Albertson Building, Room 306
Phone: (208) 885-7141
Toll Free Phone: (800) 960-3033
Albertston Building, Room 306A
Albertston Building, Room 306A
Glossary of Terms
You may come across some unfamiliar terms and phrases as you begin at the University of Idaho. Below is a brief glossary that may help you with terminology specific to the University of Idaho and higher education.
Academic Calendar: A calendar that lists important academic dates such has registration dates, drop/add dates, advising dates, University of Idaho holidays, etc.
- Academic: A professional who provides academic guidance for incoming students, currently enrolled degree-seeking students with no declared major, and Adult Student Services; refers students to appropriate campus services and resources; helps students plan semester schedules.
- Major: Once a student formally declares a major, the student is assigned a faculty member from the department who will: help create a plan to graduation; discuss beneficial co-curricular experiences; and discuss possible graduate/professional school options.
Blackboard: Online course software that some professors use to deliver supplemental course materials and/or quizzes and tests. Contains tools that enhance your courses such as mail, chat and threaded discussions, student presentations, 24/7 access to grade and course information, online quizzes and exams.
Catalog, Undergraduate: Publication that contains general information about faculty, admissions, financial aid, student life activities, policies and procedures, course descriptions, degree requirements, etc. View catalog or it can be purchased at the University of Idaho Bookstore.
Chair or Department Head: The head of an academic department.
Change of Curriculum: A form that a student must fill out in order to change their major, add or drop a major, or add or drop a minor.
Cluster: Clusters give you an unusual opportunity to explore a particular theme in depth as you take both lower- and upper-division courses from different disciplines that focus on a central topic. Clusters also provide a means for partially satisfying the International and 14-credit Humanities/Social Science core requirements. Before graduating, you will need to have completed at least three courses in a cluster.
Co-requisite: Course(s) that must be taken concurrently.
Credit Hours: A unit of credit earned for taking a course for a period of time, usually for a semester.
- Attempted: Credit hours tallied for all enrolled classes beginning the first day of the semester and including those added during Drop/Add week; attempted hours may exceed earned hours.
- Earned: Credit hours accumulated for all course work at the University of Idaho as well as approved transfer credit hours; excludes course credit hours for which a grade of 'F' was received.
- Quality: Credit hours accumulated for classes taken at the University of Idaho including course credit hours for which a grade of 'F' was received; used in calculating cumulative GPA.
Dean: A college administrator who heads a specific college, overseeing degree programs and dealing with issues related to academic policy for his/her specific school.
Degree Audit: A specific accounting of remaining degree requirements as well as requirements completed and in progress for the student’s program of study. Reflects courses completed and in progress as they apply to institutional, general education, and major/minor requirements. VandalWeb login is required to access Degree Audit, and after login, it is located on the Student Menu.
Degree Program: Courses necessary for completion of a degree in a specific field. Some courses may count as credits toward your graduation requirements but not toward your major field. Your academic adviser can offer information and guidance.
Drop/Add: The process for dropping or adding classes within a specified period of time after initial enrollment. *NOTE: Contact the Registrar's Office if dropping all courses. Once the VandalWeb (on-line access) deadline has passed, student must use a Add/Drop form to add or crop classes.
Students may drop classes on VandalWeb during the registration period through the fourth week of the fall or spring semesters and through the first official day of the class for summer session. No forms or signatures are required during this period. Once the VandalWeb deadline has passed, students must use an Add/Drop form to drop or withdraw from classes. *NOTE: Contact the Registrar's Office if dropping all courses. If a student receives financial aid she/he should check with a financial aid officer for possible effects on financial aid eligibility.
Students may add classes on VandalWeb during the registration period through the sixth day of the fall or spring semesters and through the first official day of the class for summer session. No forms or signatures are required during this period.
Once the VandalWeb deadline has passed, students must use an Add/Drop form to add classes.
- Through the fourth week of the fall or spring semester, all students must obtain the instructor's signature on the Add/Drop form of the class(es) being added.
- From the beginning of the fifth week of the fall or spring semester through the deadline to add, all students must obtain the instructor's signature; undergraduate students must also obtain their adviser's signature. There is a $5 add/drop fee charged for each visit (unlimited actions) when adding.
E-mail Account: Official college issued e-mail account provided by the University of Idaho to all students upon acceptance at the University of Idaho.
Elective: A course you may choose to take because of your academic interest but which may not count toward the general education requirements or your major or minor field. A limited number of electives are needed to meet general degree requirements. These courses are based on individual interests.
FERPA: Federal law (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) designed to provide students with greater access to, and control over, information contained in their educational records. It prohibits the release of information (other than directory information) without express written consent from the student.
Financial Aid: Federal, state, college, and private programs which help students pay for college costs. Financial aid can be in the form of grants and scholarships, loans, or work-study programs.
General Education Requirements: Courses including English, math, science, history, social sciences, foreign language and humanities, which all students are required to complete for graduation; the backbone of a liberal arts and sciences education.
GPA: Grade point average; the average of your class grades, based on 4.0 scale.
- Cumulative: Grade Point Average that includes all course work grades the student has completed at the University of Idaho.
- Semester: Grade Point Average that includes only the course work grades the student has completed for a specific semester at the University of Idaho.
- Transfer: Grade Point Average that includes all course work grades the student has completed from another college or university.
Interdisciplinary: Programs of courses using knowledge from two or more academic areas.
Internship: A job in a student’s field of study and may include salary in addition to college credit.
Major: A student’s concentrated field of study in which she/he earns a degree.
Minor: A student’s secondary field of study outside the major discipline; a minimum 18 credit hours selected from a formally designated group are required. The student must formally declare the minor with the individual department to have the transcript reflect credit for work done in that minor.
National Student Exchange: The National Student Exchange (NSE) is a program for undergraduate exchange within the United States and Canada. Instead of crossing oceans, NSE students cross state, regional, provincial, and cultural borders.
Office Hours: In education, hours set aside by a professor/instructor to meet with the students. Generally posted on office doors.
Prerequisite: Beginning class that prepares students for more difficult classes. Course prerequisites can be found in the course description in the Undergraduate Catalog.
Registrar’s Office: Directs registration, maintains student transcripts, and performs other duties as assigned. The Registrar's Office also provides official student transcripts when requested by student; and evaluates course work taken by degree-seeking students at another institution for transfer credit to the University of Idaho.
State Board Core: Students who transfer from a U.S. regionally-accredited academic institution with an earned AA or AS degree have met the core requirements. Students who transfer from any U.S. regionally accredited academic institution who have completed the equivalent of Idaho's State Board of Education general education core (but have not completed an AA or AS degree) have satisfied the core requirements. However, these students must obtain certification of such completion from the transferring institution.
Student Accounts: Handles payment of registration or academic fees.
Student ID: Your student ID number is given on your letter of admission. It can be used to log in to the University of Idaho VandalWeb and also appears on your Vandal card. Your student ID number looks as follows: 999-99999 (include the hyphen).
Study Abroad: Programs where students go to school for some time in another country while making regular progress toward their degrees. Study abroad can often be done at no additional cost to the student except for airfare and personal expenses. Ask your adviser about these opportunities, or contact the IPO office.
Syllabus: A document that lists a course’s objectives and requirements along with subjects of lectures, reading assignments, due dates and an exam schedules. Each instructor distributes a syllabus at the beginning of the semester.
Transcript: The permanent academic record of a student at the University of Idaho. It shows course taken, grades received, academic status and honors received.
Undeclared: A term used to describe the state of not yet having chosen a major field of study; the opposite of having a declared major.
UI Core: The courses in the three categories below may be used toward the requirements in Communication; Natural and Applied Science; and Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science as specified in regulation J-3 in Part 3 of the general catalog.
Vandal Card: The official University of Idaho campus card used for identification, security, and access to campus facilities and services. Also features a discretionary spending account for use in the bookstore and for purchases in any campus food service location.
VandalWeb: A computerized system set and maintained by the University of Idaho. Each student has an account within the system that allows for registration for classes, adjustment to semester schedule, ability to view course information, pay tuition bill online, ability to view personal and academic information such as grades, degree audit, unofficial transcripts and financial aid information.
View Holds: View Holds is an option on the VandalWeb that lists any holds that students may have on their account. This can include an adviser hold, an accounts hold, and a probation hold, to name a few.
Withdrawal: The process for dropping one or all the student's classes after the drop/add period is over. Student needs to fill out paperwork and get official signatures. Simply not attending class does not officially withdraw student from class. Withdrawing from a class could change status from full time to part-time and withdrawing completely may take student off parents’ insurance. If receiving financial aid, student should report the change to a financial aid officer. The deadline for withdrawing without instructor permission is listed on the Registrar’s Web site. After the listed deadline date, the student must meet with Undergraduate Academic Services and provide documentation of mitigating circumstances. A student cannot withdraw after finals week has begun.