Terminology used at UVic

Terminology defined on this page and in the Academic Calendar are used across the entire institution.



Term Definition
Academic advising On-campus help for students to: select courses and plan programs;obtain permission to take courses at other institutions (Letters of Permission); and make sure graduation requirements are complete. To seek advice, please contact advising for your faculty.
Academic concession A request for deferred status in a course due to illness, accident or family affliction. A student in this situation should consult with Counselling Services, University Health Services, or another health professional at the earliest opportunity. Supporting documents are required with the request for an academic concession. See UVic's academic concession policy.
Academic Drop Date Last day for dropping courses via My page without penalty of failure.
Academic year The Winter Session is made up of two terms, First term (September to December) and Second term (January to April); the Summer Session runs from May to August and has several terms.
Administrative transcript

Previously called the unofficial transcript, the administrative transcript (AT) was re-named and re-launched in September 2012. At that time additional data was added, the design was updated, functionality to collapse and expand sections was added, and tool tips were introduced.

You can access your administrative transcript via My page.

Admission Before you can register for courses you must be admitted into a faculty and/or program. Some faculties require that you choose a specific program as part of your application. In order to be considered for admission, you must submit an application to the University of Victoria, pay the application fee, submit the required academic documents, and submit any other items that may be required for admission to a specific program (questionnaire, portfolio, resume, etc.) Contact Undergraduate Admissions or Graduate Admissions & Records.
Advanced standing Approval to register into a higher level of course work in a discipline when a student has mastered a lower level. Advance standing does reduce the number of units required for a degree.
Alumni People who have graduated or attended a particular university or school. The University of Victoria Alumni Association provides services to students who have graduated from the university.
Assigned texts The books chosen by the professor for your class. Make sure you have the full information before buying books as your professor may require a certain edition from a certain publisher (ex. Not just Shakespeare’s Plays but the 16th edition of the Collected Plays by W.W. Norton And Company). Find your textbooks at the UVic Bookstore.
Associated section Normally, a laboratory or tutorial that accompanies a lecture. For courses with associated sections, students must be registered in both a lecture section and an associated section. Please read the timetable carefully as there are some courses where a specific lecture section has certain associated sections that must be taken. In other cases, any lecture section can be taken with any associated section.
Audit/auditor To take a course for no academic credit. Auditors do not pay the full amount for a course, but they pay partial fees. Auditors do no write examinations and may have limited participation (decided by instructor). Permission must be obtained to audit a course by completing an Auditor Class Entry Form.
Award Awards may refer to different types of academic funding; they generally have an academic requirement but also may include community involvement or other non-academic qualifications.

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Term Definition
Bachelor's degree Generally, this is a first degree in an undergraduate program. At UVic, it normally takes 4 years to complete if you are studying as a full time student (4 years of classes from September - December and January - April). This typically means that you are registered in 5 courses per term, as you will need a minimum of 60 units to graduate with a UVic bachelor's degree.

Bursaries are non-repayable awards. They are designed to help fill any unmet need between a student's assessed financial need and the available government assistance.

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Term Definition
Calendar The academic calendar provides a list of courses, faculty and department information, academic policies, regulations, along with information about the university. The University of Victoria Calendar is available online.
CAPP Curriculum Advising & Program Planning is a degree audit that outlines the program requirements needed for degree completion and matches a student's course record against those requirements.
Chair The person who acts as the administrative head of an academic department or unit.
Convocation A formal ceremony normally held twice each year at the University of Victoria (May/June and November) where degrees, diplomas and certificates are awarded to students who have completed their programs. Students are responsible to ensure they meet the graduation requirements, must apply to graduate by the deadline specified, and pay the appropriate graduation fee. More convocation information.
Co-operative education A program of education which integrates academic study with full-time, paid work experience. Visit the Co-operative Education website.
Corequisite A specific course or requirement that must be taken at the same time as a prescribed course or a course required by a department for a degree program but offered by another department.
Course A particular part of a subject area to be studied, such as ENGL 115, which is part of the English program. The courses offered by the university are described in the University of Victoria Calendar.
Course challenge Course challenge is intended to allow registered undergraduate students to receive credit in undergraduate courses on the basis of knowledge or experience acquired outside the University.
Counselling Generally refers to one-on-one assistance with personal issues. In addition to helping with personal issues, Counselling Services can help with learning and career concerns and promotes success and wellness. A student would go to Academic Advising for assistance with matters like selecting courses or choosing academic programs.
Credit unit The unit value used to assign academic credit for a course, such as Economics 100 (1.5 units).
Cut-off The University of Victoria has established minimum academic standards for admission to each faculty/program. Due to demand, a higher academic standard, typically known as the cut-off, may be required to gain admission to the university or a specific program.
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Term Definition
Dean The person who acts as the head of a faculty.
Degree The academic credential that is awarded to a student who has completed a particular course of study. There are three types of degrees: bachelor's degree, master's degree and doctoral degrees.
Degree audit The process of matching the courses taken to the specific program requirements, making sure that you are taking the right courses to earn your degree. CAPP is the program that assists in determining which program requirements have been met.


In academic regulations, this covers any academic, administrative unit, including department, school, centre or faculty as the context requires.

Discipline A subject of study within an academic department.
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Term Definition
Early admission A conditional offer of admission that is made prior to grade 12 graduation to current grade 12 students. Admission is contingent upon satisfactory completion of UVic admission requirements.
Elective An optional course that is not individually specific to your program.
English proficiency admission standard In order to be admitted, a student must prove a minimum standard of skills for spoken and written English.
Exam schedule There are final examination periods in December, April, and August each year. A listing of dates, times, locations of final exams is posted in October, February, and June.
Exchange See "International Exchange"
Expanded Qualifications Each year, UVic receives many more applications for admission than can be accepted. This admissions category recognizes for admission consideration to the Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Humanities, and the Faculty of Social Sciences those students who have other attributes that demonstrate their ability to succeed at university. In no circumstances will students be admitted to the University of Victoria below the minimum published academic standards.
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Term Definition
Faculty A group of related departments or schools. UVic has ten faculties: Business, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Human and Social Development, Humanities, Law, Graduate Studies, Science, and Social Sciences.
Faculty Member A member of the regular teaching staff.
Fee Reduction Deadlines At the beginning of each term, there is usually a time period where courses may be dropped via My page without owing tuition. Once the 100% Fee Reduction Deadline has passed, students must pay at least 50% of the tuition for the course. Registration in a course after the 100% Fee Reduction Deadline incurs a tuition debt even if that course is dropped immediately. After the 50% Fee Reduction Deadline, students must pay 100% of the tuition for the course. For UVic's policy and appeal process for fee reduction, view the Office of the Registrar's policy section.
Former student A person who has been admitted to the University, has enrolled in at least one credit course, and who is not enrolled in the current session (see also returning student and alumni).
Full-Time Student An undergraduate student taking 12 or more units in the Winter Session (September to April) or 6 or more units in the Summer Session (May to August).
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Term Definition
General program A program which requires 9 units at the 300 or 400 level in each of two disciplines.
Grade Point A numerical value given to letter grades used to rate academic performance. View the GPA calculation guide.
Graduate Student A student who has received a bachelor's degree or equivalent and who is enrolled in a program leading to a Master's or Doctoral degree. Visit the Graduate Studies website for more information.
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Term Definition
Honours A program which involves a high level of specialization in a discipline and requires 18 or more units in that discipline at the 300 or 400 level.

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Term Definition
Interdisciplinary Combining studies and research from different subject areas.
International Exchange Opportunities for students to pursue some of their studies at another institution, often in another country, but still as a registered UVic student.
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Term Definition
Letter grade UVic courses are graded with letter grades (A+, A, A-, B+, etc.). These will appear on your UVic transcript. Check your course syllabus to see how you will be marked in each course.
Lower Level Courses Courses numbered 100 to 299.
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Term Definition
Master's degree Students working towards this designation (ex. MA, MSc, MBA, etc) are called "graduate students." Usually, this is the degree earned after a bachelor's degree that precedes a doctoral degree.

Your area of specialization within in a degree program (ex. You may be working towards a BA degree with a major in Pacific and Asian Studies). Requires 15 or more units in that discipline at the 300 or 400 level.

Minor An optional program that allows students to study in an area outside of their Honours, Major or General Program areas; requirements vary and are prescribed by each department.
Mutually exclusive courses Courses with a different course/number and the same course content. Students will not receive credit for courses identified as mutually exclusive.
My page Web access to student records online at www.uvic.ca/mypage.
My UVic application This is the web site where you can access your application for admission record. Applicants are required to create a My UVic application account by providing a Login ID and PIN. Important information like your admission status and receipt of transcripts can be viewed at this site.
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Term Definition
NetLink ID and Password

This is a unique personal identifier which is used as your "username" (ex. jsmith) to access various services such as: the central UVic e-mail system, access to a number of student computer labs, and the Library gateway.

Your NetLink ID is also the ID to access My page where you register for courses, and view your student record. You are also able to update your address and contact information via My page.

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Term Definition
Ombudsperson An independent, impartial and confidential resource who is there to help students with problems such as graduation appeals, complaints about professors, admissions and re-registration appeals and housing difficulties.

Online registration

Online registration through My page allows students who have been admitted to UVic to register for courses via the internet. You will need a NetLink ID before you can register for courses.

Online timetable Provides students with current course timetable information via the Web, including current information on open sections and the number of wait-listed students
OUAC reference number Current Ontario High School students who apply to the University of Victoria in their graduating year should provide their OUAC Reference Number if available. This will allow the University of Victoria to obtain high school transcripts directly from the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC). Current Ontario High School students who do not have an OUAC Reference Number will be required to submit transcripts from their school.
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Term Definition
Part-time student An undergraduate student registered in fewer than 12.0 units of study in the Winter Session, or fewer than 6.0 units of study in the Summer Session.
Permission A course with PERM under Registration Restrictions (RSTR) in the timetable requires permission from the Department. Registration is done through the Department.
Personal education number (PEN) A unique number which is assigned to all students in the Province of British Columbia. Applicants from BC are asked to provide their PEN at the time of application.
Personal identification number (PIN)

A unique password that is created by applicants at the time of application that allows secure access to My UVic application.


In most instances this is the designation for most doctoral degrees and is the abbreviation for "Doctor of Philosophy".


A form of cheating by means of the unacknowledged, literal reproduction of ideas and material of other persons in the guise of new and original work.


A course that must be completed before taking a prescribed course.

Primary section

A term used with course registration that normally refers to the main lecture class.

Prizes Prizes are awarded based on academic achievement. Prizes may consist of monetary awards while others may be books or medals.
Probation A trial period for a student whose registration is subject to academic conditions. An academic standing assigned when minimum GPA requirements are not met and academic conditions apply.
Professional programs A specialized professional program entered after a bachelor's degree is fully or partially completed- such as UVic Law.
Program The series of courses of study organized to fulfill the requirements for a particular degree, such as a BSc Major Chemistry program.
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Term Definition
Reading break A time in the middle of term (November and February) when no classes are held. Reading break is normally 3 days in November and 5 days in February. Reading break is designed to give you time to study and complete assignments.

Registered student

A person enrolled in at least one credit course at this university.

Registration restriction Registration in a course or section is limited based on factors such as program, year and degree.
Regular student A student who is registered as a candidate for a University of Victoria degree, or in credit courses leading to a University of Victoria diploma/certificate.

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Term Definition

Scholarships are non-repayable funds that recognize outstanding academic achievement. Scholarships are available to both Canadian and International students.


Many popular courses are divided into multiple classes or sections with different professors and time slots. There may be several sections (Section A01, A02, A03) of the same course (FREN 100). Some courses include both a lecture section and lab section. In this case you are required to attend both lecture and lab.

Session Period of time during which the University offers courses. At the University of Victoria, there are two academic sessions each year: Winter Session (September to April) and Summer Session (May to August).
Student Loan

A sum of money that must be repaid. Loans to university students are obtained through the government.

Student Transition Centre A helpful service that provides information and programs for UVic students to support them in their transition into the university and later, into the next stage of their lives.
SUB Student Union Building (see the campus map information)
Syllabus At the beginning of a course the professor will give you a syllabus, or course outline, which will include information on what you will study, when assignments are due, and how grades will be assigned.
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Term Definition
Teaching assistant (TA) A graduate student who assists the professor by helping in a laboratory, grading papers, leading discussion sections, tutoring or lecturing.
Term A unit of time within an academic session. A term in the Winter Session consists of 13 weeks. In the Summer Session, the terms vary in length from around 3 weeks to the same length as a Winter Session term.
Transcript An official copy of a student's academic record. Generally, applicants are required to submit official transcripts of their past study to determine if they can be admitted to the University of Victoria.
Transfer credit Credit assigned for courses successfully completed at the post-secondary level from another recognized institution. For BC Colleges consult the current BC Transfer Guide.
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Term Definition
Unclassified Refers to the classification in which certain students are registered. Students who are not in degree programs (such as non-degree, visiting or diploma students) do not have a year standing and are considered to be "unclassified."
Undergraduate degree The first level of degree a student can receive at UVic is a bachelor's degree (ex. BA, BSc, BEng). A bachelor's degree normally requires a minimum of 60 units of coursework.
Undergraduate student A student registered in an undergraduate Faculty in a program leading to a Bachelor's degree or an undergraduate diploma.
Undergraduate Students' Society (UVSS) All undergraduates are automatically members of the UVSS. This organization represents all undergraduate students as all matters are carried out by elected student representatives. Students can participate by joining committees, participating in elections, and attending the meetings.
Unit Positive numerical value used in assigning the value of a course, such as English 115 (1.5 units).
U-Pass This pass provides you with unlimited access to Greater Victoria public transit routes.
Unit value A unit value of 3.0 is given to a full year course, commencing in September and ending in April. A one term course (either September to December or January to April) normally has a 1.5 unit value.
Upper level courses Courses numbered 300 to 499.
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Term Definition
Visiting student A student who is not formally admitted to a UVic degree program but is permitted to register for credit courses for a specified period on the basis of a Letter of Permission from their home institution.

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Term Definition
Waitlists As course sections may fill during the registration period, many courses have a waitlist option available. Students who choose to waitlist for a course will be offered, in their waitlisted order, spaces that become available. Once a space is available, a registration offer will be sent by email to the next student in line. There is a time limit to respond to that offer.

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Term Definition
Year The level within a program of study, or the level of the course. For example, First year student (below 12 units), First year course (PHYS 102).

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Term Definition
Act Number of students registered (registration)


Section capacity (registration)

Cmp Campus class; "M" refers to the main uvic area (registration)
Cred Credit units (registration)
CRN Course registration number (registration)
Crse Course number, part of a subject ex. English 115 (registration)


Section capacity (registration)

Days of the week

M = Monday
T = Tuesday
W = Wednesday
R = Thursday
F = Friday


See "days of the week" (registration)


Remaining seats available (registration)


Section, the division of a course e.g. section A01 of French 100 (registration)


Subject (registration)

WL act Number of students on the waitlist (registration)
WL cap Waitlist capacity (registration)
WL rem Remaining waitlist positions available (registration)
XL Cross listed course (registration)

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