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.

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

Accelerated graduate 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.

Alumni Individuals who have attended or graduated from the 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 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 courses, programs of study and academic policies and requirements.

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

Change of Schedule Period First five days of the term when students can add and drop classes.

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

College Group of academic departments, schools and programs administered by a college dean.

College Level Examinations Program (CLEP) Method of earning academic credit outside of traditional course offerings.

Commencement Ceremony held at the end of the fall and spring semesters 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.

Co-requisite Two or more courses that must be taken during the same term.

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. 

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 Credit Program in which students can earn college credit from Missouri State while in high school.

Dual Enrollment Refers to students who are concurrently enrolled in two or more higher education institutions.

Enrollment Status Indicates student's academic load (i.e., full-time, three-quarter time, half-time, less than half-time).

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

General Education Program Group of foundation courses required of all undergraduate degrees regardless of major.

Grade Point Numerical value given to grades (also referred to as quality points.) 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 registering for classes 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.

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 class and the instructor agrees to allow additional time for completion.

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 graduate program in which students earn both graduate and undergraduate credit.

Modality How, when and where a class is taught. Refer to the class schedule.

My Missouri State Website that provides access to personal student information, email, Brightspace, online registration, and much more. A BearPass login is required to access the system.

Non-Comprehensive Major A BA or BS major 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 Typically describes 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 a 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 courses Those courses that have both an undergraduate and graduate version (example: ACC 504 and ACC 604) or both a master's and doctoral version (example: OTE 610 and OTE 710). Students who enroll in either course meet in the same room at the same time with the same instructor. The higher level version of the course must require appropriate coursework. 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 A nondegree seeking classification of student who has earned a bachelor's degree and wishes to take additional classes but not pursue an additional undergraduate degree or a graduate 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 Another name for a major.

Readmission Admission process followed by a student who wishes to enroll after a absence of one full calendar year.

Registration Restriction A type of prerequisite that requires student be in a specific major in order to enroll in the class.

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

Semester Also, referred to as a "term". Instructional period of 15 weeks plus a final examination period offered twice a year. Additional instructional periods include intersessions and summer sessions.

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

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 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 classes unless reinstatement is granted by the dean of the college of the student's major.

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

Term Another name for a semester or summer session.

Transcript Serves as the student's official academic record of classes and grades received and degrees awarded.

Transfer Credit Classes taken at another institution and accepted as college credit 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.