Glossary of Andrews University Terms

  • Bulletin – The college’s big book of information.  It has all the policies and procedures along with majors, degree requirements, department websites, etc.  Each year a new bulletin is published and updated.  Your degree requirements, however, do not change.  From when you enroll, as long as you remain an active student, you will be required to fulfill the requirements from the bulletin from the year you began studying with us.  If a later bulletin is published and their requirements are more advantageous to you, you may petition to have your bulletin year changed to a more recent year.
  • Course Code and Number – This is the acronym and number that identifies a course.  For example, an introductory Biology course may be BIOL 101. 
  • Course Schedule
        Field-based: courses that are not taught on main campus, including self-paced and interactive online courses, intensives on extension sites, educational tours and in/externships.
        Arranged: course that meet synchronously (in person or online) at a time arranged by the teacher and students such as independent studies and tours; or studies that are asynchronous with no meeting time required such as self-paced courses.
  • Credit by examination – if you already know the content for a required class (say, intermediate Spanish), you may take an exam and if you pass you can get credit as if you had taken the course.
  • Credit Hours – Your college education is measured in “credits.”  On campus, each credit represents about an hour per week of classroom time and two hours of homework for 15 weeks.  Online course credits are designed to require about the same amount of work.  The majority of classes are worth 3 credits, while many technical ones are more and others such as PE or a music lesson may be as little as 1 credit.  A typical full-time student will take between 12-16 credits per semester, or about 4-6 classes. 
  • Degree – the rank of your education.  For undergraduate levels, there are three possibilities. An Associate’s in Arts degree (AA) is a 2-year degree, a Bachelor’s of Science (BS) is a 4-year degree with a focus on math, science, engineering, etc., and a Bachelor’s of Arts (BA) is usually more along the lines of English, Photography, etc.  and generally requires you to take a foreign language.  After an undergraduate degree you can then pursue higher degrees such as a Master’s (MA) or Doctorate (PhD).
  • Electives – all the credits required for your major and the general education requirements do not add up to the total credits you’re required to take to graduate.  So with the remaining credits, you may take any courses that interest you – pottery, political science, Philosophy 101, etc.
  • General Education Classes – Also called “gen eds” for short.  No matter which degree or major you select, every student is required to take several “general education” classes.  The requirements seek to guarantee that graduates will have a good basic understanding of all areas of academia from the Sciences and Math to English and History. Nearly half of your college studies will be spent in taking these general courses.
  • Major – the main or “major” focus of your studies.  Anywhere from a quarter to half of your college courses will be related to the same field – Communications, Psychology, Art History, Biology, etc.  Try to select a major that will help prepare you for your future line of work.
  • Minor – an optional smaller cluster of courses in an area other than your major.
  • Prerequisites – several courses are two-part courses or simply require that you have studied other aspects of a subject before plunging into the more complicated areas.  The courses required before you can take the next course are called prerequisites. 
  • Prior Learning Assessment – especially for adult students, if your life experience has already prepared you amply to understand a given course, you may submit an application for your prior learning to be assessed and credited towards your degree requirements.
  • Upper Division Credits – Any course number that is 300 or higher is considered upper division.  Typically, 100- or 200-level courses are taken towards the beginning of your studies and the last couple of years of your study should begin to have more upper division courses of the 300 or 400 level.  Master’s degrees require are 500- and 600-level courses.
Phone: 269-471-6570   Toll-free: 800-782-4769   Email: sde@andrews.edu
Andrews University is a Seventh-day Adventist institution of higher education
Phone: 1-800-253-2874   E-mail: enroll@andrews.edu
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Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104