Glossary of Terms
A grading option only for elective courses. If an A grade is earned, it is recorded. If a B, C or D grade is earned, a Pass grade is recorded. An F grade is recorded as Fail.
Academic Achievement Center (AAC)
An office that provides a variety of resources to help students succeed.
Academic Calendar Calendar of events that includes dates of breaks and final exam weeks.
A professional who assists students in creating an individual plan for academic success.
Students who do not meet the required grade point average are dismissed from the university. They must wait at least two semesters before being considered for reinstatement.
Academic Warning (Warning)
Students who do not meet a required grade point average are placed on academic warning. Academic warning may precede dismissal. Academic Year
The academic year consists of three semesters: fall, spring and summer. K-State's academic year, which begins in August, includes 16-week fall and spring semesters and a shorter summer semester.
Recognition that a university or program meets national or regional standards.
Assistant Community Coordinators (ACC)
Graduate students who live in the residence halls and assist with day-to-day operations.
An exam that is a college admission requirement for many universities. The test measures students' English, reading, math, science and writing.
A professional who provides guidance on course enrollment, academic progress and graduation. Students typically meet with an advisor each semester before enrolling.
Advanced Placement (AP)
College-level courses taken while in high school. Students may receive college credit based on their AP exam scores.
People who have graduated from K-State. A female graduate is an alumna; a male or female graduate is an alumnus.
Usually a two-year degree awarded to students who complete community or technical college requirements. With careful planning, the degree can match many requirements for a K-State four-year degree. The K-State Polytechnic campus offers associate degrees.
An option that allows a student to participate in a course and learn the material without receiving a grade or credit.
A bachelor’s degree.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
A type of degree that includes modern language courses.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Most common type of bachelor’s degree. In some programs that offer B.A. and B.S. options, it is a degree that does not include the same modern language course requirements.
Degree awarded to students who graduate from a four-year college or university, and typically required before a master’s degree. You can a B.S. or B.A.
Berney Family Welcome Center
Located in the Old (aka Memorial) Stadium, which is across the street from the parking garage. Home of New Student Services and the Career Center.
An online system where students view course syllabi, documents, submit assignments, monitor grades and much more.
A prepaid account connected to your Wildcat ID card that can be used for purchases only on the K-State campus.
CAT—(Connecting Across Topics) Communities
A group up to 22 first-year students who take two regular courses and a small one-hour connection course together.
A pantry that provides free food, hygiene and cooking equipment for K-State students. Located in 009 Fairchild Hall.
A list of courses in which a student is enrolled, along with when and where the classes meet. Students access their class schedule through KSIS.
An academic subunit of the university concentrated around areas of study. K-State has nine colleges.
Community Coordinator (CC)
A professional who lives in the residence halls and oversees hall staff and day-to-day operations.
Any out-of-classroom event or opportunity that complements what students are learning in their courses.
The official title of the graduation ceremony. Two ceremonies are offered each year: one in May and the other in December.
An academic status when a student ends enrollment in courses during a semester.
A term often used with final exams. A comprehensive final exam will be over all the material in the course.
The one-hour class for a CAT community group that connects two larger courses.
An office that provides counseling services to students for various needs. The first four visits to Counseling Services each year are free for enrolled students.
A list of the courses offered by the university, organized by academic year.
The number associated with a specific course, such as MATH 100 for College Algebra.
Course Reference Number
A five-digit number specific for a course and its sections. A specific section of MATH 100 might be 34567.
A formal ceremony that celebrates the entrance of students into K-State.
A course that must be taken at the same time as another course.
Cost of Attendance
The total expenses for a student to attend K-State, including tuition, books and supplies, housing, food and other necessities.
The number of credits and/or courses that a student takes during a semester.
A listing of courses offered by semester, college and department.
The number of hours assigned to a course, which often reflects the approximate time spent in class per week. Many classes are three credit hours, which means they meet three times a week for 50 minutes, or two times a week for 75 minutes.
The same course offered by two or more academic units and identified by the same course name, but with different course prefixes (Ex: Administration of Health Care Organizations is FNDH 720 and MPH 720).
The courses required to earn a degree in a major.
Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS)
An online system that shows a student’s academic progress toward their K-State degree.
The week before finals week when no exams may be scheduled, except in specific courses. More formally known as Prep Week, when students prepare for final exams.
The leader of a college within the university.
Failure to repay a loan.
A plan allowed under certain conditions to delay payment on a loan.
The title awarded by K-State to a student who completes a curriculum and graduates; e.g., a bachelor’s degree.
A term for a loan whose payments are not received on time.
Doctorate, or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
The highest degree achievable. Students usually receive a bachelor's degree and a master's degree before they earn their doctorate.
A unit within a college that brings together faculty in an academic discipline or area.
The leader of a department.
During enrollment and the beginning of a semester, students may add and/or drop courses from their schedule.
Term for when a student is pursuing two degrees.
The office that offers international educational experiences.
K-State username. This comes before @k-state.edu in a K-State email address.
A course that a student chooses to take that may count toward degree requirements.
The process of selecting and enrolling in courses through KSIS. Also referred to as registration.
Expected Family Contribution
A value from the FAFSA that represents the amount a student or family should be able to contribute toward their college costs.
Professors and instructors who teach and/or conduct research.
FAFSAThe Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA must be completed each year in order to receive need-based aid from the government, such as the Pell Grant or work-study awards.
FERPAFederal Education Rights and Privacy Act. This law governs how colleges protect and share student information.
Financial AidFinancial support that students receive for college expenses. Some financial aid, such as loans, must be repaid, while other forms, such as grants or scholarships, do not need to be paid back. Collectively all the financial aid that students are offered is known as their financial aid package.
Final ExamAn exam that typically is given during finals week, the last week of the semester.
First-Generation StudentA student whose neither parent nor guardian have earned a four-year degree.
FraternityAn organization of men to build community. Some provide housing so that members can congregate and live together.
FreshmanA first-year college student, or one who has earned fewer than 30 credit hours.
Full-Time StudentA student enrolled in at least 12 credit hours during the fall/spring and/or nine hours in the summer semesters.
First Year Seminar (FYS)Small classes with up to 22 students offered to first-year students.
General Education (Gen Ed) ClassesCourse requirements that all students must complete to graduate. At K-State, these are called K-State 8 courses.
GPA — Grade Point AverageA measure of course performance. A GPA is obtained by dividing the number of grade points by the credit hours completed, where each credit hour of an A = 4 points, a B = 3 points, a C = 2 points, a D = 1 point, and an F = 0 points.
GPS — Guide to Personal SuccessK-State First's mentoring program. First-year students are matched with a K-State professional to share experience and advice.
Graduate StudentA student who has graduated with a bachelor's degree and is pursuing a master's or doctoral degree.
GrantA form of financial aid that does not need to be repaid.
A notable historic room in Hale Library that has a number of murals.
GTA — Graduate Teaching AssistantGraduate student who teaches or assists in teaching undergraduate courses.
HandshakeThe Career Center's recruiting and career services platform.
HoldA restriction in KSIS that limits a student's ability to enroll, receive a diploma and/or other actions until the hold is removed.
Housing and Dining ServicesThe department that manages the residence halls and dining centers on campus.
HRIS — Human Resources Information SystemThe online portal for those who have a campus job to access important job information, report hours, etc.
HumanitiesThe fields of art, dance, drama, English, foreign languages, literature and music.
A K-State student who is a Kansas resident.
InstructorA faculty member who teaches.
InternshipA 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.
IntersessionCourses offered between semesters in January, May and August.
IntramuralsIndividual and team sports for K-State students.
JuniorA third-year college student, or one who has earned at least 90 credit hours.
K-State Book Network (KSBN)The university common read program. Every incoming first-year student receives the same book to read the summer before they start at K-State.
K-State First (KSF)An office that coordinates classes and activities to support first-year student success.
KSIS — K-State Student Information SystemThe online system students access with their eID to enroll in classes, view their student bill, access their DARS report, see advisor's name, apply for graduation and complete other requirements.
K-State 8K-State's general education program. Students must take at least one course tagged in each of the eight areas.
LA — Learning AssistantAn undergraduate peer mentor who helps students in and out of their K-State First course.
LabShort for laboratory: a part of a course where a student completes hands-on activities. It is also a term used for spaces where some faculty conduct research.
Lecture (Lec.)A course where the teaching is done mostly through oral presentation.
Legacy StudentA student who is related to a person who graduated from K-State.
Liberal ArtsA term that refers to subjects such as humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics.
LoanFinancial aid that must be repaid. Student loans typically come from the government or from private banks.
MajorThe concentration of courses required to earn a degree. For example, a biology major is pursuing a degree in biology and will take courses oriented to that area of interest.
MatriculationThe process of a student being accepted to K-State and enrolling in classes.
Master's DegreeA graduate degree usually completed after the bachelor's degree; most commonly two years in length.
Meal PlanThe number of weekly meals purchased at campus dining centers. For example, a student might be on a 14 meals per week meal plan.
MenteeA student who receives support, guidance and advice from a mentor.
MentorA fellow student or professional on, or off campus, who provides support, guidance and advice to a mentee.
Midterm exams (aka midterms)Exams offered around the midpoint of a semester.
MinorA concentration of courses a student chooses to complete in addition to their major. Minors are at least 15 credit hours.
Natural ScienceA term that refers to subjects such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, botany, archaeology and geology, among other disciplines.
NonresidentAn out-of-state student.
NonresidentialStudents who live off campus.
Nontraditional studentMost commonly describes a student starting college later in life rather than right after completing high school, or one who is a parent.
Office HoursSpecific times that faculty are available in their office to meet with students. Students are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities, usually no appointment is needed.
Old Stadium/Welcome Center
More officially known as the Berney Family Welcome Center.
Online ClassesCourses taught primarily online, typically using Canvas, and not in a classroom on campus.
Out-of-State StudentA student who is not a resident of Kansas. Tuition for out-of-state students at K-State is higher than in-state students.
OverloadA semester enrollment of over 21 credit hours, which requires approval of the college's deans' office.
Part-Time StudentA student enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours during a fall/spring semester, or fewer than nine credit hours during the summer semester.
Peer MentorA student who provides support, guidance and advice as a mentor to fellow student.
Pell GrantFederal financial aid for undergraduate students with financial need; it does not have to be repaid.
Powercat FinancialFree financial counseling for enrolled K-State students. Topics include budgeting, credit use, student loans, saving, managing debt, transitioning to work after college, job offers and employment benefits, and identity theft.
PrerequisiteA course that must be completed before taking another course. For example, Spanish I is a prerequisite for Spanish II.
Private University/CollegeA university that does not receive state funding. Manhattan Christian College, which is across the street from the Manhattan campus, is an example of a private college.
ProfessorA faculty member who has a Ph.D. or other equivalent degree. A professor may advance from assistant to associate to full professor.
Public UniversityA university that receives state funding. Tuition is lower for students who are residents of that state than for out-of-state students. K-State is a public university.
Quick CatsFive campus convenience stores that provide drinks, snacks and personal care items for purchase.
QuizA short assessment of knowledge given to students in courses.
RecitationA small course section often taken along with a lecture.
ReadmissionThe process of being accepted back to the university after academic dismissal.
ReinstatementThe process of being accepted back to a major in a college within the university, following academic dismissal.
Resident Assistant (RA)A student, employed by Housing and Dining Services, to live in a campus residence hall or apartment and serve as a resource and role model to students.
Residential CAT CommunityA program where first-year students live together in residence halls and take courses together.
Residence HallsBuildings on campus where students live, eat and engage in activities together.
RegistrarThe university official who oversees enrollment, student grades and transcripts.
ResidentCommonly used to refer to in-state students.
ResidentialTerm that refers to students who live on campus in residence halls or apartments.
ScholarshipA form of financial aid that does not need to be repaid.
Scholastic HonorsAn award an undergraduate receives based on the GPA earned.
Secondary MajorA complementary major completed along with a primary major. It is similar to a minor but requires more hours to complete.
SemesterThe time period during which courses are offered. K-State offers 16-week fall and spring semesters, and a shorter summer semester.
SeniorA fourth-year college student, or one who has earned more than 90 credit hours.
SophomoreA second-year college student, or one who has earned more than 30 and fewer than 60 credit hours.
Shopping CartAn online shopping cart in KSIS, where students add courses in which they plan to enroll.
Social ScienceThe study of human society and the social relationships. Often used to refer to the following disciplines: American Ethnic studies, anthropology, economics, gender studies, geography, history, law, politics, psychology and sociology, among other disciplines.
SororityAn organization of women to build community. Some provide housing so that members can congregate and live together.
Student LifeUsually used to refer to the Office of Student Life, which provides services to support students academically and personally.
Subsidized Student LoanA loan that is not charged interest and does not require payments while the student is in school.
SyllabusA document that describes important information about a course. It may include items such as office hours, required books or other materials, assignments, due dates, grading scale, expectations, procedures and policies.
Teaching Assistant (TA)An undergraduate student who usually has completed the course and assists an instructor with a course. Duties may be similar to a graduate teaching assistant.
TermAnother name for a semester.
The RecThe recreation center for students, formally the Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex. It offers various exercise options free to students.
Traditional StudentMost commonly describes a student starting college right after completing high school and who is not a parent.
TranscriptAn official record of the courses a student has taken, and the grades received at a college or university.
Transfer CreditsCredits from courses completed outside K-State that are transferred in for academic credit.
Transfer StudentA college student who completed courses at another college or university before enrolling at K-State.
TutorA trained current student who assists other students in learning course material. K-State students have free access to tutors.
UndergraduateA student who is pursuing but has not yet received a bachelor's degree.
Unsubsidized Student LoanA loan that is charged interest while the student is in school.
WaitlistAn option in KSIS when a course is full, where students can join a queue, or waitlist, to enroll in the course. If room in the course becomes available, the waitlist order is typically used to allow students to enroll. The automatic waitlist is active for the first week of the semester only.
WebmailK-State email provided by Outlook, accessible with an eID.
Week of Welcome (WOW)The first week of the fall and spring semesters when K-State welcomes new and returning students.
Wildcat ID (WID) NumberA nine-digit number found on your Wildcat Card and in your eProfile.
Wildcat CardOfficial K-State ID card obtained from the ID Center.
WithdrawalThe process of ending enrollment in a course. Students may withdraw from courses without penalty early in a semester. Withdrawing later results in a Withdraw, or W, designation being placed on the transcript to indicate that the class was begun but not finished. The W does not count toward the GPA calculation. For withdrawing from a course, see Complete Withdrawal.
Work-StudyPart-time work offered by the university as part of your financial aid package from the federal government.
Writing CenterA free service for all students to help them improve their writing.