University Lingo

In order to help you navigate your way through the system, here is a list of the most commonly used terms and their meaning here at UWF.

Learning the lingo or what people are talking about is an important step to succeeding in your college career. It is not a question of individual intelligence, just understanding what people mean when they are explaining policies and procedures to you. Too often staff and other university employees assume that you know how the system works and what they mean when they are talking to you.  Don't forget that the University Catalog is still the official source of academic policies and procedure.

Academic Probation

The intent of academic probation is to serve notice formally that a student may not be making satisfactory progress. Students whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) for University of West Florida course work is below the minimum listed below will be placed on academic probation by the student's college.

  • 0-15 semester hours, less than 1.60 cumulative GPA
  • 16-30 semester hours, less than 1.80 cumulative GPA
  • more than 30 semester hours, less than 2.00 cumulative GPA

Students are advised to meet with your academic advisor to discuss an academic success plan.

Academic Year

The time during which an educational institution holds classes. At UWF, the academic year is made up of the fall semester, spring semester and summer term. For exact dates, refer to the academic calendar.

Accelerated Methods

Refers to any coursework or credit earned by examination that is taken prior to a student's first enrollment at UWF that is used to accelerate a student's progress to degree. Official scores or transcripts must be received by the UWF Admissions Office directly from the awarding agency or institution to receive credit.

Accelerated methods accepted by UWF include:

  • Advanced Placement (AP)
  • Advanced International Certificate of Education Program (AICE)
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • dual enrollment

Please speak with your advisor for clarification on how any accelerated methods apply to your program.


Audited Class

Students may register for a course as an audit. A student sits in on a class for which no credit is earned. The course can be changed from audit to a letter grade on or before the end of the tenth week of the fall or spring semester. Students must pay for an audited class.


Refers to how the year is broken down for classes and grading. Also means the academic year which begins in August and consists of three terms or semesters during that year. Check the academic calendar for important dates.

Catalog Year

A catalog year refers to the set of policies in effect in the academic catalog for that corresponding academic year. For example, the 2014-2015 catalog defines all of the policies in effect for the 2014-2015 academic year.

A student's catalog year is determined by the first term of enrollment at UWF. If you first enroll at UWF during the 2014-2015 academic year (fall 2014, spring 2015, or summer 2015), your catalog year is 2014-2015.

Please keep in mind that policies or degree programs may change with each new catalog year. It is imperative that you consult the academic catalog that corresponds to your catalog year to ensure that you are in compliance with the appropriate policies. If your catalog year is 2014-2015, you should make sure to consult the 2014-2015 catalog.

Please contact your advisor for information on how a program change can affect your catalog year.

Closed Course

If a course has exceeded the limit of students allowed in the course, written permission from the instructor of the course must be obtained. Either the department by which the course is offered or the Registrar's Office can assist the student in registering for the class.


A course that must be taken concurrently with an accompanying course (two courses that cannot be taken separately). Co-requisites are most often science courses which have a co-requisite of a lab.


How progress toward a degree is measured. The University requires a minimum of 120 credit hours to graduate. A course is usually worth 3 semester hours of credit. If a student is enrolled in 12 credit hours or 12 credits, that typically means being enrolled in 4 courses.

Degree Works Audit

Degree Works, which can be accessed through MyUWF. The Degree Works audit allows students to check their progress toward earning the degree. It includes course work completed at UWF, courses in progress at UWF, upcoming semester's course work for which you have registered, any other course work completed at other schools, provided that UWF has received your final official transcripts, and credit for CLEP, AP and IB exams.

Drop/Add Period

A course can be added anytime during Early Registration, Regular Registration, or during the official Drop/Add period (as listed in the Academic Calendar) and is the first week of classes for that term. After the Drop/Add period, no other courses may be added.

A course can be dropped anytime during the Early Registration, Regular Registration, or during the official Drop/Add period (the first week of classes for that term). A course(s) dropped during this period will not appear on the permanent record.

To remove yourself from a course after the Drop/Add period, you must Withdraw (available through MyUWF).

Dual Enrollment Credit

College credit earned while still attending high school. An official transcript from that college (not courses listed on the high school transcript) must be sent to the UWF Office of Admissions in order to receive credit at UWF.


The online access for courses. Access in eLearning can be for courses which are fully on-line to those which only course grades or minimal course information is available. E-Learning is accessed through MyUWF.

Early Warning

A notification to students from the Advising Center that a professor has recommended them for intervention due to potential serious academic difficulty. Students should meet with their academic advisor to discuss options for intervention or withdrawal.

Enrollment Certification

If a student needs verification that he/she is enrolled at UWF, the student should search MyUWF for "Enrollment Certification." This is strictly an online process.

Excess Hour Surcharge
Foreign Language

Required of all students in order to graduate with either an AA or Bachelor's degree. If you had two years of the same foreign language in high school or two semesters of the same foreign language in college, you have met this requirement.

Note: some majors have an additional foreign language requirement as part of that program. Check your degree audit or with your advisor.

Good Academic Standing

Students are considered in good academic standing if they are currently enrolled or eligible to re-enroll at UWF

Grade Forgiveness

Students may retake a course for a better grade. A grade forgiveness form must be completed and signed by the academic advisor before the end of the semester in which the course is repeated. Students should check with their academic advisor to receive the most up-to-date information regarding the grade forgiveness policy.

Gordon Rule

A State of Florida requirement which must be satisfied to receive either the Associate of Arts or Bachelor's degree. Students must complete 6 semester hours of English coursework and 6 semester hours of additional coursework designated as Gordon Rule Writing and 2 Gordon Rule Mathematics courses. A grade of C- or better must be earned in a course to receive Gordon Rule credit.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Or GPA, is a numerical value assigned to the grades received in all the courses you have attempted at UWF. Each letter grade has a numerical value assigned. Check the UWF Catalog for the value assigned each grade or ask your advisor how to calculate a GPA.


A hold can be placed on a student's record for various reasons. Certain types of holds can prevent you from registering. It is a student's responsibility to monitor his/her holds in MyUWF. For more information on a specific hold, contact the office in which the hold was added.

Incomplete Grade

An incomplete grade or "I" is given strictly at the discretion of the instructor. You must communicate with the instructor what needs to be done to make up the work. If the work is not made up by the next semester instructor or the instructor does not turn in a grade change, the "I" will automatically turn into an "F". Students may not graduate with an "I" grade on their academic record.


See Program.


An area of interest which can be pursued at the same time as the major. Some majors require students to have a minor and most minors are 12-18 semester hours. Check your Degree Works audit and program requirements. Please check with your advisor for appropriate options for a minor that will complement your program.


MyUWF is the web portal that contains all of the information and online services you need to be an active member of the UWF community. Through MyUWF, you can:

  • register for classes
  • access eLearning
  • access the eDesktop virtual computer lab
  • check grades
  • search the library
  • view your account balance
  • pay fees
  • manage email
  • keep up with UWF news and announcements
  • watch the campus calendar for upcoming events
  • keep in touch with university clubs and other groups.
Pass/Fail Grades

Students may elect to take a course on the pass/fail option and must sign up for this option at the time of initial registration for each semester. A grade of pass "P" is not computed into the student's grade point average. A grade of fail "F" does count against the grade point average. This option cannot be used to meet General Studies or Gordon Rule requirements. See the UWF Catalog for more information.


A beginning course that prepares students for a more difficult or advanced course. A student may not take the advanced course without the appropriate prerequisite. Prerequisites will be listed with the course description in the Academic Catalog and in the course search during registration. The registration system will stop a student's registration if the appropriate prerequisite has not been met. Check with the department of the course if you have any questions. Also, some majors also require a specific grade in prerequisites in order to move on to other coursework.


A subject area such as history or mathematics in which a student concentrates his/her studies in order to earn a degree. Every student must have a declared program. You may also see this referred to as a "major".

Registration PIN (Personal Identification Number)

An advising PIN is required to process and finalize your class registration. Similar to a PIN you would use to access your bank account at an ATM, PIN stands for Personal Identification Number.

Your advising PIN must be released by your academic advisor. You will need to see your advisor to discuss your schedule for the upcoming term before your advisor will release your PIN. Once you have met with your advisor, your PIN will be released and will be valid through the drop/add period for the next term.

You can find your PIN by accessing the Advising Status app in MyUWF

Repeated Courses

A student may receive credit for a course only once regardless of how many times it is taken in transfer or at UWF. All attempts at UWF count in the GPA unless grade forgiveness is used (see Grade Forgiveness Policy). Only the most recent attempt will count for credit.


The period of time within the academic calendar (usually 16 weeks) during which academic courses are offered. The University has three semesters per academic year; Fall - which begins in August; Spring - which begins in January; and Summer - which begins in May. A semester can also have separate terms within it. Some terms may run the entire semester and others may be for a shorter period of time. See the academic calendar for specific term dates.

Semester Hour

A unit of academic credit (abbreviated as "sh". Generally speaking, one semester hour is awarded for each hour in class per week. Labs differ, however; you may spend 2-4 hours in a lab, but receive only one semester hour of credit. This term is interchangeable with "credit hour".

Summer Attendance

All students are required to complete 9 hours of summer attendance (unless admitted to the University with more than 60 semester hours of credit). The Summer requirement can be completed in a combination of one or more summers at UWF or any of the other ten Florida Public Universities. This requirement cannot be met at a Florida State College, junior college, or out-of-state college.


A student is suspended or not allowed to re-enroll at UWF upon failure to bring the overall GPA to at least a 2.00. The student must apply and be approved for reinstatement before being allowed to return to UWF. Check with your academic advisor for more information.


See Semester.


The listing of all the courses you have attempted and/or completed at UWF. An unofficial copy of the transcript can be obtained in MyUWF.

Transfer Credit

Any course work which is not UWF coursework. Official transcripts must be received by the Office of Admissions which will determine overall and General Studies credit. Courses transferred to UWF may or may not meet specific course/major requirements even though they have been granted overall transfer credit. Grades for these courses are not averaged into the UWF GPA.

Transient Student

A student is considered a transient student when taking coursework at an institution other than UWF. UWF is still considered the home institution. It is recommended that students complete a Transient Student Form which is available online through Florida Virtual College.


A student may withdraw from a course while remaining in other courses before the end of the tenth week of instruction. Up to this point, a student will receive a grade of "W" (no penalty to the grade point average). A course withdrawal must be completed online and is available through MyUWF. After the tenth week, students must appeal through a late withdrawal which will not be automatically approved. A student must meet certain criteria which must also be documented. An instructor will not drop you from the class if you stop going. Please speak with your advisor prior to withdrawing from a course.