Using the Undergraduate Catalog

Glossary of Terms

Academic Advising Center

Located in each College, the Academic Advising Center houses most of the undergraduate advisors for that College.


Academic level based on hours earned: 1–29 freshman, 30–59 sophomore, 60–89 junior, and 90+ senior.

Contact Hours

Clock hours spent each week in the instruction process. Contact hours are not course credit hours. Lecture contact hours are the hours per week students are required to spend in contact with faculty in a lecture setting, e.g., class, conference, seminar, individual instruction, private lesson, thesis or dissertation discussion, or independent study. Laboratory contact hours are the number of hours per week that students are required to spend in contact with faculty in an experiential situation, e.g., laboratory clinical, practicum, internship, or student teaching.

Core Curriculum

Serves as the common foundation for all majors and accounts for about 35 percent of the approximately 120 semester credit hours required for a bachelor’s degree. See the Academic Services section of the catalog for more detailed information.


A directive from a School or Department that requires a certain action be taken while enrolled in a certain course. A corequisite may be a course, permission from a faculty member, a specified classification, or additional requirements as determined by the faculty.

Course Description

Summarizes the content of the course. May include repeatability information as well as pre-requisites or co-requisites.

Course Number

Courses listed in this catalog and in the Schedule of Classes follow a four-digit numbering system. The first digit indicates the level of the course: 1-freshman, 2-sophomore, 3-junior, 4-senior, 5- and 6-masters, and 7-doctoral. The second digit indicates the number of semester credit hours. The last two digits usually indicate the sequencing of the course in the curriculum. The letter (A, B, C, etc.) at the end of a course number usually indicates a topics course whose content may vary from semester to semester.

Course Prefix

Letters preceding the course number that indicate the subject of the course. For example, CJ = Criminal Justice; ANTH = Anthropology.

Credit Hour

For purposes of this catalog and in accord with federal regulations, a credit hour is:

  • not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time;
  • at least an equivalent amount of work as outlined in the item above for other academic activities including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

A semester credit hour is defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board as a unit of measure of instruction consisting of 60 minutes, of which 50 minutes must be direct instruction over a 15-week period in a semester system. Credit hours must be presented in whole numbers. Academic administrative units are responsible for ensuring that credit hours are awarded only for work that meets this requirement. Students should expect to invest a minimum of two hours of additional work for each hour of classroom or faculty instruction per week. Additional work often includes reading, studying, writing, conducting research, meeting with tutors, and other learning activities.

Degree Audit

An advising report, through Degree Works software, that shows students progress towards their degrees. Students can request a degree audit report through the Self Service Banner for the degree program(s) in which they are enrolled or for degree programs in which they are interested. Visit for more information and a video tutorial or contact an academic advisor.

Degree Plan

Set of Texas State University courses that a student may follow in order to achieve the desired bachelor’s degree. The degree plan is a sequence of courses generally recommended for undergraduate students to ensure completion of the degree or certificate program within a four-year time frame.

Free Elective

Course(s) available to students, which are not prescribed, and are selected by students from any undergraduate course in the inventory (unless prerequisite exists).

Grade Point Average (GPA

Texas State uses a four-point system. The GPA is the total number of grade points earned divided by the number of semester hours attempted. Semester grade symbols have the following values: “A” = 4 points; “B” = 3 points; “C” = 2 points; “D” = 1 point; “F” = 0 points. Neither hours nor grades are calculated for "I" (Incomplete), "CR" (Credit), "PR" (Progress), or "W" (Withdraw). “U” (Failure Unearned) and “N” (Failure Never Attended) grades are the same as an “F” and equal 0 points.

Graduate Student

A student who has graduated with a bachelor’s degree and is returning to the university to pursue either a master’s or doctoral degree.

Graduation with Honors

Students earning a GPA of 3.40-3.59 will graduate cum laude; 3.6-3.79 will graduate magna cum laude; 3.8-4.0 will graduate summa cum laude. To be eligible for graduation with honors a student seeking a baccalaureate degree must have completed a minimum of 54 semester credit hours preceding graduation at Texas State. Graduation in the Honors College is described on p. 47.

Multicultural Course

Course identified in the catalog and schedule of classes that offers students an opportunity to enhance their multicultural competence.

Post Baccalaureate Student

Student who has completed a bachelor’s degree and returned to the university to take additional course work that will not count towards a second bachelor’s degree.


A directive from a School or Department that requires a certain action be taken before enrolling in a certain course. A prerequisite may be a course, permission from a faculty member, a specified classification, or additional requirements as determined by the faculty.

Prescribed Elective

Course(s) available to students from an approved or designated list, often seen as advanced or by course prefix.

Probation, Academic

An emphatic warning that the quality of the student’s work has not met Texas State’s minimum academic standards and that the quality must improve during the probationary semester in order for the student to continue at Texas State. A student will be placed on academic probation at the end of the fall or spring semester in which the Texas State GPA is less than 2.00. A student will be removed from academic probation at the end of any long semester or summer term if the Texas State GPA is 2.00 or higher.

Second Degree Seeking Student

Student who has completed a bachelor’s degree and returned to the university with the intention to take additional course work that will complete a second baccalaureate degree.


The Student Learning Assistance Center provides a wide range of academic support programs. Whether students are seeking help with course content, study skills, or test preparation, SLAC provides a walk-in tutoring lab, Supplemental Instruction, campus presentations, and online services.

Suspension, Academic

Imposed on students who fail to raise their GPA higher than a 2.00 at the end of the second probationary semester.


Official Texas State transcripts bear the University Seal and the University Registrar’s signature. The transcript is an official record of a student’s academic course-work.

Transfer Student

Student who has attended another institution of higher education prior to enrollment at Texas State.


The Texas Success Initiative program is a legislatively mandated program for certain college freshmen and transfer students, and is located within University College. Additional information about this program and its requirements can be found in the University College section of this catalog.

Undergraduate Student

Student enrolled in course-work with the intent of receiving a bachelor’s degree at Texas State.

Writing Intensive

Undergraduate courses for which at least 65 percent of the grade must be based on written exams or assignments, and at least one assignment must be 500 words or more in length. Writing intensive is a designation intended to address the writing policy for undergraduate degree programs.

How to Interpret a Course Entry in the Catalog

Academic courses are located alphabetically by course prefix within the school or department in which they are taught. Within each prefix, the courses are listed numerically beginning with freshman level and proceeding through senior level course-work. Graduate courses may be found in the Graduate Catalog.

Texas State reserves the right to withdraw courses at any time, to change its fees or tuition, calendar, curriculum, degree requirements, graduation procedures, and any other requirements affecting students. Changes will become effective whenever authorities determine and will apply to both prospective students and those already enrolled. Questions regarding current information should be addressed to the office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.