Glossary of Terms

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Academic Calendar

A period of time from the start of the fall semester or quarter, usually in August or September, and continuing through the completion of the spring semester or quarter, usually in May or June.


A college or program which has been certified as fulfilling certain standards by a national and/or regional professional association. Accredited schools enable students to qualify for admission to other accredited institutions.

Admission Requirements

A set of rules established by each college for a student to be accepted.


The process of evaluating courses to determine whether coursework completed at one college will meet the requirements for admission, transfer credit, general education, or major preparation at another college.

Articulation Agreement

Agreements between community and four-year colleges which indicate the acceptability of courses in transfer toward meeting specific degree requirements. See

Associate Degree (AA/AS)

A degree granted by the community college to students who complete a specified program of study, usually totaling 60 units. Associate degrees are awarded in arts and science and are sometimes called two-year degrees, in contrast to the four-year or bachelor's degree awarded by a four-year university.


To attend a class for the purpose of reviewing the information. No grades or credits are given.

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Bachelor's (Baccalaureate) Degree

A level of education marked by the completion of the equivalent of four or more years of full-time education (at least 124 semester units or 180 quarter units). Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees are offered by the California State Universities, the University of California system and many private colleges and universities.

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CAN (California Articulation Number)

Common numbering system used to identify courses which are often required as lower division preparation for majors. The courses are taught at many colleges with each specific campus using their own unique number for the course. The CAN system allows counselors and students to determine equivalent courses offered at different colleges by using the common number (CAN).

Cal Grants

California Financial Aid, available to students having a financial need as they continue their education at a college or vocational school.

Catalog Rights

A policy that allows, in certain circumstances, a college student to select the set of requirements he/she will follow to qualify for university graduation. Check the college catalog to determine the catalog rights policy of a specific university.


An award granted upon completion of a prescribed series of courses preparing students for employment in selected occupation/vocational fields which require training beyond high school. A certificate may be earned while preparing for an associate degree.

College Catalog

A book published by a college describing requirements for admission, degrees and services offered, and course descriptions. The Transfer Center has most of the CSU, UC, and California Community College catalogs.

CSU (California State Universities)

The 23 public state campuses, such as CSU San Bernardino, CSU Dominguez Hills, and CSU Northridge.

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Courses that are not used to meet a specific major, general education, or graduation requirements, but can be used to complete the total units required for a degree.

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General Education (GE)

A program of courses in the arts and sciences that provides students with a broad educational experience. Courses typically are introductory in nature and provide students with fundamental skills and knowledge in mathematics, English, arts, humanities, and physical, biological, and social sciences. Transfer students often take these classes while attending a community college. Completion of a general education program is required for the baccalaureate degree.

GE Certification

An official notice, either on the transcript or on a certification form, provided by a community college verifying that a transfer student has completed courses satisfying all or a portion of the lower division General Education (GE) requirements. Certification of CSU GE or IGETC is an important step in the transfer process.

Grade Point Average

The average of all grades received. For transfer students, grade-point-average refers to the average grade received in transferable units. Also called GPA and cumulative grade-point-average.


Courses offered beyond the bachelor's degree level. Also, students who have received a bachelor's degree and who are enrolled in post-baccalaureate instruction.

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IGETC (Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum)

A general education program which community college students can use to satisfy lower division general education requirements at any CSU or UC campus.

Impacted Program

A college degree program, such as computer science, which may be temporarily closed to new students due to heavy enrollment or may require supplementary paperwork and/or screening of student records.

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Lower Division

Courses offered for freshmen/sophomore level credit. Also refers to students whose class level is freshman or sophomore. Usually completed the first two years of college.

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Master's Degree

A degree beyond the bachelor's, also called a graduate degree. Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees are most common, but there are also professional master's degrees, such as the MFA (Master of Fine Arts) or the MBA (Master of Business Administration). Usually takes two years to complete.


A program of study which leads to a degree. The subject area in which a student pursuing a college degree develops the greatest depth of knowledge.


Approximately eighteen (18) credits in an area outside a student's major department.

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Official Transcript

A document of your official record of grades and courses from time of entrance to end of latest semester that is sent from one college to another.

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Courses, test scores, and/or grade level that must be completed before taking a specific course.

Private College

A school which is not supported by state taxes.

Priority Filing Dates

One-two month period of time when applications are first accepted for a specific term at the CSU or UC. (For Example: October 1-November 30 for the following fall term at a CSU and November 1-30 for the following fall term at a UC.)

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One type of term within an academic year, marking the beginning and end of classes. Each quarter is ten (10) weeks in length and there are three quarters (fall, winter, spring) per academic year.

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One type of term within an academic year marking the beginning and end of classes. Each semester is twenty (20) weeks in length and there are two semesters (fall and spring) in an academic year.

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Teaching Credential

A basic multiple or single-subject teaching credential obtained upon completion of a bachelor's degree and prescribed professional education requirements in four or more years of college.

Transfer Admission Agreement (TAA)and Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG)

A formal, written agreement that outlines the courses that must be completed before transfer, states the GPA required and lists specific requirements for crowded majors. The Transfer Admission Agreement/Guarantee will guarantee admission to the university as long as the provisions of the agreement are completed. Students with thirty (30) transferable units completed may be eligible for a TAA.

TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language)

An English exam for foreign students used for admission purposes and for placement in college English classes.


A copy of your official record of grades and courses from time of entrance to end of latest semester.

Transfer Courses

College courses giving credit which may be transferred to another college.


A fee that is paid for instruction in a school, college, or university.

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Upper Division Courses

Courses designated for the junior and senior years of college.


An enrolled student who has not completed a baccalaureate degree.


A measure of credit earned for course completion. A unit is based on the number of hours of instruction per week required in the classroom and/or lab or in independent study. A course earning three semester units will usually meet for three lecture hours a week. One quarter unit is equal to 2/3 of on semester unit.

Upper Division

Courses offered for junior/senior class-level credit. These courses are not offered by community colleges and they often require completion of prerequisite courses. Also refers to junior and senior students.

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Work Study

A federally funded program that makes part-time jobs available to students with financial need.