed to fulfill degree requirements.
Concurrent Enrollment
Enrollment in courses at two institutions during the same semester.
Core Curriculum
See Texas Core Curriculum.
Course Completion Rate
The calculation to determine students’ degree of academic success based on course credit. To calculate:

Attempted Hours / Completed Hours = Course Completion Rate

Students must successfully complete at least 67% of all credit hours attempted to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and eligibility for Financial Aid. Attempted Hours includes all coursework attempted at SHSU and transfer work. Grades of W, F, I, U, NC, IP, Q, X, and repeat courses for which credit is unearned are not considered successfully completed.
Course Equivalency Guide
A table listing courses from a specific institution and the corresponding courses at SHSU considered comparable. The course equivalency guide is useful in identifying courses that may transfer to SHSU.
Course Number
SHSU uses a modified version of the Texas Common Course Numbering (TCCN) system. This system is a 4x4 alphanumeric system, so each course has a four letter and four-digit designation. For example, ENGL 1301 is the course number for Composition I. The four letters refer to the department/subject area (i.e., ENGL for the English Department). The four numbers are its course number and have varying meanings:
  • the first digit is the course level
    • 1 = freshman
    • 2 = sophomore
    • 3 = junior
    • 4 = senior
    • 5+ = graduate school
  • the second digit is the number of credit hours the course is worth
    • 1 = 1 hour
    • 2 = 2 hours
    • 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 = 3 hours, the most common credit hour
    • 4 = 4 hours
    • 0 = variable credit hours, speak with your advisor before registering
  • the third and fourth digits are for departmental sequencing (e.g., ENGL 1301 comes before ENGL 1302)
For example, HIST 1301 is a course in the History department (HIST) usually taken during the first year (1) for three hours of credit (3).
Course Reference Number (CRN)
A unique six-digit number used to identify a specific course offering within a given term. The CRN is a key component in selecting courses when registering.
Credit Hour
A unit of measure attached to academic courses, usually reflecting the number of lecture hours per week a course meets in a fall or spring semester.
Curriculum
A combination of courses that compose a particular area of study.
Degree Audit
A review of past, current, and planned coursework that provides information on completed and outstanding requirements necessary to complete a degree/major/minor/concentration. At SHSU, Degree Works is the campus software of record for this process and includes information pertinent to the degree (e.g., General Core Requirements, Major Requirements, Minor Requirements).
Degree Evaluation:
A synonym for a degree audit. See Degree Audit.
Degree Plan
A specific list of academic requirements required to earn a degree.
Developmental Courses
Courses designed to help students achieve the minimum standards set by the Texas Success Initiative (TSI). Listed as INRW 0301 or MATH 0333, developmental courses do not count toward the hours needed for graduation.
Double Degree
When a student is actively pursuing two different degrees (i.e., BBA, BFA, BA, BS, BGS) at the same time, they are dual degree seeking. For example, a student who wants a BBA in Marketing and a BFA in Graphic Design would be unable to double major due to the different degree types. Instead, the student could seek both degrees simultaneously, but none of their courses would double dip.
Double/Triple Major
The concurrent pursuit of two or more specific majors with both resulting in the same type of degree (e.g., BS with majors in Biology and Chemistry). The student must be awarded both majors at the same graduation date.
Dual Enrollment
Synonym for Concurrent Enrollment. See Concurrent Enrollment.
Dual Seeking
A synonym for Double Degree. See Double Degree.
First-Time Freshman (FTF)
Students who are attending university for the first time after graduating from high school, even if the students have transferable college credit while in high school (e.g., dual credit).
First-Time Transfer (FTT)
Transfer students during their first semester at SHSU.
Freshman
The classification of a student who with 0 to 29 semester credit hours completed.
Grade Point
A grade point, also known as a quality point, is the numerical value of a letter grade received in a course, multiplied by the number of credit hours (See Credit Hour) earned for the course:

Letter Grade * Credit Hours = Grade Points

At SHSU, A=4 points, B=3 points, C=2 points, D=1 point, and F=no points as no credit was earned. Therefore, if a student earned a B, worth 3 points per hour, in SOCI 2319, a three-hour course, the number of grade points earned would be 9.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
A calculation of the mean number of grade points earned per semester hour.

Grade Points Earned / GPA Hours Attempted = GPA

The GPA Hours Attempted excludes hours in developmental courses and courses assigned a CR (credit) or NC (non-credit) mark. The GPA does not round and includes the thousandths place when interpreted (e.g., 2.00, 3.59, 1.28). Do not include courses receiving the marks of IP or X in the hours calculating the term GPA until such time that the marks are reported with letter grades of A, B, C, D, or F. When reviewing a student’s transcript, pay close attention to the right hand side of the screen with an “E” may appear indicating SHSU “excluded” the course for GPA calculation purposes.
Grade Point Deficiency (GPD)
A calculation of the difference between the number of earned grade points and the number of grade points necessary for a particular GPA; typically a 2.00, but it varies depending on the course of study. To calculate the GPD:

Desired GPA * GPA Hours = Number of Grade Points for Particular GPA

Number of Grade Points for Particular GPA – Current Number of Grade Points = GPD

This calculation is useful when talking with probation and suspension students as well as those students who major/minor GPAs do not meet the stated requirements.
Graduation
When students receive their degree. Requires the completion of all required coursework and the meeting of all applicable criteria (e.g., GPA, Advanced Hours, Resident Hours) for the students’ course of study. For more information regarding the process students must go through once they met these criteria, please view the Registrar’s Apply To Graduate webpage.
Hold
Holds prevent students from registering for classes. A variety of departments can place holds on students’ accounts. To see if students have holds on their account, check the SOAHOLD screen in the Banner Administrative Applications. The Registrar’s Website has a list of the Registration Error Messages:
Junior
The classification of a student with 60 to 89 semester credit hours completed.
Probation
An academic standing placed upon undergraduate students who fall below a 2.00 SHSU or overall grade point average at the close of any semester or summer school during which they attempted one or more semester hours. Students on probation must seek readvisement for their current semester.
Q-drop
A drop made after the last date for tuition refunds but before a drop would result in the grade of “F.” Students can use no more than five Q-drops during their academic career at Sam Houston State University.
Quality Point
Synonym for Grade Point. See Grade Point.
Repeat
When students attempt a course previously taken. At SHSU, the students’ highest course grade applies toward their GPA. Students can repeat a course at any time in their college career. In order to improve their GPA, they need to score higher than your first attempt (e.g., repeat a course you failed and earn an A).
Registration
The process students go through to apply courses to their future schedules. After acceptance and advisement, students may register for classes during the scheduled registration periods. Registration procedures apply to all SHSU courses taken on campus, off campus, and online. The Schedule of Classes has the Registration schedules.
Resident Credits
Hours students must complete through an institution for degree eligibility. For SHSU, students must complete a minimum of 24 advanced hours (See Advanced Hours) through SHSU (online or face-to-face).
Resignation
The act of withdrawing from all enrolled classes in the semester. This does not mean students discontinue their academic career. Students have one full academic year from their last enrollment term to return to SHSU without reapplying. NOTE: Suspension protocols still apply.
Retention
A measure of the rate at which students persist in their educational program, expressed as a percentage. To identify this rate, SHSU tracks, per THECB & IPEDS guidelines, full-time, first-time freshmen from fall-to-fall to identify those who either re-enroll or successfully complete their program.
SAP
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used by the federal government to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office (FASO) monitors all students’ academic progress to meet federal and state guidelines governing student financial aid administration. Students who fail to achieve minimum standards for GPA (2.00+) and completion of classes (<67% completion rate) may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state, and university aid.
Senior
The classification of a student who with 90+ semester credit hours completed.
Sophomore
The classification of a student who with 30 to 59 semester credit hours completed.
Suspension
An academic standing applied to undergraduate students with a SHSU or overall GPA less than 2.00 for two or more successive semesters. Students on suspension cannot enroll in classes without the permission of the appropriate academic dean and must seek readvisement upon their return.
Texas Common Course Numbering (TCCN) System
TCCNS is a voluntary, co-operative effort among Texas community colleges and universities to facilitate transfer of freshman- and sophomore- level general academic coursework. TCCNS provides a shared, uniform set of course designations for students and their advisors to use in determining both course equivalency and degree applicability of transfer credit on a statewide basis. When students transfer between two participating TCCNS institutions, a course taken at the sending institution transfers as the course carrying the same TCCNS designation at the receiving institution (see https://www.tccns.org/). SHSU uses a modified version of the system.
Texas Core Curriculum
The core curriculum, often called the common core and mandated by the Texas Higher Education Board (THECB), consists of 42 hours of college-level courses comprising 9 Component Areas that students must complete along with their chosen degree path’s requirements (e.g., major/minor).
Texas Success Initiative (TSI)
A Texas law requiring the assessment of college readiness in mathematics, reading, and writing for all students entering college unless the student qualifies for an exemption.
Threepeat/3-peat Rule
SHSU’s rule designating that a course attempted three or more times will cost out-of-state tuition. See the Bursar's Tuition & Fee Schedules for out-of-state tuition costs for the current year.

Student being advised.
Another student being advised.
Getting work done at the front desk.

View our calendar to see upcoming events that may impact you and your course selections!

Follow our social media pages to get advising reminders throughout the semester. Never miss a critical deadline again!

SAM Center Instagram
SAM Center Twitter
SAM Center Facebook