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Academic Calendar—An official list of dates found at the beginning of the Undergraduate Catalog and on the Web at 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 and create an academic plan designed to meet students’ educational and career goals, review University resources and programs, review curricular choices and monitor 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 One Stop.

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 Haslam College of Business  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:

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.

Course —A specific subject studied within a limited period of time. Courses may utilize lecture, discussion, laboratory, seminar, workshop, studio, independent study, internship, on-line, 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 unit of credit is the semester credit hour. One semester credit hour represents an amount of instruction that reasonably approximates both 50 minutes per week of classroom-based direct instruction and a minimum of two hours per week of student work outside the classroom over a fall or spring semester. Normally, each semester credit hour represents an amount of instruction that is equivalent to 700 minutes of classroom-based direct instruction. The amount of time that is required to earn one semester credit hour in a laboratory, fieldwork, studio, or seminar-based course varies with the nature of the subject and the aims of the course; typically, a minimum of two or three hours of work in a laboratory, field, studio, or seminar-based setting is considered the equivalent of 50 minutes of classroom-based direct instruction. Semester credit hours earned in courses such as internships, research, theses, dissertation, etc. are based on outcome expectations established by the academic program.

Curriculum—A program of courses that meets the requirements for a degree in a particular field of study.

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—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. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Catalog.

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 assigned advisor, registration, DARS, uTrack, financial aid, Vol Card balance and semester course schedule at

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 BursarSee One Stop.

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. See One Stop.

One Stop – One Stop Express Student Services streamlines the most common enrollment, registration, financial aid, and payment services at one location. One Stop  provides knowledgeable, friendly, and convenient service on the ground floor of Hodges Library, as well as easy online access to help you take care of your business when it’s most convenient. Visit One Stop 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. More details.

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.

RegistrarSee One Stop.

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)—The purpose of this system is to encourage the student to venture beyond the limits of those courses in which the student usually does well and, motivated by intellectual curiosity, explore subject matter in which performance may be somewhat less outstanding than work in other subjects. To this end, Satisfactory/No Credit (S/NC) grading has been developed for undergraduate courses (100-, 200-, 300-, and 400-level courses). For more information, visit the Undergraduate Catalog.

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 MyUTK.

Transcript —The official record of a student’s course work maintained by the Office of the University Registrar.

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.