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Glossary of Academic Terms PDFDownload to print





Academic Advising
Advising helps students clarify their career goals, reach their maximum educational potential and achieve academic success. Academic advisors address student needs related to learning, personal development and career aspirations; recognize and respond to diverse individual needs and differences among students; and help students plan and implement academic programs of study in a manner that will ensure timely progress toward graduation.

Academic Standing
Academic status at institutions of higher education. Students with a cumulative 2.00 GPA or above are in good academic standing.

Academic Year
The academic year consists of two 16-week semesters – fall and spring.

An external review process by which experts authorize or give credentials indicating that standards and expectations have been met by academic programs or institutions.

Admissions Office
Information pertaining to the process of admission to the university is available from this office.

Adult Student
A student who is 21 years old or older and who has been out of high school for three years or more at the time of his/her first college enrollment. Further defined as any student whose primary life roles and responsibilities exist independent of the university and which, at times, may take precedence over the role of student.

Advanced Placement
Credit granted by Kent State for satisfactory scores attained through high school participation in this nationally standardized program. Contact the Transfer Center for information.

Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained. ALEKS courses are very complete in their topic coverage and ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions. A student who shows a high level of mastery of an ALEKS course will be successful in the actual course she is taking (Source:

Professional advising staff member or a faculty member who provides students with information concerning courses, programs of study and other aspects of academic life.

Attempted Hours
Students' total credit-hour registration, either for a specific term or cumulative for all terms. Attempted hours include courses for which students have received either a letter grade or other administrative mark (AU, IN, IP, NA, NF, NR, SF, W, etc.)

Audit is enrollment in a class where no grade or credit is received.




Board of Trustees
The board is made up of 11 trustees, two of whom are students at Kent State University. Trustees are appointed by the governor to proved for the proper maintenance and successful, continuous operation of the university (as specified by the Ohio Revised Code).

Board Plan
Food service plan operated by the university.

Bursar's Office
The university office where payments of tuition and fees are made.



Career Services Center
The university office providing assistance with career employment, career counseling, student employment and academic testing.

Catalog Year
A term identifying the catalog that contains the requirements defining a student's academic program.  Initially, it is the Catalog in force during the student's first semester at Kent State University.

Catalog in Force
The University Catalog for the current academic year. Example: In fall semester 2015 and spring semester 2016, the Catalog in force is the 2015-2016 University Catalog. 

Certificate Programs
Certificates are awarded to students who successfully complete a course of study designed to meet a specific need and that has been designated a Certificate Program and properly approved as such. These programs typically consist of no less than 15 credit hours and no more than 30.
Formal "licensing" of a professional program according to the standards of an external professional body.

Center for Student Involvement
The Center for Student Involvement (CSI) offers an array of resources that provide opportunities for leadership and participation in student-initiated projects and organizations.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
A testing program administered by the Career Services Center. The completion of these exams may result in college-level credit.

Academic organizational division of the university offering courses and curricular programs leading to baccalaureate and advanced degrees, as well as minors and certificates.

An academic seminar on a broad topic usually led by a different lecturer at each meeting.

Commuter Student
Students who attend Kent State but do not live on campus in a university residence hall.

Complete Term Withdrawal
Withdrawal from all courses is permitted through the published deadlines found on the University Registrar's website.

An area of focus within a major usually encompassing several allied disciplines.

Course(s) requiring simultaneous enrollment in another course. Example: PHY 13001, a lecture course, is a co-requisite for PHY 13021, a lab course.

Course Add or Drop
Adding or dropping a course from the student's class schedule.

Course Load
Total number of semester credit hours for which a student is registered during any semester. 

Course Withdrawal
Process by which a student removes a course(s) from his/her schedule, subject to the deadlines published on the University Registrar's website. A mark of W will be recorded on the student's transcripts.

Credit-by-Examination (CBE)
Credit earned in selected approved courses by taking a departmental examination to test knowledge already possessed without previous course enrollment. Refer to the University Registrar's website for more information.

Credit Hours
Units based on contact hours in a learning environment that are acquired for completed coursework applied toward a degree or certificate.




The head of a division, faculty, college or school of a university.

Dean's List
In recognition of academic excellence, a Dean's List is compiled each academic semester. To qualify, students must have a grade point average in the semester of 3.40 or greater and must have completed 12 or more regular letter-graded credit hours by the end of that semester. This notation will be printed on the students' official transcript.


  • Associate Degree: Two-year degree of a technical or general nature offered only on the  Regional Campuses.
  • Bachelor's Degree: Academic degree conferred by a university or college.
  • Combined Baccalaureate and Master's Degree Programs: Programs of study available to students with outstanding undergraduate records or exemplary professional credentials.
  • Master's Degree: Academic degree conferred by a university for completion of an integrated program of study at the graduate level beyond the bachelor's degree; usually involved one or more years of work and completion of a research project or thesis.
  • Educational Specialist: Post-master's practitioner program. This is not an interim step between the master's and doctoral degrees, but provides preparation for a specialty position within the field of professional education.
  • Doctoral Degree: Highest degree conferred by a university following advanced graduate study and research.

Academic unit within a college.

Destination Kent State
A three-part orientation program designed for first-year students to familiarize them with Kent State University, and provide them with the tools necessary to enjoy a successful journey to graduation.

Specific area of study; formally organized body of knowledge.

Students who fail to make adequate progress toward completion of a program of study or whose academic performance indicates little chance of obtaining the minimum grades required for graduation is no longer allowed to enroll at the university.

Distance Learning
Any type of interactive education in which students communicate with faculty and other students via e-mail, electronic forums, video conferencing or another form of computer-based communication, rather than through face-to-face interaction.

Diversity Course Requirement
Coursework required of all baccalaureate-seeking students. Typically, students must complete two courses from the list of approved diversity courses, including at least one from the diversity list within the Kent Core.

Double Major
The pursuit of two or more programs of academic study for a single degree within the same college.

Dual Degree
The pursuit of programs of study in two different colleges within the university leading to degrees in both colleges. Students may also pursue two separate degrees within the same college.




Electives or General Electives
Classes pursued in addition to the collegial, departmental, major and other degree requirements.

Experiential Learning Requirement
The purpose of Kent State's experiential learning requirement (ELR) is to provide students with direct engagement in learning experiences that promote academic relevance, meaning, and an understanding of real-world issues. Experiential learning opportunities exist in a variety of course- and non-course-based forms and may include community service, service-learning, undergraduate research, study abroad/away, and culminating experiences such as internships, student teaching, and capstone projects, to name a few.




Faculty Senate
Faculty governing body that is primarily concerned with matters of university educational policies, curriculum, academic and professional standards, and the establishment, discontinuance and major alteration of academic programs. Possesses shared responsibilities and advisory responsibilities. May consider other matters pertaining to the welfare and mission of the university.

Financial Aid
Financial assistance for an eligible student; available in the form of grants, loans, scholarships and federal work-study employment.

Identification card issued to all registered students. It is used for admittance to athletic, cultural and social events; borrowing of library materials; and purchasing goods and services on the Golden Flash debit plan or the Dining Services board plan.

FLASHcash is a prepaid purchase plan for students, faculty, staff or anyone who frequently visits Kent State University. It works like a credit card in reverse. Students make an initial deposit to their account and charges are deducted as they make purchases. 

FlashLine is the web-based portal (entryway) for Kent State students, faculty, staff and alumni. For help with FlashLine, contact the university Helpdesk at 330-672-HELP or visit the FlashLine information website.

FlashLine User Name
Login user name for most campus resources. Everything before in the e-mail address.

First-Year Experience Course
Program designed to familiarize new students with the university, their college and university policies and procedures.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Financial information document submitted by an applicant for student financial aid; supplies information concerning income, assets, expenses and liabilities.

An undergraduate student who has earned fewer than 30 semester hours.

Full-Time Student
Any undergraduate student enrolled in the university who is carrying a course load of 12 or more credit hours per semester. A full-time graduate student is one registered for 8 or more credit hours per semester.




General Requirements
General requirements address a broad range of matters such as degree requirements, requirements for graduation, residency requirements and academic standing.

GPA (Grade Point Average)
Grade point average is determined by the number of hours attempted at Kent State University and the grades received. The GPA is calculated to three places past the decimal point and not rounded.

GPS Degree Audit
The GPS includes a degree audit which is a summary of degree requirements merged with the academic record which provides a real-time assessment of progress toward graduation. The audit is organized in blocks of like requirements. The Degree Audit is the official list of all requirements for graduation.

GPS Individualized Degree Plan
Students create a Degree Plan that begins with the requirements in the Degree Audit, organized in a Roadmap format, but tailored for the student's unique situation. The Degree Plan can be adjusted to fit the student's needs, including shortening the time to graduation, adding summer terms or expanding your program length to accommodate a work schedule or family responsibilities.

Graduate Student Senate
Represents the concerns of the graduate student community of Kent State University and serves as an allocation body by providing funding to graduate students and graduate organizations for speakers, workshops, social events and professional travel.

Graduation Planning System (GPS)
A program that provides students with a roadmap to degree completion which includes a real-time degree audit and an individualized educational plan.

Grant (Financial Aid)
A nonrepayable award to an eligible student based upon determined financial needs and program criteria.






Incomplete (IN mark)
An administrative mark that may be given to students who are unable to complete the last three weeks of a semester because of factors beyond their control.

In Progress (IP mark)
A mark given to indicate that research, individual investigation or similar efforts are in progress and that a final grade will be given when all the work is completed.

Individual Investigation
A method of independent study that, if approved by the appropriate university authorities, allows the student to pursue topics of interest in a flexible time frame.

Individualized Major
Individually designed program of study developed in consultation with the dean of the college and with faculty recommendations. Kent State offers the individualized major within the Associate of Technical Study degree and the Bachelor of Integrative Studies degree.

Activities involving two or more colleges or universities.

Course or program of study involving two or more major areas and departments of study.

International Student
A student who is not a citizen of the United States and who has entered the United States on a temporary basis for the purpose of enrolling in an educational institution.

A work experience in a position related to the academic field of preparation.






An undergraduate student who has earned between 60-89 semester hours.





Kent Academic Progress System (KAPS)
An automated degree audit system to monitor students' progress toward completion of degree requirements.

Kent Core
The Kent Core is the foundation of the university's mission to prepare students to live in today's complex, global society. It broadens intellectual perspectives, fosters ethical and humanitarian values and prepares students for responsible citizenship and productive careers. Through this learning experience, students develop the intellectual flexibility they need to adapt to an ever-changing world. 
Kent Core Coursework

  • Composition
  • Mathematics and Critical Reasoning
  • Humanities and Fine Arts
  • Social Sciences
  • Basic Sciences
  • Additional Courses

Kent State ID Number
A 9-digit number that identifies students, faculty, staff, alumni and others in the Banner system.



Late Registration
Process of initial class enrollment for a given term once the term has begun. A late registration fee is assessed beginning the second week of classes.

Liberal Education Requirements (LER) (Replaced by Kent Core fall 2010)
In five areas to be completed during the first two years of study, the LER are designed to provide a common nucleus and an appropriate breadth of inquiry, understanding and perspective to the Kent State undergraduate education experience. It is essential, therefore, that students consult the Catalog descriptions for their college degree program.

Formal "permission" of a professional program according to the standards of an external professional body—for example, the certification of graduates in approved curricula of the College of Education, Health, and Human Services.

Lower Division Courses (10000, 20000)
Are for freshmen, sophomores and others with little or no background in the discipline. Generally, these courses provide the understanding, foundation and preparation for more advanced study (although a pathway for more advanced study is not always required, and they may be ends in themselves).







A subject of focus for academic study in which a student pursues a prescribed curriculum and is a formal degree candidate.

Math Emporium
A state-of-the-art learning center where students will interact with adaptive ALEKS software and a highly skilled instructional team. Students learn through an innovative, engaging and easy-to-use program designed to help them become comfortable and proficient in basic mathematics.

The process of being admitted into a group, especially a college or university.

Subject of focus for academic study in which a student pursues a prescribed curriculum and is a formal degree candidate.






Courses or programs for which no academic credit is given.

Student who has not established status as a resident of Ohio as defined by Ohio Board of Regents. Refer to the policy in the Policy Register on the Kent State website.




Office of Student Conduct
Responsible for addressing the adjudication of students who are accused of violating campus rules or policies, state laws, federal laws, and/or municipality disputes.

OIG (Financial Aid)
Ohio Instructional Grant; a nonrepayable award made by the Ohio Board of Regents to an eligible undergraduate student who is an Ohio resident. The OIG is applied to the cost of tuition and fees.

Swedish term meaning "representative." Person appointed by the university to assist students in resolving concerns, complaints and grievances through established channels.
Undergraduate Overload
Enrollment for classes hour in excess of 18 during fall or spring semester, in excess of 6 hours during Summer I or III, or 10 hours during Summer II.






Part-Time Student
Any undergraduate student enrolled in the university who is carrying a course load of fewer than 12 hours per semester;  a graduate student enrolled in the university who is carrying a course load of fewer than 8 hours per semester.

System by which undergraduate students can take elective courses for a grade of pass or fail in lieu of a letter grade.

Pell Grant
A nonrepayable financial aid award provided by the federal government directly to an undergraduate student.

A student with a baccalaureate degree who is enrolling in additional undergraduate-level classes.

A school or college course, especially one in a specialized field, designed to give the students supervised practical experience.

Preparation for professional training through undergraduate programs of study.

Course(s) or condition(s) required before enrollment in a more advanced class. Example: Biology 10181 is a prerequisite for Biology 10182.

President's List
In recognition of an extremely high level of academic excellence, a President's List is compiled each academic semester. To qualify, undergraduate students must have a grade point average in the semester of 4.00 and must have completed 15 or more credit hours (all of which have regular grades) by the end of that semester. This notation will be printed on the students' official transcripts.

Probation (Academic)
A warning to undergraduate students who fail to maintain a semester and/or overall grade point average of 2.00 or better. Failure to improve the academic record within a specific time may result in academic dismissal.

Plan of academic study.

Senior vice president of academic affairs; chief academic officer of the university.





Quality Points
The number of points assigned per credit hour for each letter grade.




Registrar's Office
The university office that plans and oversees registration activities, record maintenance, transcript preparation and academic testing.

Process of initial class enrollment for a given term.

Process by which a student may gain reentry to the university after a dismissal.

Repeat for Recalculation
Students may repeat lower-division (10000-20000 level) courses, and the university will use only the highest grade in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average. The repeated hours will be added back in for the purposes of calculating institutional honors.

Course or condition that must be fulfilled as part of a particular program.

A list of course requirements in a semester-by-semester layout that must be met for undergraduate stufents to graduate with a specific major. Roadmaps also identify courses and other milestones that are critical for students to complete in a particular semester to be on track for timely graduation.

Reserve Officers Training Corps—program leading to commission as officer in military service in either the Air Force or Army.





Schedule Adjustment
A change to a class schedule for a student who has already enrolled in at least one course for the term. Deadlines for schedule adjustments are published on the University Registrar's website.

Term applied to academic units within a particular college or to a single academic unit offering curricular programs leading to a baccalaureate or advanced degree.

A nonrepayable award to an eligible student based upon academic achievement and determined financial need or, in some cases, based upon academic achievement alone.

School term (about 16 weeks long) that is one-half of the academic year.

Semester Hour
Each unit of academic credit assigned to a course as the credit value for that course under the semester system is known as the semester hour. Generally, semester hours of credit for a course are directly equivalent to the number of classroom contact hours per week.

An undergraduate student who has earned 90+ semester hours.

Courses that must be taken in a definite order.

An undergraduate student who has earned 30-59 semester hours.

Student Legal Services
A non-profit law firm whose purpose is to explain and assist in resolving legal issues that a student may face.

An outline or a summary of the main points of text, lecture or course of study.

A meeting or conference for discussion of topic, especially one in which the participants form an audience and make presentations.




The accurate and complete record of a student's academic coursework attempted at an institution, presented in either electronic format or paper format.

Transfer Module
Developed by the Ohio Board of Regents, a specific subset or the entire set of a college or university's general education requirements (Kent Core). A Transfer Module completed at one Ohio college or university will automatically meet the requirements of the Transfer Module at the receiving Ohio institution, once the student is accepted. Students may be required, however, to meet additional general education requirements that are not included in the Transfer Module.

Transfer Student
Any student applying to Kent State University who has attended any institution of higher learning since leaving high school.

Transient Coursework
Coursework approved for Kent State University students who attended another accredited institution.

Transient Student
Any student enrolled in another college or university who will attend Kent State University for one term.

A fee for instruction, especially at a formal institution of learning.

Person providing special study skills and assistance in a particular subject or academic program.




A term applied to students who are pursing an associate or bachelor's degree as a freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Undergraduate Student Government
Primary vehicle by which the undergraduate student body provides its input into the university community.

Upper Division Courses (3000, 40000)
Upper-division credit should be awarded for courses that are major related with the specialization, breadth and depth in a particular field. These courses typically have prerequisites because it is understood that it is advanced study, and students need the proper knowledge before taking the course.




See Course Withdrawl

A credit or noncredit activity that focuses on a participant's professional tasks. Instructional emphasis is given to mastery and applications of knowledge, skills and attitudes that address a narrowly defined range of problems or issues related to practice. All credit workshops are graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U). 

Work-Study (Financial Aid)
An employment program based upon determined financial need. An eligible student may be employed on campus for not more than an average of 20 hours per week to earn money to help pay for educational costs.

Writing-Intensive Course Requirement
A graduation requirement for all undergraduate students requiring completion of at least one upper-division course designed as "writing–intensive" with a grade of C (2.000) or better.