Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

College Lingo

We're so excited you're considering UD as you continue your education. We hope this glossary of terms will be helpful as you navigate your college experience. If you have any questions, you can reach the Office of Undergraduate Admission at or 972-721-5266

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Academic Adviser

Usually a professor, this faculty or staff member guides students in planning their academic path at UD and helps them choose their courses for each semester.


Academic Probation

Students who earn less than a 2.0 GPA, or earn passing grades in fewer than 9 of 12 credits, in a second full-time semester are put on academic probation. Students on academic probation are not permitted to be candidates for or hold any elected or appointed office on campus or participate in intercollegiate sports. More information can be found on p.30 of the UD Bulletin.



When an institution is officially recognized or authorized; meets certain educational standards.



Standardized test often used for admission purposes.


Add/Drop Period

The add/drop period is at the beginning of a semester. It allows students to add a new class for the current semester or drop a course they no longer wish to take without negative ramifications on their transcript.



People who have graduated from UD. A female graduate is an alumna; a male or female graduate is an alumnus. Check out UD's Alumni Community.


AP (Advanced Placement)

Advanced high school courses from which the final examinations (national AP tests) can earn a student college credit.


Application Fee Waiver

A fee waiver allows you to apply for admission for free. Fee waivers are often available for students with limited resources or those experiencing financial hardship. Follow this link to see qualifying fee waivers.



Aramark is the University of Dallas' exclusive food service provider. Dining options include private dining facilities, the Haggar Café, which offers an array of menu options in a collegiate dining atmosphere, and the Rathskeller restaurant and bar. Our dining program and options are designed to meet your needs and budget.



When auditing a course, you must attend at least 50 percent of the class sessions, but you do not complete any class assignments or take exams. Grades are not given for audited courses.


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

A degree that focuses on the liberal arts and humanities courses — may include some science courses and is usually completed in four years.


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

A degree that involves intensive scientific and/or mathematical studies (at UD these students also study the liberal arts Core Curriculum).


Bachelor's Degree

An undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting three to seven years. Typically requires 120 credit hours worth of academic coursework.



BannerWeb is the University of Dallas’ student information system. Within BannerWeb, students can register for classes, view and accept their financial aid and scholarships, view grades, manage personal information and much more.



Frequently used term for the "Braniff Graduate Center" building on campus. This building houses several professor offices and classrooms, as well as the library.



Also referred to as the Course Catalog, it is available online and provides a course registration roadmap for all students. This booklet provides course descriptions and numbers, outlines of degree plans, academic policies, fees and expenses and other pertinent information for a given academic year.


Cap Bar

Or Cappuccino Bar, is an on-campus coffee bar inside Haggar University Center. The Cap Bar employs many student employees and is a great place to grab a quick latte or cup of tea.


CFH (Cardinal Farrell Hall)

Cardinal Farrell Hall is the state-of-the-art student services and administration building, which opened in January 2018. The building includes three classrooms and first-floor “storefronts” that provide easy, one-stop access to financial aid, registration, student accounts and student employment services. The second floor houses the academic administration, and the third floor houses the President, Advancement and Development, and administration offices.


Charity Week

One of the University of Dallas' many traditions is Charity Week. Led by the junior class, Charity Week occurs during the fall semester and involves several student-run events, booths and activities that gather the entire campus together to raise money for charity.


Church of the Incarnation

Students attend religious services on campus at the 500-seat Church of the Incarnation, which houses our St. Thomas Aquinas Eucharistic Chapel. Because it is centrally located and open 24 hours a day, you’re never more than a brief walk away from a quiet haven for prayer and reflection any time of the day or night.



Usually referencing the Cistercian Abbey, a 15-minute walk from campus where students can attend Mass. Cistercian Abbey also houses the monks of the Cistercian order, some of whom teach on campus.



Standardized test often used for admission purposes. (online)


COB (College of Business)

The Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business offers graduate degrees in several areas of study as well as a Bachelor of Arts in business.



A concentration (similar to a minor at other institutions) is a set of courses that enables students to use electives to achieve disciplined study in an area short of a major.



The award ceremony for students completing their UD degree.


Core Curriculum

Taken by all undergraduates, this consists of 19 courses in English, history, philosophy, theology, economics, politics, science, mathematics, a foreign language and fine arts.


Cost of Attendance

The total cost to attend school for the academic year, including actual charges (tuition, fees, room and board), as well as estimated additional costs (transportation, books and personal expenses).


Credit Hour

A way of measuring how much credit a student receives for attending a course, which corresponds to the hours per week spent in that course. Unlike many traditional high school courses that require students to attend class every day, college courses may only meet two or three times per week.



A dean is the head of a college or university, who oversees an institution's faculty and academic staff at a departmental level.


Dean's List

An academic award, or notation, used to recognize the level of high scholarship demonstrated by students in a college or university. A student earning 15 or more credits and achieving a semester GPA of a 3.5 or higher merits the distinction of being placed on the Dean's List.


Declining Balance

Amount of money that can be loaded to a student's ID card — can be used at the Rathskellar or Cappuccino bar.



Failure to repay a loan according to the agreed-upon terms. For the Direct Loan program, your loan is typically in default if you fail to make a payment for 270 days. Your lender is required to report the default to at least one national credit bureau.



Allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your federal student loans. You are not charged interest on subsidized loans during deferment. Interest will continue to be charged on your unsubsidized loans and PLUS loans. Students enrolled at least half-time are eligible for in-school deferment.



An academic department is a division of a university or school faculty devoted to a particular discipline.


Department Chair/Head

A faculty member in a given academic department, assigned by the dean to manage that department. Primary role is to examine the operations of the department as a whole and the department's relationship to their institution more broadly.


Direct Costs

Costs a student will be billed for from UD (tuition, fees, room and board).



Another term for a residence hall.


Early Action I

November 1 deadline. If a student applies before this date, UD will waive the $50 application fee, and the student will receive an admission decision within three weeks.


Early Action II

December 1 deadline. If a student applies before this date, they will receive an admission decision within three weeks.



A course that is not necessarily required for a student's major, but the credits still count toward the completion of a student's degree.



"Free Application for Federal Student Aid"; this application opens on October 1 of each year — be sure to submit yours by January 15 for priority financial aid status!



Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act. This law governs how colleges protect and share student information.


Financial Aid

Financial aid can be a combination of scholarships, grants, loans, waivers and student employment. Scholarships and grants are considered “free money” that the student is not required to repay; however, loans and student employment are considered self-help aid. Most loans require repayment when a student becomes enrolled less than half time or graduates. Student employment includes both work-study positions and part-time employment positions, either on or off campus.


First-Generation Student

A first-gen student is a student whose parents/guardians did not complete a bachelor's degree.


Gorman Lecture Center

Academic building on campus that houses the print lab, IT Department and classrooms.



Student grants are monetary gifts to people who are pursuing higher education, typically based on financial need. Unlike student loans, grants do not require repayment.


Great Books

Primary texts of the Core Curriculum, written by the most influential authors of the Western intellectual tradition.



One of the University of Dallas' oldest traditions, Groundhog encompasses an entire weekend of fun and fellowship. Students, alumni and friends enjoy events such as Groundhog TGIT, a Powder Puff Football, 5K, soccer and rugby games, and finally the Party in the Park, where you can roast marshmallows, chow down on barbecue, wash it down with an ice-cold beer or soft drink and enjoy the live bands!



Frequently used term for "Haggar University Center." This building houses our Visitor Center, Campus Police, Health Clinic, Campus Ministry, Post Office, Rathskellar, Caféteria, Bookstore and Cappuccino Bar.



The Career Center's recruiting and career services platform.



A restriction that limits a student's ability to enroll, move in, register for courses, receive a diploma and/or other actions until the hold is removed.


Honor Roll

A student earning 15 or more UD credits in a semester and achieving a semester GPA of 3.0-3.49 is placed on the Honor Roll.



Humanities are academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture.



A temporary professional experience typically in a student's career field or major. It can be paid or unpaid and can sometimes be taken for academic credit.



Interterm (Winterterm, Wintermester)

A consolidated "mini-semester" that takes place in January after the completion of the fall semester and a shortened Christmas break. This program allows a student to earn three credit hours in three weeks.



Athletic games where students compete against fellow undergraduate students in a friendly competition.



Facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific or technological research, experiments and measurement may be performed. Common science classes with labs include biology, chemistry, physics and astronomy.



A lecture is an oral presentation intended to present information or teach students about a particular subject. Used to convey critical information, history, background, theories and equations.



A student whose parents, siblings or other family members have graduated from UD.


Letter of Recommendation

Statement from a teacher, counselor or mentor that is sent to a university to advocate for the student's intelligence and/or character.


Liberal Arts

Through a liberal arts education at the University of Dallas, you will be equipped with knowledge across many disciplines, including literature, history, art, mathematics, politics, economics, science, modern languages, philosophy and theology. You will investigate these subjects at their source, the primary texts of the Great Books of the Western tradition, in discussion-style classrooms that encourage you to engage with these great minds and discover their relevance in the modern world.



Money that you borrow and repay with interest. Most government loan programs offer low interest and/or deferred interest payments. Most do not require repayment of the principal and accrued interest until you graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half time.


Maher Athletic Center

Located on the West side of campus, this houses our athletic offices, gym, fitness center and locker rooms.



A major is the academic discipline to which an undergraduate student formally commits. Students who successfully complete all courses required for the major qualify for a degree.


The Mall

The Mall is the paved section connecting the majority of academic buildings on campus. This is often a place where students will gather and where many campus events are held.



A consolidated "mini-semester" that takes place in May after the completion of the spring semester. This program allows a student to earn three credits in three weeks.


Meal Plan

A program (required for on-campus students) that allows students to eat meals in the campus cafeteria without having to pay individually for each meal.


Meet Us at the Tower

Meet Us at the Tower, a phrase commonly used by UD students when meeting up with friends, provides admitted high school seniors a final opportunity to experience life as a UD student prior to the May 1 National Candidate Reply Deadline. During this event, you will hear about UD traditions and the Rome Program, experience campus and spiritual life, learn about various academic departments, sports and clubs, and interact with other high school seniors who are making the same decisions as you. We'll also help you sort through all the things that are on your mind: financial aid, on-campus housing and the value of a UD education. Parents are welcome to attend all events with the exception of dinner on Friday night and the student panel. During those events, alternative programs will be offered for parents and other guests.


Need-Based Aid

Financial assistance awarded to students based upon the cost of attendance and their estimated family contribution (EFC). Must submit a FAFSA to be considered for aid!


Net Price Calculator

Students can use the Net Price Calculator to estimate their eligibility for an Academic Achievement Award by entering in your high school GPA and standardized test scores. They can also enter in their family's financial information to receive an estimate regarding need-based financial aid.


Odyssey Day

Odyssey Day gives seniors the opportunity to experience the life of a UD student. Meet UD faculty, staff and students, and immerse yourself in UD's campus and spiritual life. Plus, take a student-led tour of campus, get answers about campus life during the student-only panel, and meet with your admission counselor about the application process, scholarships and financial aid. You can learn more about UD’s open house programs at


Office Hours

Office hours are set by your professor and are specific times when you can meet with your professor to discuss the material being presented in class or other related interests you have.



UD's interpretation of a German classic! Students enjoy food, drink and polka music — a fall tradition.



The Office of Personal Career Development (OPCD) seeks to prepare to achieve success in professional life. OPCD can help you as you discern opportunities, grow your skills through experience and achieve your vocational goals.



A prerequisite is a course you must complete before enrolling in another one. Prerequisites for each department can be found in the bulletin.


Private University/College

A university that does not receive state funding.



A senior administrative officer who oversees an institution's entire educational offerings.



Responsible for keeping a register of official records.


Regular Decision

March 1 deadline. Applications received after this point may not be eligible for the same scholarships or financial aid due to availability.


Residence Hall

The on-campus student housing, or dorms. Students at UD are currently required to live in residence halls for their first two years, and can move off campus after that.


Resident Assistant (RA)

A current student who lives in a residence hall and is a designated leader trained by the Office of Student Life to assist students.



Standardized test often used for admission purposes.



Money awarded to students (usually for academic or personal achievements) that does not have to be repaid — this may require an additional application.



A half-year term in a school or college, typically lasting 15 to 18 weeks.



The job-shadowing work experience is a temporary, unpaid exposure to the workplace in an occupational area of interest to the student. Students witness firsthand the work environment, employability and occupational skills in practice, the value of professional training and potential career options. This is an opportunity often utilized by students pursuing a pre-health career.


Socratic Seminar

Formal discussion, based on a text, in which the leader asks open-ended questions. Within the context of discussion, students listen closely to the comments of others, thinking critically for themselves, and articulate their own thoughts and their responses to the thoughts of others.


SOM (School of Ministry)

The Ann & Joe O. Neuhoff Institute for Ministry & Evangelization offers a wide variety of academic, continuing education, certificate and adult faith formation programs for students committed to pastoral service within the Catholic Church, their communities and the world at large.


Student Apartments

On-campus housing for students who have reached junior standing.


Student ID

Student ID numbers are 9 digits beginning in "900" and serve as a student's individual identifier. This is necessary for class registration, financial aid information and more. They are assigned upon a student's admission to UD.


Subsidized Loan

A federal student loan for which, in some cases, a borrower is not responsible for paying the interest while in an in-school period, a grace period or a deferment period.



A syllabus is a document that communicates information about a specific course and defines expectations and responsibilities. Professors will generally distribute the syllabus at the beginning of the semester.


Teaching Assistant (TA)

UD does not have these positions. Our courses are taught entirely by our professors, giving UD students the full benefit and consistent access to engaged professors.



Thank. Goodness. It's. Thursday! Every Thursday night, students can find music and drinks (both alcoholic and nonalcoholic) down in the Rat. It's the best place on campus to start the weekend a little early. Throughout the year, there is a variety of live music, including karaoke, student and local bands. Come dressed for the weekly theme, and have a good time!



Standing at 188 feet tall, the Braniff Memorial Tower is a guidepoint for visitors and new students on campus as well as a common meeting place.

Transact Pay

Webpage where students can view their amount owed for the semester and set up a payment plan.



An official record of the courses a student has taken and the grades received at a college or university.


Transfer Credits

Credits from courses completed outside UD that are transferred in for academic credit.


Transfer Student

A college student who completed courses at another college or university before enrolling at UD.



Current student who works on campus and coaches other students on academics, usually for a specific academic department or subject.



A student who is pursuing but has not yet received a bachelor's degree.


Unsubsidized Loan

A federal student loan for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest, regardless of the loan status.





This need-based program is neither a grant nor a loan, but an opportunity to earn a certain amount of money each semester directly through employment in approved Federal Work Study (FWS) positions. To receive funds, you will need to be awarded work study and secure a work-study job. Awarded funds will NOT show on your student account. Students receive pay for actual hours worked; the funds are not applied directly to your tuition.


Writing Lab

The Writing Lab is a great resource for students who are seeking help with a writing assignment. They can meet with a tutor and receive feedback on their work.