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Higher Education / University Glossary

Higher Education Glossary

A-Z list of University definitions, jargon and acronyms

Introduction

Higher education comes with its own set of terminologies, acronyms and jargon that can often leave students and educators feeling confused.
That's where a Higher Education Glossary comes in handy. ۿ۴ý publishes a comprehensive list of over 200 university glossary terms, definitions, jargon and acronyms listed in alphabetical order from A to Z.
This comprehensive guide provides clear definitions and explanations of commonly used terms, ensuring that you can navigate the complex world of higher education with confidence. Whether you are a student just starting out or an experienced educator looking to expand your knowledge, our University Glossary has everything you need to know.
Feel free to suggest missing higher education terms.

Higher Education Glossary


Academic Advising
Academic Advising is the support provided to students by academic advisors to help them navigate… learn more


Academic Calendar
An Academic Calendar is the schedule of important dates and deadlines, such as the start and end of… learn more


Academic Credit
An Academic Credit is a unit of measurement used to quantify the amount of academic work completed… learn more


Academic Governance
Academic Governance is the system of shared decision-making and oversight structures within a… learn more


Academic Integrity
Academic Integrity means the commitment to honesty, ethical behavior and responsible academic… learn more


Academic Probation
Academic Probation means a status assigned to students who fail to meet academic performance… learn more


Academic Staff
Academic staff refers to individuals who are employed by a university to teach, research and/or… learn more


Academic Standards
Academic Standards are the criteria and expectations for academic performance and conduct… learn more


Academic Standing
Academic Standing is a student's overall status with respect to their academic performance and… learn more


Academic Suspension
An Academic Suspension is a disciplinary action taken against a student who has failed to meet… learn more


Academic Term
An Academic Term is a period of time in which academic courses are offered, typically lasting… learn more


Academy
An Academy is a higher education institution that offers specialized training, often in fields… learn more


Academy (academic division)
An Academy is an academic division or subdivision within a college or university responsible for… learn more


Accreditation
Accreditation is the process of evaluating and certifying the quality and standards of an… learn more


Accreditation Agency
An Accreditation Agency is an independent organization responsible for conducting accreditation… learn more


Admission Requirements
Admission Requirements are the criteria and qualifications that must be met by students seeking… learn more


Admissions
Admissions is the process of evaluating and selecting applicants for admission to a college or… learn more


Advanced Placement
Advanced Placement is a program offering college-level courses and exams to high school students,… learn more


Advisor
Advisor is a faculty or staff member assigned to provide academic guidance and support to students… learn more


Advocacy Organization
An Advocacy Organization is a group that advocates for policies and practices that support and… learn more


Alumni Association
Alumni Association is an organization composed of former students of a college or university,… learn more


Articulation Agreement
Articulation Agreement means an agreement between two educational institutions outlining the… learn more


Assessment
Assessment is the process of evaluating learning outcomes to determine the effectiveness of… learn more


Assistantship
Assistantship means a financial aid award that provides a stipend and/or tuition waiver to graduate… learn more


Associate Degree
Associate Degree is a degree granted by community colleges or some four-year institutions upon… learn more


Associate Professor
Associate professor is a faculty rank above assistant professor and below full professor. Associate… learn more


Audit
Audit means to attend a course without receiving credit or a grade. Students may audit a course for… learn more


Bachelor's Degree
Bachelor's Degree is a higher education undergraduate degree typically earned after completing three… learn more


Benchmarking
Benchmarking means a process of comparing an institution's performance against other institutions or… learn more


Board of Trustees
Board of Trustees is a governing body responsible for overseeing the administration and financial… learn more


Bursar
Bursar is a financial administrator responsible for managing student accounts, billing and… learn more


Campus
Campus is the physical location of an institution of higher education, including buildings, grounds… learn more


Campus Housing
Campus Housing means residential facilities on or near a college campus provided for students… learn more


Campus Safety and Security
Campus Safety and Security is a department or office responsible for ensuring the safety and… learn more


Career College
A Career College is a higher education institution that offers practical training in a specific… learn more


Career Fair
Career Fair is an event where employers and job seekers come together to network and discuss… learn more


Career Services
Career Services is an office or department providing resources and assistance to students and alumni… learn more


Center
A Center is an academic division or subdivision within a college or university responsible for… learn more


Certificate
Certificate is a credential awarded upon completion of a program of study in a specific area,… learn more


Certificate Program
Certificate Program is a program of study focused on a specific area of interest that leads to the… learn more


Chancellor
Chancellor is the chief executive officer of a university system or institution. learn more


Class Rank
Class Rank is a student's position within their graduating class based on their academic… learn more


Class Schedule
Class Schedule is a list of courses offered by an institution, including times and locations. learn more


Class Size
Class Size is the number of students in a particular class or course. learn more


College (academic division)
A College is an academic division within a university responsible for offering instruction and… learn more


Commencement
Commencement is a ceremony to mark the completion of a degree program and the awarding of degrees to… learn more


Commencement Speaker
Commencement Speaker is a guest speaker chosen to address graduating students at a commencement… learn more


Common Application
Common Application is an online application used by over 900 colleges and universities to simplify… learn more


Community College
A Community College, also known as Junior College, is a higher education institution that provides… learn more


Conservatory
A Conservatory is a specialized higher education institution that offers training and education in… learn more


Continuing Education
Continuing Education means educational programs designed for adults who wish to continue their… learn more


Cooperative Education
Cooperative Education means a program that combines classroom instruction with practical work… learn more


Core Course
Core Course is a required course in a specific academic program that provides a foundation of… learn more


Core Curriculum
Core Curriculum is a set of courses that all students are required to take regardless of their… learn more


Counselor
Counselor is a professional who provides guidance and support to students in various areas, such as… learn more


Course Catalog
Course Catalog is a publication that lists all the courses offered by a university, including course… learn more


Course Completion
Course Completion means finishing all the requirements for a course, such as attending lectures,… learn more


Course Evaluation
Course Evaluation is a process of assessing the quality of a course and the effectiveness of the… learn more


Course Load
Course Load is the number of courses or credits a student is taking in a given semester or academic… learn more


Course Syllabus
Course Syllabus is a document that outlines the objectives, requirements, assignments and policies… learn more


Course with a major research component
Course with a major research component means a course that involves conducting original research or… learn more


Course Withdrawal
Course Withdrawal means dropping a course before the deadline, usually without any academic penalty,… learn more


Credit Arrangements
Credit Arrangements are agreements between institutions to recognize credits earned at one… learn more


Credit Transfer
Credit Transfer is the process of transferring credits earned at one institution to another… learn more


Credits
Credits are units of academic measurement awarded for the completion of a course, usually based on… learn more


Curriculum
Curriculum means the set of courses and requirements for a degree program. learn more


Dean
Dean is the chief administrative officer of a college or school within a university. learn more


Degree Audit
Degree Audit is a review of a student's academic progress towards completing degree requirements. learn more


Degree Program
Degree Program is a set of courses and requirements leading to a specific degree, such as a… learn more


Degree Requirements
Degree Requirements are the courses and other requirements that a student must complete to earn a… learn more


Department
A Department is an academic division or subdivision within a college or university responsible for… learn more


Department of Higher Education
A Department of Higher Education is a national or local government organization responsible for… learn more


Developmental Courses
Developmental Courses are courses designed to help students develop basic academic skills or to… learn more


Dining Hall
Dining Hall is a campus facility that provides meals to students and other members of the university… learn more


Distance Education
Distance Education or Distance Learning is education or learning that takes place remotely, often… learn more


Distance Learning
Distance Learning or Distance Education is education or learning that takes place remotely, often… learn more


Division
A Division is an academic division or subdivision within a college or university responsible for… learn more


Doctoral Degree
Doctoral Degree is an advanced degree awarded in many fields of study, typically requiring several… learn more


Dormitory
Dormitory is a campus facility that provides housing for students. learn more


Dormitory Advisor
Dormitory Advisor is a staff member who provides guidance and support to students living in a… learn more


Dual Enrollment
Dual Enrollment is the process of enrolling in college courses while still in high school, often… learn more


Educational Opportunity Program
Educational Opportunity Program is a program designed to provide support and resources to students… learn more


Educational Technology
Educational Technology is the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. learn more


eLearning
eLearning means electronic learning, often referring to online or web-based courses. learn more


Elective Courses
Elective Courses are courses that students can choose to take, often outside of their major… learn more


English Language Proficiency
English Language Proficiency is the ability to read, write, speak and understand english at a level… learn more


Enrollment
Enrollment is the process of registering for classes and officially becoming a student at a… learn more


Enrollment Deposit
Enrollment Deposit is a fee required by some colleges and universities to secure a student's spot in… learn more


Enrollment Status
Enrollment Status is a designation of a student's registration status indicating whether they are… learn more


Entrance Exam
Entrance Exam is an assessment test required by some universities to evaluate prospective students'… learn more


Essay
Essay is a written composition required by some colleges and universities as part of the admissions… learn more


Executive Education
Executive Education are non-degree programs offered by universities to provide continuing education… learn more


Extracurricular Activity
Extracurricular Activities are activities outside of the academic curriculum, such as clubs, sports… learn more


Faculty (academic division)
A Faculty is an academic division within a university comprising one field of study and responsible… learn more


Faculty (academic personnel)
Faculty is the academic staff at a college or university who teach courses, conduct research and… learn more


Faculty Advisor
Faculty Advisor is a faculty member who provides academic advising and guidance to students in their… learn more


Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate is a governing body made up of faculty members responsible for making academic policy… learn more


Fellowship
Fellowship is an award granted by a university or external organization to support graduate students… learn more


Field of Education
Field of Education is a specific area of study within the broader field of education, such as… learn more


Field of Study
Field of Study is the specific subject area in which a student is pursuing a degree, such as… learn more


Final Exam
Final Exam is an examination given at the end of a course to assess a student's understanding of the… learn more


Financial Aid
Financial Aid is financial assistance provided to students to help them pay for college, including… learn more


Foreign Language
Foreign Language is a language other than the student's primary language that is taught as part of… learn more


Fraternity
Fraternity is a social organization of male students at a college or university that typically… learn more


Fraternity House
Fraternity House is a residence for members of a fraternity where they live and socialize together. learn more


Freshman
Freshman is a first-year undergraduate student. learn more


Full-time Faculty
Full-time Faculty is academic staff members who are employed by a college or university on a… learn more


Full-time Study
Full-time Study is a designation indicating that a student is taking a full course load and is… learn more


General Education
General Education is a set of courses required of all students in a college or university that… learn more


General Studies
General Studies is a degree program that allows students to take a variety of courses from different… learn more


Governing Body
Governing Body is the group responsible for making decisions and policies that affect a college or… learn more


GPA
GPA means grade point average, a measure of a student's academic performance calculated by averaging… learn more


Grade Distributions
Grade Distributions is a report indicating the distribution of grades received by students in a… learn more


Graduate Assistantship
Graduate Assistantship is a position in which a graduate student provides teaching, research, or… learn more


Graduate Attributes
Graduate Attributes mean the skills and knowledge that graduate students are expected to have… learn more


Graduate Certificate
Graduate Certificate is a non-degree program that provides specialized training and education in a… learn more


Graduate Degree
Graduate Degree is an advanced degree awarded to students who have completed a program of… learn more


Graduate School
A Graduate School is a division of a college or university that offers postgraduate or advanced… learn more


Graduation Requirements
Graduation Requirements are the courses, credits and other criteria that must be met in order for a… learn more


Grants
Grants are financial aid given to students that do not need to be repaid. learn more


Higher Education Award
Higher Education Award is a recognition of achievement or accomplishment in a specific field of… learn more


Higher Education Provider
Higher Education Provider is an institution that offers higher education programs or courses to… learn more


Higher Education Services
Higher Education Services are services that support the academic, social and personal development of… learn more


Honors Program
Honors Program means a program that provides advanced and challenging coursework to high-achieving… learn more


Honors Thesis
Honors Thesis is a research paper or project completed by a student in an honors program. learn more


Housing
Housing is accommodation provided to students by the institution or university they are enrolled in. learn more


Independent Study
Independent Study is a course of study designed by the student with approval from a faculty member. learn more


In-state Tuition
In-state Tuition means tuition rates charged to students who are residents of the state where the… learn more


Institute (academic division)
An Institute is an academic division or subdivision within a college or university responsible for… learn more


Institute of Technology
An Institute of technology is a higher education institution offering education and training in… learn more


Institutional Research
Institutional Research means research conducted by an institution to improve operations, policies… learn more


International Education
International Education means programs and initiatives that facilitate cross-cultural exchange and… learn more


Internship
Internship means work experience related to a student's field of study, often for academic credit. learn more


Joint Awards
Joint Awards mean collaborative awards given by two or more institutions or organizations. learn more


Junior College
A Junior College, also known as Community College, is a higher education institution that offers… learn more


Learning Outcomes
Learning Outcomes are statements that describe the knowledge, skills and abilities that students… learn more


Lecture
Lecture is a method of instruction where the instructor delivers information to a large group of… learn more


Lecture Hall
Lecture Hall is a large classroom designed for lectures and presentations. learn more


Liberal Studies
Liberal Studies are a multidisciplinary approach to education that emphasizes critical thinking,… learn more


Library
Library is a place where students can access resources, including books, journals and electronic… learn more


Major
Major is the primary field of study that a student is pursuing in a degree program. learn more


Master's Degree
Master's Degree is a postgraduate degree that typically requires one to two years of study beyond a… learn more


Matriculation
Matriculation is the process of enrolling in a degree program or institution. learn more


Mentor
Mentor is a faculty member or experienced student who provides guidance and support to a less… learn more


Merit-based Aid
Merit-based Aid is financial aid awarded to students based on their academic achievements or other… learn more


Ministry of Higher Education
A Ministry of Higher Education is a government organization responsible for licensing, overseeing,… learn more


Minor
Minor is a secondary field of study that a student may pursue in addition to their major. learn more


Minority Student Services
Minority Student Services are services and programs designed to support students from historically… learn more


Mode of Delivery
Mode of Delivery is the method used to deliver a course or program, such as in-person, online, or… learn more


Mode of Study
Mode of Study is the schedule and structure of coursework, such as full-time, part-time, or… learn more


National Honor Society
National Honor Society is an organization that recognizes high-achieving high school and college… learn more


Need-based Aid
Need-based Aid is financial aid awarded to students based on their financial need. learn more


Non-degree Seeking
Non-degree Seeking means enrollment in courses without pursuing a degree. learn more


Non-traditional Student
Non-traditional Student means a student who may not fit the traditional mold of a college student,… learn more


Office of Admissions
Office of Admissions is the department responsible for recruiting and admitting students to an… learn more


Office of Disability Services
Office of Disability Services is the department responsible for providing accommodations and support… learn more


Office of International Affairs
Office of International Affairs is the department responsible for supporting international students… learn more


Office of the Registrar
Office of the Registrar is the department responsible for maintaining student records, including… learn more


Online Courses
Online Courses are courses offered entirely online through a virtual platform. learn more


Online Learning
Online Learning are educational opportunities that use the internet to deliver course materials,… learn more


Open Day
Open Day is an event for prospective students and their families to visit a college or university… learn more


Orientation
Orientation is a program or event that introduces new students to the college or university, its… learn more


Out-of-state Tuition
Out-of-state Tuition is the higher tuition rate charged to students who are not residents of the… learn more


Outreach Programs
Outreach Programs are programs that connect the college or university with the community, often… learn more


Overseas Study
Overseas Study means study abroad programs that provide opportunities for students to study in… learn more


Part-time Faculty
Part-time Faculty are instructors who are not employed on a full-time basis but are hired to teach… learn more


Part-time Study
Part-time Study means enrollment in fewer courses than a full-time student, usually with the… learn more


Peer Advisor
Peer Advisor is a student who provides advice and guidance to other students, often related to… learn more


Peer Tutoring
Peer Tutoring is a program in which students tutor other students in a particular subject. learn more


Placement Test
Placement Test is a test used to assess a student's knowledge or proficiency in a particular subject… learn more


Polytechnic
A Polytechnic is a higher education institution offering vocational education and training in… learn more


Postgraduate
Postgraduate refers to a student who has completed a bachelor's degree and is enrolled in a graduate… learn more


President
President is the top executive officer of a college or university, responsible for overseeing its… learn more


Presidential Scholarship
Presidential Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship awarded to students who demonstrate… learn more


Principal Investigator
Principal Investigator is the lead researcher on a grant-funded research project, responsible for… learn more


Professional Degree
Professional Degree is a degree that prepares students for a specific profession, such as law,… learn more


Professional Development
Professional Development means activities designed to improve a professional's skills, knowledge and… learn more


Professional School
A Professional School is a higher education institution that offers advanced programs in fields such… learn more


Provost
Provost is the chief academic officer of a college or university, responsible for overseeing its… learn more


Public Ivy
Public Ivy is a public college or university that is considered to provide an education comparable… learn more


Qualifications Authority
A Qualifications Authority is an organization that oversees the development, implementation and… learn more


Quality Assurance Agency
A Quality Assurance Agency is a public or private organization that assures the standards and… learn more


Recognition of Prior Learning
Recognition of Prior Learning is the process of granting academic credit or recognition for prior… learn more


Recreational Facilities
Recreational Facilities are facilities on a college or university campus that are designed for… learn more


Rector
Rector is the head of a university, typically used in european institutions. learn more


Rectors Council or Conference
Rectors councils and conferences are organizations that bring together university rectors to discuss… learn more


Registrar
Registrar is the official responsible for maintaining student records and academic policies. learn more


Research Assistant
Research Assistant is a student or staff member who supports the research efforts of a faculty… learn more


Research University
Research University is a university that emphasizes research, often with graduate programs and… learn more


Residence Hall
Residence Hall is a dormitory or housing facility for college or university students. learn more


Scholarship
Scholarship is financial aid awarded to students based on merit, need, or other criteria. learn more


School (academic division)
A School is an academic division or subdivision within a college or university responsible for… learn more


Semester
Semester is a division of the academic year, typically lasting 15-16 weeks, during which courses are… learn more


Seminary
A Seminary is a higher education institution that offers courses in theology, religious history,… learn more


Service Learning
Service Learning means an approach to education that integrates academic learning with community… learn more


Sorority
Sorority is a social organization for women in college or university, often with a focus on… learn more


Student Affairs
Student Affairs is the department or division of a college or university responsible for student… learn more


Student Attrition Rates
Student Attrition Rates mean the percentage of students who withdraw or drop out of an educational… learn more


Student Center
Student Center is a central hub on a college campus that provides a variety of services and… learn more


Student Cohort
Student Cohort is a group of students who enter a program or university together and progress… learn more


Student Completion Rates
Student Completion Rates is the percentage of students who successfully complete an educational… learn more


Student Loan
Student Loan is a type of financial aid that must be repaid, often with interest, after a student… learn more


Student Union
A Student Union is an organization that represents and advocates for the interests and rights of… learn more


Study Abroad
Study Abroad is a program that allows students to study in a foreign country, often for a semester… learn more


Subject
Subject is a specific area of study within a larger field, such as english literature or chemistry. learn more


Support Staff
Support Staff are employees of a university who provide administrative and logistical support to… learn more


Syllabus
Syllabus is a document outlining the course objectives, topics, assignments and expectations for a… learn more


Tenure
Tenure is a status granted to a faculty member at a university, which provides job security and… learn more


Thesis
Thesis is a research paper or project that a student completes as a requirement for a degree. learn more


Trade School
A Trade School is a higher education institution that offers practical training in a specific trade,… learn more


Transcript
Transcript is a record of a student's academic coursework and grades. learn more


Transfer Credit
Transfer Credit is credit for coursework taken at one institution that is accepted by another… learn more


Trimester
Trimester is an academic term that lasts for three months, typically used in schools with a… learn more


Tuition
Tuition is the cost of attending a university, which covers instructional fees and other charges. learn more


Undergraduate
Undergraduate is a student pursuing a bachelor's degree, typically in their first four years of… learn more


University Alliance
A University Alliance, similarly to a University Association, refer to a group of regional or global… learn more


University Association
A University Association is an organization of multiple universities sharing common goals and… learn more


University Club
A student or faculty organization focused on shared interests or hobbies within higher education… learn more


University President
University President is the highest-ranking administrator of a university, responsible for… learn more


University Rankings Organization
A University Rankings Organization is an entity that ranks universities based on a ranking… learn more


University Society
Universities Society is a collective organization or group formed within a university or higher… learn more


Vice-chancellor
Vice-chancellor is an administrator at a university who serves as the chief executive officer in the… learn more


Vice-chancellors Council or Conference
Vice-chancellors councils or conferences are organizations that bring together university… learn more


Vocational School
A Vocational School is an educational institution that offers practical training in a specific… learn more



Please feel free to submit missing university or higher education-related terms, academic jargon and commonly used acronyms.


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