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Education Glossary



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P Term ~ Definition

Part Time Student ~ A student enrolled for fewer than 12 credits per term.

Pass / Fail ~ Many colleges allow you to take some classes, generally electives, on a pass/fail basis. You can earn credit for graduation but these grades do not affect your GPA. To use the pass / fail option you generally must make a written request by a certain deadline.

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) ~ The highest earned degree awarded in the United States.

Podcast ~ A podcast is like a radio show that you can listen to on your iPod, mp3 player, or your computer.

Postdoctoral Fellow ~ Usually a recent Ph.D. holder temporarily appointed to teach or conduct research.

Preliminary Examinations ~ Written or oral examinations given to all prospective Ph.D. candidates after they have completed doctoral coursework.

Pre-Registration ~ The practice of registering the following semester classes during the previous semester. By pre-registering, you will have a better chance of getting into the courses and sections you desire.

Prerequisite ~ A course that a student must successfully complete for background information before enrolling in a particular course. For example, Basic Math is a Prerequisite for Programming 101

Principal Amount ~ Face Value of an obligation, such as a bond or a loan, that must be repaid at maturity, as separate from the Interest.

Private University ~ A non-state-assisted college or university that relies on private funding, tuition and fees.

Probation ~ The state of being warned that your grades are unsatisfactory and that you must improve if you are to graduate or even continue your studies. You must have below a 2.0 GPA to be placed on probation.

Professional Accreditation ~ Accreditation granted to a professional school or a program offered at a regionally-accredited institution by accrediting commissions affiliated with national professional organizations in such areas as business, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, physical therapy, etc. Professional accreditation is also known as 'specialized accreditation'.

Professional School ~ A post-baccalaureate institution (usually within a university) which trains students in the traditional professions, e.g., law or medicine.,

Proprietary Institution ~ Privately owned, profit-making educational institution (mostly) offering practical occupational skills; awards certificates and diplomas.

Public University ~ A state-assisted college or university.

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