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Glossary of Catalog Terms

The following definitions explain many of the academic terms and abbreviations used throughout this catalog.

Academic Year. The traditional annual cycle of academic terms: Fall, Spring, Summer.

Advanced Placement. A test taken to determine a student’s level of competency in sequential courses such as mathematics, foreign languages, and chemistry.

Audit. To attend a class regularly without receiving credit. Does not count toward full-time enrollment.

B.S. Bachelor of Science, the baccalaureate degree typically awarded in the sciences, engineering, and health professions.

B.A. Bachelor of Arts, the baccalaureate degree typically awarded in the arts and humanities.

Baccalaureate Degree (Bachelor’s). A degree awarded for the successful completion of an approved undergraduate program.

Certificate. A formal document that recognizes academic achievement in a specific discipline—usually as an adjunct to an undergraduate or graduate degree program.

Classification. Academic level (year), such as junior or senior based on hours earned.

College. An academic unit within the university that is headed by a dean, offers instruction, and grants degrees in several areas of study.

Concentration. A specific area of coursework within a major.

Concurrent Enrollment. Simultaneous enrollment in two or more courses, programs, colleges, or universities.

Core Curriculum. Required courses designed to give all graduating students a general knowledge base in the natural and applied sciences, social sciences, mathematics, humanities, visual and performing arts, and tools of language and thought.

Corequisite. A course or other educational requirement that must be completed simultaneously with another course.

Course. A subject offered during a term or semester. Each course is assigned a course level. Courses numbered from 1000 through the 4000 level are undergraduate courses. Courses numbered 5000 or above are graduate or professional level courses.

Course Sequence. The specified order of enrollment for a series of courses.

Credit Hour. Every course taught is designated a total number of credit hours, reflecting approximately the total hours a student spends per week in class.

Cum Laude. Graduating “with honors.” Magna cum laude means graduating with “high honors,” and summa cum laude means “highest honors.”

Degree. A title conferred upon one who has successfully completed an approved program of study.

Discipline. A branch of learning or field of study (e.g., mathematics, history, psychology).

Dissertation. A written report of research completed in fulfillment of the requirements for a doctoral degree.

Doctoral Degree (Doctorate). A graduate degree awarded for the completion of an advanced course of study emphasizing research, typically requiring 90 hours of course and research work beyond the bachelor’s degree, the completion of an independent research project, and the completion and successful defense of a dissertation.

Drop/Add. The process by which a student changes his or her class schedule by adding a course, dropping a course, or both.

Dual Enrollment. Simultaneous registration at two educational institutions.

Electives. Courses that students may choose to take in contrast to those that are required.
Grade Points. Four points for each credit hour of A, three for each hour of B, two for each hour of C, one for each hour of D, zero for each hour of F.

Grade Point Average (GPA). The current GPA is determined by dividing the total number of grade points acquired during the current semester by the total number of semester hours taken during the semester. The cumulative grade point average is the total number of grade points earned in all courses taken at the university divided by the total number of semester hours. Both the current and cumulative GPAs include grade replacements.

Graduate Student. A student who has already earned a baccalaureate degree, has been admitted into the Graduate School, and is enrolled in advanced courses leading to a master’s or doctorate.

Interdisciplinary or Multidisciplinary. A course of study from two or more academic disciplines.

Major. A primary undergraduate or graduate field of specialized study.

Master’s Degree. A graduate degree awarded for completing an advanced course of study typically requiring 30 hours of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree.

Matriculation. Enrollment as an admitted, degree-seeking student. A matriculation number is a number by which the student is identified. It is assigned by the university.

Minor. An undergraduate or graduate field of specialized study in addition to the primary or major field.

Multicultural Course. A course that counts toward partial fulfillment of bachelor’s degree requirements and focuses explicitly on the distinctive subcultures of the United States or on the culture of another society.

Ombudsman for Students. Provides informal, neutral, and confidential dispute resolution services for students and can assist with interpersonal misunderstandings as well as with concerns about academic or administrative issues.

Prerequisite. A course or other educational requirement that must be completed successfully prior to registering for another course or before proceeding to more advanced study.

Probation, Academic. Any undergraduate with less than a 2.0 cumulative Texas Tech GPA will be placed on academic probation (see Undergraduate Academics catalog section).

Residency. Classification of students as Texas residents or non-Texas residents for tuition purposes.

Semester. A standard academic term referring to one-half or about 16 weeks of the academic year (e.g., fall or spring semester).

Semester Hour. Unit of measure for credit purposes.

Seminar. A small group of students studying a subject under direction of a faculty member. Although practices vary, students may do original research and exchange results through informal lectures, reports, and discussions.

Subject Prefix. An abbreviation used with a course number to indicate an academic subject area (see next page).

Suspension, Academic. Student is not permitted to take classes and is ineligible to participate in any extracurricular activities (see Undergraduate Academics catalog section).

Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS). A statewide course numbering system for lower-division courses to facilitate transferring courses among institutions of higher education by promoting consistency in course designation and identification.

Thesis. A written report of research or creative activity completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements of a course or degree.

Track. A detailed semester-by-semester plan for graduation.

Transcript. A written report of a student’s academic work. Official transcripts must bear the seal of the university.

Transfer Credit. Coursework completed at another institution that is accepted at Texas Tech University and which may be applicable toward a specific major, minor or degree.

Withdraw. To drop all courses for a given term. Should not be confused with “dropping” a course.

Writing Intensive. A course designation indicating that the student will be writing often and will be asked to rewrite based on an instructor’s critique. Every degree plan must include 6 hours of writing intensive courses.Back to Top