Academic Calendar – An official list of dates found at the beginning of the Undergraduate Catalog and on the Web at https://registrar.utk.edu/calendar/academic-calendars/. 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 – Freshmen 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.
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.)
Commencement (also known as Graduation) – A formal ceremony in which colleges award degrees to graduating students.
Concentration – A focus within the major. For example, criminal justice is a concentration of the sociology major.
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.
Corequisite – 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.
Course Number – The three-digit number that identifies a specific course, such as 101 in ENGL 101 *.
Course Title – The name of a specific course that indicates subject and content. English Composition I is the course title of ENGL 101 *.
Credit by Examination – See Proficiency.
Credit Hour – 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.
Degree Audit Report System (DARS) – An automated record of a student’s academic progress toward degree completion in his/her major. The DARS audit contains all requirements and sub-requirements for a specific degree program. Final certification of degree requirements rests with the Office of the University Registrar.
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 – When a student’s academic performance is consistently poor over time and his/her GPA is below 2.0, he/she will no longer be allowed to enroll.
Drop/Add – Changing a student’s course schedule by adding and/or dropping a course or courses.
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).
Exploratory Tracks –
- College-Level Exploratory – Students who are deciding among one or more majors that are all offered by the same college follow an exploratory track for that college (e.g., Arts and Sciences Exploratory, Business Exploratory, etc.)
- University Exploratory – Students who have no clear idea of which major to pursue and/or those who are trying to decide among majors that are not in a single college follow the University Exploratory track.
- University Transition – Students who find themselves ineligible for the major they initially intended to pursue. Students will enter this major upon admission to the university as a transfer student but not into the major of first-choice or when as a continuing student they are no longer able to make progress toward their first-choice major.
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.
Holistic Review – a comprehensive and balanced examination of qualifications in which a variety of factors are considered. Transfer applicants are evaluated holistically on factors such as high school and transfer GPA, ACT/SAT scores, and intended major field of study.
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.
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) – Courses on the 100- or 200-level that cover introductory content.
Major – A student’s principal field of study that commonly consists of approximately 25% of the total credit hours needed to earn a degree.
Matriculation – The first enrollment following admission as a student.
Milestones – In order to remain on track for a major or exploratory area, students must complete minimum requirements for each tracking semester known as milestones. Milestones include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA.
Mini-term – The mini-term allows you to attend one concentrated credit course. Students must be admitted for summer semester before registering for a mini-term. Courses follow the same standards as those in a regular semester. Mini-term grades are included in the calculation of the summer term grade point average. You must have permission from the dean of the respective college to enroll in more than one course during a mini-term since one day is equivalent to one week. Mini-terms are not eligible for financial aid. Also see https://summer.utk.edu/courses/mini-term/.
Minor – A secondary field of study requiring fewer credits than the major.
Office of the Bursar – The office administers VOLXpress accounts, collects university fees and charges, and delivers excess financial aid.
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.
Off Track for a Single Semester – Students who are off track at the end of a tracking semester must meet with an advisor as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the next tracking semester to develop a plan for getting back on track. Students who do not have an advisor-approved plan for getting back on track will not be allowed to register for future tracking semesters.
Off Track for Two Consecutive Semesters – Students who are off track for two consecutive semesters will have a hold placed on their registration and must meet with a new advisor in one of the advising centers no later than the end of the “add” period of the next tracking term to select a new major that is better aligned with the student’s abilities.
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 – Specific conditions, requirements, or classes that provide knowledge necessary to promote success in a subsequent course. Proof of mastery of that knowledge is usually determined by a passing grade in the prerequisite course, although some courses may have more stringent requirements.
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 (https://my.utk.edu/).
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 – One of several classes of the same course. In the Timetable, a five-digit code is used to identify each section of each course 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.
Sequence – A series of courses within the same subject area. Generally, these courses are taken in numerical order. An example of a sequence is HIUS 221 - HIUS 222 (History of the United States).
Session – A session is 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).
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 https://my.utk.edu/.
Track – A separate route leading to the same degree but with different requirements.
Tracking Audit – Tracking audits will help students identify their milestone progress; audits are tied to a catalog year. Tracking audits will be used to notify students when they are off track.
Tracking Semesters – Only fall and spring semesters are tracking semesters. Mini and summer semesters are not tracking semesters, they provide an opportunity for students to catch up on unmet milestones. Study abroad and co-op semesters are not tracking semesters. Students participating in study abroad and co-op are not required to complete milestones while they are away from campus.
Transcript – The official record of a student’s coursework maintained by the Office of the University Registrar.
University General Education Requirement – One of the requirements for a baccalaureate degree (beginning Fall 2004). 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) – Courses numbered in the 300- and 400-level which cover more in-depth content.
uTrack – Universal Tracking (uTrack) is an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA. uTrack requirements only affect full-time, degree-seeking students who first entered Fall 2013 or later. uTrack does not apply to transfer students who enter prior to Fall 2015.
Withdrawal – Officially dropping all courses for a given term.