Important Definitions

Important Definitions

This page is for people who are unfamiliar with the vocabulary that might be used in a college or university.

Let us know if you have found any words that you think should be included on this list by e-mail at: acadcounseling@uvu.edu

1-yr Certificate: This certificate helps prepare students for employment. Earned by completing a minimum of 30 specified credit hours. Several departments offer One-year Certificates. See specific department program listings for details.

Articulation Agreement: An accepted list of classes that will transfer for specific degrees between institutions.

Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS): This two-year degree prepares for employment. It does not prepare for a Bachelor Degree. It can be earned by completing a minimum of 63 semester credits, which includes completion of department general education requirements, and completion of specific department major requirements.

Associate Degree (AS or AA): This two year degree prepares students for a Bachelor program. It can be earned by completing 35 General Education credits and 25 elective and/or prescribed (required) credits.

Audit (a class): This allows a student to attend a class, without receiving a letter grade. It will show up on their transcripts as an Audit (AU). Although no credit is given, students are still required to pay full tuition and student fees for the class.

Bachelor Degree (BA or BS): This four-year degree can be earned by completing requirements for an Associates Degree and a minimum of 60 additional major requirements.

Catalog: The book that covers all of the policies and procedures at Utah Valley University. The catalog also outlines all of the programs of study UVU offers. It contains course descriptions, and names of advisors. The catalog is available either on-line, at the bookstore, or at the cashier's office.

Class Schedule: A list of all the classes offered each semester. It includes the course name, number, and section; along with the days of the week and times the classes are offered. It also includes information such as registration/drop dates, tuition costs, how to register, and General Education requirements.

Cooperative Education: Sometimes called "Co-op." With this class college credit can be attained through working at a job that coincides with your degree. Contact the Career Employment Services for additional information.

Course Fees: These are additional fees attached to registration for specific courses. They might include special lab costs and supplies required for course completion.

Course Prefix: This is the abbreviated name for any course. For example: Biology courses are listed under BIOL, English courses under ENGL, and History courses under HIST.

Course Number: Differentiates the courses within a subject, and may indicate difficulty.

Course Section: Indicates the days of the week, times the class is offered, and the instructor for the class.

Credit : The number of hours a week a student will spend in one class. Using the credit hours of a class a student can estimate the amount of time spent outside of class studying. For each credit hour spent in class a student should spend 2 hours outside of class studying. For example: BIOL 1010 is a 3 credit hour course. A student can expect to spend 3 hours a week in class and 6 hours a week studying outside of class.

Degree Audit: A list of requirements for a specific program and your progress toward completing them. It can function as an unofficial transcript. For further information see Degree Audits and How to Read Them

Diploma: This is a type of program that requires a minimum of 50 credits in a specialty area. It prepares you for employment. See specific department program listings for details. Not all departments offer diplomas.

Elective: A class taken outside of the major and general education requirements; its course number is 1000 level or higher.

General Education Requirements: This is sometimes called  "GE". This is in reference to the 35 credit hours of required classes for an Associate Degree preparatory for a Bachelor Degree.

GPA (Grade Point Average): It is a result of how many credit hours you have completed and what grade you received in each one of the completed courses. A student's cumulative GPA is determined by all the courses a student has taken while attending UVU. Semester GPA is determined by grades of the courses taken within one semester. GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of credit hours completed.

Grade Points/Quality Points: The amount of points assigned for a completed grade in a class. Used in calculating GPA. The points are as follows: A=4.0, A -=3.7, B+=3.4, B=3.0, B -=2.7, C+=2.3, C=2.0, C -=1.7, D+=1.3, D=1.0, D -=0.7, E=0.0, UW=0.0, W=does not effect GPA, AU=does not effect GPA.

Major: A specific concentration of classes that lead to a degree.

New Student Assessment: This includes the Compass assessment which tests writing (English) and math skills, and the DRP which tests reading skills.  All students are required to complete these tests if they haven't met the assessment requirement with appropriate ACT or SAT scores or college credit. For further information please see the Testing Services web site.

Orientation: This is required for all New Students, Transfer Students, and Concurrent Enrollment Students who are attending school at UVU for the first time. It is an introduction to UVU campus and policies. You will learn about registration and receive other information about attending school.

Quality Points: Used in calculating GPA. To determine quality points for a class, multiply the number of credits by the grade points. For example: a student completes ENGL 1010 which is 3 credits with a B+. To calculate quality points multiply 3.0 (credits) x 3.4 (grade points) = 10.2 (quality points).

Registration: The process of selecting and enrolling in classes.

Registration Hold: A block that has been placed on your record that prevents registration until the issue is resolved with the appropriate department. Some examples of registration holds would include parking tickets, academic standards violations, financial aid, cashier's office fee payment, credit hour holds, etc.

Residency: Refers to whether your permanent home is in Utah. Application for Residency can be completed and turned in to the Admissions Office at UVU. Students who have residency in Utah pay In-State tuition.

Semester: The academic year is divided into three semesters which are approximately 15 weeks in length.  Classes are registered for and completed within the semesters of Fall, Spring, and Summer.

Student Fees: These are fees that pay for student services such as the Library, Computer Lab, etc. They are established by the Utah State Board of Regents. Student Fees and other such charges as appear in the catalog and other UVU publications are subject to change without notice. All tuition and student fees are payable to the Cashier's Office at the time of registration.

Student ID #: This is a 8-digit number used to access student records.

Transcript: An official copy of a student's educational record at an institution. It includes each semester attended by a student and the classes and grades. Transcripts will also include information such as GPA and any degrees received at the specific institution.

Tuition: The charge to attend class. This is established by the Utah State Board of Regents. Tuition and other such charges as appear in the catalog and other UVU publications are subject to change without notice. All tuition and student fees are payable to the Cashier's Office at the time of registration. Cost for tuition is different for students who have their residency in Utah and students who are Out-of-State residents.

Unofficial Withdrawal (UW): This is in reference to dropping a class after the official withdrawal period has ended. Students can also receive a UW when they stop attending a class. UW's are factored into your GPA the same as an "E".

Withdrawal (W): This is in reference to dropping a class approximately 3-weeks or more after the first day of classes and before the unofficial withdrawal period begins for the semester. These dates are found in the class schedule. W's are not factored into your GPA and just appear on your transcript as a "W," withdrawing from a class.