Common College Terms A-Z

There are a lot of words and phrases used in Hunter College that may not be obvious for those new to a university environment. The A-Z list below defines many of the common phrases you will hear.


Advisor: An official of the college who assists students in pursuing his/her educational goals. At Hunter, there are two different types of advising resources.

  • Academic Advisor: For all undergraduate students, go to Advising Services, East Building, Room 1119. You will normally be assigned a peer advisor during your freshman year and a professional advisor upon entry as a transfer student or at the end of your freshman year.
  • Departmental Advisor: For undergraduate and graduate students, please visit the Hunter College Catalog for a listing of departmental advisors. You will normally be assigned a specific advisor in your department once you declare your major.

Academic Calendar: Provides important dates from the Office of the University Registrar.

Academic Integrity (Dishonesty): College policy regarding allegations of academic dishonesty.

Academic Dismissal: If your Hunter GPA falls below the established retention level, you are automatically placed on academic probation. If you do not achieve the minimum GPA during the probationary period, you will be automatically dismissed from the College.

Add/Drop: During regular periods and the first week of classes, a student may add or drop courses.

Admissions Office: Provides information on the Admissions process.

Auditing a Course: All students (except those in the Senior Citizen program) must obtain permission from the respective department before auditing a course.

  1. Register for the course online.
  2. Seek permission to audit the course from the department/instructor of the course.
  3. Bring the permission letter to the One Stop, Room 217 North, for manual registration.

Auditors are required to pay regular tuition and fees. No grades will be given for the course in which you audit. Auditor status may not be changed to credit status after the closing date of late registration.


Block Program: A cluster of introductory level courses that creates an individual community for participants. This program is available to Freshman Students.

Building Codes (Rooms):
R: Armory (67th Street on Park Ave)
BC: Brookdale Health Science Center (425 E. 25th St)
CS: Campus School (Hunter High School) (94th St on Park Ave)
FA: Master of Fine Arts Building (450 W. 41st St and Dyer Ave (10th Ave))
GC: Graduate Center (365 Fifth Ave and 34th St)
HE: Hunter East Building (68th St. and Lexington Ave)
HN: Hunter North Building (695 Park Ave on 68th St)
HW: Hunter West Building (68th St and Lexington Ave)
RH: Roosevelt House (47-49 East 65th St)
SB: Silberman School of Social Work (2180 3rd Ave on 119th St) and CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College (2180 3rd Ave on 119th St)
TH: Thomas Hunter Hall (930 Lexington Ave between 68th and 69th Streets)

Bursar‘s Office: Provides billing and general financial services.


Change of Program (COP): The process of changing your registration schedule. You may change the courses you are registered for during the normal registration cycle (without penalty) and the first week of classes (with penalty.) You will be charged a COP fee if adjusting your schedule once the semester has officially begun.

College Catalog: A guide and reference for students on academic and other information about the college. The Hunter College Catalog is available online and a hard copy is available at the Welcome Center, Room 100 North.

Corequisite: An academic course that is required to be taken in conjunction with another course.

Credit Overload: You are required to obtain permission if you would like to register for more than 17.5 credits for the Spring and Fall semesters and 7.5 for each Summer session.

Credit/No Credit: Non-letter grades of Credit/No Credit but there are certain restrictions about how and when the student may choose this system.

CUNY Macaulay Honors College: Specialized, competitive Honors program.


Dean‘s List: At the end of each Fall and Spring semester, the Dean of Students recognizes degree-seeking undergraduate students with excellent academic records of 3.5 or higher.

Degrees: (ADV) Advance Certificate, (BA) Bachelor of Arts, (BFA) Bachelor of Fine Arts, (BMUS) Bachelor of Music, (BS) Bachelor of Science, (MA) Master of Arts (MFA) Master of Fine Arts, (MPH) Master of Public Health, (MS) Master of Science, (MSE) Master of Science in Education, (MSN) Master of Science in Nursing, (MSW) Master of Social Work and (MUP) Master of Urban Planning.

Declaring a Major: A degree-seeking student must declare a major no later than the semester in which the combination of credits earned and credits currently registered totals 60 credits or more. To declare your major, download a Declaration of Major form. You must meet with your departmental advisor for further advisement and approval.

Declaring a Minor: A degree-seeking student may declare a minor, in an approved discipline. As of Summer 2009, minors are no longer required for graduation. To declare your minor, download a Declaration of Minor form. You must meet with the minor departmental advisor for further advisement and approval.

Degree Audit Unit: A unit within the Office of the Registrar. This unit processes all applications for graduation submitted by the Academic Department or student and officially grants degrees to students.

DegreeWorks (formerly DIG): Online, self-advisement tool, accessed via the CUNY Login, for Undergraduate students to track their graduation progress.

Department Chair: An official of the college who oversees departmental matters and approvals.

Dual Degrees: A combined undergraduate/graduate program by which students can receive multiple degrees (NOTE: One degree cannot be awarded without the other, thus both degree requirements must be completed at the same time.) (BA/MA) Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts, (BA/MS) Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science, (BS/MA) Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts, (BS/MS) Bachelor of Science and Master of Science.

Distance Learning courses: A field of education that focuses on teaching methods and technology with the aim of delivering teaching, often on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a traditional educational setting such as a classroom.


Education (Study) Abroad: Provides Hunter students with the opportunity of studying abroad through a variety of long-term and short-term programs.

Elective Credits:The number of elective credits you can take varies depending on your degree requirements.

Student Email Account (Net ID): A Hunter College email account assigned to students upon admission. New, non-degree students must register for courses in order to be assigned a Hunter email account.

Enrollment Certification: An official document issued by the Registrar’s Office which certifies a student’s enrollment status. This document may be obtained at the One Stop, North Building, Room 217 or online via the National Student Clearinghouse Student Self Service website.

Enrollment Policy: You may not attend any course for which you are not officially registered. You are not considered officially registered until payment is received.

E-permit: A CUNY college student who wishes to take courses at another CUNY college “on permit” may submit a permit electronically (ePermit) via their CUNY Portal account. Students should not go on ePermit during their last semester at Hunter.

Exit Interviews: If you were awarded a loan, you must complete an Exit Interview upon graduation.


Financial Aid Office: Designed to assist students that are inquiring about financial assistance.

Freshman: A classification indicating a student has earned 0 to 30 credits.

FullTime: An enrollment status, for both Undergraduate and Graduate students consisting of 12 credits or more credits.


GPA: Grade Point Average is calculated according to grades earned. The Cumulative GPA is determined by the total number of courses completed to date while the Term GPA is the Grade Point Average earned in a given semester/term.

Grades: Hunter faculty members assign grades according to the traditional system of letter grades (A, B, C, D, and F.) Each letter grade has a corresponding weight that is used in calculating the Grade Point Average (GPA). Some other grades assigned are: CR, NC, W, WA, WU, WN, R, IN, FIN, Y, AUD and Z.

Graduationin-Absentia: Although Hunter requires that a student’s final semester be completed at Hunter, students can obtain this approval to complete remaining coursework elsewhere. Students who need 15 credits or less to fulfill degree requirements may apply for graduation- in-absentia form if they must leave Hunter before completing their studies.


Immunization: Public Health Law 2165 requires college students to present a complete record of two live immunizations against measles and a single immunization against mumps and rubella. Students born on or after January 1, 1957, must submit a complete immunization record signed by a health practitioner. You may register for up to 5.9 credits without satisfying your immunization requirements.

Incomplete Grade (IN/INC): A grade issued by an instructor indicating a student has not completed required coursework. Undergraduate students have one semester to complete the course work before the grade becomes a failed incomplete (FIN). Graduate students have one year to complete the course work.

Junior: A classification indicating a student has earned 61 to 90 credits.


Late Registration: A registration period that starts on the first official day of the semester and is associated with additional fees.

Lost & Found: A unit of Public Safety, located in Hunter West Room 213, responsible for holding submitted lost items.

Maintenance of Matriculation: Only applicable for a matriculated graduate student who is not officially registered for any courses in the semester in which they are graduating, but is completing other degree requirements for graduation.

Non-Degree: Students who are not currently seeking a degree but wish to enroll in college credit-bearing courses. Non-degree students are limited to a total of 24 attempted credits. Such students may register for up to 12 credits without taking the CUNY Skills Assessment Tests, unless a placement exam is required for a particular course.

Non-Disclosure Policy: Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) a student has the right to not have any directory information disclosed to a third party without his/her consent.


One Stop for Students: A ‘one stop shop’ which incorporates the services of the Registrar’s Office, the Financial Aid office, and the Bursar’s Office.

Office of AccessABILITY: Designed to enhance the educational experience and provide service to all students with permanent or temporary disabilities.

Office of Health Services: Provides various health care services for Hunter College students.

Official Withdraw (W): A student has the option of withdrawing from a course with a grade of “W” during a specific period. NOTE: The official deadline date for each semester is found on the College’s Academic Calendars.

Ombudsmen: An official governed by the Senate Office to investigate complaints and grievances by any member of the college community (student, staff, faculty, or administration) about a situation within the college. This person may be reached by email at to schedule an appointment.

Overtally/Permission Override: Permission is required if you are trying to register for a course that is closed, and/or has a restriction that you do not meet. Process varies by department. Please visit the corresponding department of the course you are attempting to register.


Part-time: A student who is registered for less than 12 credits per semester is considered part-time.

Pre-law advising: For any student interested in exploring legal careers and applying to law school.

Pre-medical Profession: The Premedical Advising Office assists students preparing for a career in medicine or other health professions (such as osteopathy, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, veterinary medicine).

Pre-requisite: Is a course that must be completed prior to enrolling in another course. For permission to register for a course without the pre-requisite, see the respective department.


Registration: Students must register for courses on CUNYFirst via the CUNY Login.

Registrar: The responsibilities of the Office of the Registrar are to maintain accurate academic records, ensure the integrity of the degree, design and implement efficient systems for student registration, class scheduling and room assignments.

Registration & Payment Schedule: Provides important registration dates and deadlines.

Registration Appeal: The appeal process for students who need to add classes after the semester registration deadline, for documented and compelling reasons.

Registration Appointment: Every student is assigned a specific date/time after which they can begin to register for courses (but not before). An appointment schedule will be posted on the Registrar’s website at the beginning of each semester.

Repeating Courses: Undergraduate students shall not be permitted to repeat a course in which they have received a grade of A, B, C, or CR unless that course has been designated as repeatable in the course description of the College catalog. Students may repeat a course in which a D was received. The credit for the repeated course will be applied toward the degree once, but both the grade of D and the second grade earned are calculated in the overall grade point average (GPA). If a student receives a failing grade (i.e. F, WU, FIN, or FAB) in a course and then re-takes that course and receives a grade of A, B, C, or CR, the initial failing grade will remain on his/her academic record, but will no longer be computed into the cumulative grade point average.

Replace a Course/Schedule adjustment: If you would like to drop a course and replace it with another course, you must use the “swap” option on CUNYFirst. You may replace a course only during specific registration period.

Residency (NYS): Residency determines the rate of tuition you are responsible for paying. You can qualify for the in-state tuition rate if you are a US citizen or permanent resident and you have maintained continuous residence in New York State for at least 12 consecutive months.

Residency for Degree Requirement: For transfer students, half of your major and minor credits must be completed at Hunter College to meet the residency requirement.


Schedule of Classes: Online listing of course offerings for any given semester.

School of Arts & Sciences: Located in the East Building, Room 812.

School of Education: Located in the West Building, Room 1000.

School of Health Professions: Located at the Brookdale Campus (425 East 25th Street).

School of Nursing (Hunter Bellevue): Located at the Brookdale Campus (425 East 25th Street).

School of Public Health at Hunter College (CUNY): Located at 55 W 125th Street.

School of Social Work: Located at 129 E 79th Street.

SEEK Program: This program is dedicated to assist educationally and economically disadvantaged students who do not meet the admissions criteria. The SEEK Program provides academic counseling, and a stipend to help with educational expenses.

Semester (term): The academic year is divided into terms of relatively equal periods (Fall, Spring and Summer).

Senior: A classification indicating a student has earned 91-120 credits.

Senior Citizen Status: New York State residents, 60 years of age or older, may audit undergraduate courses on a space-available basis. Auditors do not receive grades or credit for their courses. Senior Auditors pay a reduced tuition rate each semester for a maximum of 6 credits per semester.

Sophomore: A classification indicating a student has earned 31 – 60.5 credits.


TAP: The Tuition Assistance Program helps eligible New York residents attending in-state post-secondary institutions pay for tuition.

Technology Fee: The Student Technology Fee is dedicated to the acquisition, installation, maintenance, and intelligent use of state-of-the-art technology at Hunter.

Thomas Hunter Honors Program: Students selected for this program must show evidence of high academic potential and diversified interests to plan and complete an individualized program of study.

Transcripts: A listing of your College courses (grades, GPA, degree notation) and comments.

Transfer: Any student who has attended another college, university and/or proprietary school since graduating from high school or a secondary school.

Transfer Credit Evaluation: Process by which courses completed elsewhere are reviewed for possible equivalency to Hunter courses for credit.

Tuition & Fees: All tuition and fees are determined by the City University of New York (CUNY) Board of Trustees and may be subject to change without notice.

Tuition Pay (Payment Plan): This plan offers students the flexibility to make payment towards their tuition through monthly installments.


Unofficial Withdraw (WU) Grades: A punitive grade, assigned by the instructor, in which the student attended class at least once and stopped attending, without officially withdrawing from the course.

Veteran Services: Provides support, resources and information that meet the needs of veterans attending Hunter College.

WA Grades: A non-punitive grade that is assigned when a student has not completed his/her immunization requirements.

Webattendance: A web-based system which allows faculty to submit attendance reports during the start of the term. All students (even if attendance is optional) must report to classes during the first week of classes.

WN Grades (as of Fall 2009): A non-punitive grade assigned if a student did not attend the course.