Other USF Terminology
In the U.S. university system, there are many terms and phrases that are used that you will see often during the admission process. Here we have collected some of these terms and have provided a glossary to help you in your communications with the University of South Florida and other universities as well.
- Admission Advisor — This refers to the regional expert and representative with the Office of International Admissions with whom you will be working during the application process. Finding your advisor is easy, simply visit the Your Country section of this website to look-up your Admission Advisor.
- Accreditation — This refers to the regional and/or national approval of colleges, universities, and programs. USF accepts post-secondary credentials only from institutions and programs that are accredited.
- Assistantship— This refers to a university-funded, merit based program or award in which a student can receive a tuition scholarship and/or financial stipend in exchange for services (usually in terms of research or teaching) rendered to the university or department.
- Comprehensive Exams — This refers to the oral and/or written exams that are taken after the completion of coursework in the subject area of your program. In some programs at USF, the comprehensive exams can be used in lieu of writing a thesis.
- Cost of Attendance — This term refers to the overall total costs incurred for a single year of full-time enrollment at the university. It includes tuition, fees, housing, meals, books, supplies, medical insurance, and other expenses.
- Course — This term refers to a specific instructional unit or class, one academic term in length, that comprises a single subject. A course is measured in terms of credit hours.
- Credit Hour — A unit of academic credit which is roughly equal to an hour per week of in-class time. Courses at USF typically are worth three to four hours of credit.
- Curriculum Vitae (CV) — This refers to a specific resume format that is primarily used in academia. The focus of the CV is towards earned degrees, presentations, publications, research and teaching experience, and other academic activities.
- Dissertation — This refers to the written work by a candidate for a doctoral degree which revolves around independent, original research and advancements to new points of view in the candidate's given field.
- Deferred Admission — This refers to the practice of allowing students, after admission, to postpone their enrollment in the program for up to one year.
- Fellowship — This refers to a financial award which does not require services rendered to the university or department.
- Form I-20 — This is the form issued by the university in your name by USF after you have been admitted and you have provided your financial support documentation. The Form I-20 is required for you to apply for an F-1 visa. The form contains your SEVIS ID number, the beginning and end dates of your program of study and current term, requests for benefits and corrections, employment information, current status, and more.
- Full-Time Enrollment — At USF graduate students are considered to be enrolled full-time if they are registered for at least 9 credit hours in a single semester.
- GPA — This refers to the grade point average, the sum of the total points awarded for letter grades divided by the total number of courses attempted.
- GMAT — This is a standardized test administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council which is required for admission for most business programs. It is comprised of the Analytical Writing Assessment section, Integrated Reasoning section, Quantitative section, and Verbal section.
- GRE— This is a standardized test administered by Educational Testing Services (ETS) which is required for admission for most graduate programs. It is comprised of the Verbal Reasoning section, Quantitative Reasoning section, and Analytical Writing section.
- Half-Time Enrollment — At USF undergraduate students are considered to be enrolled half-time if they are registered for at between 5 and 6 credit hours in a single semester.
- Major Professor — This term refers to the faculty member who serves as the student's advisor and mentor as well as serves as the chair of the thesis or dissertation committee.
- NetID — Your NetID allows you to access various online services at USF and must be activated in order to check on the status of your application through OASIS (USF's Online Access Student Information System).
- OASIS — OASIS is USF's Online Access Student Information System. OASIS provides USF applicants and new, current and former students online access to their student records.
- Rolling Admissions — This term refers to the admissions application process wherein students receive decisions on their applications after all appropriate documentation has been submitted. Qualified students are accepted until the freshman class is filled. Applicants are notified of admission continuously throughout the enrollment period. USF practices rolling admissions.
- Thesis— This term refers to the substantial paper that is written as part of a master's program that is based on independent work.
- Transcript — This term refers to the official record or documentation of secondary and post-secondary marks or grades.