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Glossary of Terms

Many of the terms we use at the University of Tulsa and in the United States may be different than what you are used to in your home country. This page can be a guide for you during your application process and throughout your academic career here at TU.

ACADEMIC ADVISER – The person assigned to you by your college who helps in planning your course of study.

AUDIT – A class for which you have registered, but for which you will receive no academic credit. The fee is the same as for a course taken for credit. NOTE: Audited courses do not count toward full-time status for Immigration.

CLASSIFICATION – You are classified on the basis of the number of semester hours you have completed. The undergraduate classifications are:
Freshman 0 – 29 hours
Sophomore 30 – 59 hours
Junior 60 – 89 hours
Senior 90 + hours

COLLEGE – A major academic unit of the University. T.U. is divided into six colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, College of Health Sciences, Engineering & Natural Sciences, Graduate, Law.

COURSE NUMBER – The catalog number of each course. Courses numbered from 1001-1990 are primarily for freshmen, 2000-2990 for sophomores, 3000-3990 for juniors, 4000-4990 for seniors, and 7000+ for graduate students. The final number in the course numbers generally states the credit value of the course.

CSAS – The Center for Student Academic Support. This office provides academic counseling and tutoring for students who need additional support.

DEAD WEEK – The week before final examinations each semester. During this week student organizations do not plan any activities; this allows you time to study for final examinations.

DROP – Withdrawing from a course during the semester. A course may be dropped during the first three weeks of a semester with no academic penalty (that is, without it appearing on your transcript). After this date, and until the end of the twelfth week, you can drop a course, but you will receive an entry of “W” (withdraw) on your transcript. A W has no impact on the GPA. In order to drop a course, you must file a written request. Non-attendance of a class does not constitute a drop and a grade of WF (withdraw failing) is figured into your GPA. Remember you must not drop below the number of credit hours required by Immigration.

ELECTIVE – A course that you may choose in order to fulfill degree requirements but is not a specifically required course for your major.

ENROLL – To register for a class (to add yourself or be added to a class).

FACULTY – The university staff responsible for teaching graduate and/or undergraduate academic courses.

FACULTY ADVISER – The faculty member assigned by your college to help you plan your course of study.

GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA) – A general indication of your academic standing. For each credit hour that you earn an A, you receive 4 points; for each credit hour that you earn a B, you receive 3 points; a C, 2 points; a D, 1 point; and an F, 0 points. To compute your GPA, determine the total number of grade points earned, and divide by the total number of credit hours. 

Course 1003 B 3 credit hours x 3 points = 9 points
Course 1092 A 2 credit hours x 4 points = 8 points
Course 1063 C 3 credit hours x 2 points = 6 points
Course 1894 B 4 credit hours x 3 points = 12 points 
12 credit hours 35 points
PA = 35 points / 12 hours = 2.92

INCOMPLETE – A Grade (“I”) given to a student who is doing passing work in a class, but cannot finish the course work by the end of the semester. This grade is given at the discretion of the instructor and only for serious illness or other legitimate extenuating circumstances. The “I” must be removed within the time limits specified by the instructor. Due to immigration regulations, international students are not allowed to receive incompletes. If there is a possibility that you will receive an incomplete, please contact an immigration adviser in the ISS office as soon as possible.

INSTRUCTOR – A university teacher who may or may not hold a Ph.D. in his or her area of expertise. An instructor is ranked below a professor.

ISS – International Student Services. This is the office that provides immigration information, help and general support for all international students at TU.

MAJOR – The specific area of academic study on which you choose to focus. Upon completion of requirements set forth by the university and the specific college, you will receive a degree in your major field of study.

MINOR – An additional, less intensive area of study you may choose to combine with your major.  A minor requires fewer credit hours than a major.

PASS/FAIL – You may take a limited number of courses without receiving a letter grade. Your intent to take a course Pass/Fail must be made in writing to the Records Office within the first three weeks of a semester. A “P” will be recorded on transcript for a grade of C or better; a “D” for a grade of D, and a “F” for a grade of F. A “P” is nor counted in your GPA, but a “D” or “F” is. There are certain restrictions on the use of this option, so consult your academic advising office first.

PLAGIARISM – To use someone else’s words or ideas and claim them as your own. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense and could result in a failing grade or dismissal from the University.

PREREQUISITE – A course that must be taken before you can enroll in a more advanced course. These can be found listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin course descriptions.

PROBATION – If you are admitted on academic probation and do not maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above by the end of the spring semester, you may be dismissed from the university. It is also possible to be placed on probation after being admitted to the university if your cumulative GPA drops below 2.0. Every student’s academic record will be reviewed upon completion of each semester.

PROFESSOR – A university teacher of the highest rank. Typically, a professor holds a Ph.D. in his or her area of expertise and conducts research in this field.

RESIDENT ASSISTANT (RA) – A trained student who supervises residents living in a residence hall. When a minor issue arises in the residence hall, this is the first person a resident should contact for help.

RESIDENT DIRECTOR (RD) – A staff member who oversees a residence hall and supervises its RAs. When a residence hall issue or crisis is serious or cannot be solved by an RA, the RD will be the person to contact.

SEVIS COMPLIANCE OFFICER – This is the ISS staff member who you should contact regarding immigration matters. This person is responsible for ensuring that TU follows all laws, rules, and regulations and remains eligible to host international students and research scholars.

SYLLABUS – A general outline/plan of a course. Some syllabi will be highly detailed while others will be more general. Information that may appear in a syllabus includes the grading scale, attendance policy, reading assignments, exams, upcoming projects and (most importantly) the professor’s office hours and contact information.

TUTOR – This is a person you can hire to help you with a particular course. It is best to hire a tutor through CSAS to ensure that your tutor has been trained and has a strong background in his or her area.

TEACHING ASSISTANT (TA) – A graduate student who is assigned teaching duties. A TA may be assigned to teach a course on his or her own or may assist a professor by teaching a portion of a course.

TRANSCRIPT – Your official academic record. This records all classes for which you have received a letter grade or other letter notation (P – Pass, F – Failure, I – Incomplete, W- Withdrew, WF – Withdrew Failing, AU – Audit), as well as transfer courses (only on the final transcript). Only the Records Office issues transcripts.

***This is only a guide to assist you in understanding academic terms used at The University of Tulsa. For official Academic Policy consult the Undergraduate or Graduate Bulletins.