Glossary of Terms

Academic Year:  A period of time from the start of the Fall semester or quarter, usually in September, but occasionally in August or October, and continuing through the completion of the Spring semester or quarter, usually in May or June.

Accredited:  A college or program that has been certified as fulfilling certain standards by a national and/or regional professional association.

Articulation Agreement:  Agreements between community and four-year colleges that indicate the acceptability of courses in transfer toward meeting specific degree requirements.

Associate Degree (AA/AS):  A degree granted by the community college to students who complete a specified program, usually totaling 60 units. Associate degrees are awarded in arts and sciences and are sometimes called two-year degrees, in contrast to the four-year or bachelor's degree awarded by a university.

Bachelor's ( Baccalaureate) Degree:  A level of education marked by the completion of the equivalent of four or more years of full-time education (at least 124 semester units or 180 quarter units). Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees are offered by the California State University system, the University of California system, and many private colleges and universities.

California Articulation Number (CAN):  The notation of CAN following the transfer credit statement designates a California Articulation Number. The CAN system provides a cross-reference number or course identification for courses which are acceptable "in lieu of" comparable courses at participating California colleges and universities. These courses will be acceptable as equivalent in content and scope to identically designated CAN courses at transfer institutions and will satisfy comparable degree requirements at all participating campuses in California.

Catalog Rights:  A policy that allows, in certain circumstances, a college student to select the set of requirements he/she will follow to qualify for university graduation. Check the college catalog to determine the catalog right policy of a specific university.

Certificate:  An award granted upon completion of a prescribed series of courses preparing students for employment in selected occupational/vocational fields which require training beyond high school. A certificate may be earned while preparing for an associate degree. Some four-year colleges also offer certificate programs.

Certification:  An official notice, either on the transcript or on a certification form provided by a community college, verifying that a transfer student has completed courses satisfying all or a portion of the lower division general education requirement. Certification of CSU GE or IGETC is an important step in the transfer process.

Electives:  Courses that are not used to meet specific major, general education, or graduation requirements, but can be used to complete the total units required for a degree.

General Education:  A program of courses in the arts and sciences that provides students with a broad educational experience. Courses typically are introductory in nature and provide students with fundamental skills and knowledge in mathematics, English, arts, humanities, and physical, biological, and social sciences. Transfer students often take these classes while attending a community college. Completion of a general education program is required for a baccalaureate degree.

Grade Point Average (GPA):  The average of all grades received. For transfer students, grade point average refers to the average grade received in transferable units. Also referred to as GPA and cumulative grade point average.

Graduate:  Courses offered beyond the bachelor's degree level. Also, students who have received a bachelor's degree and who are enrolled in post-baccalaureate instruction.

Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC):  A general education program which community college students can use to satisfy lower division general education requirements at any California State University or University of California campus.

Lower Division:  Courses offered for freshman/sophomore level credit. Also refers to students whose class level is freshman or sophomore.

Major:  A program of study that leads to a degree; the subject area in which a student pursuing a college degree develops the greatest depth of knowledge.

Master's Degree:  A degree beyond the bachelor's, also called a graduate degree. Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees are most common, but there are also professional master's degrees, such as the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) or the Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Minor:  A secondary field of studies outside of the major field. Some degree programs require a minor.

Priority Filing Dates:  A one month period of time when applications are first accepted for a specific term at a California State University or University of California campus (i.e. November 1-30 for the following Fall term).

Quarter:  One type of term within an academic year that marks the beginning and end of classes. Each quarter is 10 weeks in length and there are three quarters (Fall, Winter, Spring) per academic year.

Semester:  One type of term within an academic year that marks the beginning and end of classes. Each semester is 15 weeks in length and there are two semesters (Fall and Spring) in an academic year.

Teaching Credential:  A basic multiple or single subject teaching credential obtained upon completion of a bachelor's degree and prescribed professional education requirements in four or more years of college.

Transfer Admission Agreement (TAA):  A formal, written agreement that outlines the courses that must be completed before transfer, the GPA required, and lists specific requirements for crowded majors. The Transfer Admission Agreement will guarantee admission to the university as long as transferable units completed may be eligible for a TAA.

Undergraduate:  An enrolled student who has not completed a baccalaureate degree: a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior.

Unit:  A measure of credit earned for course completion. A unit is based on the number of hours of instruction per week required in the classroom and/or lab or in independent study. A course earning three semester units will usually meet for three lecture hours a week. One quarter unit is equal to 2/3 of one semester unit.

Upper Division:  Courses offered for junior/senior class level credit. These courses are not offered by community colleges and they often require completion of prerequisite courses. Also refers to junior and senior students.