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Basically this... Learning the Language of College

Welcome to a New World of Academic Language.

You will become acquainted with the academic language and terminology of your new learning environment, as well as understanding various policies, procedures, and regulations.

  • Your fit into the IUP university system
  • Degrees ~ Majors ~ Minors ~ Choices!
  • Components of your IUP registration
  • You define your academic achievement (academic record) by your grades earned!

NEW! IUP's “GPA Online Calculator”

Students — to use the GPA online calculator, follow these steps.

  1. Select Student Services and Financial Aid
    1. Select Academic Records
      1. Select GPA What If Calculator

Let’s begin . . .

Part I: Your Fit into the IUP University System

  • IUP is a university that consists of six colleges. Each college reflects the category of the departments within it.
    • Eberly College of Business and Information Technology
    • College of Education and Educational Technology
    • College of Fine Arts
    • College of Health and Human Services
    • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
    • College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Dean: Leads each IUP college as the chief academic officer. The college’s various academic department chairpersons (chairs) report to the dean.
  • Associate Dean, or Dean’s Associate: An IUP college representative who addresses student academic concerns.
  • Chairperson (Chair): A faculty member who directs the activities of the department and is the head of the faculty team in their academic department.
  • Faculty: The teachers and instructors. They are categorized into different ranks: instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor.
  • Full Professor: The highest rank a faculty member can attain.
  • Academic Advisor: Many faculty members are also assigned the role of serving as an academic advisor. The advisor is a faculty member in the discipline—the major field of study in which you are majoring—and the advisor offers you assistance and guidance in planning your academic course of study.
  • Successful students realize the value of meeting with their IUP academic advisor.

Part II. Degrees — Majors — Minors — Choices!

  • Degree: An academic rank conferred (awarded) to you after your successful completion of a course of study, meaning your degree and major program requirements. Undergraduate credit students may select a bachelor’s degree (typically a four-year program of full-time coursework) or an associate’s degree (typically a two-year program of full-time coursework).

    IUP undergraduate degrees are:
    • Bachelor of Arts
    • Bachelor of Fine Arts
    • Bachelor of Science in Education
    • Bachelor of Science
    • Associate in Applied Science
    • Associate in Science
  • Major: Every degree-seeking student must choose a major course of study. While every major is different, all majors require specific courses (a field of study). When you graduate, you will have a major in at least one specific field. IUP offers more than one hundred forty majors through numerous academic departments! You have many great choices to explore for your career and future goals!
  • Change of Major: What do you do when you realize you are in a major that no longer suits you, and you want a major that matches your talents, interests, and strengths as well as life and career goals? Well, you change your major! In order to change your major, you must be in Academic Good Standing (minimum 2.00 CGPA) and meet any other requirements specific to the new IUP college, degree, and major you desire. The new major may even require a 3.00 CGPA (example: Criminology) or a 3.50 CGPA (example: Education).
  • GPA = Grade Point Average; CGPA = Cumulative Grade Point Average
  • Now what do you do if you are frustrated about a choice of major and you need assistance to explore your options?
    • Good news! Relief is available through the Major and Career Exploration Center located in 214 Pratt Hall: 724-357-5701.
    • And/or explore the one-credit course ADVT 170 – Career Exploration. This course "Introduces the theoretical and practical framework with which to explore careers compatible with overall academic skills, aptitudes, and life goals. Students examine the world of work, assess their interests and abilities, and make realistic decisions on academic majors and careers." Please contact the Major and Career Exploration Center  (214 Pratt Hall, 724-357-5701) for further information.  
  • Minor: An approved program of study (a small number of courses/credits) in addition to your major (a large number of courses/credits). Your major and minor will be posted (written) on your IUP official transcript. Example: Degree/Bachelor of Arts — Major/Criminology — Minor/Psychology. To have a minor approved, you will need to obtain a Minor Application Form and have it approved by the department that “houses” the minor.
  • Liberal Studies (LS) is a component of your degree/major program. This means that you must sucessfully earn a range of 48 to 54 credits divided among Learning Skills, Knowledge Areas, and Synthesis. The number of semester hours (university credits) may vary slightly depending on your course choices and program of study. Different colleges and sometimes departments within colleges may have specific variations as to how these Liberal Studies requirements are to be met. Your academic advisor will help you review and select appropriate course Liberal Studies choices. The Liberal Studies courses offer you a world of exploration and discovery!
  • Course Attendance Policy: IUP expects all students to attend their classes. Faculty members (instructors) may define attendance standards appropriate for their courses, as well as the consequences of not meeting those standards!
  • Responsibility for academeic integrity and academic honesty is expected of all members of the IUP community.

Part III: Components of Your IUP Registration

  • Office of theRegistrar is located in Clark Hall: 724-357-2217. This office manages all student academic recordsa and provides official transcripts and enrollment verifications as well as many other record functions. The Registrar’s Office also manages URSA — University Records and Scheduling Assistant (the electronic registration system that enables you to schedule your courses through the computer).
  • URSA is the University Records Scheduling Assistant, IUP’s electronic tool for schedule planning, course (class) registration, management of student and financial records, etc. Through URSA you can register for classes, change your schedule of classes, access your grades, and access your academic record.
    • CAPP is also available to you as a student. CAPP is the Curriculum Advising and Program Planning — a computer program. CAPP is a tool for comparing your coursework against a specific set of program requirements needed to be completed both for your major and graduation requirements. The system is a very useful tool and it will answer questions such as:
      1. What are the requirements for the given program?
      2. What courses have you taken?
      3. Which requirements have and have not been met?
    • If you are a student who has not yet declared a major, the CAPP report will show you how the classes you have completed to date can fulfill the graduation requirements for any IUP major. Interested in adding a minor? A CAPP report will provide the requirements needed for all approved IUP minors.
  • Before you register: You will need to meet with your academic advisor! You will 1) select course choices according to your degree and major program, 2) build a semester course schedule, 3) obtain your Alternate PIN from your advisor, and 4) enter your course choices into URSA, the registration system. There are special times throughout the academic year when each student may begin to register.
    • PIN Number: If you forget your Personal Identification Number (PIN), you will need to report in person to the Scheduling Center, located in Clark Hall, to have the PIN reset. You will be asked to produce a photo ID card to prove your identification
    • Alternate PIN Number:You NEED to obtain your Alternate PIN number from your assigned academic advisor. If your Alternate PIN number becomes inactive because you entered the wrong number too many times, you will need to visit your academic department office to have it reset. If you have already registered for classes in a given term (semester), you may view your Alternate PIN on URSA. Login to the secure area, select "Student Services and Financial Aid," "Registration," then "View your Alternate PIN."
  • Drop/Add: A process that occurs after you initially register your courses for a semester.
    Drop/Add allows you to modify or change your course schedule by dropping and/or adding new course choices if:
    1. the course is offered during that particular semester
    2. the course is open to you
    3. course permission is required and has been given to you by the department offering the course
    4. if needed, a Course Restriction Override has been entered into URSA for you for a particular course by the department offering the course.
  • Course Withdrawel is removing yourself fom one or several courses (Individual Course Withdrawal) or from ALL of your courses (Total University Course Withdrawal) after the drop/add period ends. Caution! It is important to discuss a Course Withdrawal with your advisor before you take action! Withdrawing can bring consequences, such as... affecting your financial aid status! Permission for course withdrawal is required after a certain date.

Part IV: You Define Your Academic Achievement (Academic Record) by Your Grades Earned!

  • When you successfully complete most IUP courses, you receive a specific number of university credits. Most courses are three credits, but some are one, two, or four credits. University credits count toward graduation and your GPA/CGPA! Not all IUP courses are university credit courses — some are Institutional Credit courses. Meet with your advisor to discuss the important credit type differences!
  • Institutional Credits count toward your enrollment status (IUP registered; not registered), and your financial aid status. Institutional Credits do not count toward your graduation requirements or for your GPA/CGPA Calculation!
    • An example of an Institutional Credit course: DVST 090 — Introduction to College Math I. Please notice that this course number begins with a zero (0)! This is an easy way for you to recognize an Institutional Credit course. It is smart thinking to also discuss these courses with your advisor before you register!
  • Academic Good Standing: You have reached a minimum 2.00 CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average). Good work! Strive for higher... and the Dean’s List.
  • Academic Probation: When your CGPA falls below 2.00. This is not good. Being on probation means unsatisfactory academic progress! You would now need to do whatever is needed to achieve grades that will bring you back up to a 2.00 to clear probation. IF not, you may be facing dismissal.
  • Academic Dismissal: When you do not achieve the Academic Good Standing minimum CGPA 2.00 within a certain time frame. Without special permission, a dismissed student is not permitted to register at IUP for one full year. After a full academic year, this same student would then need to apply to IUP for readmission if he/she would wish to once again attend IUP.
  • D/F Course Repeat Process:Allows a student (with advisor permission) to repeat some IUP courses at IUP in order to help bring up the GPA and/or CGPA. A D/F repeat (iF all forms are correctly processed) provides a way to replace or adjust grade and quality points for a course where you made a grade of a D or F previously at IUP. Permission is required!
    • A student must 1) obtain a D/F Course Repeat Form (from your advisor or department), 2) fill out the form, 3) meet with and obtain permission/required signature from your advisor, and 4) submit the completed/approved/signed form to the Registrar’s Office (Clark Hall) by a specific deadline. There are deadlines for the fall/spring and summer sessions.
    • Please know — there is a limit of six D/F Course Grade Repeats for undergraduate students.
  • Academic Transcript:This is your official IUP record or your IUP academic course history. It will include the following items, plus more!
    • Academic Standing; Academic Honors
    • Courses; Grades Earned
    • Credits Earned for Degree/Major
    • Credits Earned for Graduation
    • GPA/CGPA
    • Student Teaching
    • “Credit” Internship
    • D/F Repeat Courses
    • And MORE!
    • Please know that you have the responsibility to always review your academic record for accuracy!
  • IUP recognizes your academic achievement through Academic Honors:
    • Dean’s List
    • Provost’s Scholar
    • Graduation Honors
  • Dean’s List: An academic honor that is only for full-time students (a full-time fall or spring semester; and summer sessions cumulatively). The minimum GPA for Dean’s List is a 3.25 based on at least 12 semester hours (university credits) of graded coursework during that fall/spring/summer.

IUP Academic Honors

  • IUP recognizes academic achievement through Dean’s Lists, Provost’s Scholars, and graduation honors.
  • Provost’s Scholar: Provost’s Scholars are recognized annually. At the start of the Fall semester, any undergraduate student who meets the following requirements is eligible to be named a Provost Scholar:
    • A current junior with a minimum of 45 credits earned (completed, graded) at IUP
    • A cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher
    • Must not have received this award previously (recognition is given only once)
  • Dean’s List: Undergraduate students receive recognition on the Dean’s List for each semester (or summer session cumulatively) in which they earn at least a 3.25 GPA based on at least 12 credits of graded (not P/F) undergraduate coursework or a combination of graded graduate and undergraduate coursework.
  • Graduation Honors: Traditional Latin honors are awarded at graduation to first bachelor’s degree candidates with appropriate academic records. Calculation is based on all undergraduate credits and quality points earned at IUP. Graduation honors are not granted for second (subsequent) degrees. The distinctions are:
    • Cum laude — 3.25 to 3.49 cumulative GPA
    • Magna cum laude — 3.50 to 3.74 cumulative GPA
    • Summa cum laude — 3.75 to 4.00 cumulative GPA
  • Beginning December 1994, non-Latin honors are awarded to associate degree candidates. The distinctions are:
    • With Honor — 3.25 to 3.49 cumulative GPA
    • With High Honor — 3.50 to 3.74 cumulative GPA
    • With Highest Honor — 3.75 to 4.00 cumulative GPA

Just do your very best. Strive for Success!

  • Advising and Testing Center
  • Pratt Hall, Room 216
    201 Pratt Drive
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-4067
  • Fax: 724-357-2889
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m.–Noon
  • 1:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.