Learn the Lingo

Academic Advisor: A faculty or staff member who assists students individually with planning their course of study and understanding academic policies and procedures.

Alumni: Graduated students of MSU.

Auditing a Course: Attending a class without receiving formal credit.  You must get permission from the instructor of the course and pay a fee for this class.  Auditing a class is a good way to review a course you’ve taken in the past or to visit an area in which you are interested.

Bachelor’s Degree: A student receives this degree upon completing his or her undergraduate studies. 

Catalog: A campus publication which provides information ranging from specific college academic and non-academic programs; rules and regulations; admission policies, and course descriptions.  Also included are the institution’s academic calendars.

CLEP: College Level Examination Program.  Tests given to college students that allows them to prove their knowledge in certain areas of studies.  By passing these tests, students can earn credit and advance to higher course levels.

Credit Hours: What a student receives upon completing a college course.  Credits are based on the number of hours spent in a class per week.

Curriculum: A sequence of courses a student is required to take before graduating from college. It includes both general education requirements and upper-level classes designed for your major.

Deadline: The due date for a course assignment, paper, project.

Dean of Students: Responsible for regulations, relations, and discipline of students according to the code of conduct.

Degree: What a college student receives once he or she fulfills a course curriculum.

Department Chair: Full-time professors who have been given administrative duties in addition to their teaching responsibilities.

Department: The combined faculty within each academic field of study.  The department decides on what and how many courses a student must take to receive a degree.

Drop/Add: During the first week of the Fall and Spring semester, a student is allowed to drop a course and add another course.

Electives: Courses not part of the general education requirements of your major.  You may choose these courses to explore specific interests or for educational enrichment. These courses are outside of a student’s required curriculum.

Full-time/Part-time - Your enrollment status depending on how many hours you are taking.  Full-time status for undergraduates is considered 12 to 17 hours or four to six courses.  Six hours is considered full-time in the summer.  Part-time status is fewer than 12 hours.

Grade Point Average (GPA): The grading system used in college.  Numbers instead of letters are used to calculate academic progress and success.

Independent Study: A program where students are allowed to take a course under a professor’s direction, without classroom participation, and still gain academic credit.

Internship: Work experience that contributes to the student’s major.  A professor or faculty member monitors the progress, and the student usually reports back to them on their experience.

Major: A specialized field of study that a student chooses to pursue through his or her college career.

Minor: Along with a major, student can take additional courses to compliment their academic concentration and curriculum.

Mustang:  Our mascot.

Mustangs I.D. Number: A unique 8-digit identification number, preceded by a capital M, assigned to each student for use on the MSU student ID card and access to MSU web services, with their personal identification number (PIN).

Orientation: A program designed to assist all new students in adjusting to their new college surroundings.

Plagiarism: A serious offense.  The act of stealing another person’s words or ideas and using them as one’s own.  If caught plagiarizing, the offender is often released from college or placed on academic probation.

Prerequisites: Specific preparatory courses or number of hours you must have completed before taking a course.  Prerequisites are listed below the course title in the catalog course descriptions.

President: The person responsible for directing the university.

Provost: The chief academic officer of the university.

Quadrangle/Bolin Fountain: Known as “the quad,” located across from the Hardin  Administration Building.

Registrar: Organizes and manages the registration process and maintains student transcripts and other permanent academic records as well as verifying enrollment.

Registration: The process of enrolling in college classes.  Registration has several stages, including advisement, early registration, change of schedule, late registration and payment.

Schedule of Classes: The current schedule lists all courses offered for the coming semester and includes the call number, course prefix, course number, title, instructor, when and where the class meets, final exam schedule, and important dates.

Scholastic Probation: This is a official warning to the student that his or her academic progress is unsatisfactory.  Failure to improve could result in academic suspension.

Semester: The school year is composed of semesters.  There are fours semesters at MSU (Fall, Spring, Summer I, Summer II). 

SGA: The MSU Student Government Association.  This is an organization composed of students to represent all student organizations.  SGA is the voice for the student body.

Syllabus: A course guideline containing assignments, readings, exam dates, professor’s office hours, and other important information about the course.

Undecided: A student who is unsure of his or her major is classified as Undecided (UNDC). An Undecided student should use “core” courses to explore interests and begin career investigations. UNDC majors are advised in the Academic Support Center.

Withdrawing:  This is when a student cancels/drops ALL of the classes they are enrolled in for a particular semester or if a student only has one class, when they drop that one class.