For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Glossary of University Terms

This resource exists to point First Forward students, and their allies, to the definitions of commonly used higher education terms, as well as Drexel-specific ones.

  • Add/Drop Period: The time period in which students can adjust their course registration without penalty that lasts for the first week of each quarter; courses dropped during this time period will not appear on a student's transcript.
  • Audit: Auditing provides students the opportunity to attend a course without earning credits or a grade. All audits must be approved in advance.
  • CLASS: The Center for Learning and Academic Success Services (CLASS) provides academic coaching and academic skills workshops for the University.
  • Commencement: A term for Drexel's graduation; these ceremonies are held for each school and for the whole University.
  • Dean: Deans are administrators who oversee academic units and other units of the University.
  • DegreeWorks: An online tool that helps students track their progress towards their degree, accessed through DrexelOne.
  • DragonCard: Your Drexel photo ID, used to access a range of campus buildings and services.
  • DragonDollars: Funds loaded onto a student's Dragon Card that can be used on campus and at participating off-campus merchants.
  • DragonLink: The online student organization directory; this is where to go to learn about student organizations and upcoming events.
  • Drexel Central: The Drexel one-stop for the Offices of the Bursar, Financial Aid, and Registration, which handle student billing, financial aid, and course registration.
  • Drexel Learn: Drexel's course management system, which houses course websites and other information.
  • DrexelOne: This online portal allows students to access information about their academics, finances, and other records.
  • Elective: A class that is not required for a major or minor, but is taken for credit towards a degree; students can take electives in a wide range of subjects.
  • FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine eligibility for federal and state financial aid. Drexel asks domestic applicants to complete the FAFSA to ensure students are reviewed for the most aid possible.
  • Federal Student Aid: Financial aid from the federal government used to help pay for your college education. This includes work-study, grants, and loans.
  • Federal Work Study: Funding from the government that is earned through an on-campus job.
  • FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records.
  • General Education Requirements ("Gen. Eds."): Courses required for graduation, which represent a range of subjects outside of a student's chosen major; this includes math and the sciences, arts and humanities, and social sciences.
  • Grants: Need-based award that does not need to be repaid; grants can come from Drexel, state governments, and the federal government.
  • GRE: A standardized test often required for admission into graduate schools.
  • ISSS: The International Students & Scholars Services (ISSS) office, which offers programs and services to support international students, scholars, and faculty at Drexel.
  • LSAT: The Law School Admission Test (LSAT), typically required for admission into law school.
  • MCAT: The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), typically required for admission into medical school.
  • PATCO: Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO), which offers trains between southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, students can also receive a discount on tickets.
  • Prerequisite: A condition that has to be met before you can enroll in a course. This might include taking an earlier class in a sequence or taking a placement exam.
  • Provost: Provosts are senior academic administrators.
  • Resident Assistant (RA): A Resident Assistant (RA) is an upperclassman who lives in the residence hall and serves as a resource for students in their hall.
  • Resident Directors (RD): A Resident Director (RD) is a University employee who lives and works in their residence hall, assisting and supporting students and RAs.
  • Scholarships: Merit- or need-based award to support a student's education that does not need to be repaid; scholarships can come from Drexel or outside organizations.
  • SEPTA: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) includes subways, trolleys, and buses that run throughout Philadelphia, as well as trains that run to the surrounding suburbs. Full time Drexel students can receive a discount on passes.
  • SORC: The Student Organization Resource Center (SORC) is located in the Creese building and houses offices that support student activities, as well as equipment and resources that are available to recognized student organizations.
  • Subsidized Loan: A need-based student loan option with a fixed interest rate; subsidized loans are interest-free while you're in school.
  • TMS: Also known as Web TMS, the Term Master Schedule (TMS), which lists courses that are currently being offered and that will be offered in future terms.
  • Unsubsidized Loan: A non-need-based student loan with a fixed interest rate; unsubsidized loans accrue interest while you're in school.
  • Withdrawal: Students can withdraw from a course before the end of the seventh week of the quarter. If a student withdraws from a course, a grade of W will appear on their transcript.