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Terms to Know

Academic Pathway – An example of how a student may complete their UMBC degree requirements with a specific major in four years. It is designed by the associated academic department to assist a student during the formulation of their Academic Plan. These standardized pathways make the following assumptions about a student’s qualifications upon entry to UMBC: eligible to take English Composition (ENGL100), eligible to take Calculus & Analytic Geometry I (MATH151), and eligible to enter coursework in foreign language at the Intermediate (201) level. Students who need to take additional coursework in order to reach these qualifications, may need to plan for Summer/Winter coursework, or additional time to degree.

Academic Plan – An individualized timeline for degree completion, created by the student in consultation with their academic advisor(s). An Academic Plan must include at least one major, but – unlike the published Academic Pathways – may include additional majors, minors, or certificates, pursuant to the student’s goals and interests. Students must have formulated an Academic Plan by the time they have completed 45 credits (or, by the end of their first semester at UMBC, for those who enter with more than 45 credits). However, the Academic Plan may be modified at any point during the student’s time at UMBC, as needed.

Advance Registration – The period of early registration for the next Fall or Spring term. Degree-seeking students who are currently enrolled in classes at UMBC are qualified to participate in Advance Registration for the next term.  During Advance Registration, a student’s earliest date of registration eligibility is determined by his or her number of earned credits. Students become eligible to register for courses along a timeline of 3-4 weeks, beginning with students greatest number of earned credits (e.g., Seniors). Degree-seeking students who have been away from UMBC for more than one semester, as well as all returning non-degree-seeking students, must wait until the start of General Registration.

Advising clearance – Also called “registration clearance,”  this is the electronic approval to register for classes in the next Fall or Spring term. Given by a student’s academic advisor, this permission must be granted each semester in order for the student to register for courses.

Blackboard – UMBC’s course management software. Used by many faculty to provide supplemental course materials and grades-to-date, as well as interact with their students through discussion boards, chat functions, and webcasts.

Campus ID – A two-letter, five-number unique identifier assigned to each student, faculty, and staff member (e.g., AB12345). Students can find their Campus ID printed on their UMBC Campus ID Card (a.k.a., UMBC Red Card). Sometimes confused with UMBC Username

Degree Audit – A tool in SA that helps a student track his or her progress toward the completion of degree requirements, to be used in combination with the Undergraduate Catalog, and with the guidance of the student’s academic advisor.

Direct equivalent  – A course taken at another institution that is considered to be similar enough in content and coverage to be used as a substitute for a specific course at UMBC. While direct equivalents are treated the same as their UMBC counterparts in SA for pre-requisite fulfillment, students should understand that no transferred course is 100% identical to its UMBC equivalent. Students using transferred coursework to meet major requirements and/or pre-requisite qualifications should be prepared to have gaps in their knowledge base, and seek out academic assistance as needed.

Earned credits – Credits in which a student has already been given a final grade. Earned credits also include any transferred coursework, and credit awarded for qualifying scores on AP/IB/CLEP exams. Courses in progress are not considered earned.

General Registration – The period of open registration for the next Fall or Spring semester. While the credit-count-based restrictions that exist during Advance Registration no longer exist, degree-seeking students must still obtain advising clearance to register during this period of time

myUMBC – UMBC’s online portal for students, faculty, and staff. Provides access to SA, Blackboard, UMBC email and calendar (powered by Google), plus Community and Group Events, News, and Discussions.

Orientation and Course Selection Day – A day-long event designed to provide students with an opportunity to meet current and new UMBC students, faculty and staff; learn more about academic options and requirements, begin planning your academic career; register for classes; and learn more about student life, both on-and off-campus.  Attending an Orientation and Course Selection Day is mandatory for all new students.

SA (Student Administration) – The UMBC student records system (a.k.a., PeopleSoft). In SA, students can access many aspects of their own records, including class schedules, degree audit, unofficial transcripts, etc. Students can access SA through their myUMBC portal.

Schedule Adjustment period – The period of time during which students may add and drop courses from their class schedule without those changes being reflected on the student’s official transcript. The Schedule Adjustment period for Fall and Spring terms runs from the time that a student becomes eligible to register for that term (during either Advance or General Registration) through the term’s 10th day of classes. The Schedule Adjustment for Summer and Winter sessions runs much shorter. Consult the Academic Calendar published by the Registrar’s Office for any semester or session’s exact Schedule Adjustment end date.

Supplemental advising – Advising not supplied by the department(s) of a student’s declared major(s). Supplemental advising may be required – as in the case of certain Scholars programs – or highly recommended.

 UMBC Username – The login name that students, faculty, and staff select when first establishing their myUMBC account.  For students, the username typically includes at least one number. Sometimes confused with Campus ID