Glossary of Terms

All But Dissertation: indicates that a doctoral student has completed all requirements for the degree except dissertation.

Academic term
At the University of Cincinnati, a term equals a semester. There are three terms—fall, spring and summer—in an academic year.

Approval of programs, colleges, universities, and secondary schools by nationally recognized professional associations. Institutional accreditation affects the transferability of credits from one institution to another before a degree program is completed and the continuation from one degree level to the next level.

A process at the beginning of a term whereby students can change their course schedules, adding or dropping classes with the instructor's permission.

The process of being allowed to enter a degree program.

Advanced standing
A status assigned to a student who has taken courses at another institution whose content closely parallels courses required for the degree at UC and who is, therefore, granted credit toward the desired degree for having completed those courses.

The process by which a student requests entrance to a degree program.

A merit-based, university-funded award whereby a student receives a financial stipend for services rendered in addition to a tuition scholarship. Also, Graduate Assistants are entitled to a discount at the university bookstore.

To take a class without receiving a grade or credit toward a degree.

Bearcat Online (BOL)
The UC email system for student email.

Bearcat Card
Your University of Cincinnati ID works like a kind of debit card that allows you (or your family) to deposit money to your account and is debited when you use the card. This card can be used on campus in stores, fast food places, dining facilities and vending machines. Many off-campus Clifton merchants accept this card as well.

C2 Proficiency
Formerly known as Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE), this exam is sometimes taken in place of the TOEFL to demonstrate proficiency in English.

An official status designating that the student has met the specific requirements for pursuing a doctoral degree from their program (generally, completing coursework and comprehensive exams).

A software portal for course content and course delivery on the Web. Faculty can post class notes, test results, exam and project due dates, comments, syllabi, etc. for a specific class and enrolled students will have access. Canvas can also be accessed through the Canopy portal.

UC's student portal and student information system. Current students use the Catalyst portal to register for classes, view and pay bills, manage financial aid, view grades, and more.

Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning

Certificate program
Not all, but some, certificate programs are separate from a degree program and can be earned entirely on their own. Other certificate programs enhance the degree the student is seeking and must be earned as part of a degree program.

Code of Conduct
A document that defines the behavior expected of all UC students.

An institution of higher learning that offers undergraduate programs, usually of a four-year duration, that lead to the bachelor's degree in the arts or sciences (B.A. and B.S.). The term "college" is also used in a general sense to refer to a postsecondary institution. A college may also be a part of the organizational structure of a university, as is the case at the University of Cincinnati.

Comprehensive exams
Oral and/or written exams taken after the completion of required coursework in the primary subject areas of a student's academic field.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)
A special type of resume traditionally used within the academic community. Earned degrees, teaching and research experience, publications, presentations and related activities are featured. Unlike a resume, a CV tends to be longer and more informational than promotional in tone.

Deferred admission
The practice of allowing students to postpone enrollment, usually for up to one year, after acceptance by the program.

Degree program
At the graduate level, program of study that terminates in the awarding of a degree such as Master of Arts or Doctor of Philosophy. Normally requiring anywhere from 1-9 years of full-time study.

Distance learning
An option of earning course credits off-campus via the Internet, satellite classes, videotapes, television, correspondence, etc.

In-depth research and analyses demonstrating high scholarly achievement, independent original research and advancing a new point of view.

Doctoral committee / dissertation committee
A minimum of three full-time UC faculty members of professorial rank (tenure-track full, assistant and associate professors—not adjunct, visiting, retired or emeriti), at least one of whom is a member of the graduate faculty. Committee members are responsible for the final approval of the dissertation.

The highest attainable educational degree.

Dual degree
Process of applying to, pursuing and meeting the requirements of two complementary degree programs simultaneously.

To delay—in this case, to delay publication of a thesis or dissertation.

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation is the manner in which a thesis or dissertation is submitted for publication—a requirement of the degree.

Educational Testing Service. A national testing organization which makes available the GMAT, GRE, TOEFL and TSE, among other tests.

Faculty adviser
The faculty member appointed to provide academic guidance and mentorship to a student through the completion of his or her graduate degree. Adviser and advisor are used interchangeably.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the sole form needed to apply for any federal student aid program.

Federal Perkins Loan
A low interest (5%) educational loan for undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional financial need who are enrolled at least half time and are U.S. citizens, permanent residents or eligible non-residents.

A financial award that includes a tuition scholarship and a stipend for which no service is required.

Full-time enrollment
For the purposes of billing, enrollment in a minimum of 10 graduate level credits per semester. (At UC, GAs are required to register for 12 or more credit hours per semester as a requirment of their tuition scholarship.)

Graduate Assistant: a graduate student who is being paid to work, typically for 20 hours per week, in an area related to their graduate field of study.

The Graduate Association for Teaching Enhancement (GATE) is a teaching initiative developed by graduate students, for graduate students. GATE provides a community of support for graduate students engaged in and interested in teaching. For more information about GATE, email

Graduate Management Admission Test, required for application to most business programs.

Grade point average (sometimes called "Quality Point Average" or QPA): the sum total of the points awarded for letter grades earned divided by the total number of courses attempted. (Ex.: 4 As, where an A=4 points, equals a total of 16 points. Divided by 4 courses equals a GPA of 4.0.) At the University of Cincinnati, the point scale includes minus and plus grades. Refer to the Grading Scales and Definitions page on the Registrar's website for more information.

Graduate faculty
Per Board of Trustees' university rule 3361:50-77-11, "The university graduate faculty shall include all faculty with full time tenure track appointments in programs offering the master's or doctoral degree." Only a graduate faculty member may chair a thesis or dissertation committee. (To view this document, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free download.)

Graduate program director
The faculty member responsible for administering the graduate program in an academic department.

Graduate program coordinator
The staff member responsible for managing the day-to-day business of graduate student records, issues, appointments, etc.

Graduate Record Exam: required for admission to many graduate programs.

Grievance procedures
Guidelines for filing and processing a student grievance.

Graduate Student Government Association. The GSGA is UC's graduate student government body, the graduate-level counterpart to the undergraduate UC Student Government.

An official ceremony celebrating the completion of a doctoral degree program, the highest level of educational achievement. At this ceremony, graduating students receive their doctoral hood. Each institution has a doctoral hood unique to them.

International Language Testing System—can be taken in place of the TOEFL to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Juris Doctor degree is the first professional degree awarded in the study of law at the University of Cincinnati.

Leave of absence
An officially approved leave (usually granted for emergency and medical reasons) from graduate study that may not last longer than one year. If a student is granted a leave of absence the "clock"€ is stopped on the student's elapsed time to achieve their degree for the duration of the approved leave.

Law School Admissions Test required of applicants to professional law programs

Miller Analogies Test.

Formally enter a degree program through application, acceptance and registration.

Medical College Admission Test: required of applicants to U.S. medical schools.

Medical Doctor is the professional degree awarded to those who wish to be licensed to practice medicine.

Metropolitan Tuition Rate 
The tuition rate charged to students who are residents of some northern Kentucky counties and eastern Indiana counties.

Misconduct can apply to both academic behavior and non-academic behavior. An example of academic misconduct is cheating. An example of non-academic misconduct is destruction of property.

Non-matriculated student 
A student not enrolled in a UC degree program who is taking class(es) for credit.

One Stop
A virtual and physical space where students can conduct business related to their enrollment: registering for classes, dropping classes, paying bills, applying for aid, checking grades, viewing schedules, and more.

Credit hours in excess of either 1) what a student may take, or 2) what a student's tuition allows them to take.

Part-time enrollment
Three to nine graduate credits.

Preparing Future Faculty is a university-wide certificate program that helps graduate students prepare for academic careers.

Usually refers to studies for individuals who have completed a graduate degree. May also be used to refer to graduate education.

Professional degree
Usually obtained after a baccalaureate in fields such as medicine, law, dentistry, etc. University of Cincinnati professional degrees include the JD, MD, PharmD, MArch, and AuD. The focus of these degrees is usually on applied skills rather than research.

Research Assistant: a graduate student who is being paid to work, typically 20 hours per week, in a research area related to their graduate field of study.

The process of reapplying and being readmitted to the university after a failure to enroll for three years.

The process of signing up for classes a student wishes to take.

The process of regaining active graduate student status for those students who havebeen inactive for a period one academic year, not to exceed three academic years.

Research compliance
Federal law requires that students who intend to engage in research that involves any of a number of subjects, such as humans or animals, radiation, biohazardous agents, etc., receive approval of their research procedures before beginning to collect data. Consult the UC Office of Research Integrity website to assure compliance.

There's residency and then there's . . . residency. Residency for tuition purposes is a function of the state in which you vote and have permanent residence. Residency for the purposes of graduation is a function of the number of credit hours you must complete at the University of Cincinnati in order to be awarded a degree.

Rolling admission
The acceptance of a new student into any semester of an academic year. Not all programs have rolling admission. Prospective students should check with the program of their choice.

A grant specifically to pay tuition and/or fees.

An outline of topics to be covered in an academic course.

Teaching Assistant: a graduate student who is being paid to teach courses related to their graduate field of study.

A position granted to senior faculty members who have demonstrated a worthy research and publication record. Its purpose is to preserve academic freedom.

Time to degree (TTD)
The amount of time a graduate student has to complete his or her degree program.

A thesis is a substantial master's level paper presenting independent work, but not necessarily original research. It need not make a unique and independent contribution to the literature.

Test of English as a Foreign Language: required of international students whose first language is not English.

To move from one institution of higher education to another or to move from one degree program to another within the same institution.

A certified copy of a student's educational record containing titles of courses, the number of credits, and the final grades in each course. An official transcript also states the date a degree has been conferred.

Test of Spoken English.

The money an institution charges for instruction and training (does not include the cost of books, student activity fees, and technology fees).

Unclassified status
The status a student has when they take classes as a non-matriculated student.

An educational institution that usually maintains one or more four-year undergraduate colleges (or schools) with programs leading to a bachelor's degree, a graduate school of arts and sciences awarding master's degrees and doctorates (PhD's), and graduate/professional schools.

The administrative process of dropping a course or program or leaving an institution.