A Definition Primer for University Students

The following terms are used on a daily basis in describing academics and situations surrounding those we serve.

Academic Clemency

Students who transfer from one University of Wisconsin-Platteville program to another may be granted the option to have their academic record adjusted. Students wishing to file academic clemency must do so within one semester of the change of major. For specific instructions, students are requested to contact the Office of the Registrar.

Academic Year

The period from September 1 to August 31 beginning with the fall semester (September to December), winterim (January), spring semester (January to May) and summer (May to August) in which classes are in session.

Add and Drop

This is a process designed for the purpose of changing a course schedule. The student visits the Office of the Registrar and “drops” the class not wanted, and “adds” the class desired.  The academic calendar specifies the deadlines for adding and dropping courses.

Advising

The process of providing a student with the most complete, current information related to university life. This may include, but is not limited to, information in the areas of academics, resident life, financial planning, career planning and special events.

Audit

A type of course enrollment where a student chooses not to earn credit.  Enrollment is contingent upon instructor approval. 

Bachelor’s Degree

The degree received after completing a specific program of undergraduate study as well as the completion of all graduation requirements including a minimum of 120 credits.

Certification

The recognition by an outside organization of fulfillment of requirements to meet a professional standard.

Classification

A measurement of academic achievement based on the number of credit hours earned. For example, students with 90 or more credits are seniors, juniors have 60 or more credits and sophomores have at least 30 credits.

College/School/Department

The university is comprised of three colleges, three schools and academic departments. Generally speaking, colleges, schools and departments are the administrative units responsible for the fiscal and academic concerns of the university. The chancellor is the chief executive officer of the university, the provost is the head of academic affairs, academic deans are the administrative heads of their respective colleges and department chairs/directors are the administrative heads of their respective areas.

Co-requisite

A course that must be taken at the same time as another course.

Credit Hour

A credit hour represents one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week in an academic semester or an equivalent amount of work for other academic activities as established by the university including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Credit Load

The number of credits a student carries during a semester or session.

Dean

A university administrator, usually a member of the faculty, who serves as the administrative head of a college.

Degree Program

A planned and approved program of study leading to a bachelor’s degree.

Elective

A course chosen by the student but not considered as part of the explicit requirements of the student’s coursework. Students may choose electives in their major as well as in core curriculum courses. 

Emphasis

A designated group of courses within a degree program that provides students increased exposure directed toward their major area of study.

Full Time Student

An undergraduate student enrolling for at least 12 or more semester credits during the fall and spring semester.  Summer session students are considered full time with six or more semester credits.

General Education (Core curriculum)

A component of a degree program which is designed to provide a broad-based education and competency, to include English, speech, mathematics, health and human performance, the humanities, the fine arts, historical perspectives, social sciences, natural sciences, ethnic/gender studies, international studies and foreign languages.

Good Standing

A student in good standing is one who has maintained an academic record that meets the established University of Wisconsin-Platteville policy. Students in good standing may continue at the university, return to the university or transfer to another institution.  Students with fewer than 30 credits earned must have a cumulative G.P.A. of 1.80 or higher.  Students with 30 or more earned credits must maintain a cumulative G.P.A of 2.00 or higher.

Grade Point

The numerical value given to letter grades. At University of Wisconsin-Platteville, a 4.00 plus/minus system is used wherein an “A” has a numeric value of 4.00, a “B” has a 3.00 value, etc.

Grade Point Average

Grade points are multiplied by the number of credits in the course.  The G.P.A. is determined by dividing the total grade points by the total credit hours attempted.

Grant

Financial assistance that does not have to be repaid.

Incomplete

The grade assigned when the student is temporarily unable to complete course requirements because of unusual circumstances. The student must complete all work and assignments necessary to complete the class requirements within the time period designated by their instructor not to exceed six months.  Unless a grade of incomplete is changed by the instructor, the temporary grade will lapse and be recorded as an “F."

Independent Study

A course designed by a student and an instructor which is generally taken outside the “normal” classroom setting.

Internship

Supervised work in a company or agency related to a student’s degree program and career plans. An internship is usually taken for academic credit and occasionally for remuneration.

Matriculate

Students who have matriculated have been officially admitted to the university as degree-seeking students and enroll in classes.

Major

A planned program of academic study chosen as a field of specialization leading to a bachelor’s degree. This term is often used interchangeably with program plan.

Minor

A sequence of related courses consisting of 24 or more semester hours of credit.

Pioneer Passport

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville identification card is called the Pioneer Passport. This card functions as the meal access card for dining services if a student is participating in a meal plan.

Practicum

Supervised work experience related to a program of study.

Prerequisite

A course or experience that must be successfully completed before enrollment in a designated course.

Probation, Academic

A condition of university attendance whereby students are permitted to remain with the understanding they meet established academic standards within a set period of time. Failure to meet the standard generally results in dismissal from the university.

Repeat

The most recent grade is used regardless of whether it is higher or lower than the previous grade. If the repeat results in the grade of “F” and the student had previously earned a grade higher than “F,” the “F” replaces the grade in the calculation of the grade point average, and the student loses the credits since no credits are granted when a grade of “F” is earned. Grades earned in three or more attempts of a course do not replace prior grades but are included in the grade point average.

Reentry

An enrollment procedure for students who were previously enrolled at University of Wisconsin-Platteville, left for a time period, and wish to continue their studies.

Registration

The process of being advised, selecting courses appropriate to the student’s academic goals, and officially establishing a course load and schedule sanctioned by the advisor.

Reserve

When a book is on reserve, it means that the book cannot be removed from the “reserve room” or may be borrowed only for a short period of time. This process is usually done when the library has only a few copies of the book and it is required reading for a particular class.

Semester/Session

A unit of time, generally 16 weeks in duration. University of Wisconsin-Platteville has two semesters (fall and spring), and a summer session which is twelve weeks.  Winterim is shorter term held in January giving students an opportunity to complete one course between semesters.

Special Student

A student who has not matriculated as a degree-seeking student.

Student Conduct Code

Chapter 14: This is the state statute that governs student academic misconduct at the university. It describes academic misconduct, provides sanctions for those who are found to have engaged in academic misconduct and describes the disciplinary process.

Chapter 17: This is the state statute that governs student conduct at the university. It specifies conduct which is prohibited, provides sanctions for those who are found to have violated the code and describes the disciplinary process.

Chapter 18: This is the state statute that governs student conduct on university grounds. It describes misconduct and provides sanctions for those who are found to have engaged in misconduct on university land.

Suspension

To be excluded from the university as a penalty for failure to meet academic or behavioral standards.  The term dismissal is also used to describe a suspension.

Teaching Major/Minor

A state Department of Public Instruction approved program for teacher certification for teaching at the elementary, middle or secondary school level.