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Terminology

Friday 8 February 2013

Degree: Term used to describe the course completed such as a Bachelor or a Master. We often say a Bachelor Degree.

Faculties / Schools: Universities are structured by faculties or schools for academic purposes (faculties of Commerce, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Arts…). Some faculties are also divided in schools or colleges.

Award: A Degree awarded by the University at the completion of a course of study.

Major: The area of study you choose to specialize in.

Minor: Approximately half the workload of a major.

Undergraduate: Postsecondary education up to the level of Bachelor.

Postgraduate / Graduate: Any course of academic study higher than a Bachelor Degree.

Transcript: The official and certified version of your academic record. Document with your subjects studied and marks/results.

Prerequisite: A unit/subject that must be completed or a requirement which must be satisfied before you can be accepted in a course.

Unit / course / module: A program of study is made of a number of subjects called units, courses or modules depending on the University.

Package Offer: When the University requires you to complete a language course or another preliminary program before commencing your degree. The document will indicate the succession of programs with start an end dates for each of them.

Full Offer: Document sent by the University and allowing you to enter in the next available intake. It means you have satisfied all the entry requirements.

Conditional Offer: Document sent by the University outlining conditions that must be satisfied before you can be accepted into the program. Often it is an English Test or some transcripts missing.

Credit points: Each unit/subject is worth a number of credit points. You’ll need to obtain a specific number of credit points in order to graduate from the university and to obtain the final award. European institutions used ECTS. Credit points are also important when you transfer to another Institution or when you go abroad for one or two Semesters.

Grade Point Average (GPA): The overall quality of a student’s grades/marks. The GPA is often a condition to enter a program and some Universities request a high GPA in order to accept students.

Semester / Trimester / Session: Periods of study during the academic year. Universities use different calendar, but most of them operate with Semesters. You’ll need to check start and end dates depending on countries and hemispheres dates can vary.

Pathways: Programs helping students to enter other programs. Often when students do not have the required academic level, they can enter a pathway program to facilitate their admission into the next level. Sometimes such programs can be called preparatory programs.

Exchange: When Universities/Schools/Colleges have signed an agreement, students can apply to spend one or two Semesters in the Partner Institution. Students normally pay the tuition fee from their home Institution.

Study Abroad: When Universities have not signed an agreement for exchange, they may allow their students to spend one or two Semesters with another Institution. Students must make sure that their study period will then be credited towards their initial program. Students normally pay a specific price to the host institution for the Study Abroad period.

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