As you navigate through NYU, you may come across some unfamiliar terms or acronyms. This glossary can help you demystify some of those terms, connect you to more information, and get you or your student on their way to success.

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Academic Advisor

A faculty or staff member who provides guidance and advice to students regarding academic plans and decisions, including course registration, school policies, and choosing/declaring a major and/or minor. Each NYU school will have their own advising model and advising staff. Students can find their advisor and their contact information in NYU Connect.

Academic Standing

A method to identify students who are or are not meeting the academic criteria for their college, classified in one of two ways: good standing or on probation. Students who fall below their school or program’s minimum GPA and/or other requirements are placed on probation and may be put in touch with resources to ensure they stay on track to graduate.

Academic Year

NYU divides the year into four terms: Fall (September through mid-December), “J Term” (January), Spring (late January through May), and Summer Sessions (varying lengths between May and August.) See important dates and deadlines on the Academic Calendar.

Add/Drop Period

A two-week period of time after the start of the fall and spring semesters (deadlines at Study Away sites may vary) when students can adjust their schedules by adding or removing courses. Students should consult with their academic advisor before adding/dropping a class/es and refer to the Academic Calendar to check deadlines.

Adjunct Faculty

A professor who teaches on a limited-term contract, often for one semester at a time. Non-tenure-track faculty teach college classes at all levels and are "typically tasked with the same instructional responsibilities as tenured faculty, such as assembling syllabi, ordering textbooks, and writing lectures.


NYU’s student information system and the home of a student’s academic record. Students, faculty, and staff can access Albert from NYU Home. Students can use Albert to find and sign up for classes, check requirements for and progress toward their degree, request transcripts, verify their enrollment, update their preferred name, name pronunciation, and pronouns in NYU’s systems, accept or decline financial aid packages, view any financial aid missing forms or paperwork, see grades, and view any holds on their account.  


Individuals who have graduated from an institution. Often shortened to “alum,” (i.e. “I’m an NYU alum”) individual alumni may also be referred to as an alumnus or an alumna depending on their gender identity. NYU alumni keep their NYU email address, can join select clubs and organizations, access career services through the Wasserman Center for Career Development, attend alumni-specific events, and more.  

Alumni Association

The NYU Alumni Association (NYUAA) is the organization for all alumni. Its mission is to create a lifelong connection between NYU and its alumni. All graduates automatically become members of the NYUAA upon graduation at no cost and have access to many benefits.

Academic Resource Center (ARC)

A hub for academic support that includes peer tutoring through the University Learning Center (ULC), drop-in cross-school advising, and Opportunity Programs for New York State residents. The ARC (pronounced “ark”) also houses ample study space for students, computers, a printer, and a café.

Associate's Degree

An undergraduate degree that typically takes two years to complete. Some students will earn associate’s degrees from community colleges before transferring to a four-year university, and these programs are great for students balancing work and school. NYU’s School of Professional Studies (SPS) offers associate’s degrees for several non-traditional programs.

Asynchronous Course

A course that is taught online and has self-paced content available during a set time frame.


With the permission of an instructor, a student can sit in on a course without earning credit towards their degree (in exchange for exemption from examinations and other assignments). Students are responsible for the full price of an audited course and it will appear on their transcript with an “R” grade. To discuss this process, students should speak with their academic advisor.


Bachelor’s Degree

An undergraduate degree for students completing a program of three years or more, usually four. NYU students may earn bachelor’s degrees in a wide variety of fields. Bachelor degree designations include Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA).

Bias Response Line

A way for members of the NYU community to report harassment, discrimination, or instances of bias that they have either witnessed or experienced. Any member of the NYU community may call the Bias Response Line at 212-998-2277.

Blended Course

A course where some, but not all, of the required instructional time is in person, with the rest being in an online format. Like a fully remote course, the online component of a blended course can be offered in asynchronous, synchronous, or hybrid meeting patterns.


Office that oversees student’s university financial accounts, payments, and billing for all NYU students. This office is where students go (in person or online) to make payments for the academic term. Should students need help paying their bill, they should contact the Office of Financial Aid.


Campus Cash

A way for members of the NYU community to load money onto their ID and use it like a debit card at different vendors on campus. Students or their families can add money to a Campus Cash account online from the NYU Dining website. The money is fully refundable after the student graduates.

Campus Safety

The office is dedicated to ensuring the safety of members of the NYU community. Campus Safety administers services such as the NYU shuttle system, the NYU Safe App, and other security services throughout the various campuses. They also issue ID’s for members of the NYU community.

College of Arts and Science (CAS)

NYU’s liberal arts college, pronounced C-A-S. CAS is the oldest and largest school at the University and offers Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in over sixty subject areas.

Center for Student Life

A hub for campus activities at NYU, located on the seventh floor of Kimmel. The Center for Student Life sponsors University-wide clubs and student organizations, serves as a community hub for commuter, transfer, international, and military and veteran students, and also produces large-scale events throughout the academic year.

Center for Multicultural Education and Programs (CMEP)

Center that aims to engage, support, empower, and celebrate students of color and those with marginalized and historically underrepresented identities. Their office is located on the eighth floor of Kimmel. CMEP has a wide variety of programming available to all members of the NYU community.

Changemaker Center

Founded in 2013, the NYU Changemaker Center prepares students to embrace challenges as opportunities to become active changemakers in their careers and communities. This office helps students seek out opportunities for inclusive leadership, ranging from mentorship programs to workshops to assistance with applying to competitive global awards. This office serves all NYU students, in particular those who desire to serve others by engaging with communities both within and outside the university.


A ceremony to celebrate students who have completed the requirements for their degrees. Students and families may attend the ceremonies for their individual schools as well as the annual University-wide commencement at Yankee Stadium. Commencement is different from graduation; graduation is when the degree itself is awarded, whereas commencement is a formal celebration of those degrees.  

Connect Me

A feature in NYU Connect that allows a student to ask a question or reach out for help when they don’t know where to go or who to ask. Find the “Connect Me” form under the main menu in NYU Connect.


Convocation is NYU's school-specific ceremonies that celebrate the achievements of that schools’s graduating students. Commencement is the NYU-wide ceremony held in honor of the completion and/or in anticipation of your fulfilling all academic requirements at the University.  


Many undergraduate students must take what are called “core” courses. These are general education courses that are generally taken in the first two years at the University. Core classes can include a wide variety of subjects and are determined by a student’s school.


A course that must be taken in the same semester as another course. For example, CAS students interested in majoring in Biology must take General Chemistry I or Advanced General Chemistry I in the same semester as Principles of Biology I.

Course Load

Refers to the number of credits a student takes in a semester. For undergraduates, “full-time” status is 12 or more credits and graduates are 9 or more credit hours. Students should consult with their advisor and the Office of Financial Aid, if applicable, if they are considering enrolling less than full time, as it may impact their financial aid and timeline for graduation. International students should also check with the Office of Global Services regarding certain course load restrictions that may be required by their visas.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

A temporary work authorization for international students on an F-1 visa that directly relates to a student’s major area of study. CPT can be paid or unpaid internships, full or part-time employment, or cooperative education and must be completed before graduation. Interested students should contact the Office of Global Services prior to applying for CPT.


(Sometimes referred to as credit hours, units, or points) Units to measure a student’s enrollment in a course and track their progress toward a degree. Many undergraduate students average 16 credits/semester to complete the 128 credits most schools require for graduation.

College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile

An online application that allows students and their families to apply for institutional financial aid (i.e. money to help pay for school that comes from the school itself, and not the federal government). All students who apply for financial aid at NYU’s campuses in the United States should fill out the CSS Profile in order to be considered for scholarships and grants from NYU by the appropriate deadline.

Cost of Attendance

The monetary cost of a student’s education at NYU for the academic year, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and classroom supplies, personal expenses, and transportation.


NYU’s Institute of Mathematical Sciences that houses a research center and provides advanced training in computer science and applied mathematics. The Courant Library is open to NYU faculty, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates studying mathematics and computer science.


A New York State-approved program of study that provides both the foundation for each student’s academic experience and an overview of the general education requirements for each school.



An academic leader of a college. Each of NYU’s undergraduate colleges have one dean supported by several associate and assistant deans. Deans maintain the academic excellence of their schools by working with faculty and staff to develop academic strategies and other programming goals.

Dean’s List

An honor and academic notation, with requirements that vary by school, that recognizes a student’s academic achievement for that semester or academic year.


A student’s ability to postpone their enrollment for a specified period of time, generally a year, after they have been admitted into a school or program. Students should check with their schools for specific deferral policies.

Degree Progress Report (DPR)

A tool in Albert that helps you (and your advisor) track your progress toward completing your degree. Your DPR tells you what program requirements you've completed and which you still need to fulfill, plus transfer credits, waivers, and exceptions applied toward your degree. It is used to determine your eligibility to graduate so check it regularly before meeting with your advisor.


A division of a school’s faculty and associated support staff devoted to a particular academic discipline (i.e. the English Department, Math Department, and so on).


A formal expulsion from NYU. Students may be dismissed for not being in good academic standing for multiple semesters, by not making satisfactory progress toward a program or degree for a prolonged period of time, and/or by violating their school’s code of conduct.  

Divine Nine

Nine historically black fraternities and sororities: Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta, Sigma Gamma Rho and Iota Phi Theta. Each of these fraternities and sororities has a rich and important history.


The highest academic degree awarded by universities in most fields. There are a number of different kinds of doctoral degrees, the most common being the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which is awarded in many fields ranging from the humanities to the applied sciences.

Double Major and Joint Major

To complete two fields of study, students may either declare a double or a joint major. Double majors are two separate academic programs with their own requirements (i.e. English and Biology), whereas joint majors combine linked fields into a single program of study with one set of requirements (i.e. Econ and Math at CAS). Policies differ by school and students do not receive two diplomas.

Dual Degree

To graduate with two separate degrees. Only a few schools at NYU allow students to graduate with a dual degree. There are also programs that allow students to simultaneously receive a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, such as an accelerated bachelor’s-master’s track.



A course that is not required by your school in order to graduate. Electives allow students to pursue their academic interests outside of their major, minor, and core requirements.

NYU Engage

A platform students use to find clubs and organizations. NYU Engage is an online community to create and join clubs and organizations; find events; and stay engaged via message boards, news posts, and group messaging.

Expected Graduation Term (EGT)

The term in which you intend to complete your degree requirements and graduate from NYU. Your EGT is an important part of your student record, especially if you receive any form of financial aid. To check or update your EGT in Albert, follow these instructions.


To describe any activity that students participate in outside of their academic curriculum, including clubs, internships, activism, and more.


Faculty Member

An individual who is actively involved in teaching and/or research, often called a professor. There are various kinds of faculty members, including adjunct, assistant, associate, and tenured.  

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

A federal form students and families use to apply for financial support and aid such as grants, work study, and federal loans to help cover the cost of attending NYU. The FAFSA can be filled out online and the priority filing deadline each year is May 1st.  


Additional costs (outside of tuition) attached to a student’s bill. Includes a housing and meal plan, student health insurance, charges for a replacement ID, late fees, and other course/school specific fees to help pay for things like lab equipment or art supplies. Students can view all fees on their bill in Albert and course fees will be noted in the NYU Catalog.


A broad term that encompasses a range of academic, co-curricular, and professional opportunities for students. These can include funding for scientific research, public service interests, graduate school, international research, study abroad, and independent projects. Typically these fellowships come with a funding package.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

A federal law that protects students’ academic and financial records. Because students’ educational records are their own, they have the right to grant access to certain individuals, and all others are denied. If they grant access, that allows the individual to see their grades, class schedules, bills, and other academic information. Students must sign a waiver to grant access.

Financial Aid

Financial assistance that helps students and their families cover the cost of college. This includes scholarships and grants from the government and NYU (which do not need to be repaid), federal and private loans (which do need to be repaid), as well as opportunities for student employment, often called work-study, at NYU. Speak with a financial aid counselor at the StudentLink Center or email

The Financial Aid team put together a quick guide to common Financial Aid terms.

Financial Education

An office at NYU that provides students with the education and resources to effectively manage their short and long term financial goals. Financial Education offers one-on-one coaching appointments to support financial wellness, presentations and workshops on managing a budget in NYC, campus events, a resources page online, and the web application iGrad (accessible through the NYU Home page) which has several tools to help students, families, and the NYU community improve their finances.

First-Generation (First-Gen) Students

Students who are typically understood as the first in their immediate family to attend college or an American institution of higher education. NYU has several resources to support first-gen students including Proud to Be First, the Liberal Studies Peer Mentoring Program, and First Class.

Full-Time Status

For undergraduate students, full-time status enrollment is at least 12 credits.


Global Programs

Office that coordinates admissions, operations, and academics for study abroad at NYU’s academic centers worldwide. Current students interested in studying at one of NYU’s global centers can contact the Office of Global Programs. Prospective students interested in studying at NYU Abu Dhabi or NYU Shanghai should contact Undergraduate Admissions.

Global Spiritual Life

Office that offers a wide variety of programs to the NYU Community including mindfulness groups on campus, free yoga and meditation classes throughout the academic year, support for faith-based centers and clubs, and opportunities for multifaith leadership.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A number that measures academic achievement on a scale from 4.000 (an A) to 0.000 (an F). Students have both a term and a cumulative GPA that appear on their transcripts: Term GPA measures academic progress for a given term, cumulative GPA includes all courses taken for credit.

Graduate Assistant (GA)

A part-time student employment opportunity at the university for students matriculated in a graduate degree programs.  


The official term for the completion of all degree requirements for an academic program. All students must apply for graduation. The Registrar’s website has application deadlines by intended graduation semester. Once students have applied for graduation, they can check their application status in Albert.


A source of monetary funding (that can come in the form of financial aid) that, unlike a loan, does not need to be repaid. NYU Scholarships are a kind of grant that students may qualify for by submitting the CSS Profile upon application to NYU by the deadline.

Greek Letter Organizations (GLOs)

Social organizations at universities, also referred to as Greek Life, Fraternities, and Sororities.



An online database used by the Wasserman Center for Career Development that helps students and alumni search and apply for jobs and internships.


An indicator placed on a student’s Albert account indicating the student needs to take some sort of administrative action (filling out a form, paying a bill, meeting with an advisor, etc.) The most common hold is an “Advisor Hold,” which means that students must meet with their academic advisor to discuss their schedule and academic plan before they are able to register for classes.

Note: These are not official NYU definitions, but are rather designed to be a helpful clarifying guide for students and their families. This glossary is meant to be a living resource, and we welcome thoughts and feedback on definitions and terms presented. Please email us at with your suggestions.