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Academic Advising
Glossary of Terms/Phrases

Academic Advising is a personalized, interactive, and intentional process in which the advisor helps the student set and achieve academic, career, and personal goals.  The student will acquire relevant information and services to make responsible decisions consistent with interests, goals, abilities, and degree requirements.  The desired result is that the student will feel a connection with the advisor and a sense of guidance, while realizing personal responsibility for exploring options and making decisions.

Academic Advisor is a faculty or professional staff member assigned to help students discuss their educational plans including course scheduling.

Academic Honesty means performing all academic work without plagiarism, cheating, lying, tampering, stealing, receiving unauthorized or illegitimate assistance from any other person, or using any source of information that is not common knowledge.

Academic Honors is awarded to those undergraduate students who earn a minimum term GPA of 3.50 while enrolled for 12 or more credits during the fall or spring semester.  Students who receive a term GPA of 3.50 – 3.79 are placed on the Dean’s Honor Roll and students who receive a 3.80-4.0 are placed on the President’s Honor Roll.

Academic Load is the total number of credit hours enrolled in during one semester.

Academic Probation is noted on a student’s transcript when a student is on Academic Warning and fails to bring his/her cumulative GPA up to the required minimum.

Academic Suspension is noted on a student’s transcript when he/she is on Academic Probation and earns below a term GPA of 2.0.

Academic Warning is noted on a student’s transcript the first time his/her end-of-term grades bring the cumulative GPA below the required minimum. 

Add/Drop is when the student’s course schedule is changed by adding or dropping a course.

Advanced Placement (AP) is a program of college-level courses and exams administered at the high school level that gives incoming freshman the opportunity to earn college credit.

Advisor of Record is the assigned faculty or professional staff member who is serving as the Academic Advisor for the student.

Auditing Students are those who attend class as a listener without the privilege of participating in any way in the regular class work.  No credit is awarded for an audited course and the auditor pays 50% of the regular, per credit tuition charge for the course.

Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) Degree requires students complete an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree prior to being accepted into the BAS programs.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree requires students to pursue coursework outside the major and complete one of the following tracks: 1. One Major and three areas of Concentation, 2. Two Majors and one area of Concentration, 3. One Major, one Minor, and one area of Concentration, 4. One Major and two Minors.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree requires a specific area of specialization within the art curriculum.  Secondary admission requirements exist for this degree, as well.

Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) Degree does not recognize the specializations of majors, minors, or concentrations.

Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree requires students complete a specific program of study.

Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE) Degree requires students maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.50. Students must receive at least a “C” in every course in the Teacher Education core and courses that require admission to Teacher Education.

Bachelor of Science in (BSN) Nursing requires students to be formally admitted into the program and make “satisfactory progress” as specified in the Department of Nursing section of the Undergraduate Catalog.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Degree requires students be formally admitted into the Social Work Program after the completion of three introductory courses.

Baccalaureate refers to the bachelor’s degree.

CampusConnection is the student administration system used by all 11 North Dakota University System institutions for several key business functions, including admissions and recruitment, student records and financial aid.

Catalog is a comprehensive resource listing college regulations, program and course descriptions, degree and graduation requirements, transfer requirements and other essential information.

College is an academic unit of the university. Minot State University has three colleges - College of Arts & Sciences, College of Business, and College of Education & Health Sciences.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) are comprehensive tests given in specific subjects to earn credit without taking the course.

Compass Math Placement Exam is a computer based assessment that is free to all MSU students and takes about one hour to complete.

Comprehensive Test is a test that covers all material covered in a course.

Cooperative Education (Co-op) is the integration of academic experience with planned employment experiences that relate to a student’s academic major or career goals. The work experience supplements and complements the curriculum.

Co-requisite is a course that must be completed prior to or can be concurrently taken with a given course.

Course is a unit of study a student enrolls in during a semester.

Course Equivalency is when a student transfers in a course from another college or university and wants that course to be equal to one that Minot State offers.

Course Overrides may be used, with the necessary department and faculty signatures, to give a student permission to register for a course regardless of the course restrictions.  Examples of when an override might be included is when a course is closed, when a pre-requisite is missing, or when department/instructor consent is required.

Course Repeats are allowed for students who want to repeat courses taken at MSU or those originally taken at another institution, but students should be aware of the policy on repeating courses in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Course Substitution is when a student petitions to substitute a different course (transferred or not) in lieu of a required course to complete his/her degree.

Credit by Examination is when a student receives credit for an MSU course by taking an examination in place of the actual course.

Credit is 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 Load is the total credit value of the courses a student is currently enrolled in.

Cumulative GPA is the average grade point for all courses taken.

Curriculum is also known as a student’s program of study that leads to completion of a degree.

Deficiency is an unsatisfactory progress report of work in a course.  Deficiencies are sent out at midterms.

Degree is a rank conferred by a college or university and earned by a student who has successfully completed specified courses and requirements.

Department is a unit within a college representing one or more related disciplines.

Discipline is an area of study representing a branch of knowledge, such as Mathematics.

Double Major is when a student elects to pursue two majors.

Dual Degrees is when a student elects to pursue two degrees.

Drop Date is the last day you can drop a class without a grade being assigned.

Dual Credit/Dual Enrollmentis a course that is taken by a high school student that counts toward both high school credit and college credit.

Electives are courses chosen by a student that are not required for the major or minor.  The number of hours of electives required varies according to the student’s major.

Enrollment is the process of selecting courses and having courses reserved.

Extracurricular are activities available to students outside of traditional academic courses.  Some extracurricular courses may allow for students to receive academic credit.  Examples include participation in varsity athletics, band and/or choir ensembles. 

Faculty Advisors are faculty members within academic departments who are assigned to serve as academic advisors for students within their area of study. 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.

Financial Aid is funding available for students to pay for college.  Aid is available from grants, loans, scholarships, and work study employment.

Full-time Load is when students are enrolled in 12 or more credits.

General Education Requirements’ principle role is to foster the broad repertoire of intellectual, social, and cultural skills needed to function in the world. A minimum of 38 General Education credits are required for students to graduate from MSU as part of their degree requirements.

Grade Point Average (GPA) is figured out by multiplying class letter grades (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0) by the number of credits for each class, totaling the results for all classes, and then dividing that total by the total credit hours taken.

Graduate is a student who has received a degree or diploma.

Honors Requirements  include a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.9 for summa cum laude, 3.75 for magna cum laude and 3.5 for cum laude.  Students who maintain a cumulative GPA in one of these categories will graduate with honors.

Incomplete Grade may be requested by a student who has been in attendance, has done satisfactory work (C or better) during the term, and whose work is incomplete for reasons found to be satisfactory by the instructor.

Independent Study is a project and/or coursework designed by the student to pursue an area of study not covered by the established curriculum. Independent Study projects are completed without class attendance and with a minimum amount of formal supervision by an instructor.

Internship is the integration of academic experience with planned employment experiences that relate to a student’s academic major or career goals. The work experience supplements and complements the curriculum.

Interactive Video Network (IVN) is the statewide videoconferencing communication tool providing distance education opportunities throughout the state. IVN has implemented Internet-based videoconferencing technology (H.323) over the state network (STAGEnet) to significantly enhance communication and learning opportunities.

Lecture is a course wherein the teaching is done primarily through oration.

Major is specialization in an academic discipline or field of study.

Midterm Grade is unsatisfactory progress report of work in a course after the first 8 weeks of the semester.

Minor is a systematic program of study in an area of emphasis outside a student’s major.

Non-Degree Student is a student who enrolls in courses but does not wish to seek a degree. Students enrolling with this status are not eligible for federal financial aid and may not exceed a total of 12 semester hours of undergraduate credit.

Orientation consists of events planned to help students adjust to college life.  CONNECT is MSU’s orientation program for new freshmen and transfers.

Peer Tutors are MSU students who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and have received a grade of "B+" or better in the course in which they wish to tutor. Peer Tutors work closely with other students to help them achieve positive outcomes in their academic careers and empower them to become independent learners.

Plagiarism is taking credit for someone else’s ideas; copying work or ideas from the writing of others without documentation.

Pre-requisite is a requirement, satisfactory completion of a course, which must be met before a particular course can be taken.

Professional Staff Advisors are MSU staff who serve as academic advisors for students in various disciplines.  Professional Staff Advisors serve first-year students, undecided student, College of Business students, and online students.  These advisors are located in the Student Success Center, the College of Business, and the Center for Extended Learning.

Recitation is a small discussion that may be required for students to take in conjunction with a lecture.

Registrar is the administrator responsible for student records.

Registrar’s Office is responsible for advisor and major/minor changes, course overloads and add/drop slips, verifying enrollment, grades, and degrees, issuing transcripts, and processing transfer credit.

Registration is when students enroll in specific courses and times.

Satisfactory Academic Progress applies to those students receiving financial aid.  Students must successfully complete 2/3 (66%) of attempted credit hours.  By the end of the fourth term of attendance undergraduate students must be maintaining a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.  Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for each term and cumulatively.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading is used in some courses at the University.  Grades of “S” or “U” do not affect a student’s GPA; however, a grade of “S” grants credit toward graduation and a grade of “U” does not grant credit toward graduation. Students may request a change in grading option before the indicated deadline and is open to all students in good academic standing who have achieved junior year status with 60 or more semester hours. No more than 15 semester hours of elective S/U course work can be applied toward a student’s degree.  The S/U option may not be used in courses applied to the student’s major, minor, General Education requirements, or the professional education sequence.

Schedule/Study List outlines the specific courses that an individual students is taking or plans to take for a given semester.

Semester hour typically represents one (fifty minute) period of lecture or two or three hours of directed laboratory, studio, or clinical work per week for a term of sixteen weeks.

Special Permission Numbers may be used by departments (in place of a Petition to Add slip) allowing students permission to enroll in a specific section of a course that has restricted enrollment.  These numbers are distributed to students seeking enrollment through the department that oversees the particular course and must be entered in CampusConnection when students are processing their enrollment.

Student classification is how students are classified by year according to the number of credits earned as follows: Freshman (0-23 credits), Sophomore (24-59 credits), Junior (60-89 credits), and Senior (90 or more).

Student load is typically 12-18 credits for an undergraduate student in the fall and spring semester.  A normal load for the summer session is 6-12 credits.

Syllabus is an outline of course work distributed by an instructor.

Term GPA reflects the student’s academic average for a single semester.

Transfer evaluation is performed by the Registrar’s Office to determine how courses will transfer to MSU.

Transfer Student is a student who has earned credit from another post-secondary institution.

Transcripts (official & unofficial) are documents that include an accurate reflection of a student’s academic record.  They provide students with a listing of courses they have completed along with grades, courses they are currently enrolled, and grade point average information.

Undergraduate student is a university student who has not received a bachelor’s degree.

University is is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects.

Waitlists are often available for students to sign up for in CampusConnection when a particular section of a course is full. Waitlisting a course does not guarantee enrollment.

Withdrawal (W) is the grade recorded on a student’s transcript when the student officially drops a class before the drop date.