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Undergraduate Studies

Osprey Glossary

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Your guide to important university academic terms and definitions to help you navigate the college landscape.

List of terms and their descriptions regarding UNF and advising
Term Description
Academic Advisor University staff member who assists students with degree progression and timely completion of academic and personal goals. Advisors are assigned to students.
Academic calendar Provides essential information such as class start and end dates, tuition deadline, registration periods, when grades will be posted, and graduation dates, as well as various other deadlines.
Academic Coaching Coaching services are offered to all students to help you become a better student. Coaching sessions are one-on-one appointments with mentors. Our coaches are all trained in every topic we offer and come from a wide variety of majors. This one-on-one approach allows us to personalize each session by addressing your individual difficulties and needs. Coaches will develop a plan of action with a clear, quantifiable goal. In this way, no two coaching sessions are the same. Academic coaching topics currently include study skills, time management, public speaking, and preparing for finals.
Academic Degree Plan A “roadmap” created by every first-semester student with their advisor to help ensure that you understand the requirements of your chosen degree, including pre-requisites and General Education requirements. An academic degree plan is a tentative outline showing you a plan for how you can be successful and fulfill your degree requirements on time.
Academic standing A student’s cumulative institutional academic performance at the end of an academic term. Academic standing determines a student’s eligibility to progress at UNF. See definitions below for: Good standing; Probation; Suspension.
Academic year The period that comprises one full year of classes, a consecutive summer, fall and spring term.
Add/drop period Time frame when students can drop or add courses to their schedule without penalty. This occurs the first five days of each term/session (excluding Saturday and Sunday).
Associate of Arts (AA) degree Undergraduate degree that generally requires two years of full-time study to include 60 earned credits, completion of general education requirements and a 2.0 GPA. Refer to your academic advisor for the full requirements and eligibility.
Bachelor’s degree Undergraduate degree that generally requires four years of full-time study to include 120 earned credits and completion of all university and declared major requirements. Refer to your academic advisor for the full requirements and eligibility.
Canvas UNF’s learning management system which houses instructors’ materials, assignments, and coursework
Career Services A UNF office that offers specialized services to help students begin successful and fulfilling careers. Services include career aptitude assessments, career counseling, resume assistance, interview preparation and recruiting and networking events as a student or alumni of UNF.
Catalog Contains a description of the various academic degree programs, course offerings, degree requirements, policies, regulations, and related matters intended to be in effect during that specific academic year.
Classification Level of a student. Freshman: student with 0-29 earned credit hours. Sophomore: student with 30-59 earned credit hours. Junior: student with 60-89 earned credit hours. Senior: student with 90+ earned credit hours.
College Credit The type of credit assigned to courses or course equivalent learning that is part of an organized and specified college degree and/or program.
Commencement The commencement ceremony (often called graduation) is a celebratory even where new graduates are recognized for earning their degrees. Students must apply to receive their degree and participate in commencement.
Contact Hour A unit of measure that represents one hour of scheduled instruction given to students. (50 minutes in class equals 1 contact hour for college credit courses).
Core course Courses that provide the foundation of the degree program and are required of all students seeking that degree.
Co-requisite A course requirement that must be met at the same time with another course.
Course Instructional Method Courses at UNF can be delivered in a variety of ways, including online, in-person, hybrid, and more. You can identify the instructional method for each of your class by logging into the UNF Student Registration System and navigate to Class Details. Visit this pagefor details
Course Learning Outcome What students are expected to learn by completing a particular course.
Credit hour Unit of measure for college credit course work. Except for laboratory, music and studio art courses, a credit hour typically corresponds to 50 minutes of class instruction per 16-week term. Most classes are 3 credit hours.
CRN Stands for course reference number. The 5-digit unique identifier associated with a course section within a specific academic term. Appears on the schedule of classes and is used for registration.
Dean’s list Students who have completed 15 credit hours at UNF and have a term GPA of 3.5 or higher for at least nine credit hours are eligible for the Dean’s List. The Dean's List designation is noted on the academic transcript for each term in which it applies.
Degree evaluation An electronic document that allows students to track their academic progress towards degree completion. Your personalized degree evaluation can be accessed anytime in the myWings student portal.
Departments Academic division specializing in an academic area of study like Accounting, English, Engineering or Psychology. Adepartment chairis a faculty member who manages each department and can act as a liaison between faculty, students, and administration.
Distance learning Classes conducted fully online and will not usually have specific meeting days or times listed. You will be able to access the class material at any time (typically through Canvas), but you will still need to make sure you are meeting listed deadlines for the class. At UNF there could be additional fees for distance learning classes.
Double/multiple majors A student who satisfies requirements for two or more majors within the same college. Two or more diplomas will be awarded, and all majors will be indicated on their permanent record/transcript.
Dual degree A student who satisfies requirements for two different baccalaureate degrees (e.g., Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science). Two diplomas and both degrees will be awarded and indicated on their permanent record/transcript.
Electives Courses that students are allowed to choose based on their own interests and contribute toward the successful completion of a degree. Electives can be offered within or outside of one's degree program. Consult with your academic advisor regarding electives.
Exploratory A student enrolled in courses but has not yet chosen a major. Students are encouraged to declare a major by the completion of 30 credit hours of credit and are required to declare a major by the time they have earned 60 credit hours in order to continue enrollment
Externship Any short-term, supervised work experience specifically related to a student’s declared major, for which the student earns academic credit. Externship is typically shorter than internship and unpaid.
Final Exam Test taken at the end of the term that could include subject matter from the entire course. Final exams in fall and spring term could be scheduled outside the typical course meeting time. Check the course syllabus for information about your course final exam.
First Gen First-gen is short for first generation and is a student whose parents or legal guardians have not earned a bachelor's degree. In other words, you are “first gen” if you are the FIRST in your family to attend and graduate from college!
FYA First Year Advising (FYA) is required for all incoming UNF students and gets you started out right on your Osprey journey!
FYE First Year Experience (FYE) is designed around immersive, enhanced experiences laying the right foundation for your success throughout your UNF career. The FYE is a student-centered initiative designed to assist first-year students in making a successful transition to UNF and to prepare you to make the most of your college experience.
General Education Requirements (GER) Core of courses designed to develop skills, attitudes and understanding in broad discipline areas: social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, mathematics, and communication.
Gordon Rule  Florida law that requires inclusion of writing requirements and computational skills in certain courses.
Graduation Certification the process for reviewing and clearing to UNF undergraduates to graduate. This is done by your academic advisor at the conclusion of the semester you are tentatively scheduled to graduate.
Hold a “Hold” placed on student account prevents them from being able to register at their specified registration appointment time.Note:The only way holds may be removed is by you taking action to remove them. To do so, you must contact the office(s) that implemented the hold. Be sure to check your registration status in enough time to remove any holds before your registration appointment.
Independent study An academic course that allows students to earn credit for work done outside the normal classroom setting. The reading or research assignment can be designed by the students themselves or with the help of a faculty member, who monitors the progress.
Internship  Any short-term, supervised work experience specifically related to a student’s declared major, for which the student earns academic credit. Internship may be paid or unpaid.
Lecture/Laboratory Combination Courses that combine lecture and laboratory concurrent instruction in which the student receives one end-of-term grade. Denoted with a “C” suffix.
Limited Access Admissions policy with specific limitations based on available resources, such as faculty, student-to-instructor ratios, instructional facilities, equipment, state licensure requirements, and/or other related criteria specified by each program. Some limited access programs require additional tests for admission, which may include, without being limited to, specific personal and/or professional background criteria, such as GPA, a criminal background check, drug screening, medical examination, and/or professional licensure or certification. Applicants to a limited-access program must submit an application and be accepted according to specific admission requirements, in addition to a separate limited-access application.
Full-time student The minimum for full-time enrollment is 12 or more credit hours a term. Students are encouraged to take 15 credits a term to stay on track for 4-year graduation. Full-time status could impact financial aid, scholarships/grants, insurance, and other matters.
General education A core of 36 hours of specific courses designed to develop skills, attitudes and understanding in broad discipline areas.
Good standing The category of Academic Standing that indicates acceptable progress. Undergraduate students who possess a total institutional GPA of 2.0 or above are in good academic standing. Certain programs such as teacher education and others may have more strict GPA requirements.
Grade forgiveness Grade forgiveness replaces an undesirable grade in a course, and the GPA is re-averaged using the new grade. An undergraduate student may use grade forgiveness twice; however, an unlimited number of courses may be repeated, though subsequent grades will be averaged in the cumulative GPA. Grade forgiveness applies only to courses taken and repeated at UNF. Grade forgiveness requests are submitted by the student in their myWings account and must be completed after the student has earned a new grade in the course.
Grade point average (GPA) GPA is calculated at UNF on a 4-point scale, and grades for each course are converted to a numeric value (A = 4.00, A- = 3.70, B+ = 3.30, etc.). These values are then averaged together (quality points divided by credit hours attempted) each term and used to indicate academic progress. Term, Institutional, Transfer and Cumulative GPA will appear on the academic transcript.
Hybrid Hybrid courses provide a mixture of in person and online learning activities. UNF normally defines a Hybrid course as one in which at least 50 percent, and not more than 79 percent of the direct instruction of the course, is delivered using some form of technology.
Major The subject or field of study in which the student plans to specialize. For example, one "majors" in Accounting, Communication, Health Administration, Sociology, etc. UNF offers 65 majors with over 70 different concentrations. There are often opportunities within your major to do research or pursue a subfield of interest.
Matriculate To be enrolled at a college or university. The first term in which a student has academic history or registration is referred to as matriculation term.
Midterm The half-way point of a term. Professors may choose to give a midterm exam.Midterm gradesare available in myWings. A grade of Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U) is assigned at the midpoint of the academic term that indicates a student performance in the course section as of that date.
Minor An option within a degree program for students to have a secondary focus in a subject area which requires less coursework necessary for a major. Some degree programs require a minor; for others, a minor is optional, but can be used to complement your major area of study.
myWings University of North Florida’s web portal, providing students and other members of the UNF community a single secure point of entry to UNF web-based resources. Students use myWings to access their UNF email, register for courses, view their bill, contact their advisor, see their schedule and academic transcript, view and clear holds, submit forms and petitions, access Canvas, and many other important student tools and resources.
Office hours Professors are typically required to keep weekly office hours during which they are available to students. Students can use these office hours to schedule a meeting with an instructor to review specific questions or concerns
One Stop Student Services A UNF office that provides a single point of communication for issues ranging from undergraduate admissions, academic records, registration, and financial aid.
Osprey Map Course sequence guide that provides term-by-term sample schedules for undergraduate academic programs. Designed to guide students in the selection of courses for each term. Following the sample schedule and completing the mile marker courses at the appropriate point in the student’s undergraduate career, will facilitate graduation in four years. The Osprey Map should be used in consultation with an academic advisor.
Peer-Assisted Student Success (PASS)  Academic support programs housed in the Office of Student Academic Success Services (SASS) that utilize Peer-Assisted Learning (PASS). PASS leaders are students teaching other students. PASS Leaders have already succeeded in their studies and are trained to help other students achieve better outcomes as well.
Peer tutor An experienced student who offers individual or group academic assistance usually in a specific subject.
Practicum Instruction provided as part of a planned job preparatory program whereby the student is placed on the job for selected occupational experiences under the direct supervision of the professor or job representative.
Prerequisite Courses required to be taken before more advanced courses or before applying to a program.
Probation A category of Academic Standing that applies to students who fail to maintain Good Academic Standing and are referred to an academic advisor. Undergraduate students who possess a total institutional GPA below 2.0 will be on academic probation. Certain programs such as teacher education and others may have more strict GPA requirements. Transcripts will reflect academic probation.
Program Learning Outcome What students are expected to learn by completing a particular program of study.
Registration The official process of adding courses for a specific term. Check the academic calendar for registration dates. Registration is typically completed through the myWings student portal.
Selective Access Programs that have special selection and admission criteria and procedures, which may be obtained from the academic department as listed in the UNF catalog. For more info, visit UNF’s Limited & Selective Access page.
Service Learning Teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with academic learning goals and critical reflection to enrich the student learning experience and teach civic responsibility. At UNF, you can find service opportunities through the Center for Community-based Learning.
Supplemental Instruction (SI) An academic assistance program that utilizes peer-assisted study sessions. SI sessions are regularly scheduled, informal review sessions in which students compare notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools, and predict test items. Students learn how to integrate course content and study skills while working together. The sessions are facilitated by “SI leaders,” students who have previously done well in the course and who attend all class lectures, take notes, and act as model students.
Study Abroad An opportunity for a student to earn academic credit through international or domestic exposure to or immersion in other countries, cultures, and global learning.
Suspension A category of Academic Standing that applies to students whose institutional GPA falls below 2.0 at the end of the academic term in which they were placed on Academic Probation. Students on Academic Suspension will be dropped from courses for which they are registered. The duration of suspension varies by college.
Syllabus A document prepared by the instructor that states basic information about plans for a particular course in a particular term. Includes such things as textbooks required, office hours, test dates, assignments, chapters to be covered, learning objectives, etc. Students usually receive a syllabus for a course from the instructor at the beginning of each term.
Term (semester) A portion of an academic year in which instruction takes place. There are three academic terms: summer, fall, and spring.
Term forgiveness Term forgiveness erases the GPA for an undesirable term of courses. The grades for that term remain on the transcript, but the grades are taken out of the GPA calculation. Term forgiveness may be granted only once. A student granted term forgiveness may not exercise any other grade forgiveness and vice versa. The student must meet with their academic advisor who will submit the Term Forgiveness for the student to accept in myWings.
Time ticket An assigned date and time when a student can begin to register for classes for a given term. Time tickets will be available in myWings portal, usually several weeks before the registration period begins.
Transcript An official listing of a student's academic record which includes courses completed and grades earned. It can be viewed in myWings. An official transcript can be requested through a student’s myWings portal.
Tutoring UNF provides free tutoring in many of the common subjects at UNF in multiple locations. The main tutoring center is located in the Undergraduate Studies suite. We also offer tutoring in the Carpenter Library and the residence halls in the evenings. You may spend as much or as little time as you need working with a tutor. All tutors are UNF students who are trained and highly recommended by UNF faculty to help students in their respective subject areas. Some students have specific questions when they come to tutoring, while others use tutoring as a study hall and ask questions when needed.
Waitlist A term commonly seen during registration periods. Students hoping to enroll in a full class can opt to be placed on a waitlist. This essentially saves a place in line in case spots open from registered students dropping or changing plans.
Withdraw Official process to remove yourself from a course after the add/drop period and before the withdrawal deadline. Withdraw dates are listed in UNF’s Academic Calendar. A grade of “W” will be assigned upon completion of the withdrawal request process, and no refund will be generated. Students seeking advice regarding the academic impact of withdrawing should contact their academic advisor.
Withdraw limit Undergraduate students are limited to a total of six UNF course withdrawals This includes three (3) course withdrawals at the 1000/2000 level and three (3) course withdrawals at the 3000/4000 level. Unused withdrawals at one level may not be carried forward to another level. After the withdrawal limit is reached, students will not be able to withdraw from additional courses on the UNF registration system.