What is the definition of:

Academic Term (Semester, Trimester, Quarter)
The period of time that students are enrolled in a specific group of classes. Most colleges and universities schedule two semesters of 14 to 16 weeks between August and June.

A written agreement between two colleges or universities that outlines how a course(s) or academic program will transfer from one to the other.

Associate Degree
Degree awarded for the completion of at least 60 credits of work that typically includes General Education Requirements, major program of study requirements, and electives. Community colleges and two-year private and proprietary colleges generally award the associate degree.

Bachelor Degree
Degree awarded for the completion of at least 120 credits of work that typically includes General Education Requirements, major program of study requirements, and electives. Four-year public, private, and proprietary colleges and universities generally award the bachelor degree.


A certain number of credits/courses in a major program of study that is more specialized than the general degree program. For example, a student majoring in Business Administration may have a concentration in Marketing.


Core Courses
See General Education Requirements (GenEDs)


Course Equivalency
A course at a community college that equates to a course offered at a four-year college or university. For example, Biology 100 (Fundamentals of Biology), offered at a community college, may be equivalent to Biology 1001 (Introduction to Biology), offered at a four-year college or university.


Course Evaluation
A list of community college courses and their corresponding or equivalent courses at a four-year college or university.


Credits (Semester Hours, Quarter Hours)
Units earned when a college or university course is successfully completed. Most courses equate to 3 or 4 credits or semester hours. Typically, students at a community college must complete specified courses that total 60 to 65 credits or semester hours in order to earn an associate degree.


A course that is chosen by the student as compared to one which is required to meet General Education Requirements or major course of study requirements. (Also see Lower Level Elective.)


Fine Arts
Generally courses in dance, music, theater, and visual arts.


Full-Time Student
Usually a student who is taking 12 or more credits per semester


General Education Requirements (GenED or Core Courses)
A group of courses which provides a broad cultural background that college and university students are required to complete as part of their graduation requirements. GenED courses frequently come from the social sciences, humanities, communications, mathematics, sciences, and fine arts areas.


Grade Point Average (GPA)
An assessment, frequently expressed in numerical terms on a scale of 4.0, of a student’s semester or cumulative academic performance.


Generally courses in the classics, foreign languages, linguistics, literature, philosophy, public speaking, and religion.


Lower Division
The first two years (freshman and sophomore) of college study, which can be completed at a community college or a four-year college or university.


Lower Level Elective
A freshman- or sophomore-level course that provides credit toward graduation but does not satisfy a General Education Requirement or major requirement. Frequently, courses that do not meet an area or course requirement are assigned to this category. (Also see Electives)


Major (Major Program of Study)
A student’s academic area of emphasis and specialization. Frequently, students will be required to take 20% to 30% of their coursework in their major.


Major Elective Credit
A community college course that has no direct equivalent at the selected four-year institution, but which transfers as an elective course in a student’s major. For example, a community college sociology course displaying a ‘SOCEC’ or ‘SOCIEC’ equivalency will fulfill three credits of the Sociology major requirements at the four-year institution.


Matriculated Student
A full- or part-time student accepted to pursue study towards a degree by a college or university.


A small group of courses that are often related to, but different from, a student’s major program of study. Usually, students are required to “declare” a major, but not all colleges require a student to choose a minor.


A web-based articulation and credit equivalency program designed to facilitate students’ transfer of courses from New Jersey’s community colleges to New Jersey’s four-year colleges and universities. The URL for NJ TRANSFER is www.njtransfer.org


Non-Matriculated Student
A student who has not been accepted into a degree program by a college or university, but who is allowed to enroll in courses.


Non-Transferable Courses
Courses offered by a community college that will not transfer to a four-year college or university. Some examples of these courses are developmental courses in English or mathematics and many vocational courses.


A course or courses that must be successfully completed before a student can enroll in the next-level course or a more advanced course.


Receiver Institution
A four-year college or university in New Jersey that participates in NJ TRANSFER


Recommended Transfer Program (RTP)
In NJ TRANSFER, Recommended Transfer Program, or RTP, refers to the first 2 years (usually 60 to 65 credits) of an academic program or major at a four-year college or university. The four-year college or university courses are translated to the equivalent courses at the community college selected by the user.


Usually courses in biology, chemistry, geology, and physics.


Semester (Academic Term)
The period of time that students are enrolled in a specific group of classes. Most colleges and universities schedule two semesters of 14 to 16 weeks between August and June.


Semester Hours
See credits.


Sender Institution
A New Jersey community college.


Social Sciences
Usually courses in anthropology, geography, history, political science, psychology, and sociology.


The cumulative official record containing the courses, semester hours, and grades earned by a student at a college or university.


Transfer Student
A student who, after attending a college or university, seeks admission to another college or university. Generally, courses taken at previous colleges will be applied to the degree requirements at the new institution.

Transferable Courses
Courses offered by one college (e.g., a community college) that will transfer to another college (e.g., a four-year college or university). These courses can usually be applied toward the bachelor degree requirements at the four-year college or university.


Upper Division
The last two years (junior and senior) of college study, which are usually completed at a four-year college or university.

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