Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations
The following glossary is provided to explain the academic terms and abbreviations used throughout this catalog.
Academic Forgiveness Policy — policy set forth by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education that allows for the exclusion from the retention grade point average of hours that meet the provisions of either the repeat policy, reprieve policy, or renewal policy.
Academic Overload — more than 19 hours in a semester or 9 hours in a summer term.
Accreditation — approval by a regional or professional accrediting association (e.g., The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools).
Add/Drop — the process by which a student changes his or her class schedule by adding a course, dropping a course, or both.
Advanced Placement — a test taken to determine a student’s level of competency in sequential courses such as mathematics, foreign languages and chemistry. This type of test is designed only to place a student in an appropriate level of classroom instruction and does not award college credit.
Advanced Standing Examination — an examination taken to establish course credit without enrolling in the course.
Advisement — the process of planning a program and selecting courses with assistance from an advisor.
Advisement/Degree Audit (A/DA) — see Degree Navigator (DN).
Application for Graduation — the official form used in applying for graduation. Students apply online through one.ou.edu.
Area of Concentration — a concentration of coursework within the major.
Attempted Hours — total number of credit hours in which a student enrolls and receives a grade of A, B, C, D, F, P, NP, S, U, I, or N.
Audit — to attend a class regularly without receiving credit. Does not count toward full-time enrollment.
B.A. — Bachelor of Arts, the baccalaureate degree typically awarded in the arts and humanities.
B.S. — Bachelor of Science, the baccalaureate degree typically awarded in the sciences, engineering, and health professions.
Baccalaureate Degree — a degree awarded for the successful completion of an approved undergraduate program.
Bachelor's Degree — see Baccalaureate Degree.
Blended Course/Hybrid Course — A course in which instruction is partly delivered face-to-face and partly over the Internet.
Cancellation — an official act to terminate an enrollment before classes start for the term of enrollment.
Catalog — an official publication listing degree programs.
Certification Programs for Teachers — programs to qualify prospective public school teachers to meet Oklahoma state standards.
Checksheet — a concise, one-page description of graduation requirements for a specific undergraduate major.
College — an academic unit of the university, headed by a dean, offering instruction and granting degrees (or degree designations) in several areas of study.
College Office — the office of the college dean.
Combined Cumulative GPA — grade point average based on all courses attempted, both OU and transfer.
Combined Retention GPA — grade point average based on all courses attempted, both OU and transfer courses, minus any courses repeated in accordance with the policy on repeated courses, remedial courses, and PE activity courses.
Commencement — the ceremony at which degrees are conferred.
Complete Withdrawal — official withdrawal from all courses during a specific term or semester.
Comprehensive Examination — a required examination for a non-thesis master’s program that covers all fields of work offered for the degree.
Concurrent Enrollment — simultaneous enrollment in two or more courses, programs, colleges, or campuses of the university.
Conditional Admission — an admission category at the graduate level for students whose grade point average is below that required for full admission, who have coursework deficiencies in the relevant field of study, and/or who have incomplete application materials or lack the additional departmental information required for full admission. At the undergraduate level, students are admitted conditionally if they have incomplete academic credentials.
Confer (a degree) — award, upon successful completion of requirements.
Corequisite — a requirement that one course must be taken in the same term as another course.
Correspondence Study — courses taken for credit by correspondence through the Center for Independent and Distance Learning.
Course — a unit of study for a semester or term.
Credit by Examination — credit earned by advanced standing examination.
Credit Hour — the unit of credit for one hour of lecture per week for a semester or the equivalent.
Curriculum — a program of study.
Dean — chief administrative officer of a college.
Degree — a title conferred upon one who has successfully completed an approved program of study.
Degree Navigator (DN) — system that monitors a student’s progress toward completion of degree requirements. It provides information on coursework completed (both OU and transfer), coursework in progress, degree course requirements remaining, and grade point average. This package replaces the previous Advisement/Degree Audit (A/DA) system.
Diploma — an official document certifying a degree earned.
Dissertation — a written report of research completed in fulfillment of the requirements for a doctoral degree.
Doctoral Degree — a graduate degree awarded for the completion of an advanced course of study emphasizing research, typically requiring 90 hours of course and research work beyond the bachelor’s degree, the completion of an independent research project, and the completion and successful defense of a dissertation.
Drop/Add — see Add/Drop.
Earned Hours — total number of credit hours awarded for completed courses in which the student has earned a passing grade.
Electives — courses taken for credit and grade but not to meet specific major course requirements for graduation.
Enrollment — the process of choosing and officially registering in a set of courses for a semester or term.
Enrollment Fee — the charge paid to enroll in courses.
Enrollment Verification — written confirmation of current or past enrollment for student loan institutions or other companies. Obtained through the Office of Academic Records.
Faculty Advisor — the faculty person assigned to assist the student in program planning and course selection.
Fee — a charge paid by students for services, e.g., course fee, student activity fee, health fee, etc.
Fee Waiver — a reduction in the fees a student must pay to enroll in courses at the university.
Freshman — undergraduate student with fewer than 30 credit hours.
Full Standing — an admission category at the graduate level for those students who meet the requirements for admission to a specific program.
Full-Time Student — an undergraduate student enrolled in 12 or more hours in a semester or six or more hours in a summer term. Graduate students should see the Graduate College section of this catalog.
General Education Requirements — common set of courses or categories of courses that are required of all undergraduate students to complete a degree.
GMAT — Graduate Management Admissions Test administered by the Educational Testing Service and used by some business colleges and schools as one item in the application packet for predicting success in graduate school.
Good Standing — status accorded students who meet certain grade point average requirements.
GPA — grade point average.
Grade Point Average — total grade points divided by total grade point hours.
Grade Point Hours — credit hours attempted for letter graded courses (A, B, C, D, F).
Grade Points — four points for each credit hour of A, three for each hour of B, two for each hour of C, one for each hour of D, zero for each hour of F.
Graduate Coursework — 5000- and 6000-level courses.
Graduate Student — a student who has already earned a baccalaureate degree and who is admitted to the Graduate College and enrolled in Graduate College advanced courses (usually 4000-, 5000- and 6000-level) that could lead to a master’s or doctoral degree.
Graduation GPA — see Retention/Graduation GPA.
GRE — Graduate Record Examination administered by the Educational Testing Service and used by some departments as one item in the application packet for predicting success in graduate school.
Incomplete (I) — a grade that may be given to a student who has not completed all of the requirements for a course prior to the end of the semester or term.
Independent Studies Courses — one-semester, individualized programs of study approved by a faculty instructor and departmental chair.
Junior — undergraduate student with between 60 and 89 credit hours.
Letter Grade — a grade of A, B, C, D or F.
Lower-Division Coursework — 1000- and 2000-level courses.
Major — the subject matter declared for in-depth study.
Major Field — see Major.
Master's Degree — a graduate degree awarded for the completion of an advanced course of study, typically requiring 30 hours of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree.
Matriculate — to initially enroll at a university.
Minimum Degree Requirements — minimum fulfillment of each specific requirement.
Minor — a secondary field of study in addition to the major.
Neutral Grade — a grade which is not used in calculating grade point averages (AU, AW, P, NP, S, U, W, I, N, X).
Oklahoma State System of Higher Education — colleges and universities receiving state funds and governed by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE).
Online Course — A course in which instruction is delivered entirely over the Internet.
Online Enrollment — a Web-based process of choosing and officially registering in a set of courses for a semester or term.
OU Cumulative GPA — grade point average based on all courses attempted at OU.
OU Retention GPA — grade point average based on all courses attempted at OU minus any OU courses repeated in accordance with the policy on repeated courses, remedial courses, and PE activity courses.
Overload — see Academic Overload.
Pass/No Pass Grade Option (P/NP) — a neutral grade option selected by students for individual courses. Individual colleges may or may not accept the P/NP option.
Petition — a formal, written request, which, if approved, will allow modification or waiver of a specific requirement.
Placement Examination — a non-credit examination taken to determine the level in which a student should enroll in a sequential series of courses. This examination does not award college credit.
Planned Program — an individualized degree program designed by a student in consultation with faculty and/or degree college advisors in lieu of a regular major.
Post-Master's Coursework — coursework completed after a master’s degree is conferred.
Prerequisite — a requirement, usually credit in another course, which must be met before a particular course can be taken.
Probation — an academic warning that a student is in academic difficulty, which could lead to suspension from the University. Undergraduate students may be placed on academic probation for an indefinite period of time by the university if they do not meet the requirements outlined in this catalog under the section called Scholastic Regulations and Standards.
Probationary Enrollment — enrollment on probation.
Proficiency Examination — see Placement Examination.
Provisional Admission — a temporary admission category which should not exceed 120 days. Note: This policy applies only to the College of Professional and continuing Studies.
Registration — consists of advisement through the college office, enrollment in courses, and payment of tuition and fees.
Repeat Policy — policy for undergraduate students set forth by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education that allows for the exclusion from the retention GPA of hours of repeated courses in which the original grade was a D or F up to a maximum of four courses, not to exceed 18 hours.
Reprieve — policy for undergraduate students set forth by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education that allows for the exclusion from the retention GPA of hours in one semester, or two consecutive semesters, that have been petitioned and approved in accordance with the guidelines of the policy.
Resident Status — the classification of students as either in-state or out-of-state for admission and tuition purposes.
Retention — eligibility for continued enrollment.
Retention/Graduation GPA — grade point average computed excluding those courses repeated or reprieved, in accordance with the academic forgiveness policy, as well as remedial and PE activity courses and used to determine a student’s eligibility to enroll in classes and to graduate.
Satisfactory (S) — passing neutral grade in courses graded on an S/U basis.
Satisfactory–Unsatisfactory Graded Courses (S/U) — courses selected by departments to be graded without letter grades.
Scholarship — a cash award or tuition waiver awarded to a student.
Semester — a 16-week academic session.
Semester Credit Hour — see Credit Hour.
Semester GPA — grade point average based on all courses attempted during a single semester at OU.
Senior — undergraduate student with 90 or more credit hours.
Senior Institution — a college or university offering baccalaureate degree programs.
Senior Vice President and Provost — the chief academic administrative officer of the Norman or Health Sciences Center campus, reporting directly to the university president.
Sophomore — undergraduate student with between 30–59 credit hours.
Special Student — an admission category available to students who are admissible to the university and wish to take courses without pursuing a degree. Undergraduate students are limited to nine hours; graduate students are limited to 24 hours.
Stop-Out — a university policy that allows students who have not graduated or been suspended to break their enrollment at the University for no more than one major semester and a summer term and return to the University without applying for readmission. Students may also attend consecutive summer terms without going through the readmission process.
Summer Term —A session of courses beginning after the end of the spring semester and ending prior to the beginning of the fall semester.
Suspension for Poor Scholarship — occurs when a student fails to meet minimum requirements of probation. The student is not eligible to attend classes at the university for one semester and must apply and be approved for readmission in order to re-enter the university.
Thesis — a written report of research or creative activity completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements of a course or degree.
TOEFL — Test of English as a Foreign Language administered by the Educational Testing Service and used to determine the level of English proficiency for students for whom English is a second language.
Transcript — a written report of a student’s academic record. An “official transcript” must bear the seal of the university and the signature of an authorized university official.
Transfer Course Equivalent — an OU course that substantially matches the content and credit hours of a transfer course.
Transfer Course Substitution — a transfer course that, while not equivalent to a specific course at OU, is similar enough in content that it may be used to fulfill the requirement that the OU course fulfills. Substitutions are student specific and must be approved by the dean’s office of the student’s degree-recommending college.
Transfer Credit Evaluation — an assessment of a student’s transfer credit, generally performed at the time of admission, in which OU course equivalencies are established (if possible) for individual transfer courses. This evaluation is used by academic advisors in degree checks and student advisement.
Transfer Cumulative GPA — grade point average based on all transfer courses attempted.
Transfer Retention GPA — grade point average based on all transfer courses attempted, minus any courses repeated in accordance with the policy on repeated courses.
Transfer Work — credit earned at another institution.
Tuition — the charge in addition to enrollment fees paid by all students to enroll in courses at the university.
Tuition Waiver — a reduction in the tuition a student must pay to enroll in courses at the university.
Unclassified Student — a graduate student in unclassified status is not a candidate for a degree, nor does unclassified status offer assurance of future admission to a degree program.
Undergraduate — a student enrolled in courses leading to a baccalaureate degree.
Unsatisfactory — non-passing neutral grade in courses graded on the S–U basis.
Upper-Division Coursework — courses numbered 3000 and 4000.
Visitor — an admission category for graduate students in good academic standing in a graduate program at other accredited institutions who wish to take courses at the University of Oklahoma to transfer back to their home campus.
Withdrawal (W) — an official act to terminate a student’s total enrollment for a semester. Also a neutral grade that may be given to a student who withdraws from a course with a passing grade.