Student Glossary

Utilize this helpful list of common words and phrases used in the Temple Community as you navigate your new around campus!

Academic Advising Center

Each school/college within Temple University has its own Academic Advising Center. This is the location of the offices of the Academic Advisors for each school/college and it is where students will attend advising appointments.

Academic advisor

A University employee who is committed to helping students meet their educational goals and to make informed and responsible decisions.

Academic year

Begins in August with the fall Intersession, continues through the spring semester, and concludes with the summer session.


Adjustments made in the academic setting in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. If a student thinks accommodations may be required during their time at Temple, it is important for them to contact Disability Resources and Services to register to receive accommodations.

Add/Drop period

A period during the first two weeks of the semester when a student can Add or Drop classes on their own through TUportal. During the second week of this period, instructor approval is required to add a course to your schedule.

Award letter

A list of estimated Financial Aid that will be uploaded to your TUPortal and emailed to you upon completion and review of FAFSA.

Acres of Diamonds

Russell Conwell's famous speech which is the inspiration for the university's mission. 

Bell Tower

Temple University’s iconic Bell Tower, at the heart of campus for more than 50 years, has a newly landscaped circle at the base in honor of Trustee H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is Temple's governing body, responsible for the educational mission and fiscal policies of the university. The trustees also are responsible for electing the university president, adopting an annual plan of financial operation, and establishing degrees to be awarded.


A financial administrator for a university. The bursar is responsible for billing student accounts and receiving payments. Visit Temple's Bursar's Office for Temple-specific details.


Canvas is an online resource for students to connect with professors and gain access to class materials.

Career Counselor

A member of the staff of the Temple University Career Center who can advise students on their career development, advise them with jobs and internships, and much more.

Cherry Pantry

Temple University's food pantry is available to help combat hunger in the Temple community by supplying nutritious emergency food while providing equal treatment to all who visit the pantry.

Class standing

Classifications (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior) used to indicate progress toward degree completion. This classification changes when you reach thresholds of 30, 60, and 90 completed credit hours.


Convocation at Temple University is a tradition that occurs annually during Weeks of Welcome. This formal ceremony, which follows school and college meetings, celebrates the arrival of the new class of first-year and transfer undergraduate students.


A course that must be taken during the same semester as another course.

Course load

The number of credits a student is attempting during any semester or session. The amount of credits taken within a semester could change a student's classification as a Part-Time (less than 12 credits) or a Full-Time (12-18 credits) student.

Course Registration Number (CRN)

A unique number assigned to each course offered within a session that is needed to register for the class.


Each course taken at Temple will have an assigned number of credits, normally between 1-4 per class. It is important to keep track of how many Credits you have completed and taken each semester to ensure efficient progress towards completing your degree program.


Undergraduate students and their advisors use the Degree Audit Reporting System to plan and track a student’s academic career at Temple.


Highest administrative officer of a college.

Dean’s List

Dean's List eligibility is determined by the semester grade point average (GPA) corresponding to cut-off points that will yield the top 16% of GPAs based on the five previous fall and spring semesters for each school or college. Students must have 12 graded credits (A to F grades) in order to be eligible for dean's list for the fall or the spring semesters.

Department head

Administrative officer holding faculty rank; responsible for a primary unit within an academic organization


Disability Resources and Services supports Temple University students with disabilities in accessing the multitude of opportunities and services available to them through the University.

Double major

Certain academic programs have enough space to pursue two different majors at the same time. A double major is just that - a vigorous academic schedule during which you declare two majors and graduate with a degree in both areas.

Enrollment status

The classification of a student as full-time (12-18 credits) or part-time (less than 12 credits) that may affect financial aid awards.


University employees responsible for designing and instructing academic programs.


Free Application for Federal Student Aid which allows students to input financial information to be reviewed and evaluated in order for students to receive financial aid based on their need.

Federal Work Study

A federal program offering part-time employment opportunities on campus to students pursuing a degree part-time or full-time. If you have been granted Federal Work Study, it will appear in your Financial Aid Award Letter.


FERPA: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Enacted in 1974, it protects the privacy of student education records. All educational institutions that receive federal funding must comply with FERPA.

Financial aid

Money given to students or families to assist them in paying for their education. Financial aid can be granted from federal or state governments, your University, individual schools/colleges, or private institutions.

First-generation student

A student whose parent(s) or legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor's degree and is the first in their family to attend a four-year college/university to attain a bachelor’s degree. Check out our first-gen resources.


Fraternity and Sorority Life, the University program that oversees Temple's fraternity and sorority community, consisting of 28 chapters and over 1,600 undergrad members.


An environment or community that is open to people of all gender identities.

General Education

The General Education Program serves as Temple University's liberal education requirement for all undergraduate students and provides a foundation for learning and development practices that help students succeed academically and professionally.

Grade point average (GPA)

A number between 0.0-4.0 that shows overall academic performance. Semester GPA is a measurement of one semester's academic achievement. Cumulative GPA is a measurement of academic achievement throughout the entire completion of credits to date.


Block which prohibits students from functions such as registering for courses or receiving a transcript or diploma. Most holds are due to not completing required processes or paying financial obligations.

Honors Program

All student applications will be reviewed for admittance into the Honors Program. Students from any major or college can be a part of the Honors Program at Temple.

Hooter T. Owl

Hooter is the Temple University Mascot! Catch him flying around different events on and off campus.

Howard Gittis Student Center

The HGSC plays the role of “living room” on campus, serving as a community hub for informal interaction with lounge and food service spaces and a host of other fun spots including the Game Room, the Reel Cinema, and the Graphics Media Center.


The Office of Institutional Diversity, Equality, Advocacy and Leadership (IDEAL) embodies Temple University's commitment to sustain and nurture a strong inclusive campus community.   


Independence Blue Cross Student Recreation Center located at 1701 N 15th St, Philadelphia, PA 19122.  

Leave of absence

A policy that allows students to take up to two semesters off from taking classes for personal reasons with no need to re-enroll when they restart classes at the University. Students can apply for a Leave of Absence with their Academic Advisor.


A student's selected area of focus for their studies at a University.


The status of a student who has completed all admissions requirements and has registered for classes at Temple University.


Stands for the Main Campus Program Board.  MCPB is Temple University's #1 Event Planning Student Organization. They plan events during Weeks of Welcome, Homecoming, and many other fun events on and off campus!

Meal plan

A meal plan gives students meal swipes on their OWLcard that gives them access to on-campus dining options.

Merit scholarships

Scholarships that reward academic success. Students will be considered for merit scholarships upon admission to the University.


An exam given around the midpoint of an academic semester or session.


A secondary program of study that requires completion of fewer credit hours than a major.

Night Owl Events

It's free, there's food, and it's every Friday! Come to the Student Center between 8 pm and Midnight for live performances, prizes, music, and more.  All events are co-hosted by student organizations. 

Office hours

Each professor is required to set aside time for office hours, where students can come visit them in their office. It is a great time to discuss academic issues, projects, or chat about career goals with professors.


Student's official University identification card.

Owl Ambassador

Student tour guides for Temple University through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Owl Team Leader

Owl Team Leaders are Temple University's orientation leaders who welcome incoming students and family members to the university.

Placement assessment

An assessment or group of assessments that new students may be required to take online in order to ensure that they take classes that match their abilities.


A course that must have been completed prior to registering for the next course in your academic plan.


The senior academic administrator at a college or University. This person provides supervision and oversight to the University’s curricular, instructional, and research activities. 


Resident assistant. RAs are trained undergraduate student leaders who help foster community between members of a residence hall’s floor or wing; they also keep residents safe by enforcing University policies.


When the amount of credit on your account exceeds the amount owed during any given academic session.

Residence halls

Temple has multiple residence halls servicing many on-campus students.


A university officer who is in charge of registering students and keeping academic records.


The Residence Hall Association, or RHA,  is the student-run governmental organization for Temple’s on-campus residential population.


Group of academic departments and/or programs administered by a college dean. Temple has multiple schools/colleges within the University.

Student Conduct and Community Standards

The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards is committed to working with students, faculty, and staff in an effort to create a campus community of integrity and respect. Services include administration of the Student Conduct Code and the conduct process, educational sanctioning and programming, and case consultation with students, families, faculty, and staff.  

The TECH Center

The TECH Center (Teaching, Education, Collaboration, Help) is a 75,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility with resources that cater to current learning styles. Designed with a variety of workspaces to enable students to work collaboratively or individually, the TECH Center is the largest of its kind in the nation.  

The Temple Owls

We are the Temple Owls because when Temple University was founded, it was originally a night school! The owl represents wisdom and knowledge and is known for being perceptive, resourceful, and courageous.

Temple “T”

The Temple “T” is the iconic symbol of the university that can be spotted across the university, Philadelphia, and the world! It was designed by Tyler School of Art students in 1983 and symbolizes strength and positive character. The open ends represent the free exchange of ideas that is the hallmark of a Temple education.


A document listing official grades. Required for admission into Temple and into other institutions, such as Graduate or Professional Studies institutions.

Transfer student

A student who has previously attended another University and now attends a different University. Learn more about resources for transfer students at Temple.

TUID number

A unique 9-digit number, starting with 91*******, that is assigned to every Temple University student, staff, and faculty among admission or hiring. It is important to have your TUID number at hand when calling offices within the University with questions or concerns about your experience at Temple.


TUportal is a single sign-on customized gateway for accessing Temple's major systems and managing your university information on record.

Self-service Banner

A system through TUportal that allows students to register for classes and view records such as transcripts, billing, and financial aid information.


A course layout written by the professor given to students at the beginning of a course that informs them of requirements for the completion of the class.

Wait list

When registering, if a course is full, students have the option to join the wait list, which gives them first chances to register for a spot that may open in the class later.

Weeks of Welcome

The week of and leading to the beginning of a new semester is called Weeks of Welcome! Students, organizations, faculty and other campus resources gather in the center of campus to celebrate the beginning of a new term.


 process that allows students to remove a class from their schedule after the add/drop period. Students must have a withdrawal approved by an Academic Advisor.


The Wellness Resource Center, or WRC, is an on-campus office staffed by health professionals and peer health educators (known as HEART peers) who are committed to providing comprehensive wellness education, resources, and prevention services to Temple University students.