Academic Terminology

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  • AA Degree
    Associate of Arts degree, awarded upon satisfactory completion of 60 credits (at least 36 at UF) with an overall C (2.0) average, including the General Education requirement, foreign language competency, the Civic Literacy requirement, and the Writing Requirement.
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  • Academic Learning Compact | ALC
    UF’s definition for each major of the minimum communication skills, critical thinking skills and content knowledge appropriate for that major.
  • Academic Year
    The annual cycle of academic terms: Summer B, Fall, Spring, Summer A, Summer C.
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  • Admission Requirements
    The necessary minimum criteria every applicant must have to be admitted to UF. Many majors have additional requirements for admission as a junior.
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  • Admitted
    Term used to describe students who have applied and have been accepted to the university in a degree-seeking status. Admission is not validated until the student registers for and attends classes.
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  • Audit
    Permission to attend and to participate in a course without benefit of a grade or credit. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) may be awarded at the discretion of the instructor.
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  • Baccalaureate
    Bachelor’s degree, the traditional undergraduate degree. BA is the Bachelor of Arts degree and BS is the Bachelor of Science degree. It is awarded upon satisfactory completion of at least 120 credits with an overall C (2.0) average.


  • Calendar, University
    An annual publication listing all official dates and deadlines for the academic year.
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  • Catalog Year
    The year during which the regulations published in a specific edition of the undergraduate catalog apply. A student’s catalog year determines their academic requirements for completing a degree based upon the requirements published in the catalog in effect at the time the student begins degree-seeking enrollment.
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  • Certificate
    An organized concentration of study in an approved subject area. University-approved certificate programs began appearing on the student transcript in Spring 2012. Non-university approved certificate programs are not recognized on a student transcript, although individual courses are reflected.
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  • Classification/College
    A code indicating a student’s academic level (year) and college affiliation.
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  • Combination Degrees
    Combination degrees allow students to double count graduate credits toward their bachelor’s degree at no loss of integrity or quality of either degree.
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  • Common Course Numbering System
    A statewide system of course prefixes and numbers developed to facilitate the transfer of credit by identifying equivalent courses.
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  • Continuing Education Unit | CEU
    Courses taken to maintain licensure in professions that require a state or professional board license.
  • Continuous Enrollment
    Undergraduate students who enroll for at least one course in one term in an academic year are continuously enrolled.
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  • Corequisite
    Two courses that must be taken concurrently.
  • Credit
    Every course taught is designated a total number of credits. The number of credits for a class reflects approximately the total hours a student spends per week in class.
  • Critical-Tracking Criteria
    The courses required for progression in a major. These courses are in bold or otherwise noted in the undergraduate catalog and on the degree audit.
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  • Cum Laude
    Graduating with honors.
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  • Deficit Record
    A combination of UF cumulative credits and UF cumulative grade point average, where the UF cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0.
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  • Degree Audit
    A computerized evaluation of a student's progress towards completion of a degree. See ONE.UF.
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  • Dismissal
    Academic dismissal from the university denies registration privileges to students who have a cumulative GPA at or below the standard required for their cumulative UF credits carried. The student will be dismissed from the university and any advance registrations will be cancelled.
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  • Drop
    To drop a single course from a given term after the drop/add period. Students are liable for fees for a dropped course and a W is posted to the student's transcript.
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  • Drop/Add
    A period of time beginning with the first day of classes when students can adjust schedules by dropping or adding courses or changing sections of a course. Courses dropped by 11:59 p.m. on the last day of drop/add are not subject to fees.
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  • Dual Enrollment
    Simultaneous registration at two educational institutions.
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  • Early Admission
    Admission as a freshman following completion of the junior year of high school.
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  • Electives
    Any course not required as part of a student's degree requirements but applying to the minimum credits for the degree.
  • Enrollment
    Registration for coursework and payment of fees constitutes official enrollment.
  • Excess Hours
    Credits exceeding a state-specified threshold of credits taken toward the degree requirements. Additional tuition is assessed for credits exceeding this threshold.
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    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.
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  • Flexible Learning
    Distance & Continuing Education (DCE) offers fully online undergraduate courses for college credit through UF Flexible Learning.
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  • GatorLink
    A student’s computer identity at UF, which consists of a username and password to allow access to secure UF sites. It also includes official UF email service, usually in the format of All students are required to sign up for a GatorLink account and email service as official university communications are sent to this email address.
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  • GatorOne Card
    UF’s official university photo identification. All enrolled students must have a university ID card.
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  • General Education Requirement
    University-wide requirement of basic studies that form the foundation of all undergraduate degree programs.
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  • Good Standing
    Eligible to continue to register for university coursework.
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  • Grade Point Average | GPA
    The ratio of grade points earned to semester credits carried. The UF GPA is computed on University of Florida coursework only. The UF GPA is displayed to the hundredths place and not rounded up (i.e. 3.528 = 3.52).
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  • Grade Points
    The number of points attributed to a grade (A=4, B=3, etc.) times the number of credits of the course.
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  • Graduate Student
    A student who has earned a baccalaureate degree and who has been admitted to the Graduate School to pursue a graduate degree program (master’s, specialist, engineer, doctorate).
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  • Graduation Requirements
    University-wide, college, and major-specific requirements that must be met in order to graduate from UF.
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  • Individual Students Assessments | ISA
    The different ways in which UF will measure whether students have successfully completed the learning outcomes for a particular major. These may include a passing score on a particular test, a final project, term paper, portfolio and so on.
  • Innovation Academy | IA
    A unique undergraduate program experience, IA creates a small-college experience that focuses on delivering innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, ethics, and leadership. IA students take courses on campus during the Spring and Summer, leaving the Fall term free for online courses, study abroad, internships, research, community service, and/or employment. IA students follow this Spring-Summer on campus schedule throughout their entire degree program.
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  • Learning Outcomes
    What students are expected to learn by completing a particular major.


  • Magna Cum Laude
    Graduating with high honors.
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  • Major
    A subject of academic study chosen as a field of specialization.
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  • Matriculation
    Initial term of enrollment and attendance at UF. Can be as an admitted, degree-seeking student, or as a non-degree student.
  • Medical Withdrawal
    Student withdraws from all courses in a given term based on medical documentation. Fees for the semester will be refunded if a successful petition is filed within six months of the end of the given term.
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  • Minor
    An officially recognized secondary concentration of study in an approved subject area, consisting of at least 15 credits of appropriate coursework. Minors are optional.
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  • Ombuds
    The Ombuds assists all members of the university community to solve problems and conflicts. They will listen, discuss issues, answer questions, interpret policies, provide information and referrals, and help develop options for problem resolution. The Ombuds Office serves as an advocate for fairness for all members of the university community.
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  • On-track or Off-track
    On-track refers to students who are meeting progress requirements each term, according to their majors' critical tracking plans. Off-track refers to students who are not progressing toward their degree requirements each term.
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  • ONE.UF
    Enables students to access and manage their records online.
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  • Overall GPA
    Cumulative GPA of UF coursework. GPA's are displayed to the hundredths place and not rounded up.
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  • PaCE | Pathway to Campus Enrollment
    PaCE offers degree programs through a combination of online and residential or campus-based learning options.
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  • Permanent Academic Record
    The complete list of a student’s courses attempted, grades and credit earned, degrees awarded and any other pertinent academic information.
  • Petition
    A written request seeking a waiver of or an exception to a university regulation, policy or deadline. Petitions may be considered if the circumstances are beyond the student's control.
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  • Postbaccalaureate
    A student who has earned a baccalaureate degree and been admitted for continued study but who has not been admitted as a graduate or professional student.
  • Preprofessional GPA
    The grade point average achieved in the specific courses required for admission to a major (a.k.a. tracking GPA); these courses generally are completed in the first two years of study and the required GPA is often higher than 2.0.
  • Prerequisite
    A condition that must be met to establish eligibility to enroll in a program or course.
  • Prerequisite Courses
    The courses students must take and successfully complete before they can enroll in a subsequent course.
  • Probation, Academic
    Any undergraduate with less than a 2.0 cumulative UF GPA shall be placed on academic probation while a grade point deficit exists. Refer to deficit points.
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  • Professional Student
    A student who is admitted to pursue a credential classified as professional such as Doctor of Dental Medicine, Juris Doctor, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Pharmacy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.


  • Readmission
    The procedure for a previously enrolled UF student to re-enroll in a degree-seeking status after a break in enrollment of more than three terms; a readmission fee is required.
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  • Registration
    The process by which a student officially selects and enrolls in university coursework.
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  • Residence
    A student’s tenure within the university and/or a specific college or school in campus-based learning opportunities.
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  • Residency
    Classification of students as Florida residents or non-Florida residents for tuition purposes.
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  • Schedule Adjustment
    A period of time following registration before the beginning of classes when students can adjust their course schedules.
  • Schedule of Courses
    A listing of courses offered by semester.
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  • Semester
    A standard academic term (Fall, Spring, or Summer). Refer to term.
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  • Student
    Any individual who is attending or has attended a postsecondary educational agency or institution that maintains academic records.
  • Specialization
    A detailed set of courses and/or semester plan for graduation for an emphasis of study within a major.
  • Student Learning Outcomes | SLOs
    What students are expected to learn by completing a particular major.
  • Summa Cum Laude
    Graduating with highest honors.
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  • S/U Option
    A provision by which a student may elect, with college approval, to enroll in a course, the grade for which is not computed in the grade point average. Grades awarded are S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory). The S grade is equivalent to a grade of C (2.0) or better.  A grade of U does not grant credit for the course.
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  • SUS
    The State University System of Florida. The University of Florida is one of the state-supported universities and colleges in the SUS.
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  • Term
    A period of instruction. During the Fall and Spring, the term is a standard 16-week semester. During the Summer, various shorter length periods of instruction are offered: Summer A and Summer B are six-week terms; Summer C is a 12-week term.
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  • Textbook Adoption
    The process by which textbook requirements are submitted by faculty and displayed online for students to see and to purchase for their courses.
  • Transcript
    An official copy of the student’s complete coursework, grades, credits, and degrees earned at the University of Florida.
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  • Transfer Credit
    Coursework completed at another institution that is accepted at the University of Florida and which may be applicable toward a specific major, minor, or degree.
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  • Transient Student
    A student of another accredited institution who receives permission to register (for one term) as a non-degree-seeking student to earn credit to transfer back to their parent institution.


  • UFID
    A unique eight-digit number that serves as the primary identifier for all university records and transactions. No two people have the same number, and each person has only one UFID.
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  • UF Online
    Bachelor degrees and minors offered exclusively through distance learning.
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  • Unit
    An alternate term for credit. One unit equals one credit.
  • Universal Tracking System and Audits
    UF's academic monitoring system features semester-by-semester plans for each major.
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  • Visiting Student
    A student of another accredited institution who receives permission to register (for one term) as a non-degree-seeking student to earn credit to transfer back to their parent institution.


  • What-If Report
    Exploring possible majors to determine a student's interest and to estimate whether the coursework they have completed meets any of the degree requirements for a specific major.
  • Withdraw
    To drop all courses for a given term. Students are liable for fees and a grade of W will appear on the transcript for each course.
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  • Writing Requirement
    The University of Florida requires all students to complete courses that involve substantial writing and meet specific criteria for a total of 24,000 words. Courses are identified by category in the schedule of courses.
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