Universities use a language that may seem intimidating and difficult to interpret at first.
The following definitions will help you understand the terminology used at UVic.
Read on- you will become an expert in no time!
A-Z List of Common University Terms
On-campus help for students to: select courses and plan programs;obtain permission to take courses at other institutions (Letters of Permission); and make sure graduation requirements are complete. To seek advice, please contact advising for your faculty.
A request for deferred status in a course due to illness, accident or family affliction. A student in this situation should consult with Counselling Services, University Health Services, or another health professional at the earliest opportunity. Supporting documents are required with the request for an academic concession.
Academic Drop Date
Last day for dropping courses via My page without penalty of failure.
The Winter Session is made up of two terms, First term (September to December) and Second term (January to April); the Summer Session runs from May to August and has several terms.
Before you can register for courses you must be admitted into a faculty and/or program. Some faculties require that you choose a specific program as part of your application. In order to be considered for admission, you must submit an application to the University of Victoria, pay the application fee, submit the required academic documents, and submit any other items that may be required for admission to a specific program (questionnaire, portfolio, resume, etc.).
Approval to register into a higher level of course work in a discipline when a student has mastered a lower level. Advance standing does reduce the number of units required for a degree.
People who have graduated or attended a particular university or school. The University of Victoria Alumni Association provides services to students who have graduated from the university.
The books chosen by the professor for your class. Make sure you have the full information before buying books as your professor may require a certain edition from a certain publisher (ex. Not just Shakespeare’s Plays but the 16th edition of the Collected Plays by W.W. Norton And Company).
Normally, a laboratory or tutorial that accompanies a lecture. For courses with associated sections, students must be registered in both a lecture section and an associated section. Please read the timetable carefully as there are some courses where a specific lecture section has certain associated sections that must be taken. In other cases, any lecture section can be taken with any associated section.
To take a course for no academic credit. Auditors do not pay the full amount for a course, nor do they write examinations. Permission must be obtained to audit a course by completing an Auditor Class Entry Form.
Generally, this is a first degree in an undergraduate program. At UVic, it normally takes 4 years to complete if you are studying as a full time student (4 years of classes from September - December and January - April). This typically means that you are registered in 5 courses per term, as you will need a minimum of 60 units to graduate with a UVic bachelor's degree.
Money awarded to a student based on financial need and reasonable academic standing.
The academic calendar provides a list of courses, faculty and department information, academic policies, regulations,along with information about the university. The University of Victoria Calendar is available online.
Curriculum Advising & Program Planning outlines the program requirements needed for degree completion and matches a student's course record against those requirements
The person who acts as the administrative head of an academic department or unit.
A formal ceremony normally held twice each year at the University of Victoria (May/June and November) where degrees, diplomas and certificates are awarded to students who have completed their programs. Students are responsible to ensure they meet the graduation requirements, must apply to graduate by the deadline specified, and pay the appropriate graduation fee.
Co-operative Education (Co-op)
Full-time, paid work experience that alternates with academic terms.
A specific course or requirement that must be taken at the same time as a prescribed course.
A particular part of a subject area to be studied, such as ENGL 115, which is part of the English program. The courses offered by the university are described in the University of Victoria Calendar.
Course challenge is intended to allow registered undergraduate students to receive credit in undergraduate courses on the basis of knowledge or experience acquired outside the University.
Generally refers to one on one assistance with personal issues. In addition to helping with personal issues, Counselling Services can help with learning and career concerns and promotes success and wellness. A student would go to Academic Advising for assistance with matters like selecting courses or choosing academic programs.
The unit value used to assign academic credit for a course, such as Economics 100 (1.5 units).
The University of Victoria has established minimum academic standards for admission to each faculty/program. Due to demand, a higher academic standard, typically known as the cut-off, may be required to gain admission to the university or a specific program.
The person who acts as the head of a faculty.
The academic credential that is awarded to a student who has completed a particular course of study. There are three types of degrees: bachelor's degree, master's degree and doctoral degrees.
The process of matching the courses taken to the specific program requirements- making sure that you are taking the right courses to earn your degree. CAPP is the program that assists in determining which program requirements have been met.
A subject of study within an academic department.
A conditional offer of admission that is made prior to grade 12 graduation to current grade 12 students. Admission is contingent upon satisfactory completion of UVic admission requirements.
An optional course that is not individually specific to your program.
English Language Proficiency Admission Standard
In order to be admitted, a student must prove a minimum standard of skills for spoken and written English.
There are final examination periods in December, April, and August each year. A listing of dates, times, locations of final exams is posted in October, February, and June.
see International Exchange below.
Each year, UVic receives many more applications for admission than can be accepted. This admissions category recognizes for admission consideration to the Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Humanities, and the Faculty of Social Sciences those students who have other attributes that demonstrate their ability to succeed at university. In no circumstances will students be admitted to the University of Victoria below the minimum published academic standards.
A group of related departments or schools. UVic has ten faculties: Business, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Human and Social Development, Humanities, Law, Graduate Studies, Science, and Social Sciences.
A member of the regular teaching staff.
Fee Reduction Deadlines
At the beginning of each term, there is usually a time period where courses may be dropped via My page without owing tuition. Once the 100% Fee Reduction Deadline has passed, students must pay at least 50% of the tuition for the course. Registration in a course after the 100% Fee Reduction Deadline incurs a tuition debt even if that course is dropped immediately. After the 50% Fee Reduction Deadline, students must pay 100% of the tuition for the course.
An undergraduate student taking 12 or more units in the Winter Session or 6 or more units in the Summer Session.
A program which requires 9 units at the 300 or 400 level in each of two disciplines.
A numerical value given to letter grades used to rate academic performance.
A student who has received a bachelor's degree or equivalent and who is enrolled in a program leading to a master's or doctoral degree.
A program which involves a high level of specialization in a discipline and requires 18 or more units in that discipline at the 300 or 400 level.
Combining studies and research from different subject areas.
Opportunities for students to pursue some of their studies at another institution, often in another country, but still as a registered UVic student.
UVic courses are graded with letter grades (A+, A, A-, B+, etc.). These will appear on your UVic transcript. Check your course syllabus to see how you will be marked in each course.
Lower Level Courses
Courses numbered 100 to 299.
Students working towards this designation (ex. MA, MSc, MBA, etc) are called "graduate students." Usually, this is the degree earned after a bachelor's degree that precedes a doctoral degree.
Your area of specialization within in a degree program (ex. You may be working towards a BA degree with a major in Pacific and Asian Studies).
My UVic application
This is the web site where you can access your application for admission record. Applicants are required to create a My UVic application account by providing a Login ID and PIN. Important information like your admission status, and receipt of transcripts can be viewed at this site.
Netlink ID and Password
This is a unique personal identifier which is used as your "username" (ex, jsmith) to access various services such as: the central UVic e-mail system, access to a number of student computer labs, the Library gateway, WebCT and Web Board.
Your Netlink ID is also the ID to access My page where you register for courses, and view your student record. You are also able to update your address and contact information via My page.
An independent, impartial and confidential resource who is there to help students with problems such as graduation appeals, complaints about professors, admissions and re-registration appeals and housing difficulties.
Online registration through My page allows students who have been admitted to UVic to register for courses via the internet. You will need a Netlink ID before you can register for courses.
Provides students with current course timetable information via the Web, including current information on open sections and the number of wait-listed students
OUAC Reference Number
Current Ontario High School students who apply to the University of Victoria in their graduating year should provide their OUAC Reference Number if available. This will allow the University of Victoria to obtain high school transcripts directly from the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC). Current Ontario High School students who do not have an OUAC Reference Number will be required to submit transcripts from their school.
When you cheat by copying or reproducing other people's ideas or material and try to pass it off as your own as new and original work without crediting this source.
A trial period for a student whose registration is subject to academic conditions.
A course that must be completed before taking a prescribed course.
An undergraduate student registered in fewer than 12.0 units of study in the Winter Session, or fewer than 6.0 units of study in the Summer Session.
A course with PERM under Registration Restrictions (RSTR) in the timetable requires permission from the Department. Registration is done through the Department.
Personal Education Number (PEN)
A unique number which is assigned to all students in the Province of British Columbia. Applicants from BC are asked to provide their PEN at the time of application.
Personal Identification Number (PIN)
A unique password that is created by applicants at the time of application that allows secure access to My UVic application.
In most instances this is the the designation for most doctoral degrees and is the abbreviation for "Doctor of Philosophy".
A preliminary requirement which must be met before registration in a prescribed course.
A term used with course registration that normally refers to the main lecture class.
A specialized professional program entered after a bachelor's degree is fully or partially completed- such as UVic Law.
The series of courses of study organized to fulfill the requirements for a particular degree.
A time in the middle of term (November and February) when no classes are held. Reading break is normally 3 days in November and 5 days in February. Reading break is designed to give you time to study and complete assignments.
A person enrolled in at least one credit course at this university.
Registration Restriction: Registration in a course or section is limited to a certain kind of student based on factors such as program, year and degree.
Regular Student: A student who is registered as a candidate for a UVic degree, or in credit courses leading to a diploma/certificate.
A student award based on academic merit or excellence. Repayment is not required.
Many popular courses are divided into multiple classes or sections with different professors and time slots. There may be several sections (Section A01, A02, A03) of the same course (FREN 100). Some courses include both a lecture section and lab section. In this case you are required to attend both lecture and lab.
A small discussion group, either a focused part of a class (where the class is divided into discussion units), or a limited-enrollment class where discussion is emphasized.
Period of time during which the University offers courses. At the University of Victoria, there are two academic sessions each year: Winter Session (September to April) and Summer Session (May to August).
A sum of money that must be repaid. Loans to university students are obtained through the government.
Student Transition Centre
A helpful service that provides information and programs for UVic students to support them in their transition into the university and later, into the next stage of their lives.
Student Union Building
At the beginning of a course the professor will give you a syllabus, or course outline, which will include information on what you will study, when assignments are due, and how grades will be assigned.
Teaching Assistant (TA)
A graduate student who assists the professor by helping in a laboratory, grading papers, leading discussion sections, tutoring or lecturing.
A unit of time within a session. A term in the Winter Session consists of 13 weeks. In the Summer Session, the terms vary in length from around 3 weeks to the same length as a Winter Session term.
An official copy of a student's academic record. Generally, applicants are required to submit official transcripts of their past study to determine if they can be admitted to the University of Victoria.
Credit assigned for courses successfully completed at the post secondary level. For BC Colleges consult the current BC Transfer Guide.
Refers to the classification in which certain students are registered. Students who are not in degree programs do not have a year standing and are considered to be "unclassified."
The first level of degree a student can receive at UVic is a bachelor's degree (ex. BA, BSc, BEng). A bachelor's degree normally requires a minimum of 60 units of coursework.
A student registered in an undergraduate Faculty in a program leading to a Bachelor's degree or an undergraduate diploma.
Undergraduate Students' Society (UVSS)
All undergraduates are automatically members of the UVSS. This organization represents all undergraduate students as all matters are carried out by elected student representatives. Students can participate by joining committees, participating in elections, and attending the meetings.
Positive numerical value used in assigning the value of a course, such as English 115 (1.5 units).
This pass provides you with unlimited access to Greater Victoria public transit routes.
A unit value of 3.0 is given to a full year course, commencing in September and ending in April. A one term course (either September to December or January to April) normally has a 1.5 unit value.
Upper Level Courses
Courses numbered 300 to 499.
A student who is not formally admitted to a UVic degree program but is permitted to register for credit courses for a specified period on the basis of a Letter of Permission from their home institution.
As course sections may fill during the registration period, many courses have a waitlist option available. Students who choose to waitlist for a course will be offered, in their waitlisted order, spaces that become available. Once a space is available, a registration offer will be sent by email to the next student in line. There is a time limit to respond to that offer.
The level within a program of study, or the level of the course. For example, First year student, First year course (PHYS 102).