Salisbury University was ranked among the top 10 public
regional universities by U.S. News & World Report and as one of
the top universities nationwide by The Princeton Review.
Common Vocabulary Used on U.S. Campuses
Academic Advisor: A member of the faculty who helps
and advises a student on academic matters (selection of courses). S/he
may also assist a student during the registration process.
Academic Probation: A status resulting from
unsatisfactory academic work; a warning that a student must improve
academic performance or be dismissed after a specific period of time.
Academic Year: The period of formal academic
instruction, usually extending from September through May. At Salisbury
University it is divided into fall and spring semesters. Students may
also take classes during summer and/or winter sessions.
Add a Course: To enroll in a course for which a
student was not previously registered.
Advanced Placement: A waiver of some of the classes
normally required for an undergraduate degree, granted to a student
based on the prior study or experience (usually indicated by a student's
performance on a special examination).
Alumnus: A person who had attended or graduated from a
college or university.
Assignment: Out-of-class work required by a professor,
due by a specific time.
Assistantship: A study grant of financial aid to a
graduate student that is offered in return for certain services
(teaching, research). These services are supervised by faculty/staff
Associate Degree: A degree awarded upon the completion
of a two-year program of study, usually awarded by a community college.
Audit: Permits a student to take a class without a
grade or credit.
B.A.: Bachelor of Arts degree awarded upon completion
of a four-year program of study, generally focused on subjects related
to arts (Music), humanities (Languages), or social sciences
B.S.: Bachelor of Science degree awarded upon
completion of a four-year program of study, generally focused on
subjects related to professional disciplines, like Nursing or Business.
Blue Book: A small booklet of writing paper with a
blue cover, used for written examinations. Blue Books are available at
the University's bookstore.
Campus: The area where the buildings of a college or
university are located.
Cashier: The office (or person) where all the
University bills are paid.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is a
part of the US Department of Homeland Security): USCIS develops
regulations for all international visitors, including international
students. For more information, please refer to the Immigration
Information in this booklet.
Class: Referring to a number of credits earned
(Freshman: 0-29, Sophomore: 30-59, Junior: 60-89, Senior: 90 and above);
also, referring to a group of students who meet with the faculty member
on scheduled basis.
College: An institution of higher learning that offers
undergraduate programs, usually of four year duration, which lead to the
B.A. or B.S. degrees. The term "college" can be also used to describe
any post-secondary educational institution.
College/University Catalogue: An official publication
of a college or university, giving information about academic programs,
facilities, services, entrance requirements and student life. The SU
Catalogue is published every two years, for updated class schedules
please check each semester's Registration Bulletin.
Community College: An institution of higher learning
where the Associate Degree is awarded after students complete a two-tear
program of study.
Course: Regularly scheduled class session of one to
five (or more) hours per week during the semester. A degree program is
made up of a specific number of courses and is different at each
institution. All courses are assigned a name and a number for
Course Number: The number given to identify a course,
e.g., History 101. Numbers 100-499 usually refer to undergraduate
courses, and numbers 500 and above describe graduate courses.
Cram: Intense study at the last possible moment before
an examination. This is not a recommended way to study.
Credit by examination: Academic credit granted by a
college for a student's having demonstrated proficiency in a subject as
measured by an examination.
Credits: Units which most institutions use to record
completion of courses (with passing or higher grades), which are
required for an academic degree. The Undergraduate and Graduate
Catalogues define the amounts and kinds of credits each student must
complete to receive his/her degree (also called credit hours).
Dean: Director or the highest authority within
academic division of study (Dean of the School of Business, Dean of the
School of Liberal Arts).
Dean's List: The list of full-time, undergraduate
students whose GPA was 3.5 (out of possible 4.0) or higher for a given
Degree: Diploma or title awarded to a student who
completed a prescribed course of study.
Degree Program: A program leading to the Bachelor of
Arts, the Bachelor of Fine Arts, the Bachelor of Science and the
Bachelor of Social Work. Requirements for graduation require the total
of 120 semester hours, of which 47 must be from the General Education
courses, and the remaining from Electives and Required Courses.
Degree Requirement: A set of requirements which a
student must fulfill before s/he graduates (they include matriculation
and completion of approved degree programs.) Requirements for a degree
programs are different for each major. For more detailed information,
please consult the Undergraduate or Graduate Catalogue.
Department: Administrative subdivision of a university
or college, in which instruction in a certain subject is given (Biology
Department, Accounting Department).
Discussion Group: A group of students who meet with a
faculty member to discuss a certain academic topic.
Double Major: Any program of study in
which a student completes the requirements of two majors concurrently.
Drop: A process by which a student officially removes
himself/herself from taking a class.
Drop/Add Period: A period of time during the first
week of the semester, were students may change courses for the semester
by "dropping" or "adding" a course. Courses dropped during that period
will not appear on a student's permanent record. Courses dropped after
that period will appear on the permanent record, with the appropriate
International students must retain at least 12 (undergraduate) or 9
(graduate) credit hours for fall and spring semesters.
Electives: Courses that a student may "elect " (choose
freely) to take for credit toward his/her degree. (also see Required
Essay: A method of examination, or homework, by which
a student presents his/her knowledge of a subject in a written
Faculty: Members of the teaching staff, and
occasionally the administrative staff, of an educational institution.
Fees: An amount of money charged by institutions, in a
addition to tuition, to cover costs of certain services (health
services, laboratories, etc.).
Final: The last, and often most difficult, examination
of the semester.
Flunk: To receive an unsatisfactory grade for an
examination, or a course.
Fraternity: A social organization for male students,
with specific objectives, rules and regulations.
Full-time Student: A student who is taking a full load
of course work at an institution; at Salisbury University that number is
12 for undergraduate and 9 for graduate students (all
international students must remain full-time student during their stay.)
General Education Requirement: To graduate from
Salisbury University, each undergraduate student must take at least 47
credits from four General education groups: Group I - English and Arts,
Group II - History and Social Sciences, Group III - Sciences, Group IV -
GPA (Grade Point Average): A system of recording
academic achievement based on an average of a student's grades. The GPA
is calculated as follows:
1. To compute the quality points for each course in which a grade of A
(4 points), B (3 points), C (2 points), D (1 point) and F (0 points) was
earned, multiply the credit hours for the course by the grade points
assigned to that grade:
2. The grade point average for the semester is calculated by dividing
the total quality points earned by the number of hours completed; (34
quality points) divided by (16 credit hours) equals (2.125); GPA =
3. The cumulative grade point average is calculated by dividing the
total quality points earned in all semesters by the total credit hours
in which a grade of A, B, C, D or F was earned for all semesters.
Graduate: To complete a course of study prescribed for
a certain degree, also a person who graduated.
Honor Society: An organization honoring students for
achieving distinction in academic areas and/or service.
ID (Identification Card): A card with a student's
photograph, stating that an individual is a member of the University.
Each students receives an ID card at the beginning of his/her study, and
should keep it throughout their studies. The ID cards are used
throughout the campus: (in the library, computer labs, gym etc.) They
are also used as a cash card: once a student deposits a certain amount
of money into his/her account, that ID card can be used as cash around
Independent Study: A method of receiving credit for
study or research independent of the assignments of any specific
International Student Advisor: A representative of the
University whose job is to provide guidance and information to
international students in many areas of student life, including US
government regulations, visas, academic regulations, customs, language,
financial problems, housing, travel plans, health insurance, etc. The
International Student & Scholar Services office is located in
the Center for International Education, (410)
Internships: Short-term, supervised work experiences,
usually related to a student's major field, for which the student earns
academic credit. The work can be full or part time, on or off campus,
paid or unpaid. Student teaching and apprenticeships are examples of
Lab (laboratory): A classroom where practical learning
and demonstration in science subjects take place.
Lecture: The most common method of instruction in
university or college courses, when a faculty member provides
information by speaking to a group of students (class).
Major: The subject or area of study in which a student
concentrates (English, Business).
M.A./M.S.: Master of Arts/Master of Science awarded
upon completion of one or two year program of graduate study beyond the
Matriculate: To be formally enrolled in a university
Mid-term: The examination given in the middle of the
Minor: The subject or area of studies in which a
student concentrates to a lesser degree than in his/her major.
Multiple-choice Examination: An examination in which
questions are followed by two or more answers, from which a student
selects the correct answer.
Networking: Connecting with people in your chosen
profession. Many people are successful in obtaining employment
immediately after graduation using this technique.
Open-book Examination: An examination during which a
student is permitted to use his/her book.
Oral Examination: An examination during which a
student answers questions by speaking rather than by writing.
Part-time Student: A student who carries less than
full load of courses (all international students must carry a
full load; 12 credit hours for undergraduate and 9 credit hours for
Pass/Fail: A grading system that rates a student's
performance on a pass/fail basis, rather than on grades (A, B, C, D, F).
For more information on grading system, please refer to the SU
Ph.D.: The highest academic degree awarded by a
university to students who have completed at least three years of study
beyond their bachelor's and master's degrees, and who have demonstrated
their academic ability in oral and written examinations and through
original research presented in a form of dissertation (thesis).
Placement Test: An examination used to test a
student's academic ability in a certain subject, so s/he can be placed
in a course at an appropriate level. In some cases students may get
credit after scoring high on a placement test.
Plagiarism: The use of someone else's words or ideas
without acknowledgment of their source; it is not acceptable in the US
and can carry serious repercussions.
Practical Training: A period of time, up to 12 months,
of practical training in the field of study, permitted to international
students after completion of an academic program; written recommendation
of the University and approval of the USCIS are required.
Prerequisites: Courses that a student is required to
complete before being permitted to take more advanced courses.
Quiz: A short test, written or oral, usually less
formal than an exam.
Registrar: The office (or person), maintaining
students' academic and personal records.
Registration: A process during which a student
officially signs up for classes.
Required Courses: Classes that a student must take in
order to complete his/her degree.
Research Paper: A formal written report that includes
research findings and a student's own ideas.
Residence Hall: A building on campus where students
live during the school year.
Sabbatical: A period of time (usually one semester)
when a faculty member is not teaching, but concentrating on his/her own
Scholarship: A study grant, usually given at an
undergraduate level, to help a student with his/her tuition and fee
payments. International students at SU are eligible for departmental and
Rotary scholarships only.
Semester: A period of study of approximately 15 weeks,
usually half of the academic year (fall semester and spring semester).
Seminar: A form of class instruction, generally open
to seniors and graduate students. It combines independent research and
class discussion, under the instruction of a faculty member.
Sign-up Sheet: An informal way of registering for an
activity; usually a name, address and phone number are requested.
Social Security Number: A number issued by the US
government for identification, insurance and tax purposes. At SU it is
also a student number, shown on ID cards.
Sorority: A social organization for female students,
with specific objectives, rules and regulations.
Syllabus: An outline of activities that will take
place during each academic course; a syllabus will often describe a
faculty member's expectations and examination schedules.
Take-home Examinations: An examination which may be
completed at home.
Test: An examination, or any other procedure that
measures academic abilities of a student.
Transcript: A certified copy of a student's academic
record, containing course titles, credits and final grades for each
course. An official transcript will also state the date and the degree
awarded to a student, if any.
Transfer: Many American students begin their
postsecondary education at one institution and finish it at another.
They transfer from one institution to another.
True/False: An examination in which questions are
answered by marking "True" or "False".
Tuition: The money an institution charges for
instruction and training (does not cover "fees" or cost of books or
Tutoring: A method of providing help to students by
instruction outside of class. Advanced students will work with
individuals or small groups to increase understanding of the material.
Such help is provided in some courses at lower levels (100).
Undergraduate Studies: Two- or four-year program in a
college or a university, after high school graduation, leading to an
associate or bachelor's degree.
Withdrawal: The procedure in which a students
officially removes himself/herself from taking a class, or from an
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