Salisbury University students on campus

Academic Advising Glossary

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Quick tip: Many terms may have the word "Academic" preceding them. If you cannot find the term you're looking for, please look through the letter A, as it may begin with "Academic." Please email the Academic Advising Center ( if you cannot find the term you're looking for.


Academic Advising – is a process which helps students to identify their career and life goals. It also assists in the development of an educational plan to help students meet these goals.

Academic Advisors – are available for all full-time matriculated students. Students who are first-time college students are assigned Academic Advisors in the Academic Advising Center for their first year. Transfer students and upperclassmen with declared majors are assigned faculty advisors in their major department.

Academic Checklist – are advising tools created by the academic departments to assist students and faculty advisors in reviewing requirements for majors and minors. Each program page (both undergraduate and graduate) of the University's catalog can generate a printable checklist with all the information on that page by clicking the “Print Degree Planner” icon on the top right of the page. degree planner icon

Academic Clemency – is a standing available to students who have left SU with poor academic records in order for them to return to the University and succeed. Students who have not attended the University for at least 5 years are eligible to apply. They are only eligible once in their academic careers, and must apply during their initial semester, term, or session they return to school as a student. The Academic Clemency Form is available from the Office of Academic Affairs or at the Registrar's forms page. Staff who help you understand UB's degree requirements, academic policies, course selection and registration and who assist you in locating campus resources; freshmen are advised exclusively in the Office of Freshman Advising (Academic Center, fifth floor).

Academic Dismissal – occurs when previously enrolled students are no longer allowed to attend the University due to continued poor academic performance and/or an academic integrity policy violation. includes dates for registration, holidays, the add/drop deadline, tuition due date and other important events

Academic Integrity – denotes adherence to the precept that “one’s work is one’s own.” This policy addresses cases of academic misconduct which may include, but are not limited to: lying, cheating, misappropriation of course-based intellectual property, and plagiarism. The full Academic Integrity Policy can be found at the Provost's Office.

Academic Probation – refers to students who are not in good academic standing, but who are still admitted and pursuing degrees. Such students have academic (and other) limitations placed upon them.

Academic Requirements Report – is a report that both students and their academic advisors can view in GullNet that details a student’s progress toward degree completion.

Academic Restriction – refers to previously admitted students whose admissions have been revoked because of poor academic performance and are thereby neither admitted nor pursuing a degree. These students are allowed to register as non-admitted students, but in most cases only part-time.

Advanced Placement (AP) – Undergraduate students who have completed AP courses in high school and have taken the corresponding College Board examination may be entitled to advanced standing credit at SU. Contact the Admissions Office for minimum score and coursework equivalency information. All score results must be submitted directly to the Admissions Office.

Application for Diploma/Graduation – is a form that must be completed through a student’s GullNet account at least one semester prior to their intended date of completion. For more information on deadlines, see our commencement page. The academic records of degree candidates who have completed this form on time are audited for graduation requirements. Candidates are notified of any deficiencies so they have the opportunity to satisfy any outstanding requirements during their last semester of enrollment. The Registrar’s Office reserves the right to move a student’s intended date of completion or cancel their application if it appears they will not meet their degree requirements.

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Bachelor’s Degree – is an undergraduate academic degree awarded upon successful completion of academic requirements. Minimum requirements include satisfactory completion of 120 semester hours, 45 of which must be in prescribed General Education courses.

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Catalog Year – students must follow their assigned program requirements according to their catalog year and major. The student’s catalog year is determined by the year they entered Salisbury University. Catalogs are good for up to seven years. SU issues a new catalog every one or two years, and the requirements for degree programs may change from one catalog to a new catalog. Students have the right to choose the catalog they’ll use. Also know as Requirement Term.

Class Standing – a classification based on the number of credits students have earned by the beginning of a semester. A freshman has earned 0-29 credits; a sophomore, 30-59 credits; a junior, 60-89 credits; and a senior, 90 or more credits.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) – an examination available to undergraduates who have attained competence in college-level subjects through extensive reading or other experiences. Students may gain course credit by receiving a minimum score on the exam. Additional information regarding the CLEP exam may be found at the Registrar's Office.

Credit Hours – are units earned for the successful completion of each course.

Cumulative – as in "cumulative GPA." This is your overall GPA, accounting for all grades at SU.

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Declaring a Major – undeclared students are required to declare a major upon completion of 45 hours of coursework. Students may declare more than one major. Students wishing to declare a major should submit an Academic Records Update Request in their GullNet student center.

Double Major – is an option available where student simultaneously satisfy the requirements for more than one major program. All major programs appear as a part of the student’s degree when satisfactory completion is verified by the Registrar’s Office. Students receive one baccalaureate degree from SU.

Drop/Add Period – the period of time through which students can make adjustments to their schedules. This period takes place during the first week of classes for courses that meet two or more days a week. The period is extended through the second class meeting for courses that meet one day per week. Courses that are officially dropped during this timeframe do not appear on the student’s permanent academic record.

Dual Degree Program – is an option available for students who wish to receive two baccalaureate degrees from SU and a partner institution. Currently, SU partners with University of Maryland Eastern Shore for a dual degree in Biology/Environmental Marine Science and Social Work/Sociology. SU also partners with the University of Maryland College Park for a dual degree program in Chemistry/Engineering. Students may also receive two degrees from SU simultaneously by completing the requirements of two majors and a minimum of 150 semester hours of coursework. The student’s desire to receive two degrees simultaneously must be noted on the Application for Diploma form when applying for graduation. Additionally, during advising students must notify their faculty advisor that they are working on the completion of two degrees.

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Earned Credit Hours – refers to the number of credit hours a student has successfully completed with a grade of A, B, C, or D. Any course where a student receives a grade of F, I, or W is considered attempted credit hours only.

Elective – an academic course that isn't required but that a student chooses to take, which also counts toward the total credits required for a degree.

Enhanced Courses – additional content/reading, research, service learning, study abroad, class time, etc. associated with a course to provide additional credit. For example, a traditional three credit course can be enhanced to a four credit course by adding a study abroad component.

Enrollment Status – is determined by the number of credits students have completed or are pursuing. Undergraduates enrolled for 12 or more semester hours are classified as full-time status. Undergraduates enrolled in less than 12 semester hours are considered as being part-time status.

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General Education Requirements – are courses required for a bachelor’s degree program that encompass several categories/subject areas of courses in order to provide students with a well-rounded educational background.

Good Academic Standing – refers to students whose SU cumulative GPAs are at least 2.0. Students who are not in good academic standing are either on academic probation or on restricted status.

Grade Point Average (GPA) – is a calculation used to determine a student’s academic performance standing. It is based off of a 4.0 scale. Semester GPA indicates performance for a particular semester, and cumulative GPA indicates performance across all semesters.

GullNet – is an online self-service system where students can register for classes, drop/add or withdraw from grades, sign up for advising appointments, and check on their academic progress. For more information on GullNet, including tutorial videos, go to the GullNet page.

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Hold – is placed on a student’s record to prevent them from registering for future courses. Holds can be placed for a variety of reasons such as financial obligations and/or administrative tasks. For more information on types of holds, and the appropriate people to contact regarding holds, visit the current student GullNet page.

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“I”/Incomplete – is a grade received because of non-completion of a course due to circumstances beyond the student’s control. The “I” automatically becomes an F if coursework is not completed prior to mid-semester of the next full semester for which the student is enrolled, or at the end of one calendar year, whichever is earlier.

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Major – is an academic discipline in which students can earn an undergraduate degree; includes a set of required courses. For more information on major requirements, go to the University catalog.

Matriculated Student – a student admitted to the University and pursuing a bachelor’s degree. They can be attending full- or part-time. Matriculated students can be in good academic standing or on academic probation.

Minor – is an opportunity for students to develop special competencies outside of their major fields of study. A minor requires at least 18 credits with grades of “C” or better. At least 15 credits applied toward a minor must be coursework that is not used to satisfy General Education requirements, and at least 9 credits must be earned at SU.

MyClasses – is SU’s online course information source where students can access course syllabi, handouts, discussion and chat functions, online tests and confidential grade reports if an instructor is using this resource. Also known as Blackboard.

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Open Enrollment – is only open to currently enrolled students who did not pre-register with priority advising during Program Planning. Students must not have any holds on their accounts to register.


Prerequisites – standard requirement, such as courses, class standing, or adequate placement test scores that must be completed before registering for another course.

Program Planning – is a period of time where students meet with their advisor prior to registering for classes. All students must meet with their advisor in order to be activated for pre-registration.

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Quality Points – is a figure used in determining a student’s GPA. An A = 4; B = 3; C = 2; D = 1. Any coursework where a student receives an F, I, or W does not receive any quality points.

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Requirement Term – see “Catalog Year”.

Repeat Policy – students repeating a course covering the same/similar content will receive credit for the last occurrence of the course only, provided the course is graded A, B, C, D, F, or I. Repeated coursework is noted as such on the student record, remains in the student’s attempted hour calculations, and is removed from the earned hour, quality point, and GPA calculations.

Request to Participate in Commencement Prior to Completing Coursework – is a form completed by the student requesting that they be allowed to participate in commencement before their requirements for graduation have been met. Requests can be granted only if the student can complete the degree requirements during Winter Term for December Commencement or Summer Term for May Commencement, is degree-seeking, and has a cumulative 2.0 GPA.

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Transcript – is the official record of a student's academic performance. It is maintained by the Office of the Registrar.

Transfer Policy – any coursework from a previous institution is evaluated on a course-by-course basis. Actual grades do not transfer; the GPA for a transfer student is computed only on the basis of coursework completed at SU. Coursework and grades earned will be applied toward graduation requirements at SU. For more information on the transfer policy, go to the credit policy page.

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Withdrawal from a Course – after the drop/add period ends, students may withdraw from a course until the Friday of the ninth week of a semester. A grade of "W" will appear on your transcript, but it does not affect your GPA.

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