Accreditation assesses the quality of an institutions programs in certain
fields. If an institution is accredited it means that their program meets
minimum quality standards and has accepted and is fulfilling its commitment to
Alumnus, Alumnae, Alumni
These three words all refer to a person who has graduated from a particular
college or university. Many alumni are so fond of their former schools that they
donate money to it and continue to participate in its activities.
Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral Degrees
The bachelor's degree is the most common undergraduate degree and is usually
give after four years of higher education. A masters degree is a type of
graduates degree, given after one to two years of additional study beyond the
bachelors. A doctorate degree is given after three to five years of study beyond
getting a master's.
The entire grounds of an institution make up its campus. This includes
classrooms, facilities, dorms, and all of the other buildings that are on the
Courses, Classes, and Credit
Americans frequently use the word class to mean course. If you are asked what
classes you are taking this semester, you should respond with a list of your
courses. "Registering for classes" means choosing the courses you
intend to take each semester. For each course you complete you will receive a
number of credits (generally three or four). A typical four-year undergraduate
degree requires 120 credits. Many universities offer noncredit courses for
alumni and other interested members of the general public.
Faculty are the teaching staff of the institution. These include the professors, associate and assistant professors, lecturers, and
Grade-Point Average (GPA)
The grade you receive in each class is given to you by your professor in the
form of a letter or a number. At the end of the semester you will receive the
number of credits you've earned by completing the courses you enrolled in. Your
credit hours are divided by your grades to determine your grade point average
(GPA). GPAs provide a measure of how well you're doing against a four point
Semester, Trimester, Quarter, Term
These are all periods of time into which the school year is divided. The most
common division is two semesters (fall and spring). In the trimester system a
winter term is added. In the quarter system a summer term is also added.
When you begin your education at one school and then finish it at another that
is because you've changed schools. Changing schools is generally called transferring
from one institution to another.
A transcript is a copy of your academic record which tells which courses you've
taken and what grade you got in each class.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition is a payment or charge for instruction. Fees are one time
services and for the use of equipment or facilities.