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Campus Terms

Academic Adviser: A Drake professor from your major who will answer questions about your courses, requirements, or other academic concerns. You may change advisers if you wish. 

MyDrake: A single password system where you can access your e-mail, retrieve your student account information, register for courses, and find various information related to your life at Drake.  Your username is your Drake ID number and your password is initially set as your six-digit birthday.

Break: Days when classes do not meet 

Catalog: A book listing Drake policies, services, graduation requirements and course offerings. 

College: An academic division of the university similar to a school. Drake has three colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business and Public Administration, and Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Conditional Admission: A status that allows international undergraduate students with TOEFL scores below 530 (197 CBT) to enroll in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses and in some restricted non-ESL courses. (See the English Proficiency section.)  

Counselor: This term applies to a wide variety of staff who could also be called "helpers". For example, "admission counselors" help students enroll in the university. “Orientation counselors” help students with registration. Other counselors help students adjust to life in the residence halls, or cope with the stress of living in a new environment. "Career counselors" help students choose a major or learn how to write resumes. Because American universities have many expectations which may be unfamiliar to international students, counselors can provide very useful assistance. Students are wise to ask about various counselors who can assist them on campus and to seek the right kind of counseling assistance whenever needed. 

Credit/semester hour:  A unit which indicates completion of particular coursework. Most lecture courses (such as sociology, history, and marketing) allow a student to earn 3 credits or semester hours for a course which is satisfactorily completed. Some courses, such as laboratory science, may be worth more credits, some are worth less. Certain numbers of credits must be accumulated to earn a particular major or degree. (These are listed in the Drake catalog.) 

Dead Day:  A time at the end of each semester (just before semester examinations begin) when no classes meet so that students can prepare for exams.

Dean: Faculty member who leads a college or school and handles administration of its policies. 

Degree:  Recognition that one has met all the requirements expected by a university which indicate attainment of a particular body of knowledge. 

DUSIS:  Drake University Shared Information System. You will use this computer system to register for classes. 

Elective:  A course which is not a requirement, but is taken for pleasure or curiosity. 

Full-time:  (for BCIS purposes) To be a full-time student you must enroll in one of the following: a full-time ESL program; a minimum of 12 undergraduate credits, 12 PharmD credits or 12 law credits; a minimum of 9 graduate credits. ALL STUDENTS ON F-1 VISAS MUST BE FULL-TIME STUDENTS.

General Education:  Courses required for a degree which encourage the development of a background in a wide variety of subjects so students share a common base of knowledge with others. Examples: humanities, social science, or natural science courses.

GPA:  Abbreviation for Grade Point Average.  A GPA is calculated by assigning 4 points for an “A”, 3 for a “B”, 2 for a “C”, and 1 for a “D.”  Undergraduates must have a minimum GPA of “C” (2.0) to graduate.  Graduate students must have a minimum of “B” (3.0).  Colleges or departments may set additional grade requirements for their students.

Liberal Arts:  Academic study designed to broaden a student's educational base in fields such as history, literature, the arts and sciences.

Major:  In general, the US education system encourages students to develop a general background in a wide variety of subjects while also concentrating on one specific subject area in depth.  This specific subject area is called a major.  Usually students will choose their major by their sophomore year.

Orientation: A program that prepares students to begin classes.

Pass:  Successful completion of an undergraduate course requires a minimum grade of a "D."  For a graduate course, the minimum passing grade is “C”.  Colleges and departments may set additional grade requirements for their students.  (See GPA)

Peer Mentor/Academic Consultants (PMAC):  New undergraduates who arrive in August are assigned a PMAC during New Student Days.  Your PMAC is an experienced student who will help you with questions about campus services, activities, and many other topics.  (You may be a PMAC next year!)

Prerequisite:  A requirement that must be completed before you enroll in a particular course.  Example:  Math 50 (Analytic Geometry & Calculus I) is a prerequisite for Math 70 (Analytic Geometry & Calculus II).  You may not take Math 70 until you pass Math 50.

Registrar:  The person who handles student records and transcripts for the university.

Registration:  The process of requesting classes for the next term.

Requirements:  Minimum expectations to earn a degree, major or minor at a particular university.  (Requirements vary by university, college, and department.)  Requirements are listed in the catalog.  It will be your responsibility to be sure you meet all graduation requirements.  Your adviser will help you with any questions you have about this.

Room and Board:  Another way of saying "housing and meals".

School:  A division of the university similar to a college.  Drake has three schools:  Journalism and Mass Communication, Education, and Law.  In addition, the College of Arts Sciences includes a subdivision known as the School of Fine Arts.

Semester:  An academic period of study approximately 16 weeks long, followed by a final exam week.

Student Life:  The division of the university that provides various services for students such as campus residence halls, student activities, organizations, and health services.

TD:  Abbreviation for “Times Delphic,” the campus newspaper, published by students.

Term:  Period of time in the academic year, such as a semester, interim or summer session.

University:  An institution of higher education, which offers degrees at the doctoral level.  (And usually the bachelors and masters levels also.)