Academic year: The period consisting of fall and spring semesters.

Advanced placement: Exemption or credit awarded to beginning first-year students based on scores on the College Board Advanced Placement [AP] Tests.

Audit: To enroll in a course for no credit.

Capstone experience: A core curriculum requirement, designed by the student' s school or major department; every senior completes the capstone by applying information, skills and ideas from the major to one significant project.

Code of Academic Conduct: Statement of norms for conduct in academic work. The Code also contains procedures for dealing with alleged academic dishonesty.

Code of Student Conduct: The regulations of behavior that prohibit unsatisfactory or disruptive conduct. Disciplinary action and sanction resides with the Office of Student Affairs.

Course load: The total number of semester hours for which a student is registered in one semester or summer term.

Credit hour:  Program Integrity Rules issued by the U.S. Department of Education require institutions to establish a definition of "credit hour". This applies to all degree programs (including credit for full and part-time undergraduate, graduate, professional, post-baccalaureate, and online programs):

  1. The assignment of credit-hours to a course occurs through a formal review process conducted at the appropriate levels of faculty governance.
  2. For courses in lecture format, one credit-hour represents the subject content that can be delivered in one academic hour (50 min) of contact time each week for the full duration of one academic semester, typically fifteen weeks long. For undergraduate courses, one credit-hour also includes associated work that can be completed by a typical student in 1-2 hours of effort outside the classroom. For graduate and professional courses taught in lecture format, 2-3 hours of outside work is expected for each academic hour of contact time as well.
  3. For courses taught in other than lecture format (e.g., seminars, laboratories, independent study, clinical work, research, online courses, etc.), one credit-hour represents an amount of content and/or student effort that in aggregate is no less than that described in (2) above.

While Tulane's standard definition of a credit hour applies across the University, in some cases the definition may vary to meet specific accrediting body requirements.

Cross-registration: Courses designated in other local universities with which Tulane participates in a consortium.

Cumulative or overall grade point average: A student's grade point average based on the total number of quality points earned and total number of semester hours attempted.

Curriculum: A program of courses required for a degree in a particular field of study.

Departments: The academic units of the university within colleges or schools; administered by chairs or directors.

Elective: Course chosen by the student, as opposed to a required course. The term "elective", without a qualifier, will be understood to be a free elective, chosen by the student at his or her option from all the courses offered by the university for degree credit, with due regard for prerequisites and subject to restrictions of the school or college in which the student is enrolled.

Equivalent: When used in a course prerequisite [e.g., "Prereq: SOCI 101 or equivalent"], this term means either credit in a comparable course, or equivalency to be determined by individual department.

Gibson Online: A gateway to online services such as Registration, Grades, Degree Audit, myTulane, etc. (

Good standing: The typical status of a student who is not on academic probation and is eligible to continue in or return to the university.

Grade-point average (GPA): A measure of scholastic performance; the ratio of quality points earned to semester hours attempted.

Interdivisional transfer [IDT]: The procedure for transfer from one school or college within the university to another.

Joint-degree programs: A program whereby a student may pursue two degree programs simultaneously.

Leave of absence: An interruption in enrollment, approved by the student's Dean, which permits re-enrollment without an application for readmission.

Major: The primary field of study; students will take the majority of their required courses in this area.

Matriculation: The state of being registered for credit and working toward a specific degree.

Minor: The student's field of secondary academic emphasis.

Over/Under load: Stated minimum and maximum course loads for which approval must be obtained from the student's dean.

Pre-professional program: A program of study in preparation for entry into a professional degree program at another institution or another division of the University.

Prerequisites: The preliminary requirement, usually credit in another course, that must be met before a course may be taken.

Priority registration: A specified period of time during a semester when a student may enroll in courses for the following semester.

Privacy act: The privacy of students' records and affairs is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended [P.L. 93-380], preventing the distribution of any information other than 'directory information' on a student.

Probation and dismissal: Failure to meet the minimum semester requirements toward graduation for the fall or spring semester will result in being placed on academic probation. Academic deficiencies not corrected in the subsequent semester or in a summer term may be cause for dismissal from the University.

Quality of work: The progress toward the baccalaureate degree measured by credits and quality points at the close of each semester.

Quality point: Numerical value assigned to each letter grade from A to F, when given as the final grade in a course; provides a basis for quantitative determination a grade point average.

Registration: The process by which a [duly admitted] student, upon payment of required tuition and fees, is enrolled in classes.

Residency requirement: The period of time students are required to be enrolled for a designated number of courses or credits at Tulane University.

Schools: The academic units of the university that offer the university's academic programs, and are administered by deans. The degree anticipated determines the student' s choice of school or college.

Student schedule: The courses in which a student is enrolled.

S/U option: Satisfactory or unsatisfactory is elected as an irrevocable option (following the announced deadline) for a course in which a letter grade and quality points are not awarded, thereby not affecting the GPA.

TIDES (Tulane InterDisciplinary Experience Seminar): a one-credit seminar required for all first-year students.

Transfer student: A student who terminates enrollment in another university and subsequently enrolls in Tulane University.

Withdrawal: Extensive nonattendance to class(es) requires formal withdrawal from: course(s), section(s), or the college/school, with appropriate approvals including that of the dean.