College Terminology


Students register for an additional class after initial registration. Check the Academic Calendar for registration deadlines and possible fees.


Students who wish to earn a vocational certificate or a degree must apply and be formally admitted to a program. Students admitted to MSC have submitted an Application for Admission, paid the appropriate fee ($40 for undergraduate applications, $45 for graduate applications), met all admission requirements and received a Certificate of Admission. Basic University admission requirements must be met; some departments may have additional requirements. See the MSC Bulletin for specific admission and degree information. Students may select "undeclared" as a degree program. Complete admission is required in order to receive most types of financial aid.


UAA awards credit for satisfactory performance (a score of 3 or higher) on the College Board Advanced Placement Examinations. These exams are normally completed by students during their senior year in high school. A student may receive credit for more than one Advanced Placement Exam.


Associate degrees are programs of 60 credits or more that combine focused coursework in a major field with broad studies in the general education areas of written communication, oral communication, humanities, math and natural sciences, and social sciences.


Students register, pay for, and attend a class without receiving credit. Within certain timeframes, a class can be changed from audit to credit grading.


(Bachelor Degree) Baccalaureate, or bachelor, degrees are organized programs or study that consist of 120 credits or more. In addition to providing extensive preparation in specific knowledge areas, the content and activities found in the baccalaureate degree promote in students the abilities to reason, research, and analyze, and to form, support and communicate their ideas and opinions. Typically it takes 4-5 years of full time attendance to earn a bachelor’s degree.


A book printed annually which defines every degree program being offered at that campus during one academic year (fall, spring and summer). It is the student's responsibility to become familiar with the policies, regulations and graduation requirements in the catalog. It is important that students get the catalog that corresponds with their catalog year.


See Bulletin


The academic year that a student is admitted into a degree program. The catalog year begins with the fall semester and ends with the following summer semester. To earn a certificate or degree, students need to meet the requirements in that year's catalog or from the catalog of the year in which they graduate.


Classification, based on the total credits a student has earned and does not necessarily reflect the progress a student has made toward the completion of a degree. Students are classified as follows:
Freshman/First Year: 0-29 credits
Sophomore/Second Year: 30-59 credits
Junior: 60-89 credits

Senior: 90+ creditsCODE OF CONDUCT: 

The University requires students to conduct themselves honestly and responsibly and respect the rights of others. Violations of the Code of Conduct are subject to University judicial review and disciplinary action. Please read the Student Code of Conduct in the Student Life chapter of the MSC Bulletin.


A booklet printed every semester detailing classes being offered. The beginning of this book contains essential information that applies to every student. This is how MSC informs everyone of the guidelines that apply to University attendance.


An academic title conferred by universities and colleges indicating the completion of a course of study. Here are just a few examples:
Associate of Arts (AA)
Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Bachelor of Science (BS)

For a complete list of degrees offered by MSC, please visit the




Students who have been fully admitted to a degree program and are attending the classes required to complete their degree.


You can earn multiple degrees simultaneously by following the guidelines in the MSC Bulletin.


Baccalaureate degree-seeking students may apply to graduate (during the same semester) with two majors, provided the degree program is the same for each major. For example, a student may select two of the approved majors, such as History and Justice, within the Bachelor of Arts degree program.


Students who register for a class and decide not to attend must drop the class by the deadline published in the course schedule. If the class is not dropped before the deadline, tuition and fees will still apply. Students who don’t formally withdraw will receive an "F" grade. (Also see withdrawal.) Use UA On-Line (web) system or go to the registration office in person. See the course schedule for drop deadlines and possible fees. Dropped courses do not appear on the student's transcript.


Students registered for classes at MSC are enrolled. Many students mistakenly assume they are admitted to the University because they are enrolled in classes.


Some courses include "Permission of Faculty" as a registration restriction. Students must obtain the signature of the faculty member instructing the course section, or that faculty member's designee, prior to registration.


Students taking courses for academic credit pay student fees that support a variety of programs and services. All students registering in three or more credits held on the Anchorage campus must pay the mandatory student fees. The course schedule outlines the benefits associated with these fees.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, was designated to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings.


Most types of assistance students receive in order to pay for tuition (for example, work study, scholarships, grants and loans). Students must be admitted to a degree-seeking program and maintain satisfactory academic progress (see the MSC Bulletin for more detail) to be eligible for financial aid.


A student enrolled at MSC in at least 12 credit hours during a semester is considered a full-time student. The MSC Bulletin describes additional rules for calculating full-time and part-time status for undergraduate and graduate students. (Also see study load.)


MSC uses the 4-point system as a measure of scholastic success. To learn how to calculate a GPA, read the Academic Policies in chapter 6 of the MSC Bulletin.


A student who has previously earned a baccalaureate degree and is seeking an advanced degree: for example, master degree, doctoral degree, or graduate certification in education.


A student’s Social Security Number is used as an identification number for University records. Students are also issued a generated ID Number, used on student ID cards, when registering for classes, and paying accounts. Students who receive financial aid and/or are employed by the University must provide their Social Security Numbers.


There are special admission requirements that apply to international students.


A subject or discipline in which a student concentrates a large share of efforts. For a list of majors available in MSC's degrees, please see the Majors page of this web site.


Graduate degrees at the master level require that students complete a systematic program of studies consisting of at least 30 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree. Programs are individualized and approved by a committee of graduate faculty for each student.


A student enrolled at MSC in fewer than 12 credit hours during a semester is considered a part-time student. Nine credits is considered ¾ time, six credits is considered ½ time. The MSC Bulletin describes additional rules for calculating full-time and part-time status for undergraduate and graduate students. (Also see study load.)


This is the last possible date students can pay tuition and fees. Students who wait until the deadline to pay should expect to wait in a long line. There are many ways to pay for classes, as outlined in the course schedule section on payment options and deadlines.


Students applying to certain programs that have limited space and/or highly selective admission criteria may be initially admitted to a pre-major status in that program. Admission to pre-major status does not guarantee subsequent admission to the major but does allow a student to be advised within the department and receive financial aid.


Registration is the process of signing up to attend a class. Registration can take place by phone, web, or in person at Student Services (FSM 101).


Students should consider their graduation timeline when planning their study loads. To complete an associate degree in two years or a baccalaureate degree in four years (excluding summers), a full-time student should plan to take at least 15 credits each semester. Many degrees require more than the minimum number of required credits and may take longer than four years to complete. Remember, the greatest amount of college study time is spent outside the classroom. For each hour of in-class time, a student may spend two to four hours of study time outside the class. Students may wish to start college slowly, establish their study time needs and then adjust their schedules accordingly. When planning study loads students should keep in mind non-school demands such as employment and family responsibilities.


An official transcript is received by the university in a sealed envelope from the issuing school. Hand-carried documents are only considered official if they remain in an envelope sealed by the issuing institution.


A final high school transcript shows the student’s graduation date. A student still in high school should send "in-progress" transcripts at the time of application for admission and a final transcript upon graduation. A final transcript is required to complete the admission process for financial aid disbursement.


Classes removed from a student’s schedule after the drop deadline. The course will appear with a status of "W" on the student’s transcript. Students should see an advisor for options if they get to a point where they cannot pass a class (try to avoid taking an F in a class). Withdrawals must be done in person at Admissions & Records. Deadlines to withdraw from classes less than semester length are prorated. Course withdrawal begins the day following the drop deadline. Withdrawal is not allowed after the course has ended.