Office of the University Registrar

Glossary of Academic Terminology

Academic Advisor: Member of the faculty or staff who is trained to assist students in planning their certificate or degree program. The academic advisor works with students on their academic progress, course selection, career and major options, and navigating the academic process at High Point University.

Academic Calendar: High Point University operates under the semester calendar, with 15 weeks of instruction comprising a term. Summer terms vary in length.

Academic Good Standing: A student is considered in academic good standing if his or her cumulative grade point average is 2.00 or higher.

Academic Probation: Academic probation indicates that the student’s academic performance puts him or her at risk of academic suspension. Academic probation is determined by a graduated cumulative GPA requirement based on student classification; see Bulletin, p. 41.

Accreditation: Accreditation is the recognition that an institution maintains standards requisite for its graduates to gain admission to other reputable institutions of higher learning or to achieve credentials for professional practice. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.

Admission Status:

  • Freshmen – Students who earned college-level academic credit while still in high school or during the summer following graduation shall be considered freshmen, regardless of the number of credit hours earned for such work.
  • Transfers – Except as noted above, students who have completed 24 or more semester hours of college-level work prior to enrollment shall be considered transfer students for purposes of admission.
  • Readmits – Undergraduate students who have terminated their enrollment during the course of a semester or who, once enrolled at the University, have not returned for one or more terms; must apply for readmission through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Advanced Placement (AP) Credit: Advanced Placement courses are college-level classes in a variety of subjects that students may take while still in high school. Students who complete AP exams with a score of 4 or 5 may earn general education, major, or minor credit at High Point University. AP equivalencies may be viewed here.

Advisor Registration Hold: An electronic hold placed on a student’s record which is removed after the student has seen his or her advisor. Its removal allows a student to register for classes.

Application for Graduation: Students who plan to graduate the following May should complete an application for graduation at the beginning of their senior year. The application process triggers the completion of a degree audit, a document which lists courses completed toward the degree and which requirements remain to be completed. Completion of the application ensures that the student will be added to the official Commencement list and receives all correspondence related to graduation.

Audit(or): Auditing a course allows the student to sit in a class without receiving academic credit. A student auditing a course may participate in classroom discussions but is not required to complete tests, projects, examinations, and papers (unless agreed upon by the student and instructor). The student registers for the course as an auditor, and the notation “AU” is made on the transcript upon completion of the course. The charge for auditing a course is ½ of the charge for the course on a for-credit basis.

Baccalaureate: A service during Commencement weekend that includes prayers, anthems, and recognition of the graduates, their families and their faith.

Census Date: The census date is a set by the college and typically marks the end of the add/drop period. On this day, the college takes a “snapshot” of all students’ enrollment which becomes the “official enrollment” that is used for both state reporting and financial aid eligibility.

CIP Code: The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes are taxonomy of subject fields developed by the National Center for Educational Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education. Each code has six digits. The first two digits indicate the discipline area, such as education, and the last four indicate the specialized subject field, such as elementary education.

Classifications of Students:

  • Undergraduate Student – A student who is enrolled in undergraduate course work and who has not been accepted as a graduate student
  • Graduate Student – A student who possesses at least one bachelor’s degree and who has been accepted into a graduate degree program
  • Freshman (1st year student) – A student who has earned fewer than 29 semester hours credit
  • Sophomore (2nd year student) – A student who has earned at least 29 semester hours credit but fewer than 60 hours credit
  • Junior (3rd year student) – A student who has earned at least 60 semester hours credit but fewer than 96 semester hours credit
  • Senior (4th year student) – A student who has earned at least 96 semester hours credit but has not completed his or her bachelor’s degree

CLEP: The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is administered by the College Board and offers 33 examinations in five subject areas. Successful completion of an examination allows the student to receive college credit for subjects typically taught during the first two years of college. Contact the Registrar’s Office for a list of subject area examinations and minimum score requirements.

Commencement: A ceremony at which academic degrees or diplomas are awarded. Degrees are conferred three times a year, but only one ceremony is held at the end of each spring term.

Concentration: A concentration (or emphasis) is a block of courses that are more similar to one another than to others in the degree program. Concentrations may be recorded on the transcript.

Concurrent Enrollment: High Point University does not allow a student to be enrolled at another institution while taking classes at HPU, unless enrolled in coursework at a member institution of the Greater Greensboro Consortium.

Corequisite: Classes that require simultaneous registration, such as science lecture and lab.

Cross-listed: A course which is offered under two or more departmental prefixes. A student enrolled in a cross-listed course will receive credit under one prefix only.

Curriculum: A complete program of study which leads to a baccalaureate degree.

Dean’s List: A published listing of students who earn a 3.5 grade point average or higher during the fall or spring terms. In order to be considered for the Dean’s List, a student must attempt at least 12 semester hours of course work each semester other than on a Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit basis.

Deferment: A form sent to a lending institution indicating a student’s current enrollment status. Used by the lending institution for the purpose of postponing student loan repayment

Degree Audit (Graduation Check): The purpose of a degree audit is to confirm that a student is on track to graduate by his or her expected term/year. An unofficial degree audit is available on MyStuff as well as Student Planning.

Degree Requirements:  In order to satisfy requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree, a student must complete the following:

  • All General Education Requirements.
  • Requirements for the major.
  • A minimum of 128 semester hours.  Double degrees require at least 160 hours.
  • An overall grade point average of 2.00, and a grade point average of 2.00 in courses used to satisfy requirements for the major.

Degree Requirements for Multiple Degrees:

  • In order to graduate with two degrees, a student must complete a minimum of 160 semester hours if the degrees are earned concurrently and meet all requirements for both majors.
  • If a graduate of High Point University returns to earn a second degree, he or she must complete a minimum of 32 credits beyond those earned for the first degree.
    • The student must apply for admission into a second degree program through the HPU Admissions Office.
    • No additional general education coursework will be required.
    • The student will follow the major requirements as outlined in the catalog of reentry.
    • All coursework must be completed at High Point University.
  • A graduate of another college or university seeking to earn a second bachelor’s degree at High Point University must meet all general education, major, and minor requirements at HPU.  Credits from the first degree will be applied to the requirements at High Point as appropriate, but the general education requirements are not waived for students who have earned a degree elsewhere.  A minimum of 32 semester hours credit must be completed to earn a degree from High Point University.

Degrees with Honor: Graduating seniors who have completed a minimum of sixty (60) hours of enrolled coursework at High Point University and who have attained the required minimum GPA will be eligible for academic honors. Requirements are as follows:

  • Cum Laude – 3.45
  • Magna Cum Laude – 3.65
  • Summa Cum Laude – 3.85

Degree-Seeking Student: A student enrolled in courses for credit and recognized by the institution as seeking a bachelor’s degree

Dependent Student: A student who is dependent on parents or guardian for financial support. As a general rule, if a parent claimed the student as a dependent for tax purposes, that student is considered dependent. (See also Independent Student)

Diploma: A student’s certification of accomplishment. The student’s transcript is considered the official record of a student’s degree(s).

Diploma Name Policy: The diploma name is determined by the student by submitting an Application for Graduation to the Office of the University Registrar.  HPU reserves the right to review and deny any request deemed inappropriate.  A candidate for degree may choose to change their diploma name prior to Commencement by submitting a Change of Information Form along with supporting legal documentation (driver’s license, marriage certificate, passport, etc.) by fax, email, or in-person. If proper legal documentation has not been provided before the diploma is to be produced, the diploma name will revert to the name submitted by the student via the Application for Graduation.

Candidates for degree should confirm their diploma name via Marching Order on the High Point University graduation webpage. (you will be sent a link to Marching Order in early February) Some abbreviation and expansion is acceptable (e.g., updating diploma name to “John Mark Student” from “John M. Student). When updating diploma name:

  • Do not update diploma name using all capital letters
  • Add a period (.) after the middle initial

The Office of the University Registrar will correct any diploma name that has been entered in all capital letters, is missing the period after their middle initial, or has been improperly changed. Students can appeal these corrections by contacting the Office of the University Registrar at 336-841-9029.

The graduate will be responsible for the cost of a new diploma if a diploma name change request is received after the diploma has been printed.

International Students
It is strongly recommended for international students to match the name printed on their diploma to the exact name as it appears on their passport; for visa, insurance, and other official verification purposes. Various international governments and verification agencies will not accept a student’s diploma as an official document if the name does not match the name on the University record and passport.

Directory Information: Directory information which may be provided to persons outside the University community include: student name, address, telephone number, email address, photograph, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and participation in campus activities or sports. Students may withhold Directory Information by notifying the University Registrar in writing. Such notification must be given within ten days of the first day of class for a particular term.

Drop/Add: The one-week period at the beginning of each semester during which a student may drop or add courses without these courses being shown on the student’s academic transcript. Charges are determined at the close of the add period. If a student withdraws from a course after the end of the add period, he or she will receive a grade of W for the course and the course will be shown on the student’s academic transcript. Additionally, the student will not be forgiven any financial obligation associated with that course, whether or not the withdrawal drops the student below full-time status or takes the student out of overload status.

Enrollment Verification: This may be in the form of a letter supplied by High Point University (online web form) or a form supplied by the insurance company. Either of these may be completed by the Office of the University Registrar. Health insurance providers usually request this information on an annual basis.

Faculty: Persons identified by the institution as such and typically those whose initial assignments are made for the purpose of conducting instruction, research, or public service as a principal activity (or activities). They may hold academic rank/titles of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, lecturer, or the equivalent of any of those academic ranks. Faculty may also include the president, provost, deans, directors or the equivalent, as well as associate deans, assistant deans, and executive officers of academic departments (chairpersons, heads, or the equivalent) if their principle activity is instruction combined with research and/or public service.

  • Adjunct Faculty – Non-tenure track faculty serving in a temporary or auxiliary capacity to teach specific courses on a course-by-course basis

Fall Cohort: The group of students entering in the fall term established for tracking purposes. For the graduation rates component, this includes all students who enter an institution as full-time, first-time degree or certificate-seeking undergraduate students during the fall term of a given year.

FERPA: The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of educational records. It also provides guidelines for the use and release of student educational records. The student is considered the “owner” of his or her academic record and may consent to the release of the academic record to specified third parties. The consent form, Student Consent for Access to Education Records, is available online and in the Registrar’s Office. Completed forms should be returned to the Registrar’s Office, Roberts Hall, Suite 101.

Forgiveness Policy: Students on academic suspension who return to High Point University after a 4-year absence or after earning an Associate’s Degree may elect the Forgiveness Policy. The Forgiveness Policy allows the student to return to HPU with a clean slate, GPA-wise. Students electing the Forgiveness Policy are subject to the following restrictions:

  • All coursework completed at High Point University will be shown on the academic record
  • Grades of C or better will earn credits, but not quality points
  • Grades of C- or below will earn neither credits nor quality points
  • All coursework completed at High Point University will be calculated in determining academic honors

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Student: A measurement equal to one student enrolled full-time for one academic year. Total FTE enrollment includes full-time plus the calculated equivalent of the part-time enrollment. The full-time equivalent of the parttime students can be estimated by using different factors depending on the type of institution, institutional control, and level of student.

Full-time student: A student enrolled in 12 or more semester hours per semester. Students enrolled in 12-18 credits per semester will pay the comprehensive fee for full time students. An additional charge of $680 per credit will be added for each hour beyond the 18 credit maximum per semester; this is considered overload status. Charges are determined at the close of the add period. Please note:  Students must be enrolled full-time to receive any type of institutionally-funded financial assistance (For example:  merit scholarships; need-based grants; departmental awards; music scholarships, etc.)

Grade: A measure of proficiency earned in a course, given by the course instructor and indicated by a letter on the letter-grade scale

Grade-Point Average: Computed by dividing the number of quality points earned by the GPA hours. Grade point averages are not rounded up at HPU.

Greater Greensboro Consortium: High Point University, along with Bennett, Greensboro, and Guilford Colleges, Guilford Technical Community College, Elon University, NC A&T State University, and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, have entered into a consortium agreement which allows students to enroll in coursework at one of the participating institutions during the regular academic year. Enrollment is on a space-available basis at the host institution, and enrollment for Consortium coursework is included in the student’s tuition on his or her home campus. Credit hours and grades are calculated into the student’s grade point average at the home institution.

Headcount Enrollment: An unduplicated count of students; that is, a count of heads. It is a total of full and part-time student class registrations.

Hold: A restriction on registration which prevents the student from adding, dropping, or withdrawing from classes. A hold may be removed only by the office which placed it, and students with a registration hold should contact the appropriate office for information regarding the nature of the hold and the steps necessary for its removal.

Independent Student: In order to meet the criteria for independent status, one of the following must be true:

  • 24 years of age or more
  • Married
  • Claiming of a dependent(s), not to include a spouse
  • Veteran status from any branch of the U.S. military
  • Graduate or professional student
  • Ward of the court, or both parents deceased

International Student: The following statuses are classified as being international students. Foreign students with U.S. citizenship will not be classified as international.

  • F-I Student Visa
  • J-I Student Visa
  • H-4 Work Visa
  • PA Political Asylum
  • GC Green Card (permanent resident but still holding citizenship in another country)
  • Dual Dual Citizenship

IPEDS: The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. IPEDS began in 1986 and involves annual data collections. Survey questionnaires are sent to all postsecondary institutions eligible for financial aid, as determined by the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education.

Junior Marshals: At the beginning of the junior year, the thirty-five (35) students with the highest cumulative grade point averages are designated as Junior Marshals for the academic year. All full-time continuing students having junior status and having attending High Point University for a minimum of three semesters are eligible for considerations as Junior Marshals. Junior Marshals assist at Opening Convocation, Honors Day, Baccalaureate, and Commencement.

Leave of Absence: Students who wish to leave the University temporarily for academic, medical, religious, or military-service reasons may request a Leave of Absence for a specified period of time by petitioning the Committee on Reinstatement. Students who are requesting a Leave of Absence should initiate the process through the Office of Student Life.

Letter of Good Standing: Another name for a Transient Form. This form is required by most colleges/universities who accept a student on a transient basis for a single class or term at their institution. Transient students are not eligible for financial aid at High Point University.

Letter of Recommendation: As it pertains to applicants, a letter from your high school counselor or teacher stating why you are qualified to attend HPU. As it pertains to currently enrolled students, a letter from a professor, administrator, or staff member concerning your abilities as related to obtaining scholarships, awards, or employment.

Major: A major is a program of study which offers both depth and breadth in a particular academic discipline. Requirements for the major are determined by the academic department offering the major with the approval of the faculty of the University. A major must consist of at least 30 semester hours and will not ordinarily exceed 80 hours. Requirements for each major are found within the appropriate department section.

Minor: A minor is a program of study which offers less depth and breadth than a major and may either complement the student’s major or function as a stand-alone sequence of coursework. A minor must consist of at least 18 semester hours will not ordinarily exceed 25 semester hours.

Non-Degree-Seeking Student: Students who are not seeking a degree from High Point University are classified as non-degree students, and may remain so until they have completed a maximum of 27 credits. Non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid.

Officially Registered: Students must be officially registered with the University according to published registration deadlines. Officially registered means that the student has been accepted for admission to the University, is eligible to register for classes, and that the course number and section are entered on the student’s registration record maintained by the Office of the University Registrar (OUR). The deadline to register for a full-semester class is the fifth business day of the semester. It is the student’s responsibility not to attend a class if he or she is not officially registered.

Online Instruction: Online instruction, also known as e-learning or distance education, differs from traditional education in that students are not required to come to campus, listen to an instructor face-to-face, or go to a site where exams or other activities will be proctored.

Overload Status: Enrollment in coursework in excess of 18 hours for fall or spring semester and 9 hours for a summer session. All overloads must be approved by the student’s advisor and the appropriate dean on a drop/add form. Deans are listed below:

  • College of Arts & Sciences – Dr. Carole Stoneking (Roberts Hall 219)
  • School of Art & Design – Dr. John Turpin (Norton 210)
  • School of Business – Dr. James Wehrley (Phillips 202)
  • School of Communication – Dr. Ginny McDermott (NQSC 360)
  • School of Education – Dr. Mariann Tillery (SOE 239)
  • School of Engineering and Computer Science – Dr. Michael Oudshoorn
  • School of Health Sciences – Dr. Daniel Erb (Norcross 228)
  • School of Pharmacy – Dr. Ron Ragan (Norcross 251)

Part-time Student: A student enrolled in coursework totaling 1-11 hours per term

Pass/Fail: Some courses at High Point University are mandatory P/F courses, physical education activity courses, for example. The grade of Pass will count toward graduation but will carry no quality points. The grade of Fail will affect the grade point average. A grade of Pass is equivalent to the grade of D- or better.

Prerequisite: A course which the student must have satisfactorily completed prior to registering for the desired course.

Quality Points: A numerical point system that coincides with a letter grade equivalent. Total quality points earned, divided by the GPA hours, will equal your grade-point average.

Race/Ethnicity: Categories developed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that are used to describe groups to which individuals belong, identify with, or belong in the eyes of the community. The categories do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origins. The designations are used to categorize U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and other eligible non-citizens.

  • American Indian or Alaska Native – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment
  • Asian – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam
  • Black or African American – A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa
  • Hispanic or Latino – A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands
  • White – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa
  • Race/Ethnicity Unknown – The category used to report students or employees whose race/ethnicity is unknown

Registration: A step-by-step process for enrolling in coursework at High Point University. Continuing students and students who have taken a leave of absence may register in advance for the next semester’s classes during a period designated by the University and posted on the academic calendar. Incoming freshmen and transfer students may register in advance for fall semester classes by attending one of the early registration events sponsored by the Office of Admissions. Dates for early registration are posted on the admissions website.

Repeat Policy: Students may repeat only those courses in which a grade of C- or lower was earned. A course may be repeated only once without incurring additional hours attempted, and the higher of the two grades will be used in calculating the gpa. Both the original grade for the course and the repeat grade will be shown on the transcript. Any course repeated more than once will incur additional hours attempted in the calculation of the grade point average. Students wishing to replace a grade must repeat the course at High Point University. If a failing grade is received due to an Honor Code violation, the stipulations shown above do not apply, and any subsequent course repeat will incur additional hours attempted in the calculation of the grade point average.

Semester Hour: High Point University operates according to a semester credit hour system, and one semester hour credit is defined as follows:

  • Not less than 50 minutes of classroom (“direct” or “face-to-face”) faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time


  • At least an equivalent amount of work (as outlined in item 1 above) for other academic activities deemed appropriate by High Point University, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other approved academic work leading to the award of course credit.

SEVIS – Student and Exchange Visitor Information System: A government, computerized system that maintains and manages data about foreign students and exchange visitors during their stay in the United States. It is part of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). This program is now managed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). More information may be found here.

SIS: Student Information system; the online database of student information

Study Abroad: Any geographic location not in the aggregate United States, which includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the outlying areas. The Office of Study Abroad offers students the opportunity to earn credit while studying in another country.

Syllabus: A description, table of contents or outline of course content, requirements, textbooks, and assignments, provided by the instructor to his or her students. Syllabi from previous years may be obtained from the Smith Library.

Title IV Institution: An institution that has a written agreement with the Secretary of Education which allows the institution to participate in any of the Title IV federal student financial assistance programs (other than the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership {LEAP} and the National Early Intervention Scholarship and Partnership {NEISP} programs)

Transcript: An official record of courses completed and grades earned by an individual student. Transcripts are considered unofficial when printed on plain paper and handed to the student. Transcripts are official only when mailed in a University envelope directly to another educational institution/prospective employer and postmarked by the HPU post office, or when transmitted electronically via a secure server.

Transfer Credit: Credit will be awarded for work completed at any regionally accredited college or university, provided that the coursework is compatible with the curriculum at High Point University.

  • There is no credit limit for coursework transferred from a regionally accredited four-year institution; however, students must complete their final 32 credits from High Point University.
  • A maximum of 66 semester hours credit may be transferred from a two-year school with whom High Point University has established a Direct Transfer Agreement.
  • A maximum of 62 hours credit may be transferred from an accredited two-year school upon completion of the A.A.S. degree in selected technical programs. Courses equivalent to coursework at High Point University will be entered on the student’s academic record and may be used to meet general education, major, and minor requirements, where appropriate. All other credits will be entered as general electives.
  • Credit for coursework, compatible with the curriculum at High Point University which was completed at a non-accredited institution, may be awarded upon completion of 30 hours coursework at HPU with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher.
  • Credits accepted by transfer will be shown on the High Point University will be shown on the High Point University transcript but will not be calculated into the student’s grade point average at HPU. A grade of C or better is required for a student to earn transfer credit.

Transient Form: Another name for a Letter of Good Standing. This form is required by most colleges/universities who accept a student on a transient basis for a single class or term at their institution. This form is available in the Office of the University Registrar.

Verification: A statement verifying a student’s enrollment status, class, college degree(s) awarded, and/or dates of attendance. This service is only available for currently enrolled High Point University students and HPU alumni.

Veteran’s Benefits: High Point University supports student veterans and veterans’ dependents in applying for and managing their VA education benefits/GI Bill®. Students and/or parents with questions regarding veterans’ benefits should contact Ashley Darr, VA Certifying Official, at

Wait Listing: Waitlisting is a process where a student can “wait in line” electronically through Student Planning for classes that have met their set maximum enrollment (closed). Being on a waitlist does not guarantee enrollment in the class.

  • Waitlisting is available for selected classes only.
  • The student’s position on a waitlist is on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Registration from a waitlist is not automatic. The student should check his or her email daily for notification of availability. Once received, the student must register within 24 hours or lose his or her position on the waitlist.

Walkers Policy: High Point University holds its annual commencement ceremony at the end of each spring semester, and students approved to graduate are strongly encouraged to participate in commencement for the conferring of the degree. Because there is only one commencement each year, High Point University has implemented a policy which allows students who are close to completing requirements to walk at commencement in May. Students who do not meet graduation requirements in May will be allowed to participate in commencement provided that they meet the following criteria:

  • Have two or fewer courses (8 semester hours or less) yet to complete
  • Have at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average

Names of walkers will be printed in the commencement program, and there will be no special notation in the program differentiating walkers from actual graduates of the University. Further information regarding the walker’s policy may be found here.

Withdrawal: The name given to dropping a course(s) after the university-designated add/drop period.


Our office is located on the first floor of Roberts Hall.

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Monday-Friday)

Phone: 336-841-9029
Fax: (336) 888-6365