Glossary

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Academic Advisor
A professional who helps students with academic and career planning.

Academic Calendar
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.

Academic Year
The time frame from the start of a fall semester until the start of the subsequent fall semester. It typically is divided into the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Accreditation
An endorsement from an oversight organization indicating that the educational institution and/or academic degree program meets or exceeds specific measures of quality.

Advanced Courses
Courses with content designed to be taken during the junior or senior year. At SHSU, these courses are numbered in the 300s or 400s.

Advanced Credit
Credit earned for advanced courses at universities. Courses transferred from a community college do not earn advanced credit.

Audit, Course
Enrollment in a course as a non-credit seeking student, with no record on the transcript.

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Bachelor’s Degree
An academic credential from a university earned after completing a specific program of study. Typically, the program of study will include a general education component, a major, degree related requirements, and electives and/or a minor. The minimum number of credits is 120 hours.

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CID Number
A unique four-digit Course Identification Number used to identify a specific course offering. The CID number is used to select courses when registering.

CLEP
College Level Examination Program. A series of tests available to students to demonstrate proficiency in various college subjects. CLEP exams may be used to earn college credits for select courses.

Classification
Indication of a student’s progress toward degree completion based upon the number of hours completed. The categories of undergraduate classification are Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior

Class Day
Any day in the academic semester when university classes are scheduled. The number of class days is used for drop dates, resignation dates, and tuition refund schedules. When determining the number of class days (e.g., 12th class day), start counting with the first day of on-campus daytime courses and increase by one each day the university has scheduled classes.

Closed Classes
Classes that have reached the designated maximum enrollment capacity or are not available for on-line registration.

Commencement
An event during which degrees are awarded to graduating students. SHSU holds commencement ceremonies every May, August, and December.

Concurrent Enrollment
Enrollment in courses at two institutions during the same semester.

Core Curriculum
The curriculum in liberal arts, humanities, sciences, and political, social, and cultural history that all undergraduate students of an institution of higher education are required to complete as part of an undergraduate academic degree program. Also referred to as the general education component.

Course Equivalency Guide
A table listing courses from a specific institution and the corresponding courses at SHSU that are considered to have the same content. The course equivalency guide is used to identify courses that may transfer to SHSU.

Course Numbers
A numeric code signifying the anticipated academic level and the credit hour value of a course. At SHSU, course numbers consist of three digits. The first digit in the sequence indicates the course level and suggests the academic year in which the course is typically taken. Lower-level undergraduate courses have a “1” or “2” in the first digit; upper-level undergraduate courses have a “3” or “4” in the first digit; and graduate courses have a “5” or higher in the first digit.

Course Prefix
Abbreviation identifying the academic discipline of a course (e.g., ACC signifies Accounting, CJ signifies Criminal Justice, and BIO signifies Biology).

Credit by Examination
An award of academic credit and placement based on examination scores.

Credit Hour (also called Semester 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.

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Dean
The highest ranking academic official in a college (e.g., College of Education).

Declaration of Major/Minor Form
The form submitted by an undergraduate student to officially declare a major and/or minor. The form is submitted to the departmental chair of the department housing the student’s declared major.

Degree
An academic credential awarded upon the completion of a specific area of study. Universities offer baccalaureate degrees at the undergraduate level and master’s and doctoral degrees at the graduate level.

Degree Plan
A specific list of academic requirements that must be completed to earn a degree.

Departmental Chair
An individual responsible for the administrative functions of an academic department. The functions include, but are not limited to, coordination of curriculum planning, faculty course assignments, and evaluation of faculty performance.

Developmental Courses
Courses designed to help student achieve the minimum standards set by the Texas Success Initiative (TSI). Developmental courses are listed with either a “031” or “032” course number and do not count toward the hours needed for graduation.

Double Degree
The concurrent pursuit of two specific majors, each with a different type of degree (e.g., BS with a major in mathematics and a BA with a major in English). The student must be awarded both degrees at the same graduation date.

Double Major
The concurrent pursuit of two 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.

Drop/Add
A term used to identify the act of deleting/adding courses from/to an established schedule.

Drop Date
The latest date that a student may drop a class without a letter grade being assigned. Dropping a class after this date results in a grade of “F” for the course.

Dual Credit
The receipt of high school and college credit for the same course for qualified high school students enrolled in college-level courses.

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Elective
A degree plan requirement, not directed to a specific area of academic content, contributing to the credit hour requirements of a degree.

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Faculty
Appropriately credentialed individuals responsible for the delivery of course content and academic research and service.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) A federal form required from all students seeking need-based financial aid. The FAFSA collects family income and other financial information and is completed and filed by the student or his/her family.

Fees
Non-tuition charges dedicated to cover the cost of specific academic and/or service functions of the university.

Final Exam
An exam, usually comprehensive, designed to measure a student’s retention and understanding of the course material. Final exams are scheduled for the last week of the semester and do not necessarily correspond to the regular class meeting time.

Freshman
The classification of a student who has completed 0 to 29 semester credit hours.

Full-Time Undergraduate Student
Undergraduate students enrolled in twelve or more credit hours during a fall or spring semester or six or more credit hours during a summer session. Correspondence courses do not apply toward the credit hour count in determining status.

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Grade Point Average (GPA)
Numeric average of academic performance on a 0-to-4 point scale. The GPA is the ratio of grade points earned to credit hours attempted.

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Grants
A type of financial assistance not requiring repayment.

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International Baccalaureate
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is a comprehensive two-year pre-college curriculum that is offered in high schools across the globe that may lead to college credits.

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Junior
The classification of a student who has completed 60 to 89 semester credit hours.

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Major
A student’s concentrated area of study. Most majors consist of a minimum of 30 credit hours within a specific area of study.

Master’s Degree
A graduate degree that usually requires two or more years of study beyond the bachelor’s degree.

Minor
A student’s secondary area of study. Most minors consist of a minimum of 18 credit hours within a specific area of study.

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Overload
A course load in excess of 19 hours in a fall or spring semester of 7 hours in a summer session. Overloads must be approved by the student’s academic dean.

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Part-Time Undergraduate Student
Undergraduate students enrolled in less than twelve credit hours during a fall or spring semester or less than six credit hours during a summer session. Correspondence courses do not apply toward the credit hour count in determining status.

Prerequisite
An academic requirement (e.g., completion of an earlier sequenced course) that must be satisfied prior to the enrollment in a specific course.

Probation
An academic standing placed upon undergraduate students who fall below a 2.0 SHSU or overall grade point average at the close of any semester or summer school during which one or more semester hours were attempted.

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Q-Drop
A drop made after the last date for tuition refunds but before a drop would result in the grade of “F.” Students will be allowed no more than five Q-drops during their academic career at Sam Houston State University.

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Resignation
Withdrawing from all classes in which the student is enrolled at the university.

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Second Degree
The pursuit of a degree at the same level of a degree previously awarded (e.g., baccalaureate).

Section, Course
A number used to distinguish between multiple offerings of the same course. On a student’s schedule, the section is the number after the period following the course number (e.g., ENG164.02 indicates section 2 of ENG 164).

Semester
Period of time during which academic courses are offered. SHSU offers fall, spring and summer semesters.

Semester Credit Hour
See Credit Hour

Senior
The classification of a student who has completed 90 or more semester credit hours.

Sophomore
The classification of a student who has completed 30 to 59 semester credit hours.

Suspension
An academic standing imposed on undergraduate students with a SHSU or overall GPA less than 2.0 for two or more successive semesters. Students on suspension are not allowed to enroll in classes without the permission of the appropriate academic dean.

Syllabus
A document containing academic and administrative information about a course. The syllabus is provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester and typically includes a lesson schedule, dates of exams, and quizzes, assigned books and readings, e-mail/phone number and the best time to reach the instructor, and an explanation of how the final grade will be determined.

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Transcript, Official
A university approved document providing information about a student’s academic performance, including but not limited to, semester by semester listing and grades of courses attempted, credits earned, academic standing, GPA, TSI status, and admission exams.

TSI (Texas Success Initiative)
A Texas law requiring all entering college students to be assessed for college readiness in mathematics, reading and writing unless the student qualifies for an exemption.

Tuition
A per credit hour charge per course. There is a different rate for Texas residents and non-Texas residents.

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Undergraduate
A student pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

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Withdrew Failing (WF)
A mark indicating a student was not performing at a passing level at the time of resignation. This mark is used only for students resigning after the first nine weeks of a regular semester or after the first two weeks of a summer session.

Withdrew Passing (WP)
A mark indicating a student was performing at a passing level at the time of resignation. This mark is used only for students resigning after the first nine weeks of a regular semester or after the first two weeks of a summer session.

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