academic standards—Measures of scholastic excellence held by a university; most require that students maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) to continue their studies.

academic year—The university academic year at Ball State is made up of two semesters. The fall semester is from August to December. The spring semester is from January to May. It is a good idea for international students to enter U.S. universities in fall. Most new students enter at this time, so they can adjust together.

ACT—ACT Assessment; one of two standardized achievement tests (the other is the SAT) taken by U.S. high school students and international students interested in university study in the United States. Many universities have a minimum ACT requirement for admission.

assistantship—A paid graduate appointment that requires part-time teaching or research duties. Offered by Ball State offices and departments, these positions usually include a fee scholarship too.

associate degree—In some fields, an associate degree is awarded at the completion of a two year postsecondary program. Some of the courses taken for an associate degree may apply to a bachelor’s degree should a student wish to continue studies.

bachelor’s degree—The first four years of university study are known as undergraduate study and usually lead to a bachelor’s degree. All bachelor’s programs include general education in the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, and a field of specialization called the major. The major may be combined with one or two related areas of study called minors.

bursar—The university office responsible for student tuition, fees, and bill paying.

credit hour—A unit counted toward completion of an academic program. Each course is worth a number of credit hours (also known as “credits”) the number of credit hours reflects the number of hours a student spends in class for that course per week. A typical course offers 3 credit hours. Students typically take 12–15 credit hours per semester. A bachelor’s degree typically requires a total of 120–126 credit hours

doctoral degree—The doctoral degree or doctorate is the highest degree awarded in the United States. The specific name of the doctoral degree depends on the subject area; there are several types of doctoral degrees: doctor of philosophy or PhD, doctor of education or EdD, doctor of audiology or AuD, doctor of medicine or MD, and others. Generally, EdD and PhD programs require course work, comprehensive examinations, original research, and a dissertation. A minimum of three years of study is generally required beyond the master’s level. Few students, however, complete the doctoral degree in three years because of these exacting requirements.

dorm—A shortened form of the word “dormitory,” which is also known as “residence hall.” A university building where students live while going to school, often sharing bedrooms and/or common living areas.

extracurricular activities—Organized student activities connected with school and usually carrying no academic credit, such as sports, clubs, volunteer activities. Many college applications request a list of high school extracurricular activities.

fellowship—Money awarded to help pay for graduate school; fellowships sometimes cover tuition and insurance as well as provide money in exchange for teaching and research duties.

financial documentation—Proof, often in the form of official, current bank statements or certificates of deposit (however, funds must be able to be withdrawn at anytime), that students have the necessary money to study and live in the United States.

financial statement—A document issued by banks or credit companies that tracks a person’s finances, including credits and debits.
International Admissions
Carmichael Hall, Room 201
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Phone: 765-285-5422
Fax: 765-285-3710
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