Definitions of Key Terms
Modified text of GRO definition. Please see the Change Control Page for details.
- Academic Year:
- The academic year refers to the part of the year defined by the Fall and
Spring semesters, approximately mid-August through mid-May.
Program Requirements Reports (major/degree requirements) display the requirements and
approved courses for each undergraduate program at the University.
Audit is a registration status allowing students to
attend a course without receiving credit. See the full audit
- Baccalaureate Degrees:
- Baccalaureate degrees are awarded for completion of an undergraduate
program of study. The Colleges of Humanities, Science, and Social and
Behavioral Sciences offer the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science
degrees. In general, all other baccalaureate degrees identify the college
or field of study with which they are associated. Bachelor's degrees are
comprised of general education courses, a major, elective courses, and in
some cases a minor.
- A course is a systematic plan of study which may utilize lecture,
discussion, laboratory, recitation, seminar, workshop, studio, independent
study, internship, or other similar teaching formats to facilitate
learning for the student.
- Course Load:
- Course load refers to the total number of units taken for credit, audit,
by correspondence, or through concurrent registration at another
- A degree is a title which a university confers on a student who has
satisfactorily completed a required course of study. Degree requirements
are established by the University, colleges and departments, and are
approved by the University faculty, administration, and the Arizona Board
- A discipline is a recognized subject area or field of study within which
courses and research are structured.
- Double Major:
- A double major is possible for students with two principal fields of
study in programs that offer the identical degree type. For example, a
student can major in both Art Education and Fine Arts Studies because both
lead to the Bachelor of Fine Arts.
- Electives are courses selected at a student's discretion. Electives may
be partially restricted, such as a selection from a specified group of
courses identified to fulfill a particular requirement or they may be
"free" electives which may be selected from any course for which
the student has proper prerequisites. Electives provide opportunities for
students to pursue personal interests and to gain general knowledge.
- The Grade Replacement Opportunity allows some undergraduate
students to repeat, only once, certain courses for a new grade. Conditions
of this policy differ for graduate students. Please see the policy for
- Grade-point-average (GPA) or
averaging of grades:
- See GPA Calculation.
- Hours of Credit or
- Hours of credit or semester hours are alternative designations for units
- The major is a student's principal field of study.
- The minor is a secondary field of study requiring fewer units than the
- An option is a subspecialization within a major that allows a student to
place special emphasis on a particular aspect of the major field of study.
- Residence Credit:
- The University does not distinguish its credit offerings according to
residence and non-residence credit. See the definition of University
- Student Academic Progress Reports summarize a student's progress
toward graduation, by evaluating the student's completed course work
against the requirements of the student's declared degree program.
Students may request a SAPR through
- Semester or Term:
- Semester and term are used to identify the formally designated periods
during which classes are scheduled. The University schedules classes
during six terms: fall and spring semesters, each lasting approximately 15
weeks; a winter inter-session term of approximately three weeks; and three
summer session terms, comprised of a three-week pre-session and two
five-week terms. The term regular semester refers to fall or spring
- University Credit (formerly
- University credit is the term used to identify all credit offered by The
University of Arizona with the exception of
correspondence credit and Special
Examination for Credit. Only the grades of courses taken for
University credit and by Special
Examination for Grade are used in calculating the grade-point-average.