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Academic Glossary

  • Academic Advisor: Academic advisors are professional staff who work with students to assist them throughout their academic careers. Academic advisors can aid you in determining your academic progress, selecting courses, evaluating your career and major options, and navigating the academic processes at Auburn University.

  • Academic Year: Auburn's academic year is divided into 3 semesters. We begin with the Fall semester, followed by the Spring semester. Each one of those is 15 weeks long. We also have a Summer semester which is 12 weeks long. (The length of courses may vary. In the summer, we offer 5-week courses and 10-week courses. Please check on the start and end dates of a summer course in order to determine the length of the course.)

  • Add/Drop: The procedure used to alter class schedules after initial registration and through the first week of the semester. During this time, students can adjust their schedule by dropping or adding a course without penalty.

  • Advise Assist: An online program/portal through which students can schedule appointments with their advisors.

  • AP Credit Advance Placement (AP): A national examination through which credit may be awarded in specified subjects. The minimum passing score is required for the awarding of credit applicable toward a degree.

  • AU Access: The student's online portal through which all records, Canvas, transcripts, Add/Drop, Finances, Tiger Scheduler, etc. are located. AU Access can be found at auaccess.auburn.edu.

  • Baccalaureate (Bachelor's): A degree obtained by completing 120+ credit hours. The first 60 hours are usually made up of general education classes and the final 60+ hours consist of major specific coursework.

  • BA: Abbreviation for the Bachelor of Arts baccalaureate degree.

  • BFA: Abbreviation for the Bachelor of Fine Arts baccalaureate degree.

  • BS: Abbreviation for the Bachelor of Science baccalaureate degree.

  • Bulletin: An online resource of academic policies, procedures, college and degree requirements, faculty, and course descriptions, published yearly (but subject to change). Found at bulletin.auburn.edu.

  • Canvas: An on line portal and learning management system through which course materials are presented and assigned. Oftentimes your instructors will use Canvas to relay information to you and send you files, modules, assignments, syllabi, etc. It can be accessed through your AU Access.

  • Commencement: A ceremony that recognizes degree recipients in a given semester; currently there are ceremonies in May, August, and December. Commencement may be commonly referred to as "graduation."

  • Concentration: Something that is assigned to your records depending on your future career and professional school path (for example: Pre-Med, Pre-Pharm, Pre-Vet, etc.). This is not the same thing as a major, but it is tied to the major. It will not show up on your diploma.

  • Core Curriculum: Set of general education courses that all Auburn students must complete.

  • Co-requisite: A course which must be taken at the same time as another course.

  • COSAM: College of Sciences and Mathematics.

  • Course fees: Fees may be charged for some courses to cover the specific costs of their required instructional materials and supplies. Course fees vary for each course.

  • Course Sub Form: A form required when a student wants to substitute a course that deviates from their designated curriculum requirements. Blank forms can be found in 239 Sciences Center Classrooms building.

  • Credit hour: A credit hour is a unit of measurement applied to college coursework. One credit equals approximately one hour of classroom instruction per week. Most college courses are three credits. Credits are also used to calculate tuition and are a factor in a student's grade point average.

  • CRN: Course Registration Number, or the five-digit number assigned to a particular individual course section. This is an important term for course registration.

  • Curriculum Model: These models are provided as guides to help students and advisors plan the individual student's course of study. Students should realize, however, that it might not be possible to schedule every course in the year and semester as presented. There is a separate curriculum model for each concentration and major option within COSAM.

  • CWE or Camp War Eagle: Camp War Eagle is Auburn's summer orientation experience for incoming freshmen and their guests. CWE is a 2-day, 1-night program intended to familiarize incoming students with Auburn's campus, traditions, and numerous student services and programs. Students will also register for their fall classes at this time.

  • DegreeWorks: An online program through AU Access that runs an unofficial degree evaluation online. This degree evaluation checks coursework taken and in progress against degree requirements, and generates a report individual to each student.
  • Drop: Student's removal from a course prior to or after the first week of classes. Students must officially drop from the course by completing established procedures. See an academic advisor for more information. Drop/Withdrawal deadlines are published in the official Auburn Academic Calendar. It is the responsibility of the student to adhere to these deadlines.

  • FERPA: Abbreviation for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. This is a federal law applying to educational agencies and institutions that receive funding under a program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Under FERPA, schools must generally afford students who are aged 18 or over, or are attending a postsecondary institution, access to their education records, an opportunity to seek to have the records amended, and some control over the disclosure of information from the records.
  • Financial Aid: Scholarships, grants, loans, and work assignments, which are awarded to a student to help pay for all or part of college costs. Visit the Financial Aid website for more information.

  • First Year Seminars: First Year Seminars {FYS} help Auburn students make a smooth and successful transition to college life. All FYS courses provide assistance with academic skill development, adjustment to college life, and detailed information on and experience with the functions, support services, and resources of Auburn University.

  • Freshman: An undergraduate student who has earned fewer than 30 semester credit hours.

  • Full-time: Students enrolled for 12 or more credit hours during fall, winter, or summer semesters.

  • GAP: The Grade Adjustment Policy {GAP) can be a great help to students in serious academic trouble. Here are the basics on the policy and our recommendations about how to use it. You may use the GAP a maximum of 3 times on grades of D, F, FA, or U. The grades come out of the calculation of your overall GPA. The original grades still appear on your transcript. If the course is required for your graduation, you must repeat it at Auburn. If the course is not required, you do not have to repeat it. Please see your Academic Advisor for more information-you are required to meet with them in person in order to process a GAP.

  • GPA (Grade Point Average}: The ratio of grade points earned to credits attempted.

  • Grad Check: An official meeting with the student's Academic Advisor that results in a signed Grad Check form that includes a listed plan to complete the remaining degree requirements.

  • Grades: A measurement of achievement in a class. Typical grades are "A," "B," "C," "D" and "F" in college-level courses.

  • Grade of "W": Grade {representing "withdrawn") assigned when a student officially withdraws from a course after the first week of the semester. This does not affect the GPA, but may affect academic standing and eligibility for financial aid. See your academic advisor for details.

  • Hold: A hold can be placed on your account that can restrict you from registering for a variety of reasons. To see if you have any holds, you should log into your AU Access and view your "Registration Status" on the left side of the screen.

  • IB credit: International Baccalaureate Credit that may transfer into college-level credit and is only offered at selected high schools.

  • Junior: An undergraduate student who has earned 60 or more, but fewer than 90, semester hours of credit.

  • Learning Community: Learning communities (LCs) are unique academic opportunities just for first-year students. Each LC is comprised of 19 first-year students who are pre-registered and co-registered into a First Year Seminar and several core courses together, easing both the registration process and social and academic adjustment to college. We offer several themed LCs, categorized by major or interest, in order for everyone to find their place at Auburn.

  • Major: A group of related courses that constitute a focused program of study in a specific area of knowledge.

  • Matriculate: To be admitted into Auburn University.

  • Part-time: Students enrolled in less than 12 credit hours for Fall, Spring, or Summer terms.

  • Peer Advisor: The COSAM Peer Advisors are a select group of COSAM juniors and seniors that serve the students of the College of Sciences and Mathematics. Peer Advisors work in close cooperation with the professional academic advising staff to provide assistance with Mandatory Advising, SCMH 1890-Pre-Health Orientation course, and answering questions during the COSAM student services office hours. Peer Advisors serve students by providing one-on-one advising as well as interacting with COSAM students in group settings.

  • PIN number: This is a unique combination of 6 digits that will be set to 111111 after a student has come in for unblocking by their Academic Advisor.

  • Prerequisite: An academic requirement that must be met before another course can be taken. Prerequisites are listed in the course description that can be accessed from the online Auburn Bulletin.

  • RBD: Ralph Brown Draughon Library. The main campus library.

  • Registration: Process of enrolling for classes, which involves selection of courses by day and hour, and the payment of fees.

  • Scholarship: Money awarded to pay for school-related costs.

  • Semester (Term): Refers to the way an academic year is divided. The academic year consists of three semesters or terms (Fall, Spring, and Summer), each lasting approximately 16 weeks.

  • Senior: An undergraduate student who has completed more than 90 semester credit hours, but has not yet earned a baccalaureate degree.

  • SI: Supplemental Instruction (SI} is a free academic program designed to help students succeed in historically difficult courses. The program provides relaxed, peer-assisted study sessions led by students who have successfully completed the course in a previous semester and want to help other students excel.

  • SLO: Student Learning Outcomes.

  • Sophomore: An undergraduate student who has earned 30 or more, but fewer than 60, semester credit hours.

  • SOS: "Successfully Orienting Students," SOS is Auburn's orientation program for incoming transfer students and their guests. SOS is a one-day orientation program designed to make Auburn's new students feel welcome and introduce them to the many traditions, services, and programs offered on Auburn's beautiful campus. SOS is offered on various dates during the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters.

  • Student Classification: Pertains to full-time, part-time, audit, credit, or non-credit. May also refer to freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior status.

  • Study Partners: Study Partners is Auburn University's official peer tutoring program. It is located in the Learning Commons on the 2nd floor of the Ralph Brown Draughon Library.

  • Student Government Association (SGA): Official representatives of the student body to the administration in matters concerning student life.

  • Term (Semester): A subdivision of the academic year; i.e., Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Fall and Spring are approximately 15 weeks each, with two, 8-week term classes within the full semester. Summer semesters are 10 weeks with a first term of 5 weeks.

  • Time Ticket: A registration time ticket indicates the specific days and times you can register for classes via AU Access. Your time ticket is based on your student classification (junior, senior, etc.) as determined by the number of credits you've earned. You can view your time ticket by logging into your AU Access and viewing your My Academics tab on the left side of the homepage.

  • Transcript: A transcript is a student's official academic record. The transcript contains information about the courses that a student has taken and the grades that have been received in those courses. Students may review their unofficial transcript though AU Access. Students can order official copies of their transcript from the Registrar's Office.

  • Transient: When students want to take courses at another institution other than Auburn, they must complete a transient form (either online or in person, depending on their class). When they take the course elsewhere, they are considered a transient student at that institution.

  • Transfer Credit: Coursework completed at another accredited college. For courses to be evaluated for Auburn credit, an official transcript must be submitted to the Registrar's Office.

  • Unblocking: Mandatory advising, or unblocking as you may hear it called, is what COSAM student MUST do each semester before they can register for courses. Every semester a "block" is put on your account, which prohibits you from registering until you visit your specified advisor. Once you meet with your advisor, you PIN number is set allowing you to register for courses.

  • Unofficial Transcript: A printed record of a student's academic history that contains all courses both past and current, but is not stamped and/or marked "Official" and is not enclosed in a sealed envelope marked "Unofficial if Opened."
  • War Eagle: Battle cry, yell, or motto of Auburn University; can be used as a salutation or term of endearment (often used similarly to "Aloha").

  • Withdrawal: Period of time after the Drop/Add period, but well into the semester, when a student may withdraw from a class. A grade of "W" will appear on his/her transcript. Refunds are not available. Refer to the Academic Calendar each term for the first and last day to withdraw.

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