Glossary of Terms

This section is meant as a reference to assist in understanding the policies and procedures that are in place at EMU. This is not a comprehensive listing of all terminology you may need to know, but covers basics for general understanding.

A   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   M   N   O   P   R   S   T   W  

  • Academic Calendar

    Calendar of important dates student's need to know including when academic terms begin and end, college closings, and deadlines.

  • Academic Dismissal

    If a student on academic probation fails to earn the minimum 2.0 GPA or reach above a 67% completion rate by the end of the current academic term enrolled, he/she will be dismissed and not be allowed to enroll for one full academic year.

  • Academic Dismissal Appeal

    A process by which a student can appeal their academic dismissal from EMU, requesting to be reinstated as a student.

  • Academic Policies

    Official policies and rules of the institution that apply to students concerning matters which directly affect academic standards. These policies include such topics as grading systems and standards, registration and withdrawal from classes, choosing and/or changing your curriculum, petition for graduation and much more.

  • Academic Probation

    If a student fails to earn the minimum 2.0 GPA or falls below a 67% completion rate by the end of the term enrolled, he/she will be placed on academic probation.

  • Academic Progress

    Students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 and a completion rate above 67% to remain in good standing with EMU.

  • Accreditation

    A status awarded by a professional body with an interest in maintaining standards for its members.

  • Admissions

    The process of becoming officially recognized as a student. Once admitted you do not have to go through this process again unless you step out from EMU for an extended period of time.

  • Advising

    Assistance with the process of planning what courses need to be taken in what sequence in order to reach your academic goals.

  • Census Date (100% Drop Deadline)

    The census date is the date on which EMU certifies student enrollment for financial aid recipients. Courses dropped by students on or prior to the census date will not appear on permanent records.

  • Class Schedule

    Information on the courses and sections to be offered in a given term or enrollment period including names or instructors, days, hours, room numbers, course credit hours, course description, and fees. This term can also reference your personal class schedule for a semester which shows the courses you are enrolled in for that term.

  • Commencement

    A graduation ceremony where students officially receive their degrees typically held at the end of the academic term.

  • Completion Rate

    The number of EMU credits a student has earned divided by the number of EMU credits attempted. To calculate: Earned hours (-----) / Attempted Hours (-----) = Completion rate (-----) x 100 = Percent Completion Rate (------ %)

  • Core Requirements

    Mandatory courses within a program of study that students are required to complete to earn a degree.

  • Cost of Attendance (COA)

    A total amount of attending EMU including tuition and fees, room and board, books, supplies, transportation, and related expenses.

  • Course

    The unit of instruction utilized to assemble a student’s educational requirements. Traditionally, a certain number of hours per week over the span of an academic term, during which a particular set of subject matter is investigated.

  • Course, Add

    Process by which students make changes to their schedule of courses by adding courses.

  • Course, Cancelled

    A course that will no longer be held that academic term.

  • Course, Closed

    A course that is now considered full and registration is closed because maximum seat capacity has been reached.

  • Course Credit Hour

    Unit by which EMU measures the total content of each course, typically related to the total hours of instruction. Graduation requirements are based on credit hours.

  • Course Description

    This tells students what is taught in a course, what the objectives are, and what they should be able to do upon completion. It also describes the required course hours and in there are any pre-requisites that need to be met before enrolling in the course.

  • Course, Drop

    This is a process by which students make changes to their schedule of courses by dropping courses.

  • Course, Hybrid

    This is a course that combines online learning (accessible from the Web) and face-to-face instruction. The schedule and structure can significantly vary from one course to another.

  • Course, Laboratory

    This is a course in which students are required to perform certain functions in controlled situations that help them test and understand what is being taught in a lecture based course. Labs are always connected to a lecture based course and you must register for both during the same academic term.

  • Course, Lecture

    This is a course where students attend on a regular basis and the instructor lectures on course materials.

  • Course Number

    A number assigned to identify a course. This utilizes an abbreviation for the subject area and a three digit number. Example: ENG-101.

  • Course Pre-requisite

    This is a condition or requirement that must be met before enrolling in a course. To satisfy a prerequisite, you must receive a “C” or better in the course to advance to the next course.

  • Course Reference Number

    A five digit number EMU assigns to each scheduled time a course is offered. Example: ENG-101, CRN 12345.

  • Course, Waitlist

    A course that is currently considered full, but you are able to register to be placed on a waitlist should any available seats open up.

  • Curriculum

    Also called “Program of Study” or “Major”. A set of required and elective courses designed to meet specific career or transfer goals, and leading to a degree or certificate upon successful completion. Curriculum descriptions typically lay out not only the list of courses required, but also the order in which some of them should (or must) be taken (pre-requisites).

  • Degree

    Title given for the completion of an academic program and official confirmation by EMU signifying you have successfully completed an extended program of study.

  • Degree Requirements

    The requirements prescribed by EMU for completion of a program of study are generally termed degree requirements. Requirements may include a minimum number of credit hours, required GPA, prerequisites and elective courses within the specified major and/or minor area of study.

  • Department

    Faculty are organized into departments along academic disciplinary lines to assist with the efficiency of planning and program development.

  • Discipline

    Name given to a set of courses in the same subject area which are identified by a particular three or four letter prefix in the college catalog. Example: Biology (BIO).

  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

    A formula established by the U.S. Congress calculates the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or what the family can contribute to education. This formula takes into account the family’s income, assets, number of family members, and number in the household attending college at least half-time. This is based on income from the prior year of enrollment. Example: 2014-2015 academic year utilizes income numbers from 2013.

  • Enrollment

    This is the procedure by which students choose classes each semester.

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    The federal application that must be completed to receive all federal aid. The FAFSA may be completed online at

  • Fees

    Fees are additional charges not included in the tuition. Fees may be charged to cover the cost of materials and equipment needed in certain courses, and they may be assessed for student events, programs, and publications.

  • Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)

    Protection of a student’s right of privacy of information that EMU has concerning the student. This is a guideline for the release or disclosure of information as is required by federal and state law.

  • Financial Aid

    Financial aid is made available from grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study employment. Awards may be combined into “award packages” to meet the cost of education. Financial need, available funds, student classification, academic performance, and sometimes the timelines of the application determine the types and amounts of aid awarded.

  • Financial Need

    Cost of attendance (COA) – Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Financial need.

  • Full-Time Student

    Undergraduate students must be registered for 12 or more credits. Graduate students must be registered for 8 or more credits.

  • General Education Requirements

    Courses required by all students for successful completion of any degree at EMU. This coursework represents common areas of knowledge and skills which offer a coherent and broadly comprehensive academic foundation.

  • Grade Grievance

    The way by which a student can dispute an assigned grade through an appeal process.

  • Grade Point Average

    A student’s grade point average is the equivalent of his/her average for curriculum course work. Each letter grade has an equivalent point value between 0-4. The grade point average is found by adding the total grade point values for all courses and dividing by the total number of credits attempted during the same academic term.

  • Grade, Credit/No Credit

    A course in which, if passed, you receive credit for but does not impact GPA. If course is not passed no credit will be received for that course.

  • Grade, In Progress (IP)

    Work is currently in progress and final grade will be assigned once all required work is completed.

  • Grade, Incomplete (I)

    Upon request an instructor may assign an incomplete (a grade of “I”) to a student. It is only assigned when a student has completed a majority of the assignments and has a grade of “B” or better in the course. Course requirements must be completed within a mutually agreed upon timeframe, no more than one academic year.

  • Grade, Non-Attendance (NA)

    This is a grade assigned if student NEVER attended the course.

  • Grade, Pass/Fail

    Students can elect to take a course based on a pass/fail option. If course is passed student will receive credit for the course, but course will not impact GPA. If course is not passed student will not receive credit for the course.

  • Graduation Audit

    Upon successfully completion of 95 credit hours or the semester prior to your anticipated graduation date a student must file for a graduation audit in which EMU will verify that they are on track to graduate and/or have met the requirements to file for graduation.

  • Hold

    A hold is placed on a student’s academic record when an outstanding obligation, monetary or material, occurs. The hold is released when the obligation has been satisfactorily met. Any person who has a hold placed on their record will not be allowed to register, receive transcripts, or receive other services from EMU until the hold is released.

  • Independent Study

    This is a course in which a student works with an instructor to create their own instructional materials typically to do advanced work in a specific field of study that is not offered through other institutional courses.

  • Major

    A major is a student’s chosen field of study it usually requires the successful completion of a specified number of credit hours.

  • Matriculate

    This means to be formally admitted and enrolled into a college or degree program.

  • Minor

    A minor is designated as a specific number of credit hours in a secondary field of study, typically related to the field in which you are obtaining a major in.

  • Non-Resident Status

    This includes any student who has not lived continuously in Michigan/Ohio for one full year prior to enrollment.

  • Online Learning

    Online classes meet via computer, through an online learning management system (EMU Online). Online student log in to attend class. There they access course lectures, receive assignments, and correspond with classmates and instructor.

  • Orientation

    Orientation is a valuable resource that provides a variety of information that will help you navigate through college policies and procedures.

  • Part-Time Student

    Undergraduate students registered for 6-11 credits. Graduate students registered for 4-7 credits.

  • Program of Study

    The degree or certificate you are working towards while enrolled at EMU.

  • Re-admission

    A student who has been previously academically dismissed and sat out the required one year period must apply for re-admission to EMU in order to continue their studies at EMU.

  • Re-enroll

    A student must re-enroll at EMU if it has been more than two years since last enrollment in courses. This process must occur before you will be permitted to register for courses.

  • Registration

    The procedure by which students choose courses each academic term. There is a registration period when students can register for classes to be offered the upcoming academic term, typically beginning mid-way through the current academic term.

  • Residency Status

    This is the tuition rate classification of a student determined by the location in which the student permanently resides.

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

    This is required by all programs to ensure that students who are receiving federal and state aid are making measurable progress toward completion of a degree, diploma, or certificate program within a reasonable time frame.

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal

    Students who fail to meet the standards of satisfactory academic progress will be ineligible to receive federal or state aid, but have the option of submitting an appeal to gain eligibility back. The financial aid office is able to consider appeals based on extenuating circumstances.

  • Student Services

    Activities/offices that contribute to the emotional and physical well-being of the students, as well as to their intellectual, cultural, and social development outside of the context of EMU’s formal instructional programs.

  • Syllabus

    The syllabus includes college, division, and departmental information and explains expectations, policies, and course requirements for a particular course. This is a contract between the student and instructor for that specific course.

  • To Be Announced (TBA)

    This may be seen in the schedule of a course when the exact instructor or classroom has yet to be determined.

  • Transcript

    The transcript is a permanent academic record. It may show courses taken, grades received, academic status, and/or honors received. EMU will not release the transcript of a student who currently holds a bill with the institution.

  • Transfer Credit

    These are credits that have been carried over from a different institution to be utilized for credit at EMU. This could also include credits received at EMU that students can transfer to other institutions.

  • Tuition

    This is the amount paid for each credit hour of enrollment. Tuition charges vary based on several factors including residency status, level of coursework, and other fees associated with courses.

  • Withdraw, Individual Course

    Students may withdraw from a course during the academic term. This action becomes valid after the census deadline date or 100% drop date expires. A withdraw will appear as a “W” on your transcript, counts as an attempt on the course, and charges tuition fees. It will not impact your GPA, but does impact your completion rate.

  • Withdraw, Late

    This is a process in which students with extenuating circumstances can request to be withdrawn from courses after the published withdraw deadline.

  • Withdraw, Total Term

    Students may withdraw from all of their courses during the academic term. This action becomes valid after the census deadline date or 100% drop date expires. All courses registered for the term will be listed as “W” on your transcript, will count as attempts on those courses, and may be charged tuition fees. This will not impact your GPA, but does impact your completion rate.

  • Withdraw, Tuition Appeal

    If for extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control they are unable to complete their coursework in an academic term or they never attended any courses registered in an academic term this process allows students to appeal for the classes to be whipped from their permanent record and receive a refund of the tuition paid.