Some academic terms need further explanation.

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  • Academic Advisor

    A member of the faculty or another professional who provides academic advice and guidance to students.

  • Academic Calendar

    The Academic Calendar lists all the days when classes are in session, including last days to Add or Drop a course. It can be accessed through the University website.

  • Academic Services and Retention

    The Office of Academic Services and Retention is dedicated to helping each student realize his/her full academic potential. It does this by providing academic advisement and monitoring all academic standards and procedures as well as providing students and faculty with the information they need to make informed decisions.

  • Adding Courses

    This is when a student adds a course to their registration.

  • Adjunct Faculty

    Faculty member who teach part-time without appointments in the regular faculty.

  • Admissions Office

    The office responsible for admitting students to the institution.

  • Associate Degree

    Degree granted upon the completion of a two-year academic program mostly offered at two-year institutions. Adelphi only offers an Associate Degree in University College.

  • Auditing

    Taking a class to acquire knowledge but not for credit or grades. Audited courses do not count toward degree requirements.

  • Bachelor’s Degree

    The first university degree awarded upon the completion of an undergraduate curriculum. The degrees are usually known as “bachelor of arts” or “bachelor of science.” Adelphi also offers the BBA (bachelor of business arts), the BFA (bachelor of fine arts), and the BSW (bachelor of social work).

  • Bulletin

    The University’s catalog of programs, curricula and courses.

  • CLASS (Course Listing, Advising and Student Services)

    An online system that offers access to important student information. This includes your course registration, course confirmation (listing room locations), financial aid, bills, grades, transcript, and course directory (including seats available).

  • Commencement

    Graduation ceremony held each May.

  • Credit

    Refers to academic coursework. A student earns credits for the successful completion of each course for each academic term. Adelphi sets a minimum number of credits required to graduate. At Adelphi, we have the one per hour/week in class system of earning credit, which means that to earn one credit you have to spend one hour in-class per week for fifteen weeks.

  • Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

    The numerical average of all the student’s grades achieved during the period of study at an institution.

  • Dean

    A Dean is in charge of a division of the university. There are several Academic Deans at Adelphi University and also the Dean of Student Affairs. The Deans along with the Associate and Assistant Deans oversee the progress of students in their particular academic units.

  • Dean of Students

    Dean of Students represents the head of the “student life side” of the campus.

  • Dean’s List

    A published list of students who have earned a 3.5 grade-point average in a term.

  • Declared

    Refers to a student who has declared a major.

  • Degree Audit

    Degree Audit is an online academic advisement tool designed to help you understand the degree requirements for your major.

  • Department

    The formal faculty group, together with its support stuff, responsible for instruction in a general subject area.

  • Department Chair

    A tenured faculty member who oversees an academic department.

  • Directory of Classes

    The Directory of Classes is a copy of all the classes offered by Adelphi. It is published by the University Registrar. It includes schedule and registration information, an academic calendar, a chart of tuition and fees, a listing of pertinent policies, a list of classes suitable for General Education requirements, and a final examination schedule.

  • Doctoral Degree

    The doctorate (Ph.D., Doctor of Philosophy, or Ed.D., Doctor of Education) is the highest degree awarded. It requires course work, comprehensive examinations, original research, and a dissertation. A minimum of three years of study is generally required beyond the master’s level.

  • Double Major

    Program of study in which a student completed the requirements of two majors at the same time.

  • Dropping Courses

    Students are permitted to remove a course from their course schedule during the first four weeks of the semester. This called dropping a course. Dropped courses will not appear on your transcript, but dropping a course or courses may affect your financial aid status and/or your health insurance.

  • eCampus

    An online portal giving you one-stop access to information, services, and applications.

  • Electives

    A course chosen freely by the student from the institution’s offerings.

  • General Education Requirements

    The General Education requirements are a set of course requirements that all Adelphi undergraduates must fulfill in order to get a degree. Some requirements like The Freshmen Orientation Experience, The Freshmen Seminar, and The Art and Craft of Writing will be met in the freshmen year.

  • Graduate

    A person who has successfully completed a program of study and earned a final award

  • Incomplete

    Temporary grade indicating that the student has not met all course assignments at the end of the term. The professor must complete an Incomplete Contract stipulating how and when the work will be completed. If the student does not complete the work within one year, the “I” automatically becomes an “F” on the student’s transcript.

  • Independent Study

    An assignment (reading or research) carried out by a student under faculty supervision for credit. Students may take no more than 12 credits of independent study.

  • Internship

    Supervised professional training designed to allow students to apply previously acquired skills and knowledge to practical situations. Can be taken for credit.

  • Learning Center

    The Learning Center provides a wide array of services geared toward enhancing students’ academic performance at Adelphi University. As a resource center it is staffed by university peer tutors. The Learning Center’s resources are available to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled on any Adelphi University campus and is located in Earle Hall.

  • Liberal Arts

    The traditional fields of study in the humanities, sciences and social sciences as distinct from technical and professional education.

  • Major

    Undergraduate student’s area of specialization, it consists of a number of courses in one field. All student must declare a major by the time they have accumulated 60 credits.

  • Master’s Degree

    A post-baccalaureate degree usually earned after one or two years of course work.

  • Minor

    A secondary area of concentration; usually 18-24 credits.


  • Part-time

    Student taking fewer than 12 credits a semester.

  • Pass/Fail

    The Pass/Fail grade option is designed to encourage students to explore disciplines outside their major with affecting their GPA. The letter P (Pass) or F (Fail) are the only grades assigned when the student chooses this option. Pass/Fail can not be used to fulfill a major, minor requirement. The only General Education Requirements that can be taken Pass/Fail is the Second Competency.

  • Petitions

    Academic petitions are requests for an exception to an academic rule or deadline. If you meet deadlines and comply with regulations, you should not need to petition for a postponement or exception. Financial Petitions are requests filed with Collections.

  • Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

    The highest earned degree awarded in the world.

  • Planning

    The time period before registration in which you should meet with your academic advisor to discuss course selection and your academic goals.

  • Prerequisite

    A course which must be completed before a student is allowed to register for a more advanced course.

  • Probation

    A status imposed on students whose work is unsatisfactory until they improve their performance or are asked to leave the program or institution.

  • Provost

    The chief academic officer of the institution.

  • Registrar

    The office responsible for registering students and maintaining their educational records and transcripts.

  • Registration

    The formal process of enrolling students in courses. At Adelphi all students must have their course of study approved by an academic advisor before they can register.

  • Seminar

    A small class of students which meets with a professor to discuss specialized topics.

  • Senior Thesis

    Year-long original research for students in the Honors College often growing from earlier Honors projects.

  • SGA (The Student Government Association)

    Represents student interests and concerns to the University administration. Its primary role is to serve as the voice of students. The SGA also allocates funds to student organizations, sponsors awareness days, and hosts speakers on campus.

  • STEP (Scholar Teacher Education Program)

    A unique, five-year combined bachelor’s and master’s program that integrates field-intensive programs with a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences. STEP prepares candidates to teach at the childhood (grades 1-6) and adolescence (grades 7-12) levels. Graduates who successfully complete the fifth year of the program are then eligible for New York State Department of Education certification in childhood or adolescence education.

  • Study Abroad

    Adelphi students can enrich their academic experience by studying abroad. The Center for International Education (CIE) offers programs that go for a couple of weeks during the semester, or during the summer or  programs that span an entire academic year. Students also have the opportunity to participate in study abroad programs run by educational institutions affiliated with Adelphi.

  • Syllabus

    A syllabus is a written description of a course that the instructor provides to the students. It includes a listing of assignments, a statement of course policies regarding absences and grades, and a schedule of tests.

  • Transcript

    The official record of a student’s academic performance at an institution. An official transcript has the Registrar’s stamp on it and is often requested in a sealed envelop; an unofficial transcript does not have this stamp and can be printed by a student through CLASS.

  • Transfer Credit

    Credit awarded toward a degree on the basis of studies completed at another institution.

  • Undeclared

    An undeclared student is a student who has not yet declared a major.

  • Undergraduate

    (1) Description of a post-secondary program leading to a bachelor’s degree; (2) A student enrolled in such a program.

  • Undergraduate Bulletin

    The Undergraduate Bulletin outlines the requirements for each major and provides a brief description for most courses taught at Adelphi. It also lists all the university rules and regulations.

  • Unofficial Transcript

    An unofficial transcript does not have the Registrar’s stamp and can be printed by a student through CLASS.

  • Withdrawing (from a class)

    A student may withdraw from a course until approximately the middle of the semester. A student would withdraw from a course if s/he felt s/he could not successfully complete the course and it is past the drop date. When a student withdraws, the student receives a “W” in place of a grade on the transcript. The “W” does not impact the GPA or a student’s full-time status. The student does not receive any credit for the course.

  • Withdrawing (from the University)

    Formal process of leaving an institution before (and without) completing a degree. A student should always speak with an academic advisor before withdrawing from the university. Withdrawing can also have financial implications and students should check with Student Financial Services before withdrawing.

  • Writing Center

    Located in Earle Hall, the Writing Center is the hub of writing-related activity at Adelphi University. Its primary purpose is to help students learn to use writing more effectively in all aspects of college life. The Writing Center is designed for any student, of any ability, who wants to improve his or her writing process.

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