Glossary of Terms

Following is a quick reference of terms students, staff and faculty at UAF may encounter. Please make sure that you are familiar with these terms and their implications.


Academic Advising — Process wherein staff or faculty academic advisors and students engage in a mutually beneficial series of interactions culminating in reasonable and obtainable educational plans. Academic advising is mandatory for all undergraduate degree-seeking students. Students must meet with their academic advisor each semester, except summer semester, before they will be allowed to register for upcoming semester courses.

Academic Advisor — Staff or faculty member who assists students with their educational planning and academic goals. All UAF undergraduate students are assigned an academic advisor.

Academic Bankruptcy – Students who have not attended the university for a minimum of two years may elect to delete past UAF academic work from their GPA and start over. There are specific requirements for this process. Contact the Office of Admissions at 474-7500 for more information.

Academic Disqualification — see Disqualification, Academic

Academic Probation – A student in good standing who earns a semester GPA of less than a 2.00 will be placed on academic probation and are limited to a maximum of 13 credit hours.

Accreditation — An endorsement given to educational institutions or academic degree programs by an organization that reviews qualifications. UAF is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

ACCUPLACER — UAF-approved comprehensive computer-adaptive placement test. ACCUPLACER may be used as an admissions requirement for associate or certificate degree students that do not have ACT or SAT scores, and is used for placement into UAF English courses.

ACT – See Testing Section

Active Military — Full time duty in military service, including Reserve when serving on active duty or in full-time training receive resident tuition rate per proof with active military ID and submission of “application for resident tuition”.

Adding a Class  – Students may add classes, without the need for instructor approval, until the last day of late registration (the second Friday after classes start). A student may add a class late with the instructors written permission.

ASSET Test – Paper-based placement test originally designed for two-year degree/certificate students. This placement test can only be used for English placement and not longer is accepted for math placement.

Admissions Policy — Associate or certificate programs

Bachelor’s Degree Programs –  Students with a high school diploma who passed the 16 credit high school core with a gpa of 2.50 or higher; and overall high school gpa of 3.00 (or overall high school gpa of 2.5 or higher; and have ACT Composite score of 18 or SAT total score of 1290 (includes writing section); and submitted ACT or SAT test results that are less than 2 years old. Those who do not meet the minimum qualifications may be admitted  into pre-major status.

Occupational Endorsement, Certificate or Associate Degree Programs –  Students 18 years old or older; or have a high school diploma; or have a General Education Development (GED) diploma.

AHEAD — Early admission into a degree program for high school students while simultaneously completing secondary requirements. Students who wish to apply to the AHEAD program may obtain a program application from the Office of Admissions and the Registrar.

ACT (American College Testing) — The ACT Plus Writing test is the preferred admissions requirement for baccalaureate students and is a UAF approved placement test.

AKCIS (Alaska Career Information System) — An online career planning resource that includes Alaska and in some cases, Fairbanks, job salary and employment outlook information.

ALEKS (Assessment & Learning in Knowledge Spaces) — An online artificially intelligent adaptive math tutoring program in use by Developmental Education and Student Support Services.

ALEKS PPL (Placement, practice and learning component of ALEKS) — New math placement assessment test, effective Fall 2014, that covers material from basic math to pre-calculus and is required for placement into math courses and serves as prerequisite for other courses.

AP (Advanced Placement) — College-level courses taught in high school through the College Board. Students who complete an approved UAF AP course and take the AP test with a satisfactory score may obtain UAF credit for that subject.

ASSET — UAF-approved paper-and-pencil placement test. ASSET may be used as an admissions requirement for associate or certificate degree students, who do not have Accuplacer, ACT or SAT scores, and  may be  used for placement into some developmental and college level English courses at UAF.

Associate of Arts (AA)  – Degree’s general program base  can fulfill  the baccalaureate Core curriculum requirements and can provide a seamless route to baccalaureate degrees.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) — Degrees that are awarded in specific occupational fields with emphasis on entering the job market. This degree, usually seen as a terminal degree, can serve as the basis for additional education and is at least 60 credit hours.

Associate of Science (AS) — Degree with an emphasis on the sciences that includes much of the baccalaureate Core curriculum and Bachelor of Science degree requirements and is currently offered only through the UAF Interior Aleutians Campus.

Audit (AU) – Students who want to enroll in one or more courses for informational purposes may only register as an auditor if space is available and auditing is permitted in the class. An instructor may impose attendance requirements and can award a “W” for failing to attend. Standard tuition and fees are paid for the course, but the audit credit is not included in the computation of credit load or the students GPA.   If the student has audited a class, they cannot request local credit by exam for that class for a period of at least one year.   A student may elect to take a course for informational purposes only. The student is not required to turn in coursework and will not receive credit or a grade for the class.


Baccalaureate Degree —A degree granted to those students who have successfully completed a minimum of 120 credit hours of general university requirements and coursework in a major field of study. (Bachelor’s Degrees)

BANNER – Computer information system that maintains student database at as well as financial aid, human resource and purchasing components.


Chancellor’s List – An academic honor given to those undergraduate students who have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours with letter grades in a semester with a GPA of 4.00.

Change of Major — Students may change majors by completing a Change of Major Form (as long as they meet departmental entry requirements). The Office of Admissions and the Registrar processes the change for the term in which it is submitted. Newly admitted students and students requesting a level change (associate to bachelor degree or certificate to associate degree) must contact Admissions for specific instructions on the process to change their major.

Class Standing – Determined on the basis of credits earned:

Freshman 0 – 29 credits / Sophomore 30-59   / Junior 60 – 89 credits / Senior 90+ credits

CLEP — College Level Examination Program — CLEP is a national testing program that awards college credit for some introductory college-level courses. Consult the catalog or contact Testing Services 474-7522 for a current list of CLEP exams that UAF accepts.

Contact Hours – The measurement of class hours.   Example:  a 3-credit class would meet for 3 hours each week.-

Continue on Probation – If a student is already on probation and the current semester or cumulative GPA is below 2.00 the student, with the support of an advisor, may ask the dean of the college/school to continue them on probation.   If the dean agrees, there are usually conditions set that the student must meet.

Course Load – The total number of credit hours the student has enrolled in for a semester.  The average course load for UAF students to finish a bachelor’s degree in 4-years is 15 credits.

Credit by Exam – An exam may be taken and credit given for demonstrated understanding/experience in a particular area.

Credit Hour — Example: a 3-credit class would meet for 2,900 minutes of lecture (3 hours a week, plus at least 1,600 minutes of study outside of class time.

Credit/No Credit Option  – Is an option for completion of a course for credit only and cannot be used for a degree program requirement. A letter grade is not awarded. One “free elective’ course per semester can be taken under this option. A form must be filled out and submitted to the Registrar.

Cum Laude — Students graduate with honors with the distinction of cum laude if the overall cumulative GPA is 3.5 but less than 3.75.


Dean’s List – An academic honor given to those undergraduate students who have completed a minimum of 12 credits with letter grades in a semester with a GPA of 3.50 or higher.

Degree Audit/DegreeWorks – A review by the Graduation Office to assess the student’s progress towards a degree. DegreeWorks, accessible by all admitted degree students, is where students, staff and faculty advisors can take a look at the students unofficial degree audits to see what courses/requirements are missing towards graduation. checks may be requested after a baccalaureate student has completed 85 credit hours; after 30 credits for an associate student; or the final semester of a certificate student.

Directed Study – course numbers ending in -97 which allows a students to contract with an instructor to enroll individually in a course that exits in the catalog, outside of regularly-scheduled sections of the course in a given semester. The student and faculty instructor must fill out a form ( and submit to the Registrar.

Disqualification, Academic – A student on academic probation whose academic semester cumulative GPAs are less than 2.0 at the end of spring semester will be disqualified from attending degree seeking study. Disqualified students may continue their enrollment at UAF only as a non degree seeking student and are limited to a maximum of 10 credits, and must register in person.   They also must complete (with a C- or higher) a certain number of credits as a non-degree student prior to being readmitted to a degree program. Example:   6 credits prior to reapplying to a 2-year program or 9 credits for a Bachelor’s degree. Academically disqualified student are not eligible for financial aid.

Dropping a Class – A drop/add form (available from the Registrar’s Office or at is to be completed by the student, signed by the student’s advisor, and submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the third Friday after the first day of instruction.


Electives – Courses that a student may choose to take outside of the general university requirements and the major field of study. Any courses the student takes at the 100-level or above with a C- or higher that do not meet specific degree requirements may be used as electives toward earning a degree.


FERPA (The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)  – Deals specifically with the educational records of students, affording them certain rights with respect to those records.   For more information go to

Full-Time Student – An undergraduate who is enrolled for 12 or more credit hours per semester or a graduate student who is enrolled for 9 or more credit hours.


General Studies — Students admitted into General Studies are baccalaureate students who are exploring majors of interest or have not decided upon a major. Students cannot graduate in General Studies and must declare a major with 75 or more earned credits.

General University Requirements – GUR also known as GER, General Education Requirements. Those courses/credits that are required of all students for graduation.

Good Standing – A student who has both a semester and cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better is in good standing.

Grade Point Average (GPA) – Calculation of the GPA is done by dividing the number of UAF grade points earned by the number of credits attempted (excluding W, I. DF, AU, etc.)

A list of letter grades and their numerical values follows:

A+ = 4.0 grade points

A = 4.0 grade points

A-= 3.7 grade points

B+ = 3.3 grade points

B = 3.0 grade points

B- = 2.7 grade points

C+ = 2.3 grade points

C = 2.0 grade points

C- = 1.7 grade points

D+ = 1.3 grade points

D = 1.0 grade points

D- = 0.7 grade points

F = 0 grade points

Graduation – Upon successful completion of all academic requirements a student becomes eligible for graduation. Students must apply for graduation with the Graduation Office by the stated deadlines.


Honors Course — Classes open to students admitted into the Honors Program. These courses have a maximum of 20 students enrolled and some honors courses may be open to non-honors students with permission of the Honors Program Director.

Housing (Residence Life)  – The University provides (for fee) housing for single and married students, faculty, and staff.

Humanities — A course designated with an “h’ has course content in the traditional Humanities disciplines of art, drama, languages, linguistics, literature, humanities, music and philosophy.


Incomplete Grade (I) – A temporary grade used to indicate that the student has satisfactorily (C- grade or better) completed the majority of work in a class, but for personal reasons has been unable to complete the class. The student has up to one academic year to complete the work, or the “I’ automatically changes to a “F’ failing grade. The instructor must submit a change of grade form to update the “I” status.

Individual Study — course numbers ending in -97 are individual study courses which provide students with opportunities to improve knowledge in courses of study which is not normally available. The student and faculty instructor must fill out a form ( and submit to the Registrar.


Late Start Class — Any course that has a start date after the late registration and before the end of the semester.

Lower Division Courses – These courses, numbered from 100 to 299, are generally considered introductory classes. 100-level classes are typically freshman level and 200-level classes are considered sophomore level.


Magna Cum Laude — students graduate with honors with the distinction of magna cum laude if the overall cumulative GPA is 3.75 or higher.

Major – Designated program of study. (See specific department).

Math and Statistics Lab – Coordinated by the Department of Mathematical Sciences, tutorial help is available for students. See for Math lab hours (Dept. of Mathematical Sciences).

Minor – Secondary program of study in a designated field. (Check under each specific degree to see if a minor is offered.  If a students degree requires that they have a minor they must declare the minor and get approval prior to graduation.


Natural Science — A 4-credit hour course with a laboratory that meets the Core Curriculum requirement by preparing students for lifelong learning in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, earth science, physics). A course designated with a “n’ is directly defined by the major models or theories of the Natural Science disciplines of biology, geology, physics, chemistry, physical geography, and physical anthropology.

NB Grade (No Basis) — A “NB’ grade may be given if there is insufficient student progress for and/or attendance evaluation to occur. NB is a permanent grade that cannot be removed later by completing outstanding work. An “NB” grade does not effect a students GPA.


Occupational Endorsement (OE) — vocational-based program composed of 9 to 29 credits and requires an application for admission, but no admission fee.

Oral Intensive Course — A course designated with an “O’ is an upper-division course that meets the Core Curriculum requirement for oral-intensive work. A course designated with an “O/2’ meets half of the requirement for oral intensive work.


Part-Time Student – Undergraduate students who are taking less than 12 credit hours per semester or a graduate student taking 4 or less.

Pell Grant — Federal grant that is awarded based on financial need.

Petition, Academic – Any deviation from academic requirements must be approved by academic petition. General degree requirement changes must be approved by the Provost, and changes to major requirements must be approved by the dean.

Placement Test – An exam used to test a student’s academic knowledge or ability in a certain field, so that he or she may be placed in appropriate courses. The ACT, SAT, ALEKS-PPL (for Math) ACCUPLACER and ASSET tests are used as placement tests at UAF.

Pre-Major — Students who do not meet minimum requirements for admission to a baccalaureate degree are admitted to pre-major status within the department. Once a student has completed 14 credits (9 credits must satisfy general baccalaureate degree requirements) at the 100-level with a 2.0 or higher grade average then the student shall be moved, by the vice provost, into the specific baccalaureate degree program. Also known as Baccalaureate Intended (BI).

Probation, Academic – A student in good standing who earns a GPA of less than 2.00 will be placed on probation. Students on probation may not enroll in more than 13 credits a semester, unless an exception is granted by the appropriate dean.


Repeated Courses – Courses may be repeated, but unless otherwise noted, credit can be received only once. The most recent grade earned by the student will replace the others and be calculated into the GPA.


Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) — A college entrance exam measuring critical thinking, reasoning, and writing skills. The SAT may be used as an admissions requirement for baccalaureate students that do not have ACT scores, and is used for placement into UAF courses.

Social Science — A course designated with a “s’ has content directly defined by major models or theories of the Social Science disciplines of anthropology, communication, economics, geography, history, justice, political science, psychology, social work, sociology, or interdisciplinary social science disciplines.

Summa Cum Laude — Students graduate with honors with the distinction of summa cum laude if the overall cumulative GPA is 3.9 or higher and no grade lower than an A-.


Transfer Credit – Those credits accepted by the University from other accredited institutions that can be applied toward UAF degree requirements. (Getting Started: Undergraduate Course Placement & Transfer Credits)

Tutoring Services — Some academic departments as well as Student Support Services, Rural Student Services, and the Learning Resource center (downtown) provides tutorial services for University students. Some programs require that students meet eligibility requirements. All students have access to the Math Labs in Chapman and Gruening, Accounting labs in Bunnell and the Writing Center in Gruening.