Jul 22, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2024-2025 
Graduate Catalog | 2024-2025


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


49ers - The official name for student athletic teams at UNC Charlotte.

49er Card - The ID Card that proves a student is a member of the campus community and entitled to certain services. It is required to check out materials, obtain services, and utilize facilities across campus. It also allows students to access their residence, obtain meals, and make purchases wherever the 49er Account is accepted.


Academic advising - A meeting between a student and an advisor to discuss the student’s academic plan of study, course selections prior to registration, and/or career plans.

Academic bridge program - A postsecondary school program that helps students transition from high school to a university.

Academic calendar - An official list of dates and deadlines found at the beginning of this Catalog and on the website for the Office of the Registrar. The academic calendar specifies the dates for semesters and terms, enrollment periods, examination periods, holidays, periods classes are not in session, and commencement.

Academic career - The period during which a student is working at an institution toward completion of one or more degrees.

Academic discipline - A subject area of study (e.g., English, marketing, psychology).

Academic Petition - An electronic form by which students request to be granted an academic exception because their extenuating circumstances prevent them from following established rules, policies, and procedures.

Academic probation - A status resulting from unsatisfactory academic work; a warning that the student must improve academic performance or be dismissed after a specific period of time.

Academic rank - the rank of a faculty member, such as professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or lecturer. (See individual listings for details.)

Academic record - Official transcript.

Academic standing - The scholastic standing of a student based on their grade point average (GPA). Academic year - The period of formal academic instruction, extending from August through May. It is divided into Fall and Spring semesters. Students may also take courses during Summer sessions.

Academic year - The period of formal academic instruction, extending from August through July.  It is divided into Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

Access - Ensuring equal opportunity for education, particularly for students from historically underrepresented populations and students with disabilities.

Accommodations - Disability Services counselors meet with qualified students to determine and provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations that support the student’s educational goals.

Accreditation - UNC Charlotte is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).  SACSCOC is the recognized accrediting body in the eleven U.S. Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and in Latin America for those institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees.  Accreditation is certification that an institute of higher education meets a set of criteria established by SACSCOC.

Accrediting Body, Accepted - The following are accepted accrediting bodies: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

ACT - A test published by American College Testing which measures a student’s aptitude in mathematical and verbal comprehension and problem solving. 

Add/Drop - A designated time period at the beginning of each semester when a student may add or drop a course without penalty.  At UNC Charlotte, the Add/Drop period runs through the 6th business day of the Fall and Spring semesters and through the 2nd business day for Summer full and half terms.

Adjunct faculty - Part-time or temporary faculty member. It may also denote a faculty member from another academic department whose research or teaching interests overlap substantially with those of the appointing department.

Admission to Candidacy - The period in a doctoral student’s studies when they are deemed ready to undertake research resulting in a dissertation or scholarly project.

Admissions and Enrollment Counselor - A person working in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or Office of Graduate Admissions who assists prospective students by providing information on admissions requirements, academic programs, and the application process.

Advanced Placement (AP) - Standardized courses administered by The College Board offered in high school, the completion of which may result in credit for some of the courses normally required for an undergraduate degree. Awarding of credit based on AP is granted to a student based on prior study or experience (usually indicated by the student’s performance on the AP examination).

Advisor - For undergraduate students, a department or college-based faculty or staff member who meets with students each semester to discuss curricular choices and progress toward achieving educational goals.  For graduate students, typically the Chair of the student’s Thesis or Dissertation committee or academic mentor. 

Alma mater - The school from which one has graduated, as in “My alma mater is The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.”

Alumna/Alumnus (Alumni) - A female/male (group) who attended or graduated from a particular college or university.

Annotated bibliography - A list of citations of books, articles, and documents followed by a brief descriptive paragraph. The purpose of the annotation or description is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

Appeal - A formal, written narrative to request reinstatement following suspension or termination.

Articulation agreement - A written agreement listing courses at one educational institution that are equivalent to courses at another educational institution. Articulation agreements facilitate the smooth transition of students through the secondary, community college, and university educational systems.

Assessment - The act of evaluation or appraisal.

Assignment - Required reading and course work to be completed outside of the classroom as determined by instructors. Many instructors list assignments on a syllabus, which is distributed at the beginning of the semester. Other instructors give assignments during class.

Assistant Professor - usually the entry-level rank for a faculty member who holds a doctorate, although this depends on the institution and the field.

Associate Professor - the mid-level rank of a faculty member.  It usually indicates that the individual has been granted tenure at the institution.

Associate’s degree - A degree traditionally awarded by community or junior colleges after two years of study, or completion of 60 to 64 credit hours.

Attempted hours - The credits received from courses completed at UNC Charlotte, regardless of grade earned, courses from which students withdrew (W or WE), and courses that were repeated (even if additional credit was not earned).

Audit - Enrolling in a course on an audit basis means the course will not count for credit or impact GPA.  Registration for audit requires the permission of the instructor.


Bachelor’s degree or baccalaureate - A postsecondary degree requiring 120 credit hours of specified coursework (except for programs that have applied for and received a waiver to exceed 120 credit hours from the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees).  A bachelor’s degree is comprised of General Education courses, a major program(s), elective courses, and, in some cases, a minor program(s), and, in general, is completed in four years.

Blue book - A booklet (often with a blue cover, where it derives its name) that contains lined paper for writing essay test answers.

Bridge program - See Academic bridge program.

Bursar - The official at the University who oversees the office that provides quality account management service to students, parents, and alumni by proactively assisting them in meeting their financial responsibilities for attendance.


Cambridge International Examinations - Standardized courses administered by Cambridge Assessment International offered in high school, the completion of which may result in credit for some of the courses normally required for an undergraduate degree.  Awarding of credit based on Advanced (A-Level) or Advanced Subsidiary (AS-Level) examinations is granted to a student based on prior study or experience (usually indicated by the student’s performance on the A- or AS-level examinations).

Campus - The area where the main buildings of UNC Charlotte are located, both in University City (main campus) and Center City (Dubois Center).

Catalog - A resource of all academic policies and procedures, college and degree requirements, faculty, and course descriptions. UNC Charlotte has both an Undergraduate Catalog and Graduate Catalog.

Catalog year - The year during which the regulations of a specific edition of the catalog apply.

Certificate - A structured set of professionally oriented courses designed to provide recognition that the student has completed coursework in an applied area of focus. For degree-seeking students, a certificate program may either complement or be concurrent with a traditional program of study. The certificate appears on the official transcript.

CFNC - College Foundation of North Carolina. A comprehensive website used for applying to colleges, exploring career opportunities, and applying for state and federal aid.

Chancellor - The chief executive officer of UNC Charlotte. At some universities, this position is referred to as president. To date, UNC Charlotte has had six chancellors.

Chancellor’s List - The top honors list which recognizes undergraduate students with outstanding records of academic performance (a GPA of 3.8 or greater) and who meet all other criteria. For details, see the Degree Requirements and Academic Policies  section of this Catalog.

Class standing - Refers to an undergraduate student’s official year in school - Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior - and is based on the number of earned credit hours.

Classification - Level of progress toward a degree based on the number of earned semester/credit hours.

Clinical faculty - A part-time teaching position with limited research responsibilities.

College - An academic unit of the University. Each of the seven discipline-based colleges at UNC Charlotte represents an organization of related departments and/or schools.

Colloquium - A gathering of scholars to discuss a given topic over a period of a few hours to a few days.

Commencement (also known as Graduation) - A formal ceremony in which the University awards degrees to graduating students at the end of each Fall and Spring semester, pending receipt of satisfactory final grades.

Commencement Marshals - At each commencement ceremony, the University honors the juniors with the highest grade point averages by inviting them to serve as the marshals who lead the processions of graduates, faculty members, and the platform party.

Community college - A two-year traditional school, offering programs leading to an Associate’s degree and, typically, many noncredit courses for community members not seeking a degree. Also called junior college.

Concentration - A structured plan of study within a major. (For example, Public Relations is a concentration within the Communication Studies undergraduate major; Children’s Literature is a concentration within the M.A. in English graduate program.) The number of credit hours for a concentration varies, but is included within the credit hours for the major. The concentration appears on the official transcript.

Contact hours - The number of hours a class meets per week.

Continuing education course - A course outside the regular academic instructional program, for which standard academic fees and tuition are (usually) not charged. While most often these courses do not earn academic credits, they can provide necessary education or experience for professional development, or lead to professional certifications.

Continuous Registration - Enrollment in coursework or research credit every semester without interruption until graduation.

Convocation - The University Convocation is a gathering of senior administration, faculty, administrative staff, and students to hear statements about the major long-term goals and values of the campus, as well as the major immediate plans and issues confronting UNC Charlotte for the upcoming year, as perceived by the Chancellor, the Provost, and the Faculty President.  It is hoped that these presentations will help build a greater shared understanding of the mission of the University and the challenges confronting it.  The University Convocation is held at the beginning of the academic year.  See also New Student Welcome.

Core courses - Required courses in a major program.

Corequisite - Specific conditions, requirements, or courses that must be completed while taking another course (i.e., a lab).

Course - A specific subject studied within a limited period of time. Courses may utilize lectures, discussion, laboratory, seminar, workshop, studio, independent study, internship, or other similar teaching formats to facilitate learning.

Course load - Number of credit hours for which a student is enrolled during a semester.

Course number - The four-letter and four-digit identification code that identifies each course taught at the University, such as ENGL 2126 or PSYC 8151.

Course overload - Defined at UNC Charlotte as over 18 credit hours for undergraduates and over 12 credit hours for graduates during full terms.  Within half terms, it is defined as over 7 credit hours.  Approval is required to take an overload.

Course sections - Course numbers may be divided when classes also meet in discussion sections, or when a course number has sections pertaining to different topics under the same heading. For instance, a course called Architecture Topical Studio may have section 001 - Cycloramic Models and section 002 - Building Envelopes.

Course title - The name of a specific course that indicates subject and content. Introduction to Creative Writing is the course title of ENGL 2126; Behavior Disorders is the course title for PSYC 8151.

Coursework - A specified amount of work undertaken in a course which leads to its completion; also, the courses taken to attain a degree in a specified program.

Credit course - A course with specified learning goals which the student is required to meet in order to receive a grade. The course may be applied toward the fulfillment of degree requirements at the University.

Credit/Semester hours - An amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement. UNC Charlotte adheres to the Carnegie unit, which is a nationally recognized equivalency that consists of not less than:

  1. 750 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of 1500 minutes of out of class student work for one semester hour of credit. Each credit hour corresponds to 50 minutes per week of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of 100 minutes of out of class work per week for a 15 week semester, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time, whether instruction is delivered face to face, or in a hybrid or distance mode and regardless of the type of academic work leading to the award of credit hours, such as lecture, seminar, internship, practica, studio, to name a few. Regardless of the length of term, the standard of 750 minutes of contact minutes and 1500 minutes of out of class work for each credit hour remains the same.
  2. 1500 minutes of direct faculty instruction for one semester hour of credit for a lab course.

Critical thinking - The practice of thinking things through, in which a student must carefully describe something (an event, a book, a person, etc) and evaluate it according to some relevant criterion, considering significant alternatives. Critical thinking is a core component of liberal education and of the general education curriculum.

Cross-Listed Course - A single course which is simultaneously listed in the schedule of course offerings by one or more academic departments. They share the same meeting times, room, instructor(s), and curriculum.  Therefore, ideally, they should also have the same course title.  Students may only receive credit for the single section of the cross-listed course for which they are registered.  Credit will not be awarded for a course where credit has already been awarded for its cross-listed equivalent.

Cum Laude - Honorary recognition of the success of a graduating student. Translates to “With Honor.” For UNC Charlotte, it requires a cumulative GPA of at least 3.4, but less than 3.8.

Curriculum - A program of courses that meets the requirements for a degree in a particular field of study.


DBA - The Doctor of Business Administration is a professional degree taught in an executive format designed to prepare graduates for leadership positions in organizations and teaching careers in academia. 

Dean - The highest authority within an academic division of study. An Academic Dean heads each College. In addition to the academic deans, there is also a Dean of Students within the Division of Student Affairs.

Dean’s List - An honors list which recognizes undergraduate students who earn a grade point average of at least 3.4 and not more than 3.79 and meet all other criteria. For details, see the Academic Regulations section of this Catalog.

Deferment - The postponing of a fee or tuition, which will be paid at a later date.

Degree - Diploma or title awarded to a student who completed a prescribed course of study.

Degree program - An organized sequence of courses that leads to the awarding of a college degree at the undergraduate or graduate level. Sometimes referred to as Curriculum.

Degree requirement - A set of requirements, which a student must fulfill before they graduate.

Department/School - A unit within a college representing a discipline. For example, the Department of English is in the College of Humanities & Earth and Social Sciences, and the School of Nursing is in the College of Health and Human Services.

Department chair - The faculty member in charge of an academic department of the University.

Directory Information - Information in a student’s education record that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. At UNC Charlotte, directory information consists of the student’s name,  major field of study, dates of attendance, enrollment status, degrees and awards (including scholarships and distinctions) received; and county of residence for award, scholarship, or distinction recipients. See the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)  of this Catalog for more details.

Disability - The physical and/or learning challenge – permanent or temporary - of a student that may impact their academic plan. Accommodations are provided for students with documented disabilities.

Discipline - An area of study representing a branch of knowledge, such as psychology.

Dissertation - The major research project normally required as part of the work for a doctoral degree. Dissertations are expected to make a new and creative contribution to the field of study, or to demonstrate one’s excellence in the field.

Dissertation Chair - A graduate faculty member responsible for directing a doctoral student’s dissertation research.  This may or may not be the student’s academic advisor.

Distance education/learning - Formal learning which occurs when students and instructor are separated by geographic distance or by time. Access to the instructor is gained through communications technology such as the Internet, interactive videoconferencing, and email.

DNP - The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a terminal degree designed to prepare graduates to analyze systems of care and provide transformational leadership to improve patient safety, quality of care, and implement evidence-based culturally competent care practices

Doctoral degree - The most advanced degree, awarded following additional study, often after completion of a master’s degree.

Double major - Studying simultaneously for two majors, fulfilling the course requirements for both majors.

Drop/Add - See Add/Drop.


Early Entry - Accelerated program for students who begin graduate study during their undergraduate senior year.

Earned hours - The credits received from courses successfully completed at UNC Charlotte.

Ed.D. - The Doctor of Education is a terminal degree designed to prepare educational administrators who can assume mid-level and senior-level leadership positions in public school and postsecondary settings.

Elective course - A course selected at a student’s discretion.  A restricted elective course is a course which must be chosen from a stated group/list of courses to satisfy the program requirements.  An unrestricted elective course may be in any subject, and may be selected from any courses for which the student has the proper prerequisites. 

Embargo - In academia, an “embargo” is a restriction placed on research, typically a thesis or dissertation, to be temporarily withheld form publication.

Emeritus faculty - A member of the faculty who has retired but retains the honorary title that corresponds with their last held position at the University.

Equivalency examination - An examination designed to demonstrate knowledge in a subject where the learning was acquired outside a traditional classroom. For example, a student who learned management skills while working at a restaurant could take an equivalency exam, if offered, to earn credit in small business management.

Essay - A method of examination, or homework, by which a student presents their knowledge of the subject by writing a composition.

Experiential learning - Actively engaging students in a work and/or educational experience where they may make their own discoveries and experiment with knowledge themselves, instead of hearing or reading about the experiences of others.

Extenuating circumstances - personal situations that, upon administrative approval, allow students to withdraw late (if necessary) and to receive “WE” grades.

Extracurricular activities - Activities pertinent to student life, but not part of the regular classroom study (e.g., athletics, publications, and social organizations). Also referred to as co-curricular activities.


Facilitator - The person in an interactive classroom who assists the instructor or students with distribution of handouts, collection of tests and evaluations, technical and troubleshooting issues, etc.

Faculty - All persons who hold Professorial Rank (Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor) or a Special Faculty Appointment (Visiting Professor, Adjunct Professor, Instructor, Assistant Professor (Library), Assistant Professor (Military), Lecturer, Assistant Research Professor, or Artist-in-Residence).

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) - A form that all students applying for financial assistance are required to complete in order to determine eligibility for financial aid. This form is available from the Office of Student Financial Aid.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions. On the Internet and in print, information sources may provide a list of FAQs to assist newcomers in learning more on their own.

Fees - An amount of money charged by institutions (in addition to tuition) to cover the costs of certain services (health services, athletic center, student activities, registration, parking, use of lab equipment or computers, etc.).

FERPA - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)  is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

Final exam - The last, and often the most comprehensive, examination of the entire semester’s course material.

Financial aid/assistance - Money available from various sources to help students pay for college. Students must establish eligibility. Funds can be competitive.

Financial aid package - Total amount of financial aid given to a student. Federal and non-Federal aid such as grants, loans, and work-study are combined to help meet the student’s need.

Financial need - In the context of student financial aid, financial need is equal to the cost of education (estimated costs for college attendance and basic living expenses) minus the expected family contribution (the amount a student’s family is expected to pay, which varies according to the family’s financial resources).

Fraternity - A social organization, most often for male students, with specific objectives, rules and regulations.

Full-time student - An undergraduate student with a course load of at least 12 credit hours, as defined by eligibility for federal financial aid, or a graduate student with a course load of at least 9 credit hours. However, undergraduate students need to average a minimum course load of 15 credit hours per semester to graduate within four years.


General Education Requirements - These courses provide undergraduate students, regardless of their majors, with the foundations of a liberal education. For details, see the General Education program section of the Undergraduate Catalog.

Good Academic Standing - Meeting the cumulative GPA requirements for a semester.

Good Academic Standing Warning - The result of unsatisfactory work during the course of a semester; a warning that the student should improve their performance.

GPA (Grade Point Average) - The grade point average for an undergraduate student is determined by adding all accumulated quality points together, and then dividing by the total number of GPA hours the student has attempted, excluding those for which the student received a grade of I, IP, W, WE, H, P, AU, or N. In computing the grade point average, only those credits attempted at UNC Charlotte are included.  Refer to the example below.

Example of Transcript:

Subject Course Grade Credit Hours Quality Points
AMST 2050 P 3.00 0.00
CHEM 1251 F 3.00 0.00
CHEM 1251L F 1.00 0.00
UWRT 1101 B 3.00 9.00
ENGR 1201 C 2.00 4.00
LBST 2101 C 3.00 6.00
MATH 1241 C 3.00 6.00

Term Totals (Undergraduate)

  Attempt Hours Passed Hours Earned Hours GPA Hours Quality Points GPA
    Current Term 18.00 14.00 14.00 15.00 25.00 1.66
Cumulative 18.00 14.00 14.00 15.00 25.00 1.66

Example of GPA Calculation:
GPA = Quality Points/GPA Hours; 25/15=1.66

Grades - Evaluative scores provided for each course, and often for individual assignments, examinations, or papers written for that course. There are letter grades (usually A, B, C, D, F) and number grades (usually percentages from 0% to 100%, or on a scale of 0.0 to 4.0).  Some undergraduate courses use a pass/no credit system with no grades; some graduate courses use a pass/unsatisfactory system with no grades.

Graduate assistantship - Employment whereby a graduate student receives financial support for their contributions to the teaching, research, and service missions of the University.

Graduate Faculty Representative - A member of the doctoral student’s advisory committee appointed by the Graduate School that assures that the doctoral student is treated fairly and impartially by his or her advisory committee, and assure that University standards and policies are upheld.

Graduate School - The academic college of which all graduate students belong, responsible for the administration of all graduate programs.

Graduate studies - Coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree that leads to a graduate certificate, or a master’s, professional, or doctoral degree.

Graduation (also known as Commencement) - A formal ceremony in which the University awards degrees to graduating students at the end of each Fall and Spring semester, pending receipt of satisfactory final grades.

Graduation with Distinction - Graduating with honors. To be eligible to graduate with distinction, a student must have a certain grade point average computed on at least 48 credit hours of credit completed in residence at UNC Charlotte. (See Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude)

Grant - A sum of money given to a student for the purposes of paying at least part of the cost of college. Grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid.

GRE (Graduate Record Examination) - A standardized test that is an admissions requirement for many graduate programs. The exam aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study. The GRE General Test is offered as a computer-based exam administered by selected qualified testing centers.


Hold Flags - See Registration hold flags.

Homecoming - An annual event held by the University to honor alumni.

Honors - A special rank or distinction conferred by the University upon an undergraduate student for excellence in scholarship (based on their GPA).  When referring to a course of study, an honors course is for academically talented, enthusiastic, and motivated undergraduate students.

Hooding - The Doctoral Hooding Ceremony is a tradition of individually recognizing graduating doctoral students through a separate event.


In-residence - For degree-seeking students, a residency requirement indicates the number of credit hours that must be completed through the University in order to graduate.

Incomplete grade - An “I” (incomplete grade) may be assigned by a faculty member to a student who carried coursework satisfactorily until near the end of the semester, but who was then unable to complete the course, possibly including the final exam. If the student does not remove the “I” within 12 months, the “I” will be changed to “F,” “U,” or “N,” as appropriate. See the Degree Requirements and Academic Policies  section of this Catalog for complete details.

Independent study - A method of receiving credit for study or research independent of the assignments of any specific course, but supervised and graded by a faculty member.

Interdisciplinary - A course or program of study involving two or more major areas/departments. For example, Women’s and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary program offering a minor within the College of Humanities & Earth and Social Sciences.

International Baccalaureate (IB) - Standardized courses offered in high school, the completion of which may result in credit for some of the courses normally required for an undergraduate degree.  Awarding of credit based on IB is granted to a student based on prior study or experience (usually indicated by the student’s performance on IB examinations).

Internet course - A web-based course completed online. Also called an online course. May or may not be self-paced.

Internship - A work experience, paid or non-paid, that provides students with practical experience, most often in their field of study.

Intramural/fitness/sport clubs - Programs designed to encourage students to participate in a variety of competitive, instructional, and recreational organized sports activities.


Job fair - Also known as a career fair or career expo, it provides a place for employers and recruiters, to meet with student job seekers, typically for entry-level positions. Fairs usually include company or organization tables or booths where résumés may be collected. Occasionally, it is also where students may perform their first interviews with a prospective employer.

Juris Doctor (J.D.) - A professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law.


Laboratory (lab) - A classroom where students apply material in small-group situations that include experiments, assignments, and projects. A lab course typically has an “L” after the course number.

Learning communities - Small groups of new students and faculty who share common interests. Students enroll in two or more of the same courses and, in many cases, live together in the same residence hall.

Learning strategies - Activities that help people use their own learning style to best approach new learning.

Leave of Absence - Graduate students only may seek a leave from their studies for up to 12 months.  During this time, they may not use any University resources.

Lecture - A teaching method in which the professor presents information to the students who take notes, ask questions, and have dialogue with the professor.

Liberal Education - The foundation of the baccalaureate degree in the United States. Liberal education strives to make students liberally educated citizens of the world by emphasizing knowledge across disciplines, critical thinking, and application of content. The General Education Requirements work toward this end.

Loan - A type of financial aid that is available to students. An education loan must be repaid. In some cases, payments do not begin until the student finishes school.

Lower division course - A course that is intended for freshman and sophomore level students (typically 1000 and 2000 course numbers) that contains introductory content.


Magna Cum Laude - High honorary recognition of the success of a graduating student. Translates to “With Great Honor.” For UNC Charlotte, it requires a cumulative GPA of at least 3.8, but less than 4.0.

Major - A degree-seeking student’s primary field of study.  A major is a structured plan of study requiring a minimum of 30 credit hours.  It must be feasible for undergraduate students to complete degree requirements within 120 credit hours (except for programs that have applied for and received a waiver to exceed 120 credit hours from the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees).  The major appears on the official transcript.

M.A./M.S. - See Master’s degree.

Master’s degree - An advanced degree (e.g., Master of Arts [M.A.], Master of Science [M.S.]) awarded by a university after completion of studies beyond a bachelor’s degree.

Matriculated student - A student who has been accepted for admission to the University, has registered in a curriculum, and is pursuing courses toward a degree or certificate. (See also Non-matriculated student)

Matriculation - The first enrollment following admission as a student.

Meta-Major - Collections of academic majors that have related courses.  Undergraduate students within the University College will have several Meta-Major options to choose from.  Meta-Majors provide a clear pathway to declaring a major and help make connections between academics and different career tracks.

Mid-term exam - An (often major) examination given in the middle of the semester that tests the student’s knowledge of information taught in the course from the beginning of the course up until the time of examination.

Minor - An undergraduate minor represents an optional, secondary field of study for a degree-seeking undergraduate student; no undergraduate student may declare a major and a minor in the same discipline.  An undergraduate minor is a structured plan of study requiring a minimum of 15 credit hours and no more than 29 credit hours exclusive of student teaching. A minor should require significant additional coursework beyond what is already required for the major.  The minor appears on the official transcript.

Multiple-choice examination - An examination in which questions are followed by two or more answers, from which a student selects the correct answer.

My UNC Charlotte - One-stop shopping for student services via the Web.  It combines various systems, user interfaces, and technical solutions already available to the UNC Charlotte community in a single, consistent web-based interface.  Students should use My UNC Charlotte online at my.uncc.edu to access web-enabled student services, course information, e-mail, and calendar scheduling.


New Student Welcome - An event dedicated to welcome and introduce new undergraduate students (freshmen and transfers) to the UNC Charlotte academic community.  During the event, students learn about UNC Charlotte’s traditions, mission, and values that drive the niner spirit.

Niner Central - UNC Charlotte’s place to go when you don’t know where to go.  Students can get answers to questions and receive services for all topics related to financial aid and billing, registration, transcripts, student accounts, academic records, and more. 

Niner Nation - The collective UNC Charlotte student body.

Niner Nation Family - The collective parent and family members of UNC Charlotte students.

Noble Niner - The honor code created by the Student Government Association which solidifies the high standard of morals, principles, and integrity that all students should strive to uphold in order to bolster the growing reputation of excellence at UNC Charlotte.

Non-credit course - A class that typically meets less frequently than a credit course and that contributes toward personal or occupational development.

Non-matriculated student - A student who has been accepted for admission to the University, but has not yet enrolled.  See also Matriculated student.


Objective test - An examination in which questions requiring a very short answer are posed. It can be multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, etc. The questions are related to facts (thus objective) rather than to opinions (subjective).

Online courses - Courses which are taught and taken either partially or wholly over the Internet.

Open-book examination - A student is permitted to use their textbook, and often classroom notes, during the exam.

Oral examination - A student answers questions by speaking rather than by writing.

Orientation - An organized gathering, held at the beginning of every semester, which provides useful information to new students to acclimate them with the college campus and student life.


Part-time student - An undergraduate student with a course load of less than 12 credit hours, or a graduate student with less than 9 credit hours. See also Full-time student.

Pass/no credit course - A course that rates a student’s performance on a pass/no credit basis, rather than on grades.

Ph.D. - The Doctor of Philosophy a type of doctoral degree awarded by a university to students who have completed studies beyond the bachelor’s and/or master’s degrees, and who have demonstrated their academic ability in oral and/or written examinations and through original research presented in the form of a dissertation (thesis). 

Placement test - An examination used to test a student’s academic ability in a certain subject so they can be placed in a course at an appropriate level. In some cases, students may get course credits after scoring high on a placement test.

Plagiarism - Passing off someone else’s work as your own or using the intellectual property of someone else without giving proper credit. Students must follow certain guidelines to properly acknowledge the use of other people’s ideas or words in their work (unless such information is recognized as common knowledge). This is considered a serious offense at every institution, and is subject to disciplinary action that may include failure in a course and/or dismissal from the University.

Pop Quiz - A quiz that the instructor has not previously informed the students about.

Postbaccalaureate - A student who has earned a baccalaureate degree and takes educational courses; sometimes referred to as a “post-bacc” or non-degree seeking student.

Postsecondary education - Refers to all education for students after high school, including programs at community colleges, technical colleges, and four-year colleges and universities.

Prerequisites - Specific conditions, requirements, or courses that must be completed before enrolling in another course. Course prerequisites (if any) can be found within each course description. For example, Spanish I is a prerequisite for Spanish II.

Proctor - A person who supervises the taking of an examination to be certain there is no cheating, and that other rules are followed.

Professional credit or professional development courses - Courses offered to improve knowledge and skills in specific professional areas, such as professional development workshops, certification programs, certificates or boot camps. They are usually not offered for academic credit.

Professor - the highest rank attained by a faculty member. Sometimes also called Full Professor. A small fraction of tenured faculty are awarded the title of Distinguished Professor to recognize outstanding and broad contributions to the advancement of a field of study.

Provost - Reporting to the Chancellor, the Provost is the chief academic officer who oversees all academic affairs activities, including research and faculty. The Deans of each College report to the Provost.


Quiz - A short test, written or oral, usually less formal and usually carries less grade weight than an exam.


Reading Day - Reading Day is to guarantee that students have one day between scheduled classes and the first final examination day.  Per the Academic Calendar policy, faculty must not require student participation in any course-related activities on Reading Day.

Readmission - Approval of the enrollment or admission of a former student.

Reassignment of Duties - A period of time (usually one semester) when a faculty member is not teaching, but concentrating on their own education or research.

Registrar - The official at the University who is responsible for maintaining student records. The Office of the Registrar plans and oversees registration, academic record maintenance, transcript preparation, graduation, a degree audit report system, and curricular records.

Registration - Students select courses to enroll in for the subsequent term.

Registration hold flags - Students may be blocked from registering for courses by “hold flags” that may be placed for various reasons, including College or departmental advising requirements, invalid admissions status, outstanding financial obligations, unreturned equipment or library materials, suspension and disciplinary action, or non-compliance with the North Carolina Immunization Law.

Reinstatement - Re-establishment of a student’s active status following a successful suspension/termination appeal or an approved leave of absence.

Required courses - Courses that a student must take in order to complete their degree. In many cases, these courses must be passed with a grade of C or above.

Research paper - A formal written report that includes research findings and a student’s own ideas.

Residence - For degree-seeking students, a residency requirement indicates the number of credit hours that must be completed through the University in order to graduate.

Restricted elective course - See Elective course.

ROTC - Reserve Officers Training Corps program; a scholarship program wherein the military covers the cost of tuition, fees, and textbooks, and also provides a monthly allowance. Scholarship recipients participate in summer training while in college and fulfill a military service commitment after college.


SAT - Scholastic Assessment Test I: Reasoning (SAT Reasoning Test) is a standardized test for college admissions that measures a student’s aptitude in math, critical reading, and writing. 

Schedule of classes - A list of available courses for a specific period of study (i.e., Fall semester), including course numbers, hours, locations, and other pertinent information.

Scholarship - A sum of money given to a student for the purposes of paying at least part of the cost of college. Scholarships can be awarded to students based on academic achievements, financial need, or on many other factors. Scholarships, like grants, do not have to be repaid.

School - See Department/School.

Section - One of several classes of the same course. At UNC Charlotte, a three-digit code is used to identify each section of each course offered. For instance, a course called Architecture Topical Studio may have section 001 - Cycloramic Models and section 002 - Building Envelopes.

Self-directed learning - A process in which students take the initiative to diagnose their learning needs, formulate learning goals, identify resources for learning, select and implement learning strategies, and evaluate learning outcomes. The instructor is available as a guide.

Semester or Term - A period of study, usually a third of the academic year (i.e., Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters). Fall and Spring semesters generally include a period of study of one 15-week and two 7-week half terms. The Summer semester generally includes one eleven-week and two five-week half terms. UNC Charlotte offers courses for the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters, as well as varying term lengths associated with each semester.  For the definition of each term refer to the Office of the Registrar. 

Semester hour - See Credit hour.

Seminar - Most commonly offered as upper-level and graduate courses, these are small classes of approximately 15 students each, designed to facilitate intensive study of specific subject areas.

Service Learning (SL) - Any course with an SL designation must include the scholarly exploration of the concepts of citizenship, public or community service, social issues, or social justice, and provide learning via direct, hands-on experience outside of the classroom.

SOAR - Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration. It is the official UNC Charlotte orientation for new undergraduate students.

Sorority - A social organization for female students, with specific objectives, rules and regulations.

Student Convocation - See New Student Welcome.

Study abroad - Visiting other countries for educational purposes, including earning academic credit, learning about different cultures, and developing a deeper understanding of the global marketplace.

Subjective test - An examination in which the answers are in the form of narrative sentences, or long or short essays, often expressing opinions (thus subjective) rather than reporting facts (objective).

Summa Cum Laude - The highest honorary recognition of the success of a graduating student. Translates to “With Highest Honor.” For UNC Charlotte, it requires a cumulative GPA of 4.0.

Supplemental Instruction - Additional assistance for students in historically difficult courses, including accounting, biology, chemistry, communication studies, engineering, mathematics, and physics.

Surveys - A method for collecting information to improve the experience for future students. Current students are often asked to complete questionnaires or participate in focus groups to provide feedback on the quality of services and impact of educational programs.

Suspension - Administrative cancellation of enrollment due to unsatisfactory academic performance.

Syllabus - A course outline typically provided on the first day of class by the instructor that describes course requirements, topics to be covered, required reading, grading criteria, faculty expectations, deadlines, exam dates, class attendance requirements, and other relevant course information.


Take-home examination - An examination that may be completed at home. Since students may use additional resources, these exams are usually more difficult than in-class exams.

Term -  See Semester or Term.

Term paper - A written original work discussing a topic in detail, usually several typed pages in length. Often due at the end of a semester.

Termination (Academic) - Administrative cancellation of enrollment for failure to make satisfactory academic progress following an initial program probation or suspension. Students who are suspended from a graduate program and are denied re-admittance through the suspension appeal process are considered terminated.

Test - An examination, or any other procedure that measures the academic abilities of students.

Thesis - A long essay or dissertation involving personal research, written by a candidate for a graduate degree.

Transcript - A list of all the courses a student has transferred in or taken at UNC Charlotte with the grades that the student earned in each course at UNC Charlotte.  A transcript is an exact and complete record of a student’s academic history.  The University requires a high school transcript when a student applies for admission.

Transferability - The extent to which a course taken from one college or university may be accepted by another. Full or partial transfer of the credit may be available, dependent on factors such as whether the receiving college or university offers an equivalent or similar course at comparable levels of academic expectation for learning. Academic advisors have information about whether and how specific courses will transfer to their institutions and degree programs.

Transfer student - A student who has earned credit in one college or university, and then transfers to another.

Transient study - When credit for courses taken by current UNC Charlotte students at a college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body are transferred to UNC Charlotte, subject to approval. For details, see the Degree Requirements and Academic Regulations section of this Catalog.

True/False examination - An examination in which questions are answered by marking “True” or “False.”

Tuition - The amount of money that colleges charge for coursework and other instruction. Tuition can vary widely between educational institutions, and does not cover fees, cost of books, and other materials.

Tuition waiver - A form of financial assistance in which the university may charge little or no tuition.

Tutoring - A method of providing help to students through additional instruction outside of class. Advanced students work with individuals or small groups to increase their understanding of the material.


Undeclared - A student who has not yet declared a major field of study; sometimes referred to as undecided.

Undergraduate studies - A two or four-year program in a college or a university, following high school graduation, which leads to an associate or bachelor’s degree, respectively.

University-sanctioned activities - A University-sanctioned event or activity shall be one in which a student represents the University to external constituencies in academic or extracurricular activities including but not limited to University clubs, organizations, athletics, music ensemble tours, teams, and conferences.

Unrestricted elective course - See Elective course.

Unsatisfactory grade reports - notifications sent to students in the middle of each semester for courses in which the student is performing below average and a grade has been reported.

Upper-division course - A course that is intended for junior and senior level students (typically 3000 and 4000 course numbers) that contains advanced, and typically more specific, topic content.


Visiting faculty - Faculty members who come to the university from another institution for an appointment of a year or less, sometimes to fill a temporary vacancy.


Withdrawal - The procedure in which a student officially removes himself/herself from taking a course, or removes himself/herself from all courses. Tuition may or may not be refunded, depending on the date of withdrawal.

Withdrawal with Extenuating Circumstances (WE) - A Withdrawal with Extenuating Circumstances is for students who are unable to complete their coursework due to an unforeseen circumstance that may include, but not be limited to Personal/Family Emergency, Personal Hardship, Medical/Mental Health Emergency or Military Orders.

W-limit hours - The maximum number of credit hours (currently 16) for which students are allowed to receive a grade of W over their academic career at UNC Charlotte.