College Terminology

Scrappy at Orientation
College has a lot of new vocabulary you may not be used to yet!

As you become more accustomed to university life, you will gradually start to incorporate these words into your everyday vocabulary. However, to assist you in getting acclimated, we have compiled a list of common terms and their meanings below.

  • Academic Advising is a collaboration between a student and academic advisor to help the student make informed decisions at each stage of their undergraduate career. 

  • Academic Program Maps offer suggested four-year schedules of courses for all of KSU's degree programs. They can be found at

  • Add refers to "adding a class to your schedule". Drop refers to removing that course from your schedule. Add/Drop can also refer to the first week of classes where students may add or drop their courses without penalty.

  • ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces) is an adaptive, online assessment and learning tool that is designed to help students improve their math skills. The program assesses a student's math knowledge, identifies gaps in understanding, and creates a personalized learning plan to help fill those gaps. ALEKS is used by many universities and colleges as a tool to assess students' math abilities and to provide them with additional resources and support to succeed in their coursework.

  • Campus Resources at Kennesaw State University are the various services provided by the university to support your academic, social, and personal success. 

    Some examples of campus resources at Kennesaw State University include:

    • Academic Advising: Students can receive personalized guidance on academic planning, course selection, and degree requirements.
    • Academic Support: Students can access tutoring, writing centers, math labs, and other resources to help them succeed in their coursework.
    • Career Planning: Students can receive guidance on career exploration, job search strategies, and resume writing, as well as attend career fairs and workshops.
    • Health and Wellness: Students can access medical services, counseling, and wellness programs to support their physical and mental health.
    • Student Organizations and activities: Students can participate in clubs, organizations, and events to meet new people, explore their interests, and develop leadership skills.
    • Diversity and Inclusion programs: Students can participate in programs and activities that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus.
    • Scholarships and Financial Aid: Students can receive guidance on financial aid options and scholarship opportunities to help them pay for college.

    Overall, by taking advantage of the campus resources available at Kennesaw State University, students can enhance their college experience and increase their chances of achieving their academic and personal goals.

  • A university Catalog is like a guidebook or reference manual that provides a wealth of information about the university and its academic programs. It contains everything from course descriptions and degree requirements to information about academic policies, student services, and more.

    When you're planning your academic career, KSU's catalog is a valuable resource that can help you understand the requirements for your degree program, plan your course schedule, and select the classes that best fit your interests and goals in conjunction with your academic advisor. It can also help you navigate the university's policies and procedures.

  • The Class Schedule is posted in Owl Express prior to every registration period (ex. Fall, Spring). This shows all the course options for the given term.

  • An academic College refers to the larger unit in which Degree Programs are housed. KSU has 11 total colleges including: Bagwell College of Education, Coles College of Business, Wellstar College of Health and Human Services, etc.

  • A Corequisite or "coreq" refers to a class that must be taken alongside another class in the same semester. Ex. MATH 1113 is the corequisite for CHEM 1211.

  • A Credit Hour is a unit of measurement used to quantify the amount of time a student spends in a course. In general, a credit hour represents one hour of class time per week over the course of a semester. So, for example, a typical 3-credit course meets for about three hours each week for 15 weeks during a semester.

    The number of credit hours assigned to a course typically reflects the amount of work and effort required to succeed in that course. For instance, a 1-credit course may only require a few hours of work each week, while a 4-credit course may demand significantly more time and effort.

    In short, credit hours serve as a way to measure the workload and progress of students as they pursue their degree programs. It's important to pay attention to the number of credit hours assigned to each course, as it can impact your overall progress toward your degree and may affect your eligibility for financial aid or scholarships.

  • CRN refers to the Course Registration Number assigned to a specific Section of a course. Entering the CRN into the Class Registration system is how a student registers for a class.

  • A Degree Program is the same thing as a Major. This is the course of study that needs to be completed in order to earn a degree.

  • DegreeWorks is a web-based academic planning and degree auditing tool that is used by many universities and colleges to assist students in tracking their academic progress towards degree completion. The program provides a user-friendly interface that allows students to view their degree requirements, track completed coursework, and plan future semesters. Degree Works also provides students with an easy-to-read degree audit that shows their progress towards meeting all degree requirements. This tool is designed to help students stay on track towards graduation and ensure that they are taking the necessary courses to meet their degree requirements.

  • EAB Navigate is a web-based student success platform that is designed to help students navigate the complexities of college life and achieve their academic goals. The program provides students with a range of tools and resources, such as academic advising appointment scheduling, academic planning, and progress tracking, to help them stay on track and succeed in their coursework. Additionally, EAB Navigate offers personalized support and guidance through features such as early alerts and check-ins with academic advisors, which can help students address challenges and stay motivated throughout their academic journey.

  • eCore courses are 100% online courses offered through the USG (University System of Georgia). These courses count towards General Education requirements at KSU, but classes may be taught be professors at other USG institutions. 

  • FERPA stands for Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. Educational records of students 18 years and older are kept private and consent to access them must be given by the student through the Registrar's Office.

  • Kennesaw State University’s General Education Core IMPACTS Curriculum program is designed to help students succeed through exploration, collaboration, and rigor. The curriculum engages students from diverse backgrounds and talents to produce meaningful change. KSU believes that general education serves to support students becoming productive members of a democratic society and be well-prepared to enter the workplace. Students learn through exploration of big questions that guide learning and develop skills and competencies critical for future success.  Each IMPACTS area is guided by an orienting question and learning outcomes, along with a set of career-ready competencies.  

  • Holds are blocks put on a student account to prevent registration for courses until certain criteria are met. The types of holds can vary, but are often related to financial or academic issues. Holds can be viewed in Owl Express.

  • Hybrid refers to a type of class Instructional Method. The course is taught through a combination of online and in-person coursework. Students may only be in-person 1-2 days a week while the rest of the work is completed online. 

  • Institutional GPA refers to the GPA a student earns through only their KSU coursework. Transfer GPA is not calculated into the Institutional GPA. Entrance requirements for most majors are based on the Institutional GPA.

  • Instructional Method refers to the method in which a class is taught. Courses can range from 100% in-person, partially in-person and online (Hybrid), to 100% online. The course Instructional Method can always be found when reviewing the Class Schedule in Owl Express.

  • Learning Support courses are additional courses in math and English that are designed to help students develop foundational skills in these subjects. These courses are typically offered to students who need extra help in math and English to succeed in their college-level coursework. Learning Support Courses may cover basic concepts and skills, such as grammar, sentence structure, algebra, or geometry, and are often taught at a slower pace than traditional college-level courses. The goal of Learning Support Courses is to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their college-level courses and to help them meet the academic standards of their institution. 

    If required at the time of admission, students are required to complete Learning Support Courses before they can enroll in college-level math and English courses.

  • A lower division class typically refers to a course that is offered at the introductory or foundational level. It is often taken by undergraduate students during the initial years of their academic program. Lower division classes are designed to provide students with a fundamental understanding of a particular subject area and establish the necessary knowledge and skills required for more advanced coursework.

  • Math Placement at KSU is based on a combination of ACT/SAT scores and high school GPA at the time of admission. We use these factors to determine a student's level of proficiency in mathematics and place them in the appropriate math course. Students may always start at a lower level MATH than what they were initially placed in or they may alternativley particpate in ALEKS to try to move into a higher level of MATH.

  • Receiving an Override is the process by which a student obtains permission to take a course for which they either do not meet the requirements listed or the class was at capacity but they awarded an additional seat.

  • Owl Express functions as KSU's main online hub. Most aspects of admissions, registration, housing/meals plans, parking and transportation, and financial aid are housed here. Student records and some program applications can also be found in Owl Express.

  • A Prerequisite refers to the course(s) or other requirements that must be met before being allowed to register for a particular course. EX. A passing grade of a "C" or higher in ENGL 1101 is the prerequisite to register for ENGL 1102. 

  • Probation refers to a student's academic status. Probation status indicates that a student's Institutional GPA is currently below a 2.0.

  • We offer multiple Sections of the same course at different times of the day or week to accommodate students' schedules. For example, PSYC 1101 may have several sections, each with its own meeting time and instructor. The content in these classes will be the same.

    Some sections may be reserved for unique populations of students, and may result in an error when attempting to register (ex. Honors sections, Learning Support sections).

  • A Time Ticket refers to a specific date and time assigned to students that determines when they can begin registering for classes. It is essentially  a window of time during which students can access the registration system and select their courses for the upcoming semester.

    Your current Time Ticket(s), if any have been assigned, can be viewed in Owl Express.

  • An upper division class is a course typically offered at an advanced level. It is usually taken by undergraduate students who have already completed lower division coursework and have gained a foundational understanding of the subject area. Upper division classes are more specialized and in-depth, delving into advanced concepts, theories, research, and practical applications within a specific field of study.

  • If an add/drop period has ended for a semester, students may still Withdraw from one or more courses with or without academic penalty, depending on the date they complete the withdrawal. Check the academic calendar for the current Withdrawal deadlines.