Missouri State University

Office of the Registrar

Undergraduate Catalog

2014-15 first edition, July 2014

Glossary of Terms

This reference guide is designed to assist in defining terms frequently used at Missouri State University and in the Undergraduate Catalog.   

Academic Advisor A University employee who is committed to helping students meet their educational goals and to make informed and responsible decisions.

Academic Year Begins in August with the fall Intersession, continues through the spring semester, and concludes with the summer session.

Accelerated Master's Program option that allows eligible juniors and seniors to take a limited number of graduate-level courses that count towards both their undergraduate and graduate degree thereby reducing the time it takes to complete a graduate degree.

Alumni Individuals who have attended or graduated from a particular college or university.  

Admission to Degree Program A process required of students who have a major with specific admission requirements.

Auditing a Class A grading option that allows completion of a course without receiving credit or a traditional grade. An audited course cannot be used to fulfill a degree requirement.  

BearPass Card Student's official University identification card.

Block Classes meets for only the first or second half of the term (semester).  

Board of Governors Governing body for Missouri State University appointed by the Governor of Missouri.  

Boomer University mascot

Catalog University's official publication of academic policies and procedures, programs of study, and course offerings for a particular academic year.  

Certificate Document representing that the student has completed a University Certificate.  

Change of Schedule Period First five days of the fall and spring semester and first two days of summer session in which students can add and drop classes.  

Class Schedule An online listing of courses offered for a specific term.  

College Group of academic departments and/or programs administered by a college dean.  

College Level Examinations Program (CLEP) Program that allows students to receive credit by examination instead of completing a course.  

Commencement Ceremony held at the end of the spring semester, summer session, and fall semester to recognize candidates for graduation.  

Comprehensive Major A BA or BS major that includes both a primary and secondary area of study and, therefore, does not require completion of a minor.

Core Courses Group of foundation courses required by a college, department, or specific major. 

Corequisite Two or more courses that must be taken during the same semester.  

Credit by Examination Method of earning academic credit outside of traditional course offerings. 

Credit Hour Standard unit of measuring coursework. The unit of credit used at Missouri State is the semester hour.  

Cross-Listed Courses Two or more different courses taught in the same room, at the same time, with the same instructor. Students may receive credit toward graduation for only one.  

Dean (academic) Highest administrative officer of a college.

Dean's List Published list of students who have achieved a specific level of achievement established by the University. The list is published at the conclusion of each semester and Summer Session. 

Declaring a Major/Minor indicates that student wishes to pursue a particular major and/or minor. Many majors have specific admission requirements.  

Degree Audit Advising tool designed to assist in tracking a student's progress towards graduation.  

Department Head Administrative officer holding faculty rank; responsible for a primary unit within an academic organization.  

Diploma Document provided by the University certifying that the student has earned a degree.  

Dual Enrollment Typically refers to high school students who are receiving high school credit while also being enrolled in college-level credit. This term can also refer to students who are concurrently enrolled in two or more higher education institutions.  

Enrollment Status Terms used for reporting a student's academic load to external agencies. (i.e., full-time, half-time, less than half-time)  

Exit Exam Required for all bachelor degree graduates for assessment purposes.  

Good Standing Academic status of students who are not on probation or under suspension.  

General Education Program Group of foundation courses required of undergraduate students regardless of the student's major. 

Grade Point Numerical value given to grades. For example, four grade points per credit hour is awarded for a grade of "A".

Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculation derived from dividing the grade points earned by the number of credits attempted.  

Hold Block which prohibits students from functions such as registering for courses or receiving a transcript or diploma. Most holds are due to an unpaid financial obligation, or failure to complete a required process.

Honors, Scholastic Designation indicated on the graduates' diploma and transcript that reflects outstanding scholarship. 

Honors College Program Designed to serve the needs of academically talented, high-achieving students accepted into the Honors College Program. 

Identical Courses  Those courses identified by multiple course codes and/or numbers that are taught in the same classroom, at the same time, and by the same instructor. Student may only receive credit toward graduation for one.

Incomplete Grade Assigned when a student has not completed all work for a course and the instructor agrees to allow additional time for completion of the course.  

Internship Work at a business or agency related to a student's major and/or career plans for which credit hours are awarded.

Intersession Brief period (typically 1-3 weeks) between semesters when a limited number of courses are offered.  

Lower Division Undergraduate courses numbered lower than 300.

Major Collection of courses and requirements, that is designated as the student's primary area of specialization. Appears on the student's diploma and transcript.  

Minor Collection of courses indicating additional specialization in an area of study beyond the major. Minors do not appear on the student's diploma but are listed on the student's transcript.  

Mixed Credit Courses that are part of an accelerated master's program in which students can receive both graduate and undergraduate credit.  

My Missouri State Web-based system that provides access to personal student information, email, blackboard, online registration, and much more. A BearPass account is required to access the system.

Non-Comprehensive Major One that requires completion of a minor in order meet graduation requirements.

Non-resident Student who does not meet requirements for classification as a Missouri resident for fee purposes in accordance with the residence policy.  

Non-traditional student Includes evening students, married students, students with children, and students of 22 years of age or older.  

Option Sub-set of courses within the major that represent an specialized area of study. Officially approved options appear on the transcript but are not printed on the diploma.

Overload Semester credit hours that exceed the maximum number of hours permitted based on the student level (undergraduate or graduate). Permission is required for an overload. 

Parallel (undergraduate and graduate level) courses are those courses that have both an undergraduate and graduate version (example: ACC 504 and ACC 604). Students who enroll in either course meet in the same room at the same time with the same instructor. The graduate level version of the course must require coursework appropriate for graduate credit. Parallel courses are identified in the semester class schedule as "cross-listed" courses.

Pass/Not Pass Grading option that allows students to pursue coursework without affecting their GPA.   

PIE (Partners in Education) Program designed to facilitate communication between first-year students and their families. Through written consent of the student, members will have increased access to their student's information.  

Postbaccalaureate Non-degree seeking graduate student who has earned a bachelor's degree and wishes to take additional courses but not pursue an additional degree.  

Prerequisite Specific requirements that must be met prior to enrolling in a given class. Prerequisites may consist of courses, test scores, or enrollment in a specific program of study.  

Probation Status that indicates unsatisfactory academic progress. Students may be subject to academic load limitations and other restrictions.  

Program of Study All requirements that a student must complete in order to be awarded a degree or University certificate. 

Readmission Admission process followed by a student who wishes to enroll after not taking classes for one full calendar year.

Registration Restriction A type of prerequisite that requires student be in a specific program of study in order to take the class  

Reinstatement Process by which a suspended student appeals to return to the university.  

Semester Instructional period of 15 weeks plus a final examination period offered twice a year (referred to as Fall and Spring semester). Additional instructional periods include intersessions and a summer session.  

Senior Permission Allows students to take graduate coursework while still classified as an undergraduate. Permission is required.  

Service Learning Program which allows students to earn academic credit in selected courses in exchange for meaningful and productive community service.  

SOAR (Student Orientation, Advisement, and Registration) Program, a day and a half in length, designed to assist students and their families in making a successful transition to university life. 

Student Services Fees  Required fees assessed at the time of registration that cover the student's access to a variety of services, programs, and activities. 

Suspension Status that prevents a student from enrolling in courses unless an exception is granted by the dean of the student's major.  

Syllabus Document describing the objectives, outcomes, assessment activities, and structure of a course that is made available to students during the first week of classes.  

Term Banner terminology for a semester

Transcript Serves as the student's official academic record and the University's official record of credit and degrees awarded, including the courses taken by a student and the grades received in each course. Probations, suspensions, and disciplinary expulsions also appear on the transcript.

Transfer Credit Courses taken at another accredited institution and accepted toward degree requirements at Missouri State.

Transfer Student Student who has completed 24 or more transferable credit hours after high school graduation.  

Tuition The amount of money that must be paid for classes. Other fees may be assessed in addition to tuition. 

Upper Division Undergraduate courses numbered 300 and above.

"W" Grade Indicates student withdrew from (dropped) a class without academic penalty.