This glossary defines terms to assist users to better understand content in the General Catalog.

Term Definition
Bachelor's Degree An award conferred by CSU signifying that the recipient has satisfactorily completed a minimum of 120 credit hours in an undergraduate course of study.
Catalog Updates The General Catalog is published online once annually prior to the beginning of the fall term. It will reflect updates approved during the previous academic year. It will not reflect updates that may take place during the period between publications. For new courses approved after August 1, please see the Class Schedule.
Certificate - Graduate A Graduate Certificate is used to identify the successful completion of a focused area of study deemed important to a student's career objectives. A Graduate Certificate consists of a minimum of 9 specified credits, and not more than 15 credits at the 500 level or above.
Certificate - Undergraduate An Undergraduate Certificate is used to identify the successful completion of a focused area of study deemed important to a student's career objectives. Certificates are optional and are offered by certain departments. An undergraduate certificate consists of a minimum of 9 specified credits, and not more than 15 credits. A minimum of 9 credits must be course work at the upper-division level (300-400).
CEU Continuing Education Unit (CEU) or Continuing Education Credit (CEC) is a measure used in continuing education programs, often those required in a licensed profession, for the professional to maintain a license or certification.
Concentration A concentration is a sequence of at least 12 semester credits of designated courses within a major designed to accommodate specific interests of undergraduate students.
Credit Unit that gives weight to the value, level or time requirements of an academic course taken at CSU
Credit hour A credit hour is defined as a minimum of 50 minutes of lecture or discussion/recitation per week for 16 weeks (800 minutes in a semester), 100 minutes of laboratory per week for 16 weeks (1600 minutes in a semester) when outside preparation is required, or 150 minutes of laboratory per week for 16 weeks (2400 minutes in a semester) when no outside preparation is required.
Credit load For workload planning purposes (and to graduate with 120 credits in eight semesters), students should plan on an average of 15 credits per semester and should expect that each credit hour will require approximately two to three hours (for some students in some classes, more time and in a few classes less time) of effort per week to accomplish readings and out-of-class assignments in preparation for successful completion of the course requirements.
Degree An academic degree is the recognized completion of studies at CSU. A diploma is issued in recognition of having satisfactorily completed the prescribed course of study.
Degree Completion Program Selected undergraduate majors offered by CSU, student usually transfers in 60 credits from another institution(s) and completes the degree at CSU.
Diploma An academic credential issued by CSU signifying the recipient has successfully completed a particular course of study, which confers the degree.
Faculty - Instructor Typically a non-tenure track faculty member that focuses on the teaching mission of the university.
Faculty - Assistant Professor A tenure track or non-tenure track faculty member early in their career. After 5 years of service they are reviewed for advancement to associate professor. All faculty members at every rank are reviewed annually for performance.
Faculty - Associate Professor A tenured or non-tenure track faculty member whose performance in teaching, scholarly activities, and service has supported their promotion to associate professor. Tenured faculty typically have responsibility in all three areas whereas non-tenure track faculty generally focus on teaching or scholarship.
Faculty - Full Professor A tenured or non-tenure track faculty member who has attained the rank of professor and is recognized for significant accomplishments at CSU and/or nationally and internationally in their field.
Grade mode - Instructor Option Allows the instructor to choose and inform the class whether Traditional or (S/U) Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading will be used for a course.
Grade mode - Student Option Either Traditional or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading selected by the student at the time of registration.
Grade mode - Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Performance equivalent to a grade of C or better is recorded as Satisfactory. Performance equivalent to D or F is recorded as Unsatisfactory. Neither S or U grades are used in calculating the CSU GPA.
Grade mode - Traditional Uses letter grades A to F. Instructor has the option to use pluses (+) or minuses (-) as indicated in the catalog section on Grading. Effective Fall 2008, C-, D+, and D- grades are not assigned at CSU.
Graduate level Degrees at the masters, doctorate, or professional level. Graduate level courses are those numbered 500 and above.
Incomplete (grade) Used when circumstances prevent student from completing course work, agreement to be made with instructor for completion. An "I" grade converts to F if not completed within one year.
Independent Study Individualized learning not available in courses, which allows a student to work independently with the approval and guidance of a supervising instructor for predetermined credits.
Interdisciplinary Studies Program Graduate level program that is intra-college (within one college) or intra-university (across disciplines of more than one college). They are a series of courses focused on a particular problem or area of concern providing mulit-disciplinary perspectives.
Licensure--teacher/educator A series of courses including student teaching preparing students to be PK-12 teachers/educators. CSU in cooperation with the state offers credentials in areas listed in the School of Education section. Undergraduate students major in a discipline (e.g., Music, Agriculture, Early Childhood, Chemistry).
Major A sequence of courses in an academic discipline or area, which when accompanied by appropriate supporting courses, leads to an undergraduate degree.
Major Completion Map A semester-by-semester course plan to complete their baccalaureate degree within the minimum number of semesters indicated in the major. An advising tool to guide the student through their program of study.
Minor A sequence of related courses (minimum of 21 credits), which provide a student with unique opportunities to complement the major. Minors may be disciplinary (e.g., economics, range ecology) or interdisciplinary (e.g., film studies, gerontology) and are offered only at the undergraduate level.
Option A sequence of courses within a major or concentration of either guided electives or electives selected from areas of interest as approved by the department (not identified on a transcript)
Prerequisite A course(s) and or minimum grade requirement that must be completed to be prepared for the next course or sequence of courses.
Program of Study Content and scope of knowledge, abilities, and skills a student is expected to master in a field of study, as well as the content and topics that are studied at each level.
Restriction Conditions that apply to courses at the section level to limit registration in a course. Restrictions include department approval, field of study, college, student level, student class, campus location and/or student attribute.
Second Baccalaureate Degree Enrollment classification for students who have earned one or more bachelor's degrees. An option when one is changing fields or careers.
Special Academic Unit--SAU Multidisciplinary units (across departments) with courses and/or programs addressing complex problems and issues (e.g., sustainability, biomedical engineering). SAUs may grant degrees.
Specialization A recognized area of specialty within a graduate program. Graduate degrees may or may not have specializations. Specializations are identified on the transcript.
Transcript - Official Official copy of a student's permanent academic record at CSU, which includes all CSU courses taken, grades received, honors (Dean's List, graduation with distinction), and degrees conferred.
Undergraduate A student at CSU pursuing a bachelor's degree program (usually 4 years).
Undergraduate - Freshman 0-29 credits earned at CSU and accepted in transfer.
Undergraduate - Sophomore 30-59 credits earned at CSU and accepted in transfer.
Undergraduate - Junior 60-89 credits earned at CSU and accepted in transfer.
Undergraduate - Senior 90+ credits earned at CSU and accepted in transfer.