Definitions

There are many different ways that universities refer to programs, the paths you can take, and the resulting outcomes of your studies. Find out how we describe these at UPEI.

Academic Regulations: general academic regulations apply to all university students, unless otherwise specified; Degree regulations are academic regulations and degree requirements that apply to a particular program in addition to the general academic regulations. 

Academic Standing:  at the end of the academic year, students are automatically assigned one of the following standings, based on academic performance:

  • Good Standing – Students are deemed to be in good academic standing if they have achieved a CGPA of 1.70 or higher.  
  • Academic Probation – Academic Probation is a warning to a student that has been below the required standard and could lead to an Academic Suspension.
  • Academic Suspension – Students will be placed on Academic Suspension if they fail to achieve a SGPA or a CGPA of 1.70 or higher after the completion of 30 semester credit hours while on Academic Probation.

Advanced Standing: when a degree requirement has been met but credit transfer to UPEI is not possible (i.e., the course is not deemed equivalent, though the subject matter is comparable enough to waive a degree requirement), “Advanced Standing” might be granted. Advanced Standing eliminates the need for the student to take the course in question but does not reduce the number of courses required to graduate (another course must be substituted for it, instead).

Appeal: a challenge of, or request for review of, a judgement regarding the application of regulations.

Audit: to audit a course is to enroll in a regular for-credit course, but only as a “listener.” Assignments are not submitted or evaluated, and the transcript notation is AUD for “audit.” 

Certificate: a certificate is an academic designation awarded for the completion of a specified program of study with a focussed or coherent theme. The number of semester hours required to complete a certificate varies by program. Please see the specific certificate program descriptions for a complete list of requirements. A certificate has fewer semester hours than a degree or a diploma.

Co-requisites: courses that must be or may be taken simultaneously.

Co-operative Education: a degree program available in some disciplines whereby students complete a specified number of paid work-terms in addition to the course requirements for their degree.

Core Courses: specific courses that are required as part of a degree program.

Course: is a unit of work in a particular subject normally extending through one semester or session, the completion of which normally carries credit toward the fulfillment of the requirements for certain degrees, diplomas or certificates. To complete a degree in 4 years, students generally take ten courses over the period September to April, five in the first semester and five in the second semester. In cases where a combination of six semester-hour courses and three semester-hour courses are followed (see definition of Semester Hour), normally a total of 120 semester hours of credit must be obtained before a student becomes eligible for a degree. 

Course load: the number of courses (translated into semester-hours of study) undertaken in any given semester or session. For example, a student taking 3 courses weighted at 3 semester-hours each is enrolled in a 9 semester-hour course load.

Course selection: choosing the courses you wish to take, and selecting them either on-line through campus login or in-person via the Registrar’s Office or the Advisement Centre.

Cross-listed course: a) a cross-listed course is a single course offered for registration under two or more departments, is taught at the same time, by the same instructor, and in the same location. The course has the same title and content/assessment methods. Prerequisite requirements may vary and the course prefix is different, e.g. W ST 435 is cross-listed with PSY 435; or b) a cross- listed course is a single course offered for registration in the same department, e.g. at the 300/500 level or the 400/600 level, and is taught at the same time, by the same instructor, and in the same location. The courses have a different number, and the content/assessment methods vary based upon the level of course taught.

Degree: an academic designation awarded for the completion of all regulations and requirements for a specific program. 

De-registered: students who have not paid course tuition and other fees by the published deadline may be de-registered and will not be permitted to write final examinations or to register in any subsequent semester.

Degree Audit: as a “progress check,” the degree audit is an activity whereby a student’s academic record is reviewed in comparison to the degree requirements.  An up-to-date degree audit report is available to students who log onto the UPEI website using their ID# and PIN. Students should review their audit to make decisions about degree completion options.

Degree requirement: specific courses in a program that must be taken in order to be eligible to graduate.

Diploma: a diploma is an academic designation awarded for the completion of a specified program of study with a focussed or coherent theme. The semester hours required to complete a diploma varies by program. Please see the specific diploma program descriptions for a complete list of requirements. A diploma has fewer semester hours than a degree and more semester hours than a certificate.  

Directed Studies: normally, an upper level course that does not have a prescribed curriculum. In consultation with the course professor, the student chooses a specific topic and then undertakes an in-depth study of this topic. The course professor must approve all directed-study activities before registration can occur.

Discontinuations (DISC): students who wish to terminate their enrolment in a particular course may discontinue by notifying the Registrar’s Office either on-line or via in-person services and according to published dates in the Academic Calendar. Information regarding full refund and partial refund dates is listed in the Academic Calendar for each academic year. No discontinuations are permitted after the final date posted. Students who stop attending class after the final discontinuation date will be graded on the work completed up to that date.  

Electives: a term used for an academic course chosen by the student from a set of options, as opposed to a required course.

Enrolled: actively engaged in a course or program for which one has registered. See Registered and Course Selection.

Enrolment status: refers to current course load a student is carrying. 

Full-time status: a student is considered full-time in a semester when he/she is enrolled in three or more credit courses (9 or more semester hours).

Graduate Certificate: a graduate certificate is an academic designation awarded for the completion of a specified program of study for which a completed Bachelors or Professional degree is required for admission, and which involves graduate-level courses (600 or above). Graduate certificate courses can be used towards a Masters degree program as specified within that Masters program. Students in graduate certificate programs are classified as graduate students.

Graduate Diploma:  a graduate diploma is an academic designation awarded for the completion of a specified program of study for which a completed Bachelors or Professional degree is required for admission, and which involves graduate-level courses (600 or above). While the semester hours required to complete a graduate diploma are normally greater than those for a graduate certificate, some or all of this difference may be represented by a research project or other requirement for scholarly work. Graduate diploma courses can be used towards a Masters degree program as specified within that Masters program. Students in graduate diploma programs are classified as graduate students.

Honours Conversion: students who have completed a BA, BSc or a BBA degree at UPEI  may apply to complete their Honours Conversion. Students must have completed a major in their subject area or, in the case of Business students, completed the Business degree with a strong academic background, in order to undertake Honours.  For further information around admission requirements, and available programs, please refer to the Academic Calendar. 

Honours' Degree:  an academic distinction awarded to students who achieve an honours bachelor's degree with sufficiently high academic standing and who typically fulfill a short thesis requirement. Consult the appropriate departmental offerings for details.

Major: a subject of study a student normally specializes in during the course of degree studies. To qualify for a major, a student must complete a minimum of 42 semester hours of credit in the major subject. This number may be higher for some majors. 

Minor: a subject of study a student normally pursues secondary to a major. To qualify for a minor, a student must complete a minimum of 21 approved semester hours of credit. This number may be higher for some minors.

Not-for-credit or non-credit courses: courses that have no semester-hour weighting, and do not contribute to the credits required for a degree. These courses may be required as a condition of admission or for continuation in a program of study. Other non-credit offerings are provided through the Office of Skills Development and Learning as short courses, workshops, and seminars.

Part-Time Status: a student is considered part-time in a semester when he/she is enrolled in fewer than three credit courses (less than 9 semester hours). 

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate:  a post-baccalaureate certificate is an academic designation awarded for the completion of a specified program of study for which a completed Bachelors degree is required for admission. Normally, courses for these certificates will be at the 500 level. Post-baccalaureate certificate courses cannot be used towards a Masters degree program and students in post-baccalaureate programs are not classified as graduate students.

Pre-requisites: courses that must have been successfully completed prior to registration in another course.

Registration: registration is the process of selecting, enrolling in, and being assessed fees for courses.  On-line registration is available for summer sessions normally in March each year; and in July for the upcoming academic year. See “Academic Calendar Dates” in calendar.

Registered: to be officially registered, students must select their courses, enrol either on-line or in-person and have paid their tuition fees in full.

Semester: the duration of a study period in an academic year - normally consisting of thirteen consecutive weeks.  The first semester commences in early September, the second semester in early January, and the spring/summer sessions commence in early May and July respectively.

Semester-hour: a unit by which course work is measured, normally defined as one hour of classroom time per week per semester.  A class held three hours a week for one semester is measured as a three semester- hour course. 

Special Topics: a course that is offered by a department on a one-time only basis.

Specialization:  a specialization is an approved selection of specific courses (15-30 semester hours) internal to a major that represents a focussed subject area of study.  In the case of Business, Education, Nursing and Engineering students, where specializations are available, a specialization is internal to the degree requirements.  NOTE: For graduate programs, specialization refers to a focussed area of study and/or research within the structure of a specific graduate program, as defined internally for that program. 

Transcript: a transcript is the official, permanent record of your academic history at the University.

Transfer credits: Transfer credits are credits granted to students upon admission for work completed at another institution. These credits reduce the total number of credits which must be taken at UPEI for a degree.

Unclassified students: persons interested in enrolling in undergraduate courses for general interest or other academic purposes without having to gain admission to a specific program. 

Waived: is the permission granted by the appropriate authority for exemption from a particular program requirement and/or a particular university regulation.

Writing Intensive courses:  Writing-intensive (WI) courses at UPEI use writing as a major means of developing thinking and learning in the disciplines. Such courses integrate a significant amount of writing (and opportunities for revision) into the work of the course, providing a variety of formal and informal occasions for students to write and learn the goals, assumptions and key concepts of a course.

Year of Study:  is measured on the number of successful semester hours of credit completed.  See Academic Regulation #3.

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