Academic Glossary

Academic status (standing)

A student’s official status of enrolment at the University as evaluated at the end of each academic session (Fall/Winter and Summer). It is used to assess whether students are meeting the standards prescribed for continuing in the University and/or their program.

Advanced standing

Entering the University with transfer credits.


Aegrotat standing may be awarded if a student is unable to write a course final exam because of extenuating circumstances. The percentage grade and a notation of AG are recorded on the transcript.


The formal request for review of a judgment regarding the application of regulations. Recourse for a student who feels the University regulations cause him or her undue hardship because of extenuating circumstances.

Articulation agreement

Official agreement, between two or more post-secondary institutions, enabling a student to transfer to Trent with advanced standing in order to complete a degree.

(Course) Attempt

Generally, any course for which a final grade has been assigned, including failures.


A student registered for and participating in a course but not receiving credit (or grades) for the course. The student is allowed to participate in the course without submitting assignments or being examined on its content.

Bachelor's degree

A university degree (General or Honours), for which a student completes a specific undergraduate program (e.g., BA - Bachelor of Arts).


A prescribed set of courses, and/or other units of study, research, and practice that leads to qualification for entry into a degree program.


A monetary award provided by Trent University to a student with demonstrated financial need. The term “bursary” may be used to describe bursaries and needs-based awards. An “award” includes additional criteria such as community service or academic achievement.


The Undergraduate and Graduate Academic Calendars include University regulations, sessional dates, programs of study, and course descriptions.


A credential awarded on the successful completion of a prescribed set of courses as specified by a program.


Dishonest academic conduct or attempted dishonest academic conduct during tests or examinations or in the preparation of any other coursework, or in the presentation of credentials for admission to the University or one of its programs.

Conditional Probation

An academic standing applied when a student successfully petitions against academic suspension and is accepted into the Fresh Start program.

Contact hours

The number of hours of instruction in a course. This does not include faculty office hours.


The graduation ceremony where students are conferred their degree, diploma, or certificate.


A course which must be taken concurrently with another course.


A unit of study identified by a course/subject name and number.

Course load

The number of courses in which a student is registered.

Course number

Each course is identified by a four letter department code, a four digit number, and a letter indicating credit value (H = 0.5, Y = 1.0, D = 2.0, etc.). The first digit in the number indicates the year level of the course; for example, SOCI 1001H is a first year, half-credit, Sociology course.


A unit of academic value earned within a particular program. Credit values are used in the calculation of averages for academic standing and in the determination of the student's year or level within a specific program.

Credit values

One half credit course (0.5 credits) has 36 contact hours and normally runs for 12 weeks during the Fall or Winter sessions, or 6 weeks during the Summer session. One full course (1.0 credits) involves 72 contact hours, normally over 24 weeks in the Fall/Winter or 12 weeks in the Summer. Other credit values may exist.

Cross-listed course

A course that is offered jointly by two or more departments. Cross-listed courses may not be counted twice in order to fulfill degree requirements.

Cumulative average

The weighted average of all courses taken at the University. Does not include the lower grade of repeated courses.


The third academic suspension, resulting in a student being required to leave the University for a period of three years.


An academic credential awarded upon successful completion of a prescribed set of requirements that meet a standard of performance consistent with university expectations (see “Bachelor’s degree”).

Degree completion program

A pathway for a graduate of an Ontario community college who has successfully completed a specific diploma program.

Degree program

The complete set of courses, combination of courses, and/or other units of study, research, and practice prescribed by the University for the fulfillment of a degree.


A list of key dates and deadlines. Prior to the 2015-2016 academic year, the section containing sessional dates in the Academic Calendar was called the University Diary; the section is now called Important Dates.


An academic credential awarded upon the successful completion of a prescribed set of courses as specified by a program.

Drop (Course)

Withdrawal from a course before the academic deadline. Dropped courses will not be assigned a grade and will not appear on the transcript.


A course not required specifically for a degree but counted towards it, to be chosen by the student either from within a specified group of courses or more broadly from courses offered anywhere across the University.


A group of courses with a particular focus available as a complement to a degree program.


Signifies that two courses with different course codes have been judged to have content that is similar enough to be considered the same course.

Examination period

A specified number of days during which exams take place (see Important Dates in the Academic Calendar). A student’s exams may take place at any time during the designated period.

Exchange student

A student participating in a formalized exchange program with another university. Students normally pay fees at their home institution and take courses at the host institution.


A course that is similar enough in content to another that they cannot both be taken for credit.

Extenuating circumstances

Circumstances that have impacted the outcome of a student’s studies, and may therefore give cause for special consideration.

Field course

A course that has learning components, or is set entirely, outside of a traditional classroom.

General degree

A General degree is the credential awarded after the successful completion of 15.0 credits in a prescribed program.


Good Standing

An academic standing applied to students who have achieved a 60% cumulative average on at least 3.0 credits taken at Trent.


Grade Point Average. A number representing the average value of the accumulated final grades earned in courses over time.


The representation of a student’s performance in a course.


An Honours degree is the credential awarded after the successful completion of 20.0 credits in a prescribed program.


An opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and skills in a practical context; a workplace experience in the student's field of study.

Involuntary Withdrawal

When a student is required to sit out for an academic year (or more) for non-academic reasons.

Joint major

A double major; a student completes two degrees at once.

Late Withdrawal

A process that allows withdrawal from courses, or from the University, after the applicable deadline as listed in the Important Dates section of the Academic Calendar.

Letter of Permission

A process of pre-approval that allows a student to take courses at another university and transfer credit back to Trent.

Limited enrolment

A course with an enrolment cap that limits the number of students who can register in the course.


A specific concentration of courses within a subject area as defined by its degree program.

Mature student

Applicants who are 21 years of age at the time classes commence, who have been out of a full-time educational institution for at least two years, and who are not eligible for admission consideration under the published admission requirements (e.g., high school admissions requirements).

Mid-year Review

An unofficial assessment of student academic progress conducted by the Office of the Registrar each year after Fall term grades are released.


A group of approved courses taken by a student in a subject area outside of the major.


Memorandum of Understanding. An official document outlining the terms and details of an agreement between parties, including each party’s requirements and responsibilities.


The Trent online portal, which contains important information and resources for students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Various administrative services are provided online, as well as news about the Trent community. It supplies access to course registration, myAcademic Record, Trent email accounts, student financial accounts, exam schedules, the Blackboard Learning System, and service forms.


Nothing to Evaluate. Carries a percentage of zero. Used when a student has registered for a course, but has not attended and/or submitted work for evaluation.


A prescribed set of a minimum of four (4.0) full credit equivalents with a particular disciplinary focus that can be completed as part of an undergraduate degree. To be eligible, students must successfully complete the requirements of both the option and the Honours or General program in which they are enrolled. An option appears on the academic transcript but does not appear on the degree parchment.


Enrolment in more than the maximum full-time course load, defined as more than 2.5 credits in the Fall or Winter term or more than 2.0 credits in the Summer term.


Demarcates the completion of (or failure of) a course where a numerical grade cannot be determined, e.g., a transfer credit.


The formal request for review of a judgment regarding the application of regulations. Recourse for a student who feels the University regulations cause him or her undue hardship because of extenuating circumstances.


Knowingly presenting words, ideas, images, data, or any other form of work of another person (including essays, theses, lab reports, projects, assignments, presentations, and posters) in a way that represents or could be reasonably seen to represent the work as one’s own.


Workplace experience offered as part of an academic program under the direct supervision of a faculty member or workplace mentor.


The requirement(s) that must be met in order to begin a course. Prerequisites may include passed courses or registration in a specific program.

Probation (Academic)

Cumulative average of 50-59.9% on at least 3.0 Trent credits.

Professional degree/program

An academic program through which students gain a specific set of skills and/or accreditation, and which enables students to move directly into a particular career path upon graduation (e.g., BScN for nursing, BSW for social work).


A combination of courses which fulfills the requirements for a degree, certificate, or diploma.

Reading course

A course of independent study outside of the traditional classroom setting, supervised by a faculty member.


Taking a course again to replace an unsatisfactory grade. The second course must have the same course code or be equated to the first course in order to replace the first grade in the cumulative average.


A monetary award to a student based primarily on academic merit, although other criteria may be considered based on donors’ requirements.


Same as "Term."


A less formal teaching atmosphere than a lecture, typically with a smaller student/instructor ratio and more group interaction.


At Trent, there are two sessions: Fall/Winter and Summer. A session may consist of one or more terms.

Session average

The session average includes all courses in the current session (Fall/Winter or Summer) for which a grade has been assigned.

Special Appeal

An appeal that can be made to the Special Appeals Committee after all other levels of appeals or petitions have been exhausted and have been unsuccessful.


Further concentration within a major.

Student account

The summary of fees and transactions that a student has with the University, accessible through myTrent.


A penalty requiring the student to leave the University for a defined period.


The course contract created by the instructor, which outlines how the course will proceed including assessment expectations and due dates.


The Fall term extends from September to December; the Winter term from January to April. Summer sessions, which consist of two six-week terms and one twelve-week term, normally extend from mid-May through to the beginning of August.


A thesis course at the undergraduate level allows a student to complete independent research supervised by a faculty member for credit.


The record of a student’s academic history at Trent.

Transfer credit

Academic credit granted for work completed at an  institution other than Trent University.

Transfer student

A student who has come to the University on an advanced standing basis in order to complete a degree at Trent.


A tutorial is a component of a course designed to provide the student with additional information and assistance with the course material. The format is typically an open discussion or problem-solving session.

Unassigned credit

A transfer credit without a Trent University equivalent, but acceptable to an academic department as fulfilling subject requirements toward a degree in that department.

Unofficial transcript

A document available online through myTrent that is intended to reflect the official transcript.

Withdrawal from the University

A formal procedure for withdrawing from the University.