Academic Calendar—An official list of dates found at the beginning of the Undergraduate Catalog and on the Web at http://registrar.utk.edu. The Academic Calendar specifies the dates for semesters and terms, examination periods, holidays, periods classes are not in session, and commencement.
Academic Discipline—A subject area (e.g., history, political science, psychology).
Academic Probation—A status that indicates a student is in academic difficulty. Students are placed on Academic Probation when either their cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below the minimal acceptable level of 2.0 for one semester or when their semester GPA falls below the minimal acceptable level of 2.0 for two consecutive terms of enrollment.
Academic Second Opportunity—A policy designed to assist the student who was not successful in progressing toward a degree during a previous attendance at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, but who is now performing satisfactory work.
Academic Year—The part of the year that includes the fall and spring semesters.
Advanced Placement (AP) Credit—First-year students admitted to UT-Knoxville may receive AP credit on the basis of performance on one or more of the Advanced Placement Examinations offered by the College Entrance Examination Board. Each participating department decides on the acceptable score for credit.
Advisor—A department or college-based faculty or staff member who meets with students each semester to discuss curricular choices and progress toward achieving educational goals.
Audit—A registration status that allows a student (with the approval of the instructor) to enroll in a course without receiving credit.
Baccalaureate or Bachelor’s Degree—Awarded for completion of an undergraduate curriculum. A bachelor’s degree is comprised of general education courses, a major, elective courses, and, in some cases, a minor. BA is the Bachelor of Arts degree and BS is the Bachelor of Science degree.
Bursar—See Office of the Bursar.
Catalog—A resource of all academic policies and procedures, college and degree requirements, faculty, and course descriptions.
Catalog Year—The year during which the regulations of a specific edition of the Undergraduate Catalog apply.
Classification—Level of progress toward a degree based on the number of semester hours passed.
Closed Course—A course that is filled to capacity and has no available spaces. Special permission from the instructor and department is needed to add a closed course. A wait list option is available for some courses.
Collateral Area—Classes in a discipline or subject related to the major or concentration but offered by a different department. For example, in the College of Business Administration, the major in finance offers a collateral option.
College– An academic unit of the university. Each college represents an organization of related departments. (The Colleges of Nursing and Social Work do not have departments.) Here is a list of all colleges that offer undergraduate degrees:
- College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources
- College of Architecture & Design
- College of Arts & Sciences
- College of Business Administration
- College of Communication & Information
- College of Education, Health, & Human Sciences
- College of Engineering
- College of Nursing
- College of Social Work
Commencement (also known as Graduation)—A formal ceremony in which colleges award degrees to graduating students. Visit the Graduation website hosted by the Office of the Registrar.
Concentration —A specific focus within a major; for example, English majors may choose to concentrate in either literature or creative writing.
Contact Hours—The number of hours the class meets per week.
Core Courses—Classes that all students in a major program are required to take.
Co requisite—Specific conditions, requirements, or courses that must be completed at the same time as another course.
Correspondence—A type of independent study for individuals who want to study out-of-class at their own pace.
Course —A specific subject studied within a limited period of time. Courses may utilize lecture, discussion, laboratory, seminar, workshop, studio, independent study, internship, or other similar teaching formats to facilitate learning.
Course Load—The total number of credit hours taken in a semester. For example, the average course load for any semester is 15 to 16 credit hours. Students registered for at least 12 hours are considered full-time.
Course Number —The three-digit number that identifies a specific course, such as 101 in English 101.
Course Title —The name of a specific course that indicates subject and content. English Composition I is the course title of English 101.
Credit—The number of credits assigned to a course is generally based upon the amount of time the class meets each week. For example, a three-credit lecture class meets for approximately three hours per week.
Credit by Examination—See Proficiency.
Credit Hours—The numerical unit of credit earned for satisfactory completion of a particular course. Each credit hour is roughly equivalent to one hour of class time per week. Most lecture courses are three credit hours. Laboratories do not generally reflect credit hours equivalent to the number of hours they meet.
Curriculum—A program of courses that meets the requirements for a degree in a particular field of study. Fore more information, check out UT’s Major Guides.
Degree —Official recognition for completion of a curriculum. An undergraduate degree is called a bachelor’s or baccalaureate.
Degree Audit Report System (DARS)—“Degree Audit Reporting System” (DARS) is an automated system that compares a student’s completed coursework with the requirements for their degree; access is available via DARSweb.
Department—A unit within a college representing a discipline. For example, the Department of English is in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Departmental Exam—A common final exam given to all sections of a course at a designated time. Departmental final exams are usually scheduled in a large room rather than the location where the class met during the term.
Discipline —An area of study representing a branch of knowledge, such as mathematics.
Dismissal —Academic Dismissal is the end result of a pattern of multiple semesters of grades below the university’s standards for Good Standing (2.00 or higher GPA). Academic Dismissal only occurs after you have been warned about your academic performance through being placed on Academic Probation.
Drop/Add –The process of adjusting a student’s schedule by dropping and/or adding courses after that session’s first day of class. The deadline for dropping/adding a full-session course is the tenth calendar day of the session. For more information on dropping a course, click here. For more information on adding a course, click here.
Electives —Courses selected at a student’s discretion. Electives may be partially restricted (selected from a specified group of courses identified to fulfill a particular requirement) or they may be free electives (selected from any courses for which the student has proper prerequisites).
Final Exams—Tests or exercises given at the end of a term. A schedule for Final Exams is listed in the Timetable each semester.
General Education Requirement—See University General Education Requirement.
Grade Point Average (GPA)—A measure of scholastic performance. The GPA is obtained by dividing the number of grade points by the hours of work attempted. Make sure to check out UT’s GPA Calculator.
Incomplete —Under extraordinary circumstances and only at the discretion of the instructor, a grade of “I” (Incomplete) may be assigned to a student whose work is satisfactory but who has not completed a portion of the course.
Independent Study—Academic work completed in consultation with a faculty member outside of the regular course offerings.
Interdisciplinary—Course or program of study involving two or more major areas/departments. For example, the minor in communication and information is interdisciplinary.
Lab (laboratory)—In labs, students apply lecture material in small-group situations that include experiments, assignments, and projects.
Lecture —Teaching method in which the professor presents information to the students who take notes, ask questions, and have dialogue with the professor.
Lower Division (LD)—A general term describing the first two years of college (a lower-division student) or courses taken in the first two years of college (lower-division courses). For example, LD courses are on the 100- or 200-level and cover introductory content.
Major—Concentrated study in a subject area of special interest. A full list of majors and programs of study can be found here.
Matriculation—The first enrollment following admission as a student.
Minor—A secondary field of study requiring fewer credits than the major.
MyUTK—Online portal for official info like registration, DARS, Vol Card balance and semester course schedule at http://my.utk.edu.
Net ID –The first part of a student’s UTK email address received once attendance at UTK is confirmed. Your Net ID is used each semester to register for courses, to log into your UTK email account, and to sign onto Blackboard. Learn more here.
Office of the Bursar—The office where payments of tuition and fees are made. Visit the Bursar’s website here.
Office of the University Registrar—The office that plans and oversees registration, academic record maintenance, transcript preparation, graduation, degree audit report system, curricular records, and university catalogs. Visit the Registrar’s website here.
Option—An approved group of courses creating a specialty within a major field of study.
Plagiarism—Using the intellectual property of someone else without giving proper credit. The undocumented use of someone else’s words or ideas in any medium of communication (unless such information is recognized as common knowledge) is a serious offense, subject to disciplinary action that may include failure in a course and/or dismissal from the university.
Prerequisite—One or more courses that must be completed or other knowledge, skills, or standards that must be demonstrated before a student is permitted to take certain courses. Prerequisites (if any) for a course are listed in the Undergraduate Catalog. For example, English 101 is a prerequisite for English 102.
Proficiency—Credit received when a student takes an oral or written examination without enrolling in a course. The university policy is to allow each individual department to determine which of its courses, if any, can be passed by proficiency.
Progression Requirements—Requirements used by some colleges or degree programs (usually at the end of the second year) to determine if students have successfully completed prerequisite courses before accepting them into a specific major.
Registrar—See Office of the University Registrar.
Registration—The act of signing up for classes on the Web (MyUTK).
Registration Restriction(s)—Conditions for enrollment enforced by the Registration System. These restrictions may include one or more of the following—minimum GPA, student level, college, major,
concentrations, degree, or a qualification such as teacher licensure.
Satisfactory/No Credit Grading (S/NC)—An alternative to the standard grading system of letter grades.
Section—A three-digit number that identifies the section of a particular course when multiple sections of the same course are offered.
Semester or Term—Semester and term are used to identify the formally designated period during which classes are scheduled. Fall semester begins in August and spring semester begins in January.
Seminar—A form of small group instruction, combining independent research and class discussions, under the guidance of a professor. One example would be FYS 129: Freshman Seminars.
Sequence —A series of courses within the same subject area. Generally, these courses are taken in numerical order. An example of a sequence is History 221, 222 (History of the United States).
Session —An abbreviated period within the full academic term during which classes are offered. For example, some summer courses are offered during the first session of summer term (in June), and others are offered during the second session (in July).
Student ID Number —Unique nine-digit number generated for students upon admission to the University. This number begins with three zeros.
Survey Course—A course that covers briefly the principal topics of a broad field of knowledge.
Syllabus—A course outline provided by the instructor that delineates course requirements, grading criteria, course content, faculty expectations, deadlines, examination dates, grading policies, class attendance requirements, and other relevant course information.
Timetable of Classes—The official schedule of classes produced each semester by the Office of the University Registrar. The most up-to-date information can be found online at cpo.utk.edu.
Transcript —The official record of a student’s course work maintained by the Office of the University Registrar.
University General Education Requirement—One of the requirements for a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree. It is a pattern of courses which students complete, regardless of their major, to ensure that they have a broad educational experience.
Upper Division (UD)—A general term describing the third and fourth years of college (an upper-division student) or courses taken in the last two years of college (upper-division courses). For example, UD courses are numbered in the 300- and 400-level which cover more in-depth content.
Withdrawal—Withdrawal means that you are dropping all your courses of enrollment for the current term. For some frequently asked questions on withdrawal, click here.