Jul 24, 2024  
Fitchburg State University 2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Glossary

Advanced Placement Credit

AP credit is given to students who score three or higher on the Advanced Placement examinations in biology, Advanced Placement Science A, English composition and English literature, English language and composition, any of the foreign languages, calculus AB or BC exams, U.S. history, European history, psychology, and American government and politics. Contact the Registrar’s Office for the credits assigned.


The bachelor’s degree; traditional first step on the ladder of higher education. It is characterized by a four year program which blends courses aimed at promoting the acquisition of broad knowledge through a solid foundation in the Liberal Arts and Sciences as well as courses designed to give depth of understanding in the major field.

Credit Hour

The University follows the Carnegie Unit for credit. Students are expected to spend a minimum of 45 hours of work for each credit. The most common breakdown for one credit is one hour of class instruction and two hours of homework for 15 weeks each semester. A three credit course demands nine hours each week. The credit hour definition applies to both undergraduate and graduate course work.


The College Level Examination Program by which up to 60 semester hours of credit may be earned towards your degree. Contact the Career Center for CLEP information.


Arithmetic representation of the value of completed course work towards the degree requirements. One classroom hour and two hours of homework for the nominal 15-week semester usually counts for one credit. As the usual course responsibility requires three classroom hours per week, per semester, and six hours of work per week outside the classroom, the normal yield per course is three credits. Tradition and practice in the case of laboratory, studio, shop, and other practica awards proportional credit for hours of attendance.


An administrative subdivision of the faculty. Sometimes the department is identical with a discipline category such as English or mathematics. Departments such as Behavioral Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences represent an association of faculty members of related disciplines.


Those course selections by the candidate which are not predetermined by graduation, major, or minor requirements.

Liberal Arts and Sciences (LA&S) Program

Fitchburg State University students are required to complete at least 48 of their 120 credits through the Liberal Arts and Sciences (LA&S) program. The Program focuses upon three main clusters: Science, Math and Technology; Citizenship and the World; and the Arts. At least two of the LA&S program courses must emphasize global diversity, with one specifically focusing upon non-western cultures. A set of advanced liberal arts and sciences courses are also included in the 48 credits. Please see Liberal Arts and Sciences Program, under The Curriculum , for additional details.


That structured experience in an academic field which constitutes the candidate’s specialization. All degree programs require a major. As considerable variation exists as to prerequisites and total credits, the candidate must carefully study the structure of the major of her/his choice. For details of major requirements, see Course Descriptions Undergraduate Day Programs  and Undergraduate Evening Programs .


That structured experience in a related discipline/field which is recognized by the major department as supportive of the candidate’s specialization. Minors are defined by the academic department offering them. As considerable variation in requirements exist, the candidate should study carefully the minor offerings, see Course Descriptions , Undergraduate Day Programs  and Undergraduate Evening Programs .


Those courses which must be satisfactorily completed before admission to certain other courses. Prerequisite courses are listed in the course description of the course requiring them. Again, see Course Descriptions , Undergraduate Day Programs  and Undergraduate Evening Programs .


That construct of Liberal Arts and Sciences, major, minor, and/or professional courses which satisfies the requirements for a particular degree.


Self-Help is in the form of loans and work.


That subdivision of academic programs which constitutes a unit of professional competence. Suggestive of the complexity of identifications involved in only one department, consider the example of Business Administration. This program includes concentrations in accounting, management, and marketing. The candidate should clarify with their advisor and major department the concentration which they are interested in pursuing.

Waiver of Regulations

Recognizing the inappropriateness of rigidity in endeavors to promote its goals, the university provides for waiver procedure relative to its baccalaureate rules, regulations, and programs. All petitions for waiver of regulations begin with the Office of the dean of student and academic life if they involve undergraduate requirements and the Office of the dean of graduate and continuing education for graduate requirements. The student should note that reasons for waiver must be as exceptional as the granting of one.