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Commonly Used Terms

First Hounds

Commonly Used Terms: A Glossary for Higher Education


Academic Advisor is a professional staff or faculty that helps you select courses, plan majors and minors, explain academic policies and address other academic issues. Learn more about the student-advisor relationship.

Add/Drop is the first week of each semester when you can add or remove courses without penalty. This can help you adjust your schedule and explore what class might be best for you.

Academic Honesty is a number of ethical standards applied to all students regarding conduct related to academic performance. Learn more about Moravian's policy on Academic Code of Conduct.

Academic Probation happens when the first-term grade-point average is calculated and falls below a 2.0 (below a C average). Learn more about Moravian's academic standing.

Commencement is the term used for a graduation ceremony, which takes place at the end of the spring semester in May.

Course Prerequisite is an academic requirement that must be satisfied before or during enrollment for another course. For example, taking an introductory Spanish class before signing up for intermediate Spanish.

Credits are a way to measure how much each class is worth. Courses can be weighted anywhere from 1 to 4 credits each. Generally, most programs require students to successfully complete 120 credit hours to be eligible for graduation.

Dean’s List is composed of students who carry three or more course units during the fall or spring term and attain a GPA for the term of 3.50 or higher are placed on the Dean’s Honor List.

Faculty are the people that teach most classes. They are experts in their academic field. Faculty are also commonly referred to as professors.

Full-Time Enrollment is when a student is enrolled in at least 12 credits per semester. For example, enrolling in four, 3-credit hour-long courses would equal 12 credits per semester.

Hold (or Registration Hold) can be placed on a student’s accounts due to an academic dismissal, not fulfilling required meetings, a disciplinary problem, overdue payment to the University, or non-compliance with housing and health center regulations. To reconcile a hold, please make sure to immediately contact the email listed next to your hold.

Incomplete Grade is a temporary grade faculty can award a student who, for reasons outside of their control (illness, death in family, etc.) cannot complete all coursework and assignments in a given term. Students have one semester following the incomplete grade to complete the course requirements. An incomplete grade is a case-by-case situation and a faculty member is not required to offer or accept incomplete requests.

Internship is an opportunity for students to gain critical real-world experience in a chosen field of study. Internships can be paid or unpaid experiences. Click here to learn more about internship opportunities.

Lecture is a class session in which the professor speaks for the majority of the session on a specific topic or topic.

Major is a concentration of courses that are a student’s primary discipline of study. Students must major in a subject while in college.

Midterms are exams given in the middle of an academic grading term (often a semester).

Minor is a secondary course of study, typically with a concentration smaller than a major, that a student chooses to enhance his or her major or simply to pursue a subject of interest.

Office Hours are the days and times that college faculty (professors) set aside to meet with students enrolled in their classes. Traditionally, these sessions will take place in a professor’s office, but can also be scheduled virtually.

Part-Time Student is a student enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours a semester. (A change to part-time status will often affect a student’s financial aid package.)

Registrar or the Registrar's Office is responsible for housing and managing course registrations, schedules, grades, transcript requests, address changes, graduation certification, enrollment verification, and other items pertaining to records and registration.

Rubric is a scoring guide used to define what is expected and what will be assessed to evaluate an assignment in a given course. Rubrics can be found in syllabi or they may be requested from professors.

Syllabus is an outline each professor provides for each class. The outline details course topics, assignments, and a schedule of exams for the semester. Generally, they are given to students in the first week of classes.

Transcript is an official record of a student’s academic work showing dates attended, courses taken, grades earned, and credits received.

Withdrawal typically refers to the dropping of a course(s) for which a student is registered in a given term. These courses will show up as a “W” (withdraw) on a given student’s transcript. A withdrawal will not impact one’s grade point average, but it can impact a student’s financial aid package.

Work-Study is a Federal financial aid program providing part-time employment to students based on the financial need of students and available jobs within the University.


Is there a term you think should be added? Please email Alvert Hernandez at