International student glossary
A. Accordion Closed
Academic Advisor: A resource person who helps guide students through their degrees at NAU. Academic Advisors assist students in choosing courses, obtaining transfer equivalents and substitutions, approving prerequisites and many more academically related tasks.
Example: “I just found out my friend’s Macroeconomics class transferred from our school, but mine didn’t. I have to make an appointment with my academic advisor.”
Academic Catalog: There is a new academic catalog for each new academic year (August-May). The year you start your major courses is called your “catalog year.” The academic catalog outlines university policy and gives the basic information you need to study at NAU.
Example: “If you need more information on the Distribution Requirements required for your English major, check the academic catalog.”
Academic Reinstatement: Refers to returning to NAU after suspension. If you have been academically suspended and wish to return to NAU you must appeal for reinstatement in writing at least 6 weeks before the term in which you wish to return. Academic reinstatement is not automatic and all appeals must be approved by the Academic Continuation Committee.
Example: “I went to a community college for the semester after I was academically suspended from NAU and I got good grades. Now I am petitioning the Academic Continuation Committee for reinstatement to continue towards my NAU degree”
Academic Standing: Measure of scholastic excellence held by a university; NAU requires students to maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 to continue their studies. Academic standing is listed on your transcript at the end of each semester.
Example: “I noticed on my transcript that my Academic Standing is listed as ‘Probation.’ I need to meet with my academic advisor to see how I can improve my academic standing.”
Academic Suspension: Academic Suspension at NAU indicates that your cumulative GPA and a subsequent term GPA have both dropped below the 2.0 requirement, and you are subject to the following three restrictions: Cancellation of enrollment in the next term, Cancellation of university housing in the next term and inability to enroll in any NAU courses.
Example: “I wasn’t able to get my grades up while up on probation, so now I have been academically suspended from NAU.”
Accreditation: A voluntary process where a registered institution or program seeks recognition of its high standards of academic excellence in curriculum, facilities, etc. Accreditation is a high honor. Not every university degree program has accreditation.
Example: “My Business advisor would not let me transfer online courses from the University of Phoenix because their programs are not accredited like NAU’s business programs are.”
Admission Requirements: The academic qualifications required to take courses or enter a program of study.
Example: “I need to complete ACC 256 this summer, or I will not meet the admission requirements of the Business Professional Program.”
Alumni: A graduate of an educational institution, group or service.
Example: “Many NAU alumni return to Flagstaff to watch the Homecoming weekend Football Game.”
Annotated Bibliography: A list of works on a particular topic, with each entry accompanied by a note that explains, describes, and sometimes evaluates the publication.
Example: “For my final paper in my English class, we have to submit an annotated bibliography before we turn in the paper.”
Audit: At the university, “audit” means you attend the class, but do not receive a grade and are not expected to complete assignments. This is for personal interest. You must still pay all tuition and fees associated with the course.
Example: “Spanish isn’t required for my major, but I’ve always wanted to learn. I think I will audit the class so if I get to busy, I don’t have to worry about my GPA.”
B. Accordion Closed
BB Learn (Blackboard Learn): Starting place for all online or electronic course materials and communications. Students will use BB Learn for class discussions, to turn in assignments, and other areas as assigned by the instructor.
Example: “Did you check BB Learn? I think we have a quiz due by tomorrow at midnight.”
Bachelor’s Degree: First degree awarded by a university after four years of full-time study or completion of a specified number of credits necessary to meet degree requirements
Example: “My instructor said she earned her Bachelor’s Degree at UCLA, but she went to graduate school in London.”
Bulletin Board: A rectangular shaped board usually located in busy areas where students can post and find out information about events, want ads, for sale, for rent, etc.
Example: “I heard you were looking for a roommate. Did you check the bulletin board in the Union? There are a lot of postings there.”
Bursar’s Office (also: “Student Accounts”): Where you pay your university expenses
Example: “It looks like I may have been charged twice for the same fee. I have to go to the Bursar to check what happened.”
C. Accordion Closed
Campus: The grounds of a school, college or university
Example: “I really like living on-campus because everything is so close, but I think my friends and I might get an apartment off-campus next semester.”
Certificate: A qualification awarded upon successful completion of a short university or college program; can offer specialization in one aspect of your major
Example: “I can’t decide if I want to add the Investment Certificate, since I am already a double major.”
Cite: Giving credit to the original author when using (quoting and/or paraphrasing) their thoughts and/or ideas in your own writing
Example: “My instructor made it very clear that if we do not cite our sources in our research paper, we will be guilty of plagiarism.”
Coed: Open to both men and women
Example: “I heard that the club is co-ed, so you and your boyfriend can both join!”
Commencement: A day in which a school or university hands out diplomas, certificates or degrees to students who have completed their course of study.
Example: “My parents are making the trip to NAU so they can watch me walk at commencement.”
Community College: An institution that offers 100-200 level courses that can sometimes be transferred to the university
Example: “I have to complete ACC 256 this summer, but it is not offered at NAU. I think I might have to take it at a community college.”
Conditional Admission: This means you have met the academic requirements for admission, but not English language proficiency requirements. If you have conditional admission, you are admitted to the Program in Intensive English and upon successful completion of PIE courses, you can begin your academic coursework.
Example: “I was granted conditional admission to the Program in Intensive English and Electrical Engineering. I need to study ESL in PIE and successfully exit before I can start my engineering program.”
Convocation: A formal ceremony of recognition at the completion of a student’s program.
Example: “Each semester the Center for International Education holds a convocation ceremony to recognize international students who have completed their study at NAU.”
Core Classes: Each major has a set of “core” or foundation courses that every student in the major must complete. Usually you must have a grade of a “C” or higher in these courses.
Example: “I only have one more class to take and I complete my Business core!”
Counseling: Professional guidance in resolving personal conflicts and emotional problems.
Example: “I have been feeling very homesick and sad, unlike my normal self. After I went and spoke with a counselor at the counseling center I feel much better.”
Course (or “Class”): “Course” and “Class” are used interchangeably to refer to each individual 3-4 unit topic of study
Example: “I only have one more class to take and I complete liberal studies requirements!”
Course Fees: Financial fees attached to an individual course. Course fees pay for things like lab usage, course materials, studio usage, equipment etc.
Example: “It can be expensive majoring in science or art, because all of the labs and studio courses have added course fees!”
Credit Hour: A unit of study at the university represented by one hours of class per week per term. Most classes are worth 3 credit hours, and meet for 3 hours each week.
Example: “Most full-time students are enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours.”
Culture Shock: Confusion or anxiety caused by sudden exposure to a new culture. Refers to the lack of direction, the feeling of not knowing what to do or how to do things in a new environment, and not knowing what is appropriate or inappropriate. Often experienced by students during their first few weeks in a new culture.
Example: “My first week at NAU was hard. I hated the food, my roommate is noisy and rude, and I had a hard time talking with people. But my friend told me it was just culture shock, and it is normal. I think things will get better as I adjust more to the US.”
Cumulative: Overall or all-inclusive. “All semesters”—used to refer to GPA
Example: “I didn’t do very well this term, but my cumulative GPA is still over a 3.5, so I am not too worried.”
Curriculum: Contents of a course or program
Example: “Unfortunately we can’t accept your transfer course for credit, as the concepts studied are not found in our curriculum.”
D. Accordion Closed
Dean: The head of a school or university faculty
Example: “The Dean of the College of Hotel Restaurant Management is hosting a reception for new students to meet instructors and faculty.”
Dean’s List: A list of student’s recognized each semester for achieving high grades in their courses. The “Dean’s List” recognition is listed on your transcript.
Example: “I think I can earn a 3.8 GPA semester—that is high enough to make the Dean’s List!”
Degree: A qualification awarded to a student by a university following successful completion of program requirements
Example: “My parents are so happy I will finally finish my Mechanical Engineering degree this semester”
Department: A division of faculty and staff members most knowledgeable in a particular area of specialization or study.
Example: “The Theatre department is part of the College of Arts and Letters.
Direct Deposit: After you open a US bank account you can set up “Direct Deposit” with NAU so that any money refunded or paid to you by the university is automatically wired to your bank account.
Example: “Direct deposit is so convenient because I do not have to go to the bank to cash a check.”
Directory: Where to find contact information (email, phone, office) for NAU faculty, staff and students.
Example: “I couldn’t find my professor’s office number, so I had to look it up in the directory.”
Discipline: An area of academic study.
Division (Lower) courses: 100-200 level courses; usually introductory
Division (Upper) courses: 300-400 level courses; require higher skill level
Example: “I’m only taking lower division courses now. I have to be admitted into the Business Professional program before I can take upper division courses.”
Doctorate: A degree, most commonly the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) which is awarded to a graduate student after successful completion of a doctoral program beyond the master’s degree level
Example: “My instructor is not a professor yet…she is still completing her doctorate.”
Double Major: Completing the degree requirements equivalent to 2 full majors
Example: “My advisor told me if I wanted to double major in Finance and Econ, I would only have to complete an extra semester or so.”
Drop: To remove a class from your schedule
Example: “I enrolled in 18 units, but I only plan on taking 15, so I am going to drop one 3 unit class during the first week”
Dual Degree: Students in international dual degree programs will earn two individual Bachelor degrees—one from NAU and one from their home institution. Students must follow all guidelines outlined in the university partnerships in order to receive the dual degree.
Example: “NAU dual degree partnerships allow students from partner institutions in China and Europe to earn a Bachelor’s degree from their home institution and from NAU.
E. Accordion Closed
Elective: A course that is not required for a program but still recognized for credit, which can be chosen from within a specified group of courses. An elective course may count toward your degree requirements.
Example: “My academic advisor told me I could pick any 300 level English class to fulfill my elective requirements.”
Equivalency: When a transfer course from another institution is used to fulfill degree requirements at NAU.
Example: “Luckily, the Microeconomics class from my university was counted as an equivalency. Now I don’t have to take Micro at NAU.”
Exchange Program: Students who study at NAU for a period of one or two semesters. Students are not getting a degree from NAU and only come to study for a limited time.
Example: “Most of our exchange program participants are NAU students going abroad and international students from Europe and Australia who come to NAU.”
Exempt: Not required to do something that other students may be required to do.
Example: “Even though I am an international student, because I had a TOEFL score, I was exempt from taking the English Placement Test and immediately enrolled in academic courses”
Expulsion (or “Expel”): Removal of a student from a school, college or university for violating a rule or regulation, academic or otherwise.
Example: “I have heard of students getting expelled for things like cheating, or threatening behavior.”
Extracurricular Activities: Activity outside the regular course of study, such as intramural sports teams, or the dance club, or any activities you like to do in your free time.
Example: “Some of my Extracurricular Activities include cooking and playing video games.”
F. Accordion Closed
Faculty: The term for the teaching staff (professors, full time instructors) at the university.
Example: “My instructor is part of the NAU faculty, while my academic advisor is part of the NAU staff.”
Fellowship: A financial award given to a graduate student to assist with the costs of study
Example: “I am working hard to improve my GPA so I can be eligible for graduate school fellowships.”
FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law designed 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 and misleading data through informal and formal hearings.
Example: “The Registrar’s Office will not allow CIE to pick up my transcript for me because I never signed the FERPA Release form.”
Financial Aid: Refers to specific money provided by the US Government or university to US students who cannot afford the price of college. The money is provided in the form of loans or grants, and is only available to US students.
Fraternity (“Frat”): An organization of male university students who often live together, plan social events and participate in volunteer work as a group. Students must “pledge” or apply for the fraternity, and will have to pay money in the form of “dues” if selected to join.
Example: “After a week of tasks and competitions, my roommate was accepted into a Frat and is moving to Mountain View.”
Freshman: Term used to refer to students who have less than 29 completed units at NAU
Example: “Since I have never attended college before, I am considered a freshman.”
Full-time students: Students enrolled in 12 or more units at the university.
Example: “As a condition of immigration status, all international students must be enrolled as full-time students.”
G. Accordion Closed
Grade: A score or mark indicating a student’s academic performance on an exam, paper, or in a course
Example: “Final course grades are usually posted 2 weeks after final exams.”
Grade Point Average (GPA): Measure of academic achievement used in US universities. The GPA scale goes from 0-4.0 with 4.0 being the highest GPA
Example: “It is important to always have a GPA above a 2.0 in order to avoid probation.”
Grade Replacement: If a student receives a “D” or “F” in a class, they may repeat the course for a higher grade which will then be used to recalculate the student’s cumulative GPA. Additional considerations apply when using this option.
Example: “I failed my Spanish class and can’t move on until I get a passing grade. I will have to retake Spanish next semester for grade replacement.”
Grading Rubric: Specific detail on how your assignment will be assessed and graded by your instructor.
Example: “Even if I don’t do well on the presentation, the grading rubric said the paper is worth more points anyway.”
Grant: A set amount of money from an individual or institution that is given to an academic to create programs and fund research.
Example: “This semester I am working on a special project with my professor…she received a grant to study soil in the Grand Canyon.”
Greek life/Greek system: A collection of fraternities and sororities on campus whose names originate from letters in the ancient Greek alphabet.
H. Accordion Closed
Higher Education: Refers to education in a university setting
I. Accordion Closed
Independent Study: Student works 1 on 1 with a professor conducting in-depth research regarding an agreed upon topic. Student must contact professor to set up an independent study.
Example: “I am almost ready to graduate, but I need more research experience. I am going to ask my PSY professor if I can complete an independent study.”
Interdisciplinary Studies: Choosing courses from other “disciplines” or majors in order to gain a diverse perspective on a topic
Example: “I am studying Journalism, but I am thinking about the Journalism/Political Science interdisciplinary major to make myself more marketable.”
International Student Adviser: an individual or office responsible for an international student’s life on campus in such ways as maintaining immigration status, travel approvals, student services as well as assistance with financial and legal matters.
Example: “I plan on going back to China for winter break, but I need to get a travel signature from my international student advisor.”
Internship: A supervised practical training period for students or recent graduates to receive professional experience and expertise in their academic field.
Example: “My degree in Hotel Restaurant Management requires I complete an 800 hour internship in the Hospitality Industry before graduation.”
J. Accordion Closed
Jacks (Lumberjacks): Short form of the NAU mascot—the Lumberjacks. Used to describe NAU students/student athletes, and NAU programs like the “JacksCard” and the “Peer Jacks”
JacksCard: This is your student ID card. You will use this card for entry to residence halls, classes (like group exercise), and university events and functions. Your JacksCard can be used like a debit card for campus services like food and laundry.
Job Shadow: Observing a professional working in the profession you are interested in.
Example: “I can’t decide if I want to focus on managing investments or accounting management. I will try to set up a job shadow so I can learn more about both positions.”
Junior: Academic Level of students who have 60-89 completed units at NAU
K. Accordion Closed
KJACK: NAU’s student-run radio station
KNAU: Arizona Public Radio station providing world, national and local news
L. Accordion Closed
Lecture: Teaching method where the professor or instructor presents information orally to students who are expected to take notes and ask questions. Most courses are taught in the Lecture style.
Example: “This semester I am enrolled in 4 Lecture courses and 1 Lab.”
Letter of recommendation: A letter written by a student’s teacher, counselor, coach, or mentor that assesses his or her qualifications and skills. Universities and graduate schools generally require recommendation letters as part of the application process.
Example: “I am going to start visiting my professor during office hours. I want to make sure he knows more about me, because I am going to ask him to write me a letter of recommendation.”
Liberal Studies: Course selections across many disciplines. Designed to provide multiple opportunities to develop and explore knowledge in areas outside the major.
Example: “Even though I am an Accounting major, I am really looking forward to taking an Art class for liberal studies.”
LOUIE account: Your online student management system for finances, classes, and personal information
Example: “It seems like every time I have a question, my advisor asks me if I have checked my Louie account!”
The Lumberjack: The NAU student-run on-campus newspaper
Lumberjacks: Collective name for NAU students; The NAU mascot—also “Louie the Lumberjack”
M. Accordion Closed
Major: Specialization in a degree program that designates a student’s principal area of study in which the majority of courses are taken
Mandatory fees: Required costs charged by the university in addition to tuition.
Examples include student activity fee, student health fee, technology fee, and transportation fee.
Master’s degree: The next level of education after Bachelor’s degree; usually includes conducting research and writing a thesis, or engaging in an internship or practical learning experience.
Example: “I will graduate from NAU next Fall, and then after working for 1 year, I plan to go back to school and get my Master’s degree.”
Mentor: A peer, staff or faculty member who has expertise relevant to the student’s area of study or career goals and can provide guidance and support.
Example: “I know I want to study Geology, but I don’t know if I want to be a scientist, a researcher or a professor. I think I am going to see if I can find a career mentor.”
Mid-Terms: Tests and examinations given halfway through the semester to notify students of their current standing in the course.
Example: “I thought I was doing really well until Mid-terms! Now I see I have to study much harder!”
Minor: An academic program with a lesser degree of specialization than a major. Includes only some classes from the discipline of study.
N. Accordion Closed
Non-Credit: Courses that do not comprise part of a program of study. At NAU, courses designated with an “x” like MAT 108x or ENG 80x are non-credit courses.
O. Accordion Closed
Orientation: A program offered at the beginning of the semester to introduce new students to familiarize them with the campus community.
Example: “It is very important all new international students attend international orientation so they can learn about what is expected at NAU and how to navigate US living.”
Override: To receive permission to enroll in a class that is full or that you do not have prerequisites for.
Example: “I have to take one more senior capstone to graduate, but they are all full! Hopefully one of the professors will grant me an override!”
P. Accordion Closed
Pass-fail: A grading system in which students receive either a “pass” or “fail” grade, rather than a specific score or letter grade. Certain courses can be taken pass-fail, but these typically don’t include ones taken to fulfill major or minor requirements.
Peer: Someone of the same age/status/ability as you. Your classmates are your peers, but instructors and professors are not.
Example: “I like going to Supplemental Instruction (SI) because it is another student, a peer, who can teach things in a different way than the professor!”
Peer Evaluation: When a classmate evaluates your work and gives feedback, or when you evaluate others and provide feedback. Peer Evaluations are common in Writing classes and in Group Activities.
Example: “John did not help on this project at all. Just wait until we fill out peer evaluations and the professor knows he didn’t contribute to the group.”
Periodicals: Publications that are issued at least twice a year, including journals, magazines, and newspapers.
Example: “Our English professor said we had to use 1 book, 1 electronic source and 1 periodical for our research paper.”
Petition: To make a special request
Example: “It is too late to enroll in that class—you will have to complete a ‘Petition to Add after the deadline’ form.”
Plagiarism: The use of another person’s words or ideas as your own, without acknowledging that person. Universities have different policies and punishments for students caught plagiarizing. Plagiarism most often occurs with research papers and other written assignments.
PO Box (Post Office Box): Part of your on-campus address; the mailbox number where you will receive your mail.
Prerequisite (also called “prereq”): Introductory courses/concepts that the student must know in order to be successful in the course.
Example: “My academic advisor said I can’t enroll in MAT 119 because I haven’t taken MAT 114 yet, and that is the prerequisite.”
Probation: If your cumulative GPA drops below 2.0, you will be placed on probation. This means you cannot enroll in more than 13 units and you will have to get a 2.0 each semester until your cumulative GPA rises above 2.0. If you are on probation, and you do not achieve a 2.0 term GPA, you will be suspended from the university.
Example: “I need to retake the 2 classes I failed last semester so I can raise my GPA and get off of probation.”
Professor: Title given to a university teacher ranked by seniority, with full professor at the highest level, followed by associate professor, assistant professor and lecturer.
Provost: The senior academic officer of a university who typically oversees all academic policies and curriculum-related matters.
Q. Accordion Closed
Quota: Limits the number of students who may be admitted to certain programs
Example: “Only 20 students can attend the activity. Once they reach the quota, no one else can apply.”
R. Accordion Closed
Recycle: To treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make them suitable for reuse
Example: “Recycling plastic, bottles and paper is good for the environment because it means less waste in landfills.”
Registrar (Registrar’s Office): The registrar is a university official who maintains students’ personal and academic records, issues reports of grades, mails out official publications, etc.
Example: “I just received all the signatures needed for the override, so now I have to drop it off at the Registrar’s Office to be processed.”
Reinstatement (Academic): Refers to returning to NAU after suspension. If you have been academically suspended and wish to return to NAU you must appeal for reinstatement in writing at least 6 weeks before the term in which you wish to return. Reinstatement is not automatic and all appeals must be approved by the Academic Continuation Committee.
Example: “I went to a community college after I was academically suspended from NAU, and now I am petitioning the Academic Continuation Committee for reinstatement.”
Repeat: If a student receives a “D” or “F” in a class, they may repeat the course for a higher grade which will then be used to recalculate the student’s cumulative GPA. Additional considerations apply when using this option.
Example: “I need to have at least a “C” in ECO 201 to move on to the Business Professional Program, but I got a “D,” so I am going to have to repeat it.”
Resident Assistant (RA): A trained professional NAU student who is available on your floor to help with anything from study issues to roommate problems.
Example: “My roommate keeps inviting her boyfriend to spend the night, and I don’t know what to do. I think I will talk to my RA.”
Resident Hall Director (RHD): Residence Hall Supervisor. The RHD is in charge of all of the RAs, and can help you with difficult situations that the RA isn’t able to help with
Example: “I think my roommate is stealing money and clothes from me, and I want to move to a different room. I think I will talk to my RHD.”
Room and board: Housing and meals. “Room and board” is typically one of the costs universities will list in their annual estimated cost of attendance, in addition to tuition, fees, and textbooks and supplies.
S. Accordion Closed
Sabbatical Leave: A period of time where a university professor takes off from teaching responsibilities to work on research
Example: “I have to ask my favorite professor for a letter of recommendation, because she is going to be on sabbatical when I graduate.”
Scholarship: A financial award given to students on the basis of outstanding academic achievement. Awards are applied directly to educational expenses
Example: “I have a really good GPA these last 2 semesters, I think I will apply for a department scholarship to help with tuition costs!”
Senior: Academic level of students who have 90 or more completed units at NAU
Semester: Period covering ½ the academic year, usually consisting of a 15-18 weeks
Example: “My Spring semester schedule is so much better than my Fall semester schedule—no Friday classes!”
Seminar: A small discussion group that meets regularly and holds discussions on an assigned topic.
SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System): a U.S. government system that manages data and application processes for all non-immigrants on F-1 or J-1 visas
Example: “As soon as I exit the PIE I have to notify my immigration advisor so they can update my status is SEVIS.”
Social Security Number (SSN): A nine-digit identification number assigned by the U.S. government, that citizens provide to employers for tax purposes. If an international student receives a job offer to work on campus, you will also require a social security number.
Example: “Now that I am going to work on-campus, I need to apply for a social security number.”
Sophomore: Academic level used to refer to students who have completed 30-59 units at NAU
Sorority: an organization of female university students who often live together, plan social events and participate in volunteer work. Student must “pledge,” or apply for the sorority, and will have to pay money in the form of “dues” if accepted.
Example: “After a week of tasks and competitions, my roommate was accepted into a Sorority and is moving to Mountain View.”
Stipend: A set amount of money given to complete a task.
Example: “As an SI leader, rather than be paying for each hour I work, I just get a stipend over the semester.”
Student Fees: Mandatory costs charged by the university in addition to tuition. Examples include student activity fee, student health fee, technology fee, and transportation fee.
Example: “Student fees do add to the cost of tuition, but they also help provide for scholarships, student events and law council for students.”
Suspension (Academic): Academic Suspension at NAU indicates that your cumulative GPA and a subsequent term GPA have both dropped below the 2.0 requirement, and you are subject to the following three restrictions: Cancellation of enrollment in the next term, cancellation of university housing in the next term and inability to enroll in any NAU courses.
Example: “I wasn’t able to raise my cumulative GPA above 2.0 while on probation, so now I am academically suspended.”
Sustainability: The quality of reducing environmental harm by conservation and supporting a long-term ecological balance. This includes practices like: unplugging electronics/chargers when not in use, recycling, turning lights out when not in the room, turning off the water while brushing your teeth, etc.
Example: “NAU shows a commitment to sustainability by its recycling, discounts when refilling reusable containers, the yellow bike program and more.”
Syllabus: An outline of course expectations including due dates, assignments, assessment, test dates, course policies, etc.
Example: “One of the best ways to know what to expect in a class is to read the syllabus in detail.”
T. Accordion Closed
Teaching Assistant (TA): A graduate student who assists a professor with teaching an undergraduate course, usually within his or her field, as part of an assistantship.
Example: “I’m having trouble in my Sociology course, so the professor told me to make an appointment with the TA to review important concepts for the test.”
Thesis: an essay, based on original research, presented by a graduate student as part of the requirements for a master’s or doctoral degree.
Transcript: An official record of a student’s coursework and grades at a high school, college, or university. A transcript may be “Official” or “Unofficial.” Both transcripts contain the same information, but in order for a transcript to be “official” it must be in an unopened envelope. Once the envelope is open, the transcript is no longer “official”.
Transfer credit: Credit granted toward a degree on the basis of studies completed at another college or university.
Tuition: An amount of money charged per term, per course, or per credit, in exchange for instruction and training. Tuition generally does not include the cost of textbooks, room and board, and other fees.
Tutorials: A guide or activity to help demonstrate what you will be expected to do.
Example: “When I started NAU, I was confused about BB Learn, but I followed the tutorial, and now I understand.
U. Accordion Closed
University Union (or “The Union”): Student center on campus—food, event space, student support offices, tutoring assistance, campus activities etc. are all located here.
V. Accordion Closed
Visa: official designation on a passport that the holder is authorized to travel or live abroad
W. Accordion Closed
Work Study: Refers to a Financial Aid classification. Only for domestic students
Withdrawal: To drop a class after the 8 day drop deadline without penalty
Workshop: An event where students gather to learn about a specific topic in addition to regular coursework.
Example: If you get nervous when you take your tests, you could attend a test-taking workshop.
NAU Acronyms and Abbreviations
“66”: Refers to “Route 66”
AcES: Academic English Support
ALEKS: NAU Online Math Placement Test
ASNAU: Associated Students of Northern Arizona University
ASWI: Associated Students for Women’s Issues
ARD Building: Applied Research and Development
B.A. Bachelor of Arts
B.S.: Bachelor of Science
CAL: College of Arts and Letters
CCC: Coconino Community College
CEFNS: College of Engineering and Natural Sciences
CIE: Center for International Education
DMV: Department of Motor Vehicles
ELL: English Language Learners
ESL: English as a Second Language
FCB: W. A. Franke College of Business
FYE: First Year Experience
GMAT: Graduate Management Admissions Test
GPA: Grade Point Average
GPS: Grade Performance Status
GRE: Graduate Record Examination
HRM: Hotel Restaurant Management
ISSS: International Student Scholar Services
ITS: Information Technology Services
LSAT: Law School Admission Test
MA: Master’s of Arts
MBA: Master’s of Business Administration
MCAT: Medical College Admission Test
M.D.: Doctor of Medicine
M.Ed.: Master’s of Education
NASS: Native American Student Support Services
NAU PD: Northern Arizona University Police Department
OPT: Optional Practical Training
PIE: Program in Intensive English
PES: Physical Education Services
Ph.D: Doctorate of Philosophy
RA: Residence Assistant
RHD: Resident Hall Director
SEVIS: Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
SLC: Student Learning Center (there is a “north” and a “south” SLC)
SBS: Social and Behavioral Sciences
SI: Supplemental Instruction
SSN: Social Security Number
“The Dub:” The DuBois Center
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language
Flagstaff Community References
Art Walk (or “First Friday”)
First Friday Art Walk is a Flagstaff event held the first Friday of each month, and it celebrates local artists in the community. Many people go downtown, and the art galleries are open late. Sometimes there are food, music and artist demonstrations
“Boot” or “Car Boot”
A device attached to the wheel of vehicle in order to prevent the vehicle from being able to move. If you drive your car while it has a “boot” on it, you will cause significant damage to your vehicle. If you do not pay your parking tickets, your car may be “booted.”
Large city park located 3 miles north of campus. Great views of the mountains, 2 mile loop course with exercise stations and access to the Flagstaff Urban Trail/Mount Elden trail systems which include miles of trails for hiking, jogging or mountain biking.
Living, eating and sleeping outside (or in a tent), usually with a friend or group, for 1 night or more.
Annual event held in September with music, food, animals, rides and other events.
Outdoor game played by attempting to land a disc (or Frisbee) in a metal basket. Popular activity in Flagstaff
Refers to on-campus residencies
Example: “My dorm room.” or “Are you living in the dorms?”
Refers to a “Graduate” or “Master’s degree” program or student.
Example: “grad school” or “grad assistant”
“Green” or “Go Green”
Refers to sustainability actions and resources
Example: “Green NAU” or “The NAU Green Fund”
Hike or Hiking
Walking for a significant distance (usually more than 1-2 miles) in nature
Weekly entertainment newspaper listing local cultural happenings, like concerts, speakers, special events, etc.
Fairgrounds and event space located near the Flagstaff Airport. Also contains Pine Mountain Amphitheatre concert space.
Refers to the on-campus medical center
Heritage Square (“The Square”)
Open area downtown where many public entertainment events—like music and movies, are held.
Neighborhoods located about 7 miles South of Flagstaff
Lowell or Lowell Observatory
The Lowell Observatory, located on Observatory Mesa (also called “Mars Hill”) near campus
The mountain with the radio towers, located on the eastside of Flagstaff, near the mall.
The Flagstaff Public Bus system.
Refers to the Monte Vista Hotel, a historic hotel in downtown Flagstaff
“Open Mic” Night
“Open Microphone” Night means you can sign-up to walk-on stage and perform, usually playing a musical instrument (like guitar) and/or singing. This is for non-professionals to play in front of an audience and is usually held in a local bar (must be 21 years old to enter)
A meal, usually for a large group, in which participants each bring a dish of food to share with the group
A purposeful controlled fire set to thin out forests to reduce wildfire risk. Smoke from prescribed burns can cause pollution in Flagstaff.
Waste water that has been chemically treated, but not purified. This water is not safe to drink, and is often used to water the grass, plants and flowers.
Red Rock Pass
Many hiking trails in Sedona require purchase of the “Red Rock Pass” to display on your vehicle. This pass is $5 per day and can be purchased at the visitors center or from machines located near the trail. If you do not have a Red Rock Pass in a designated area, your vehicle may be ticketed.
“South of the Tracks”
Refers to the downtown area between NAU and Route 66, before crossing the railroad tracks
The local Flagstaff ski resort. Located about 8 miles north of campus.
Large city park located west of downtown, about 2 miles northwest of campus. Thorpe park contains playgrounds, lighted tennis courts, sand volleyball, basketball and racquetball courts, as well as disc golf, soccer fields and hiking trails
Thrift Store (“Goodwill”)
A store that sells secondhand/used clothing, furniture and household items. All profits benefit charity. You can also donate your used items you do not want to the thrift store.
Refers to the Grand Canyon, located about 80 miles north of Flagstaff
Refers to Oak Creek/Oak Creek Canyon, near Sedona
Refers to the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome, a multipurpose building on campus for sports performances, weight lifting, student recreation, commencement and community events.
Refers to the San Francisco Peaks, the largest mountains visible in Flagstaff
Refers to the part of the Colorado River that flows through the Grand Canyon
The Phoenix area