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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 Standing is a formal notice of a student's academic progress.  The rules are intended to define what is expected of the students and give them an opportunity to meet the University's academic expectations.  At the end of each semester (fall, spring, summer), each student's academic standing is reviewed for action. View more information. 

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 UWF academic calendar.

Academic Calendar

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 - college credit completed at another institution prior to high school graduation. 

View More Information on the Admissions Website. Please speak with your academic advisor for clarification on how any accelerated methods apply to your program.


With the approval of the student’s assigned Academic Advisor, students may choose to audit a course using the Grade Mode Change form.  

Instructors are not required to grade work of students auditing a course. No credit is earned for an audit course. Students may change from the audit to the conventional letter grade system on or before the end of the fourth week of a fall or spring semester. Students must have the instructor's permission to change to an audit after the end of the drop/add period.

Out-of-State fees are not assessed for audit courses. Out-of-State students changing from audit to the conventional letter grade system will be assessed out-of-state fees.

 View the Catalog Policy

Catalog year determines the set of academic requirements (general education and the major) that must be fulfilled for graduation. Generally, the Catalog year is determined at the time of admission or when a student changes majors.  Students also have the option of choosing the Catalog year in effect at the time of graduation.  Students must follow a single catalog, not a combination of catalogs, to meet graduation requirements. 

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

View the Catalog for more information.

If a course has exceeded the limit of students allowed in the course, you are unable to register without approval from the instructor of the course. The academic department in which the course is offered can provide additional information, but in most cases, they cannot override the capacity of the course due to space in the room. The best strategy is to join the waitlist to get in line for an open seat if one becomes available. 

View how to use waitlists

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.

The Degree Audit, which can be accessed through MyUWF 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.

View more information about Degree Audit.

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.

Academic Calendar

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).

Visit MyUWF

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.

View information about sending transcripts.

View information about transferring credit. 

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.

Visit MyUWF

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.

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.

In 2009, the Florida Legislature implemented the Excess Hours Surcharge to encourage students to complete their baccalaureate degree as timely and efficiently as possible. Click the button for more information on the surcharge.

Excess Hour Surcharge

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.

All students (except for students holding an A.A. or certification of the completion of general studies requirements from a Florida public university or college) who enter UWF must complete the requirements specified as General Education. The General Education requirements are the basic studies that provide students with a broad educational foundation and are essential requirements for all A.A. and baccalaureate degree programs. Courses may not be taken on the pass/fail basis. 

More information about General Education.

General Education Website.

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.

View more information about the Gordon Rule. 

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.

Grade Forgiveness Policy

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.

UWF Academic Catalog

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.

How to View a Hold

An incomplete (“I”) grade signifies that all course requirements have not been met. If circumstances exist beyond the control of the student, as determined by the instructor, an "I" grade may be awarded. When assigning an incomplete grade “I,” instructors should complete a “Report on Assignment of Incomplete Grade.” This will assist students in understanding the requirements for completing a course, and it will provide necessary information in the event the instructor is not available to monitor the completion of the requirements.

More information about Incomplete grades.

Click the button for more information on the degree programs available at UWF.

Undergraduate Degree Programs

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 and to determine if a minor will complement your degree program.

View Available Minors at UWF.

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.

View more information about MyUWF

Visit MyUWF

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 Academic Catalog for more information.

UWF Academic Catalog

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 UWF 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.

UWF Academic Catalog

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.

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.

How to View the Advising Pin

Visit MyUWF

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. Per the Undergraduate Student Progress to Degree policy, the highest grade will be counted for credit. Students may not repeat a course for which they earned a grade of C or above.

Florida public institutions are required to implement a repeat course surcharge for students who take a state-funded undergraduate course for the third time. Students taking the same course for the third time at UWF are subject to an increased matriculation fee of 100% of the cost of instruction.

Repeat Grade Policy

Repeat Grade Surcharge Policy

Grade Forgiveness Policy

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 UWF academic calendar for specific term dates.

UWF Academic Calendar

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

All students entering a university in the State University System with fewer than 60 semester hours credit shall be required to earn at least 9 semester hours prior to graduation by attendance at one or more summer sessions at one of the state universities.  

Students may satisfy this requirement through online courses at UWF as well as any other UWF courses. Courses taken within the community college, state college system, or outside of the State University System of Florida cannot be used to satisfy summer hours.

View the Summer Hour Requirement Policy.

A student who is on Academic Probation and whose cumulative UWF GPA remains below a 2.00, and who does not earn at least a UWF semester GPA of 2.30, and achieve the minimum cumulative UWF GPA listed below will be subject to Academic Suspension from the University.  

  • 0 - 15 GPA Hours - 1.60 cumulative UWF GPA
  • 16 - 30 GPA Hours - 1.80 cumulative UWF GPA
  • 30 or more GPA Hour - 2.00 cumulative UWF GPA

Departments may establish a GPA requirement higher than a 2.30 and other criteria such as completing a minimum number of hours and minimum course grade. Criteria above the University GPA minimums are stated in the program. The College may make exceptions and continue a student on probation as determined by the student’s individual circumstances and potential for academic success. 

A student on academic suspension is not eligible to register for or attend academic classes at UWF. 

View the Reinstatement Guide

Term can be synonymous with Semester. However, at UWF there are also Parts of Term (POT) which are the designated dates within a full semester which identifies courses that begin/end in different parts of the semester and may have different add/drop periods that could potentially affect tuition charges/refunds issued to students.

Understanding Parts of Term. 


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

View information about requesting or viewing transcripts. 

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.

A student is considered a transient student when taking coursework at an institution other than UWF. UWF is still considered the home institution. UWF students should consult with their advisors prior to enrolling in any courses at other institutions to ensure transferability of course. It's recommended that students complete the transient student application available through Florida Shines. 

UWF students wishing to earn credit at a Florida private institution or an institution outside the State of Florida, to transfer back to a UWF degree program, MUST obtain prior departmental approval for specific courses from the department, school, or college advising office. Credit earned without prior departmental approval may not be accepted.

View more information about being a transient student. 

After the drop/add period, a student may withdraw from an individual course(s) or all courses through approximately the thirteenth week of instruction of any fall or spring semester. A grade of “W” will be assigned during this period. Refunds are not issued for individual course withdrawals. Students may process withdrawals online through the "Registration Menu" app in MyUWF. An instructor will not drop you from the class if you stop going. Please speak with your advisor prior to withdrawing from a course.

View more information about the Withdrawal Policy.