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Office of the University Registrar

  • Academic Terminology

    ABCDEFGILMOPRSTUWFrequently Asked Questions


    • A.A. 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 general education requirements and the writing requirement.
    • 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 traditional annual cycle of academic terms: Summer B, Fall, Spring, Summer A, Summer C.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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. B.A. is the Bachelor of Arts degree and B.S. is the Bachelor of Science degree. It is awarded upon satisfactory completion of at least 120 credits with an overall C (2.0) average. See majors for complete information.
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    • Calendar, University: An annual publication listing all official dates and deadlines for the academic year.
    • Catalog Year: The year during which the regulations published in a specific edition of the undergraduate catalog apply. A student’s academic year, which begins when the catalog takes effect in the Summer B term, is governed by the regulations for academic requirements published in the catalog in effect at the time the student begins undergraduate studies.
    • Certificate: An organized concentration of study in an approved subject area. Beginning in Spring 2012, university approved certificate programs may be recognized on the student transcript. Non-university approved certificate programs are not recognized on a student transcript although individual courses are reflected.
    • Classification/College: A code indicating a student’s academic level (year) and college affiliation.
    • Combined Degrees: An accelerated program that allows students to count 12 graduate credits toward their undergraduate degree.
    • Common Course Numbering System: A statewide system of course prefixes and numbers developed to facilitate the transfer of credit by identifying equivalent courses.
    • 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.
    • Corequisite: Two courses that must be taken concurrently.
    • Course Sequence: The specified order of enrollment for a series of courses; e.g., ENC 1101, 1102, 1145.
    • 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 entry to a major; these courses are in bold (or otherwise noted) in the undergraduate catalog and on the degree audit.
    • Cum Laude: Graduating with honors.
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    • Deficit Points: The number of grade points below a C average on credits attempted at the university. If the grade point average is less than a 2.0, there is a grade point deficit. Refer to Grade Point Averaging and Deficits.
    • Degree Audit: A computerized evaluation of a student's progress towards completion of a degree. See ONE.UF.
    • Degree Shopping: Exploring possible majors to determine your interest and to estimate whether the coursework you have completed meets any of the degree requirements for a specific major.
    • Dismissal: Students with a grade point deficit of 15 or more will be placed on academic dismissal and will not be permitted further registration at UF.
    • Distance Learning: Online courses that are administered through an e-learning delivery system.
    • Drop: To drop a single course from a given term after the drop/add period. Students are liable for fees for a dropped course.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Electives: Any course not required as part of the general education requirement or a student's major.
    • Enrollment: Registration for coursework and payment of fees constitutes official enrollment.
    • Excess Hours: Credits exceeding a state-specified threshold of the degree requirements. Additional tuition is assessed for credits exceeding this threshold.
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    • FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
    • Flexible Learning: Division of Continuing Education course offerings. Consult the college dean’s office for restrictions and limitations.
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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 because official university communications are sent to this email address.
    • Gator 1 Card: UF’s official university photo identification. All enrolled students must have a university ID card.
    • General Education Requirement: University-wide requirement of basic studies that form the foundation of all undergraduate degree programs.
    • Good Standing: Eligible to continue to register for university coursework.
    • 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).
    • Grade Points: The number of points attributed to a grade (A=4, B=3, etc.) times the number of credits in the course.
    • 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).
    • Graduation Requirements: University-wide and college-specific requirements that must be met for graduation 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: Innovation Academy (IA) is 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.
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      • Magna Cum Laude: Graduating with high honors.
      • Major: A subject of academic study chosen as a field of specialization.
      • 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 drops 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 given term.
      • 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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      • ONE.UF: Enables students to access and manage their records online at ONE.UF.
    • On-track or Off-track: Refers to students who are (or are not) meeting degree requirements each term, according to their majors' critical tracking plans.
    • Ombuds: The university ombuds assists all members of the university community to solve problems and conflicts. He or she will listen, discuss issues, answer questions, interpret policies, provide information and referrals, and help develop options for problem resolution. The ombuds serves as an advocate for fairness for all members of the university community.
    • Overall GPA: Cumulative GPA of UF coursework. (The GPA is 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. For more information, visit
    • 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.
    • 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; 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 you must take and successfully complete before you 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.
    • Professional Student: A student who is admitted to pursue a 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.
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    • 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 one term; a readmission fee is required.
    • Registration: The process by which a student officially selects and enrolls in university coursework.
    • Residence: A student’s tenure within the university and/or a specific college or school in campus-based learning opportunities.
    • 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.
    • Semester: A standard academic term (fall, spring or summer). Refer to term.
    • Student: Any individual who is attending or has attended a postsecondary educational agency or institution that maintains academic records.
    • Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs): What students are expected to learn by completing a particular major.
    • Summa Cum Laude: Graduating with highest honors.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Track: A detailed semester-by-semester plan for graduation or an emphasis of study (i.e., specialization) within a major.
    • Transcript: An official copy of the student’s complete coursework, grades, credit and degrees earned at the University of Florida.
    • 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.
    • 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 his or her parent institution.
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    • 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.
    • UF Online: UF Online offers bachelor degrees exclusively through distance learning.
    • Universal Tracking System and Audits: UF's academic monitoring system, feature semester-by-semester plans for each major.
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    • 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.
    • Writing Requirement: The University of Florida requires all students to complete courses that involve substantial writing for a total of 24,000 words. Courses are identified by category in the schedule of courses.
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