Widener University Glossary of Catalog Terminology
Academic Calendar: (Relates to Semester, Term, Module) See Academic Calendar online: https://www.widener.edu/academics/academic-calendar. The semester/terms are Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.
Accelerated Program: A course of study that allows a student to earn a graduate degree within an accelerated timetable. Examples include: Criminal Justice Accelerated, BA/MA; Nursing, Accelerated MSN/PhD
Bachelor’s Degree: A term used to describe undergraduate education, bachelor’s degree programs are typically completed within four to five years and require a minimum of 120 credit hours to obtain a degree. Bachelor’s degrees are designated as B.A for Bachelor’s of Arts, or B.S. for Bachelor’s of Science. Bachelor’s degrees may be further modified with field of study, i.e. BSN Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing; BSW Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work, and BSB Bachelor’s of Science in Business.
Catalog: See catalog: https://catalog.widener.edu/ home page for information on finding your catalog. The requirements specified in each Catalog apply to students who began their studies at Widener University during the academic year listed on the Catalog, and who remain in continuous enrollment until they graduate.
Center: (Relates to College, Department; School; Institute) An Academic Unit that houses programs for a specific area of study such as the Center for Education. Similar to Department or Institute.
Certificate: (Relates to Certificate, Nontranscripted and Certificate,Transcripted) A term used to describe an undergraduate or graduate non-degree credit bearing program. Certificates may include courses from more than one school or college.
Certificate, Nontranscripted: A defined list of courses offered by an undergraduate or graduate academic unit (department, center, institute, school, or college), yet does not appear on the transcript as a separate credential.
Certificate, Transcripted: A defined list of courses offered by an undergraduate or graduate academic unit (department, center, institute, school, or college), and appears on the transcript as a separate credential.
Certificate, Stackable: A set of certificates that may be “stacked” together to be applied towards a master’s degree program.
Certification: Faculty endorse certifying a student for eligibility for credential. Typically, most certifications are for the Pennsylvania Department of Education PK-12 certifications: PK-12 teacher, professional school counselor
College: (Relates to School) Within the university, the term college refers to a larger academic unit. Colleges may include divisions, departments, institutes or centers.
Co-Op: Some programs may have an option to work in a related industry while receiving credit within the program. Co-Op programs are managed by individual academic units. Co-Op programs have their own unique sequence of course of study.
Core: Use of the word “core” in university catalogs is used by academic units (department, center, institute, school, or college) within certain programs of study that separate out courses by categories relating to the common purpose of the courses listed. Example cores are “professional”; “practicum”, “research”
Co-requisite: Students are required to be enrolled two courses simultaneously by a major department or academic unit.
Course: (Relates to Section) Defines the curriculum and content of a field of study in a single semester or term. Courses are designated by the prefix of the academic unit sponsoring the course followed by a numeric number that approximates the level of study. Example of lower level numbers for undergraduate are the 100-200 level of courses followed by 300 to 400 level of courses for more specialized in-depth content. Example of lower level graduate courses are the 500-600 level of courses followed by 700-800 level of course for more specialized in-depth content.
Credits: The number of credits earned by the successful passing of a course as stated by the Instructor or Academic Unit is defined in the catalog for each course. Credits can differ based on type of course and field of study. Programs note the number of credits required for completion of a course of study.
Curriculum: Specified number of credits from a defined group of courses in a primary discipline or field and supporting disciplines or fields as a part of the requirements for completion of an educational or academic program. Curriculum is noted in the catalog with information on electives and listed options for which courses to choose from. Some requirements are not related to coursework. Non-coursework requirements are manually reviewed, verified, and enforced by faculty and staff in academic units. See Non-coursework Requirement for more information.
Curriculum Sequence: A course of study laid out in a semester by semester format that shows what courses must be taken for each term to meet the requirements of the program.
Degree: (Relates to Credential, Dual Degree) The academic credential the University confers to a student for completed work in a program of study. Undergraduate degrees include Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degrees. Graduate degrees include Master’s and Doctoral Degrees.
Department: (Relates to College, School) Within a university, the term department refers to an academic unit housed within a school or college. Similar to center or institute.
Distribution Requirement: (Relates to Elective) A course from a designated list to satisfy the general education requirements for an Undergraduate Degree. Examples of distribution categories are Humanities and Science.
Diversity Courses: (Relates to General Education) Diversity courses that meet General Education requirements are designated with (D)
Dual Degree Program: A program that allows students to earn credits towards two degrees where certain courses count toward multiple programs. The two degrees may be two Undergraduate Degrees or two Graduate degrees. Examples include: Psychology/Social Work, BA/BSW or Human Sexuality/Social Work MEd/MSW.
Dual Major Program: A program that allows students to earn credits towards two distinct but related majors. The two majors are listed in the title of one degree. An example is Political Science and Criminal Justice, BA.
Electives: A requirement within a course of study that allows a student to pick from a designated list of appropriate courses dependent on the category of the elective. Examples of Elective Categories: Technical Electives, Humanities Electives, Nursing Electives, etc.
General Education: (Relates to Diversity, Quantitative Reasoning and Writing Courses) A series of undergraduate courses that are required for a Widener bachelor’s degree. See the General Education of your catalog year for details on specific requirements.
Global Education: Global education courses are designated with a (GE) designation.
Honors: See https://www.widener.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/honors-programs for information. Honors courses are designated with a (Honors) in title of course.
Interdisciplinary Major or Minor: Undergraduate majors and minors are considered Interdisciplinary when they include courses and requirements from more than one field of study or discipline and may not fall under a single department or established program. Examples: African and African American Studies Minor; Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, BA
Institute: (Relates to College, Department; Center; School) An academic unit that houses programs for related or specific professional disciplines. Similar to centers and departments.
Lab: Course sections that are connected to a specific course as they relate to required lab content. Some labs separate prefix and code numbers, while others are incorporated in the main course.
Major: Primary area of study that can lead to an undergraduate degree through coursework; the subject area in which a student pursuing a college degree develops the greatest depth of knowledge, competence, and understanding.
Minor: Transcript-recognized complementary undergraduate area of study comprised of a designated group of classes in a discipline that is outside the major area of study or is interdisciplinary and offers less depth and breadth than a major. Leads to an institutional credential awarded and recognized via the transcript once requirements are met.
Non-Credit Programs: Non-credit programs are not usually listed in the Academic Catalog. See https://lifelonglearning.widener.edu/.
Non-Course Requirement: (Relates to Requirements) Some programs of study have additional requirements that are outside taking a designated set of courses. These requirements differ from program to program but may include practicums, internships, portfolios, etc.
Practicum: A requirement in some programs that allow students to gain experience in a discipline that is monitored, recorded and under the supervision of faculty or staff within an Academic Unit.
Prerequisite: A course or additional work that a student must satisfactorily complete before enrolling in another course or being admitted to a certain program.
Quantitative Reasoning Course: (Relates to General Education) Quantitative Reasoning courses that meet General Education requirements are designated with (QR)
Requirements: (Relates to Curriculum) Specified number of hours from a defined group of courses in a primary discipline or field and supporting disciplines or fields as a part of the requirements for completion of an educational or academic program. Also found in the Interactive Degree Audit (IDA) system as course-seeking requirements. Some requirements are not related to coursework. Non-coursework requirements are manually reviewed, verified, and enforced by faculty and staff in academic units. See Non-coursework Requirement for more information.
Same-as: Courses that share the same attributes such as instructor, grading mode, prerequisites, restrictions, content description, credits, title, skills and experience flags, core code, etc. Courses may have changed names or prefix but will still be counted towards degree progress using previous and current name/prefix/number.
School: (Relates to College, Department; Center; Institute) Within a university, the term school refers to a larger unit within a university than department. Some schools contain departments.
Semester: (Relates to Academic Calendar, Term) Periods of instruction into which an academic year is divided. A semester spans a specified number of weeks including registration, instruction, and final examinations. Semesters are listed in the Academic Calendar.
Sequence: (Also known as Curriculum Sequence) Order of required coursework and non-coursework requirements based on catalog and degree requirements needed to complete an educational or academic program.
Service Learning: Service learning courses are designated with a (S) designation.
Specialization: (Relates to Major, and Degree; formerly Concentration, Track, Option) An approved and defined group of courses within an undergraduate major or graduate degree program published in the university catalog that allows a student to focus in a particular area within the program. Specializations are displayed on the transcript.
Term: See Semester (Relates to Academic Calendar, Semester)
Transcripted: Credential that appears on the University transcript.
Writing Enriched: (Relates to General Education) Writing enriched courses that meet General Education requirements are designated with (W)
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