URCA Glossary

Glossary of Terms

Academic adviser: a faculty member who assists students (advisees) with course selection, developing an academic plan, and providing advice regarding careers and/or graduate school.

Academic journal: a periodical publication in which research relating to a particular academic discipline is published. A peer-reviewed journal article means that experts in the field determined that the submission was a good fit with the academic journal and provided substantial feedback on the work prior to publication.

Conference:  a one-day or multiday event during which researchers present their work to each other.

Course catalog: official list of programs and courses offered at a college or university that outlines critical information about admissions and academic requirements. Mercer’s catalogs are located on the Registrar’s webpage.

Curriculum: the subjects comprising a course of study in a school or college.

Department: a division within a school or college that offers instruction in a specific subject area.

Discipline: a field of study that is taught and researched at the college or university level. An academic department and major represents a specific discipline, such as performing arts, biology, education, engineering, marketing, or psychology.

Dissemination: sharing information from a research or creative activity with a broader audience. In academics, dissemination often happens at conferences or by publishing in an academic journal.

Faculty: instructors or professors who teach college courses.

Major: a concentration of courses that is a student’s primary course of study. Students must major in a subject while in college.

Minor: a secondary course of study, typically with a concentration smaller than a major, that a student chooses to enhance his or her major or simply to pursue a subject of interest.

Office hours: the days and times that college faculty set aside to meet with students enrolled in their classes. Most often, these take place in the instructor’s office (not in the classroom). Times and locations of office hours are listed on the course syllabus.

Undergraduate: a student at a college or university who is taking classes to earn a bachelor’s  degree.

Work-study: a federal financial aid program providing part-time employment to students based on the financial need of students and available jobs within the university. Information about federal work-study at Mercer is available on the Student Financial Planning website.