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WHAT IS A MAJOR? (... AND OTHER QUESTIONS YOU'LL HAVE IN FIRST YEAR)

In your first year, you are starting undergraduate studies which will lead to a bachelor's degree in a particular area. Memorial offers more than 100 degree programs and with so many options you may not be sure what to choose. You can find out more about the programs in the Degree Programs section of this Guide.

Once you begin at Memorial, you'll hear people throwing around terms like "major", "co-operative program" or "credit hour". Don't panic! Here is a rundown of some of the new terminology that you are likely to encounter during your first year at Memorial.

COMMONLY USED TERMS:

Undergraduate: That's you – a student completing his or her first degree. It can also be used to describe a degree program.

Undergraduate Degree: An undergraduate degree at Memorial normally takes a minimum of 120 credit hours/normally 40 courses but some may require more. Usually it takes four years to complete a degree if you do five courses in the fall and winter of each year. Exceptions to this would include commerce (co-operative), engineering, education and pharmacy, which require an extra year.

Credit hours: Normally, a course has a credit value of three credit hours. A "credit hour" is the measure used to reflect the weight of a given course towards the requirements for your degree. Some courses will only have a value of one or two credit hours depending on what's required in that course.

Major: Used primarily in the faculties of Arts and Science, this describes a student's main area of study. A major requires a minimum of 12 courses. Students also have the option of completing a major in two subject areas. Taking two majors is referred to as a double major.

Minor: A minor is required in the Faculty of Arts. It is a second area of study that requires the completion of at least eight courses. Students in some other faculties also have the option of doing a minor.

Elective: Any course that's not required for your program can be considered an elective. It's a course that you choose (or elect) to take out of interest or to broaden your knowledge. Every degree program allows some room for electives.

Co-operative: Programs that are described as "co-operative" include some kind of work experience (often called a "work term") in your chosen field.

Focus area: Students who plan to become primary/elementary teachers must focus on a particular subject in addition to their courses in education. This requires a minimum of six courses and up to nine for some subjects.

Concentrations: Students in the bachelor of commerce (co-operative) program have the option of concentrating on a particular aspect of business by choosing most of their electives from a specific area such as accounting or marketing.

A TO Z

Academic standing: is an enrolment status normally determined each semester by a regular evaluation procedure. This procedure is used to assess whether or not students are meeting the standards prescribed by the university.

Academic unit: refers to a centre, department, division, faculty, program or school, other than an administrative unit.

Advisor: each first-year student is assigned an adviser, who is required to assist with the planning of the student's academic program. Regular consultation between a student and their adviser is the most effective way to ensure that an appropriate academic program is followed according to university and departmental regulations.

Certificate: is an academic designation awarded for the completion of a specified program of study which is of shorter duration than a degree or diploma.

Challenge for credit: is the request for academic credit in recognition of work experience or knowledge gained elsewhere. Students may challenge for credit in cases where transfer credit cannot be awarded.

Co-requisite course: is a course which may be taken concurrently with or may be successfully completed prior to, the course for which it is required.

Course: is a unit of work in a particular subject normally extending through one semester or session, the completion of which normally carries credit toward the fulfilment of the requirements of certain degrees, diplomas or certificates.

Credit hour: is the measure used to reflect the relative weight of a given course toward the fulfilment of appropriate degree, diploma, certificate, major, minor or other program requirements. A weight of one credit hour normally means that the course meets for lectures one hour per week for the duration of a semester or two hours per week for the duration of a session. Unless otherwise indicated, a course normally has a credit value of three credit hours.

Credit-restricted courses: are courses which are closely related to each other, but for which credit can be obtained for only one.

Cross-listed courses: are courses which are listed under two or more academic units and which can be taken for credit from one unit only. Cross-listed courses can be substituted, one for the other, to satisfy program requirements.

Cumulative average: is a method of expressing a student's performance over his or her academic career. The cumulative average is calculated by computing the sum of the numeric grade in each course multiplied by the credit hour value and dividing that sum by the total number of credit hours attempted.

Cumulative grade point average (GPA): is a method of expressing a student's performance over his or her academic career. For each course used in the calculation, the points associated with each letter grade are multiplied by the course credit hour value. The cumulative grade point average is calculated by dividing the total number of points earned by the total number of credit hours attempted.

Current average: is a method of expressing a student's performance for the semester. The current average is based on final grades. The current average is calculated by computing the sum of the numeric grade in each course multiplied by the course weight and dividing that sum by the total of the course weights.

Degree: is an academic designation awarded for the completion of a specified program of study which is of longer duration than a diploma or certificate.

Diploma: is an academic designation awarded for the completion of a specified program of study which is of shorter duration than a degree and longer duration than a certificate.

Equivalent courses: are those which are determined to be equal for credit determination, even though the subject area or course numbers differ. These are normally identified with the phrase same as.

Foundation course: is a course intended to remedy a specific academic weakness and is identified by the letter F as the last character of the course number. A foundation course does not carry credit towards a degree, diploma or certificate.

Major: is a subject or field of study which a student normally specializes in during the course of degree studies.

Minor: is a subject or field of study which a student normally pursues secondary to a major during the course of degree studies.

Prerequisite course: is a course which must be successfully completed prior to commencing the course for which it is required.

Registration: is the process of selecting, enrolling in and being assessed fees for courses.

Registration period: is, in any semester, the period extending from the first day of registration to two weeks following the first day of lectures, as stated in the University Diary. In intersession and summer session, it is the period extending from the first day of registration to one week following the first day of lectures, as stated in the University Diary.

Semester: is a period of approximately 14 consecutive weeks during which there are at least 12 weeks of lecture. Normally the fall semester commences in early September, the winter semester in early January and the spring semester in early May.

Session: is a period of approximately seven consecutive weeks in the spring semester during which there are at least six weeks of lecture. The first half of spring semester is designated as intersession; the second half of spring semester is designated as summer session.

Syllabus: is an outline and summary of topics that will be covered in a course and the method of evaluation.

Transcript: is the complete and unabridged report of a student's academic record.

Transfer credit: is academic credit granted for work completed at an institution other than Memorial University of Newfoundland.

University Calendar: is the text that documents the rules and regulations governing academic study at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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