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UB College Lingo: Talk the Talk

Every specialty (history, art, mathematics) has its own vocabulary for communicating its unique ideas. The following lists of words will help you to learn the specialized language of the UB freshman experience.


  • academic advisers

    staff who help you understand UB's degree requirements, academic policies, course selection and registration and who assist you in locating campus resources; freshmen are advised exclusively in the Office of Freshman Advising (Learning Commons, Room 104).

  • includes dates for registration, holidays, the add/drop deadline, tuition due date and other important events

  • academic integrity

    UB’s core of academic honesty includes principles against cheating and plagiarism; freshmen must complete a plagiarism tutorial

  • academic probation

    At UB, you can be placed on academic probation when your grade point average falls below 2.00; you have one semester to raise your GPA to 2.00 or greater.

  • add/drop

    the time period during the first week of the semester when students can add or drop course to/from their schedules

  • bachelor’s degree

    an academic degree awarded by a college or university for completion of study in a major

  • a comprehensive guide to UB’s mission, description of degree requirements, academic information, policies and general information

  • class standing

    a classification based on the number of credits students have earned by the beginning of a semester; a freshman has earned 0-29 credits; a sophomore, 30-59 credits; a junior, 60-89 credits; and a senior, 90 or more credits

  • credit hours

    units earned for the successful completion of each course

  • dean’s list

    recognition from the dean of each college for undergraduate students whose performance is high honors (a semester GPA of 4.00) or honors (a semester GPA of 3.25 to 3.99)

  • declare a major

    to begin officially completing a UB major, you must successfully complete 24 credits, all developmental courses and IDIS 101: First-Year Seminar: Applied Learning and Study Skills

  • degree checklist

    the guide to graduation that includes a list of all required courses for your degree

  • developmental courses

    skill development courses in math and writing based on Accuplacer scores; Math 100 and Writ 100 are such courses

  • Early Alert

    an online support network that allows faculty to submit information electronically to your academic adviser regarding any comments or concerns they might have about your course performance

  • elective

    an academic course that isn't required but that a student chooses to take that also counts toward the degree

  • First-Year Seminar

    IDIS 101, is a required course for freshmen, in which students develop college-level learning and study skills and explore how involvement in University activities outside the classroom increase overall learning and college success

  • full time

    classification for those students who are enrolled in 12 or more credits

  • general education requirements

    UB students are required to take 38 credits in a variety of subject areas, in addition to the major, to receive an undergraduate degree.

  • grade point average/GPA

    overall grade average on a 4.00 scale; term GPA indicates performance for a semester, and cumulative GPA indicates performance across all semesters

  • hold

    a notice that stops a student from registering for courses until a financial obligation or administrative task is fulfilled


  • a set of two or three thematically linked courses that allows freshmen to learn and develop skills along with their classmates

  • major

    an academic discipline in which students can earn an undergraduate degree; includes a set of required courses

  • mid-term exam

    a usually comprehensive exam given near the middle of a semester

  • five to seven courses in a secondary field that complements the student's major area of study

  • an online information source for UB students, faculty and staff; the MyUB portal provides access to Sakai

  • part time

    you are considered a part-time student if you register for fewer than 12 credits

  • plagiarism tutorial

    online instruction, located in MyUB, about academic honesty; all freshmen are required to complete the tutorial

  • prerequisites

    courses or adequate placement test scores that must be completed before registering for another course


  • repeat/replace

    UB Students can repeat a course to replace the original grade received with a higher grade

  • Sakai

    UB's online course information source where students can access course syllabi, handouts, discussion and chat functions, online tests and confidential grade reports

  • satisfactory academic/unsatisfactory academic progress

    a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher indicates satisfactory progress; unsatisfactory progress is a cumulative GPA lower than 2.00

  • the official listing of courses offered during a semester, posted online

  • semester

    a 15-week period of instruction during UB's academic year; the fall semester runs late August to mid-December, and the spring semester runs late January to mid-May

  • syllabus

    an outline of topics to be covered in a course, including assignments, tests and due dates; faculty members distribute their syllabus during the first class session

  • transcript

    the official record of a student's academic performance, maintained by the Office of Records and Registration

  • withdrawal

    you can withdraw from a course through the end of the ninth week of a semester; a grade of "W" will appear on your transcript, but it does not affect your GPA

  • a form of financial aid by which students work in on-campus jobs to earn the financial aid amount they are awarded

Last Published 5/2/17