Glossary Terms for Parents

Commonly Used Terms

Advisor: A faculty or staff member who provides students with academic information about university, college, and departmental graduation requirements; assists students in the development of a course of study; helps students to understand the expected standards of achievement and likelihood of success in certain areas of study; and refers students to available campus resources to meet individual needs. Further information is shown on the Undergraduate Academic Advising page. A current listing of advisors, along with their contact information, can be found in the Undergraduate Advisor Directory. 

Aggie Radio: Student-run campus radio station.

A-Number: A nine-character code that uniquely identifies each student. This number (which is not social security number based) always consists of a capital A, followed by eight numbers (ie: A01234567). 

Big Blue: USU’s mascot.

Delegate: May act on your students behalf at USU. Which means a delegate may access a students information in Banner, including grades and finances, have full access to information, add or drop classes on the students behalf or change and update information. A delegate is especially useful for, but not limited to, students who may be taking a leave of absence or deferment from the university for church or military service. If you plan to take a leave of absence, a delegate can assist you in making a smooth transition back to USU by acting on your behalf. 

Exploratory Major: The category for exploratory students who have not yet decided upon a major program. Exploratory majors are advised through the Office of Exploratory Advising.  

MyUSU: A unified gathering place for meaningful connections in our community — on- and off-campus. On top of social and networking opportunities, your student will be able to track every step of their academic progress, from tuition to grades.

Notification of Leave: The process by which students who plan to leave USU before, during, or at the end of a semester, intend to return, and have an expected return date. This process is intended to help such students for their return to the university. 

Parent and Family NetworkThe Parent and Family Network is a way to stay connected to the Utah State campus and your student. The newsletter includes relationship tips, on-campus events and opportunities, and important dates and deadlines. 

Residency: A classification for tuition purposes. Utah residents pay lower tuition than nonresidents.  

Student Email: USU provides an official email account to all students for use during their academic career. The University uses this address to send important communications to them during their time with us. This account should be checked at least once every 24 hours.

Supplemental Instruction (SI): A program in which a student who has successfully completed a University Studies class is hired to attend all class sessions and conduct review sessions. This student helps other students develop study strategies geared at enhancing academic achievement in that class. 

Undergraduate Teaching Fellows (UTF): A program offering outstanding students an opportunity to work in meaningful academic employment within their major field. Students chosen as Teaching Fellows are assigned to work with a faculty member in the classroom and are supervised by a faculty mentor. 

USU 1010 (University Connections): An orientation and transition-to-college course. More information about this course is shown on the New Student Orientation page.

Registration Terms

Articulation: This is the process of determining how transfer credits will count at USU, and which courses or requirements those credits may satisfy. 

Breadth Courses: These general education courses introduce you to a variety of fields to make you a well-rounded learner. Courses and test scores that satisfy these requirements can be found in the General Catalog in the section about General Education. 

  • Breadth American Institutions (BAI) 
  • Breadth Creative Arts (BCA) 
  • Breadth Humanities (BHU) 
  • Breadth Life Sciences (BLS) 
  • Breadth Physical Sciences (BPS) 
  • Breadth Social Sciences (BSS) 

Canvas: A web-based software that houses your student’s classes and grades. 

College Scheduler: This is the software that USU uses for course registration. It allows you to look at multiple possible schedules and find the best one for your student. 

Communication Literacy (CL): includes the basic English classes.

Competency Courses: These general education requirements ensure that your student has basic math and English skills. Courses and test scores that satisfy these requirements can be found in the General Catalog section about General Education. 

Corequisite: This is a class that must be taken in the same semester as another course. 

Course Level: This indicates the general level of difficulty of a course. 1000-level courses are generally first-year introductory courses, with 2000-level courses being sophomore level, and so forth. 3000- and 4000-level courses are considered “upper division” credits. 

Credit Hour: This is the unit of measuring educational credit, usually based on the number of classroom hours per week throughout a term. We recommend students take 15 credit hours per semester to graduate in 8 semesters (4 years). That means your student will spend approximately 15 hours per week in class, and should expect to spend 30-45 hours per week studying outside of class. 

Course Reference Number (CRN): This five-digit number indicates a specific section of a course. Each section, recitation, and lab has a unique CRN that Banner uses for registration purposes. 

Curriculum: A curriculum is composed of those classes prescribed or outlined by an institution for completion of a program of study leading to a degree or certificate. 

Degrees: Degrees are rewards or credentials for the successful completion of a prescribed program of study. There are three basic types of degrees: Associate - generally obtained after two years of coursework, Baccalaureate or Bachelor’s - offered by four-year colleges and universities, and Graduate - Obtained after the bachelor’s degree, i.e., Masters or Doctorate. 

Department and Course Number: These are used to designate specific courses; for example, ENGL 1010 is in the English Department, and 1010 is the class level. 

Depth Course: This University Studies requirement allows your student to take two upper-division (3000- or 4000-level courses) outside of their field of study to make them a more well-rounded learner. 

Earned Hours: Earned hours refers to the credits that your student has completed on their transcript (it does not count the credits they are currently taking). Your student can view their transcript to see how many earned hours they have on the MyUSU Portal. Registration times are determined by the earned hours on your students USU transcript. 

Elective Credits: Elective credits are credits 1000-level and above that are not required for university studies or for major or minor requirements. These credits count toward the 120 credits needed for graduation. Some majors do not need elective credits in order to meet the 120 required for graduation, while other majors leave room for some elective credits. 

Full-Time Enrollment: A full-time student is enrolled in 12 or more credit hours in a semester. Some scholarships require 15 or more credits to be considered full-time. 

Hold: Your student may have a hold on their registration, which will prevent them from registering for classes until they pay a fine, satisfy a requirement, or meet with an advisor. 

Integrated Studies Course: This general education requirement allows students to take one additional course from any of the following categories: QL, BAI, BCA, BHU, BLS, BPS, or BSS. 

Laboratory (Lab): Your student may have a laboratory (lab) paired with a class. It may be scheduled separately, or linked together with your class. 

Matriculation: Matriculation is the formal process of entering a university in a specific program of study. Most majors have certain academic requirements before your student can be ‘matriculated’ into that program. 

Prerequisite: This is a requirement that must be met prior to taking a class. The College Scheduler system won’t allow your student to register for a class if they don’t meet the pre-requisites. 

Quantitative Literacy (QL): Includes math or statistics. 

Recitation: Some classes have a recitation. This is an additional required class that supports the main lecture part of your students course. It is usually smaller than the lecture portion, and may include quizzes or Q&A with their instructor. Attendance at recitation is required. 

Section: This refers to a specific class; for example the USU 1010 Connections course has 80+ sections, each designated with a section number. USU 1010 001 is the first section of USU 1010 offered for a given semester. Some sections are compiled of different letters and numbers depending on the campus where the class is offered or other restrictions placed on the course. 

Transfer of Credits: Some students attend more than one institution during their college career. When they move or transfer from one college to another, they also transfer accumulated credit hours from the former institution to the new one. The new institution determines which courses will apply toward graduation requirements. 

Undergraduate: A college student who is working toward an associate or a bachelor's degree.