Definitions of Academic Approval Terms

Academic Assessment Plan (AAP)

A plan that contains a program's student learning outcomes, assessment measures, assessment methods and procedures, and curriculum maps/assessment timelines.

Academic Learning Compacts (ALCs)

Academic Learning Compacts identify the skills students should acquire if they follow their major’s prescribed course of study. These skills, known collectively as Student Learning Outcomes, describe the core learning expectations that UF is required to assess for each baccalaureate degree program. Core learning expectations identify communication, critical thinking, and content knowledge skills, as well as additional learning outcomes specific to the major.

Academic Program

See Degree Program

Approval Group

The persons authorized to enter a decision (for the designated department, school, college, other academic unit, or committee) on the status of a pending approval request in the Academic Approval Tracking System.


In the Academic Approval Tracking System, this status decision advances the request to the next approval process step. When the final status is listed as Approved, the request has gone through the entire approval process and has been approved for implementation.

Also see CommentConditionally ApprovedDeniedRecycledTabled and Transferred

Base Hours

The number of hours per week the professor is in “face to face” contact with the class over a 16 week semester. For example, a typical 3 credit hour course would meet 3 hours a week and have 3 base hours. If the course does not meet over 16 weeks, the sum of the class hours is divided by 16. This is one of two basic types of contact hours (also see Headcount Hours). See Contact Type for the conversions used to determine contact hours.


The Florida Board of Governors.


The UF Board of Trustees.

Branch Campus

A location of an institution that is geographically apart and independent of the main campus of the institution. A location is independent of the main campus if the location is (1) permanent in nature; (2) offers courses in educational programs leading to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential; (3) has its own faculty and administrative or supervisory organization; and ( 4) has its own budgetary and hiring authority.

Catalog Year

The university catalog in effect at the time of a student's first enrollment, which governs course prerequisites, co-requisites and graduation requirements for a particular academic year.

Category of Instruction

  • 1000 and 2000 level = Introductory undergraduate. Require no prerequisites and are general in nature.
  • 3000 level = Intermediate undergraduate. Require some prior preparation in a related area.
  • 4000 level = Advanced undergraduate. Require specific competencies or knowledge relevant to the topic prior to enrollment.
  • 5000 level = Introductory graduate. Require no prerequisites and are general in nature.
  • 6000 level = Intermediate graduate. Require some prior preparation in a related area.
  • 7000 level = Advanced graduate. Require specific competencies or knowledge relevant to the topic prior to enrollment.

Certificate Program

An organized curriculum of college credit courses offered as a distinct area of study that leads to specific educational or occupational goals, and for which the university awards a certificate upon completion. College credit certificate programs may consist of courses that are part of a degree program or distinct courses that are created outside of any degree program. [BOG Regulation 8.011] 

CIP Code

Six-digit codes (in the form XX.XXXX) that each represent a specific instructional program in the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP), which is maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics. The CIP provides a taxonomic scheme that supports the accurate tracking and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity and should be included with most actions related to degree program creation, modification, or other change.

Combined Degree Program

Allows academically advanced undergraduate students to take graduate courses before completing the bachelor’s degree and to "double-count" a specified number of graduate credits toward both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree (if admitted into the graduate program). May only be created from existing, already-approved programs.


In the Academic Approval Tracking System, this status decision maintains the request at the same approval process step but allows text to be entered into the comment field by the approval group.

Also see ApprovedConditionally ApprovedDeniedRecycledTabled and Transferred

Common Prerequisites

A list of common prerequisite courses for every degree program, the purpose of which is to provide students, especially those who plan to transfer between institutions, with information regarding the courses that they will need to take to be admitted into upper division programs. The list applies to all public Florida postsecondary institutions. Common prerequisites for new degree programs and exceptions for specific existing programs or program tracks must be approved by the Florida Department of Education's Oversight Committee and Articulation Coordinating Committee. The Common Prerequisites Counseling Manual is a centralized compilation of program prerequisites.

When a note in the manual indicates that an "equivalent" course will substitute for a common prerequisite, the eligible course will be determined by the Florida public community college or university where the student is currently earning the Associate in Arts or Baccalaureate degree.  Institutions may approve as a substitution for a common prerequisite program course a comparable course which contains an advanced treatment of the material required in the common prerequisite course. Determination that the course is more advanced will be made by the department offering the course at the receiving institution.


A concentration is a sub-major within a graduate major program, or a sub-major within the undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies major. Concentrations for graduate major programs print on the transcript when the degree and major are awarded, but do not appear on diplomas. Concentrations within the undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies major will print on both the transcript and the diploma.

Conditionally Approved

In the Academic Approval Tracking System, this status decision returns the request to the approval group at the preceding process step. This decision by the UCC typically indicates that if the recommended changes are made the request will be approved by UCC staff without requiring another review by the full committee.

Also see ApprovedCommentDeniedRecycledTabled and Transferred

Contact Hours

Used by the BOG to describe the time spent by instructors either meeting with students in scheduled sessions, such as in classes (see Base Hours) or providing instruction through courses that involve contact between the student and the professor on an individual basis (see Headcount Hours). UF recognizes the following contact types and base/headcount hours per credit over a 16-week term:

  • Regularly Scheduled [base hr]
  • Thesis/Dissertation Supervision [1.0 headcount hr]
  • Directed Individual Studies [0.5 headcount hr]
  • Supervision of Student Interns  [0.8 headcount hr]
  • Supervision of Teaching/Research [0.5 headcount hr]
  • Supervision of Cooperative Education [0.8 headcount hr]


Requirements that must be taken concurrently with the course. Co-requisites are not checked automatically by the course registration system but may be enforced by departments manually.

Course Description

A brief narrative description of the course content published in the Academic Catalog

Course Level

A one digit code preceding the course number that indicates level (e.g., 1=freshman, 2=sophomore, etc.) at which the course is taught. This is the first digit of the four digits that follow the course prefix (e.g., ENC1101). Note that Course Level is not synonymous with Degree Level.

Course Number

A three digit code indicating the specific content of the course based on the SCNS taxonomy and course equivalency profiles. For new course request forms, this may be XXX until SCNS assigns an appropriate number.

Course Prefix

The three letter code of a course that indicates placement of course within the discipline. Example: POS, ATR, ENC. The code is assigned by SCNS as part of the course approval process.


The recognition of completion of an organized curriculum offered as part or all of an academic program. A single degree may contain multiple majors leading to different degree types. For example a bachelor’s degree program in a given area of study (as defined by the CIP code) may offer both BS and BA degrees. (BOG Regulation 8.011)

Degree Code

A UF-assigned code that identifies which degree will be awarded upon completion of academic program requirements. Common examples are BA for Bachelor of Arts, BS for Bachelor of Science, MA for Master of Arts, and PHD for Doctor of Philosophy.

Degree Level

The following degree levels are offered at UF: Bachelor's Degree (B), Master's Degree (M), Research Doctoral Degree (D), Specialist Degree (S), Engineer Degree (E), Professional Doctorate (P).

Degree Name

The full form of any given degree. For example, "Bachelor of Science" (BS), "Doctor of Philosophy" (PhD), and "Master of Occupational Therapy" (MOT).

Degree Program

An organized curriculum leading to a degree in an area of study recognized as an academic discipline by the higher education community, as demonstrated by assignment of a single CIP code that is approved by UF and the BOG. [BOG Regulation 8.011(2)]

Each degree program shall include at least one program major but may have multiple majors. Individual majors are not listed in the State University System Academic Degree Program Inventory. A single degree program may contain many majors, and these may lead to different degree types. For example if a degree program has been approved by the BOT for a BS in Tree Surgery, a BA degree in Tree Surgery Practice could be offered under the same program by creating a new BA major if it shares common core courses with the BS. The major would need to be approved by the Provost, but not by the BOT.

All degree programs (and degree program majors) must have associated Academic Learning Compacts and Student Learning Outcomes.

Also see Program Major

Degree Type

Each degree level has multiple degree types. For example, the Bachelor's degree includes the BA, BS, BFA, BDes and BM.

Delivery Platform

The method by which courses are delivered. Courses may be offered on the main campus in a face-to-face format (traditional delivery system), or via non-traditional delivery, incuding off main campus in a face-to-face format, fully online, online with onsite meetings on the main campus, online with onsite meetings off main campus, and self-paced instruction.


In the Academic Approval Tracking System, this status decision ends the approval tracking process for that request. Note that all data and documents associated with the request up to the denial decision are retained in the system and remain searchable.

To restart the request, it must be resubmitted as a new request, typically after correcting any errors or deficiencies that resulted in the initial request being denied.

Also see ApprovedCommentConditionally ApprovedRecycledTabled and Transferred

Department Code (DEP Code)

See OUR Department Code

Department ID

Eight-digit code identifying a department and division/subdivision. The first two digits indicate the college, the second two digits indicate the department, and the last four digits indicate the division/subdivision. Note that this is different from the OUR Department Code.

Department Number

See OUR Department Code

Effective Term and Year

The term and year requested for when the course will first be offered or the changes in a curriculum first implemented. The effective year and term should reflect the department’s expectations. However, courses cannot be implemented or changed retroactively; the actual effective term cannot be prior to SCNS approval, which must be obtained prior to the first day of classes for the effective term. SCNS approval could take between 1 and 4 weeks.


A sub-major program within an undergraduate major program that prints on the transcript when the degree and major are awarded.

Also see Sub-major

External Consultations

External consultations should be performed if the proposed course has the potential to overlap with or provides similar competencies as a course in another department and there is no agreement between the two departments to co-list the course. For example, one department may feel that the course content should be exclusive to their department and must be consulted before a similar course is approved.

Please see the External Consultations webpage, for more information.

Headcount Hours

Typically used instead of Base Hours when the course involves contact between the student and the professor on an individual basis. For example a professor overseeing an independent study, individual work, or supervised research course would need to report headcount hours. This is one of two basic types of contact hours (also see Base Hours). See Contact Type for the conversions used to determine contact hours.

Contact the Office of Institutional Planning and Research (352-392-0456) with questions regarding contact hours.

Individual Student Assessment

The different ways in which UF measures whether students have successfully completed the learning outcomes for a major. These assessments can include a passing score on a particular test or final project, term paper, portfolio, etc.

Instructional Site

The SACSCOC defines an instructional site as an institutional location that provides fifty percent or more of at least one program. The Florida BOG provides a different definition. Namely, BOG Regulation 8.0009 states that an " instructional site is defined as a temporary instructional unit of a university, apart from the main campus, that provides a limited range of instructional programs or courses leading to a college degree, in facilities not owned by the institution."

Lab Code

A "C" or "L" after the course number is known as a lab indicator. The C represents a combined lecture and laboratory course that meets in the same place at the same time. The L represents a laboratory course or the laboratory part of a course that has the same prefix and course number but meets at a different time or place. A laboratory course is usually associated with a theory (lecture) course with the same prefix and number.


See Course Level or Degree Level, as appropriate


See Program Major

Major Code

Unique two or three letter code that identifies the major in the student records system. For example, ATG = Accounting, AEC = Agricultural Education and Communication, AL = Animal Sciences.


A minor is an organized undergraduate curriculum that demonstrates a student has completed a significant body of work outside the undergraduate major. It is offered as part of a degree program and enhances or complements the degree in a manner which leads to specific educational or occupational goals.

OUR Department Code

Nine-digit number used by the Office of the University Registrar to associate a course with the department responsible for teaching it. Also referred to as the Department Number. Note that this is distinct from the Department ID Code. Contact the Office of Instructional Planning and Research if the appropriate OUR Department Code for any request is unclear.


See Course Prefix


Requirements that must be satisfied prior to enrollment in the course. Upper division courses must have proper prerequisites to target the appropriate audience for the course. The prerequisite will be published in the Academic Catalog and must be formulated so that it can be enforced in the registration system.

To formulate a prerequisite:

  • Use “&” and “or” to conjoin multiple requirements (do not use commas, semicolons, etc.)
  • Use parentheses to specify groupings in multiple requirements.
  • Specifying a course prerequisite (without specifying a grade) assumes the required passing grade is D-. In order to specify a different grade, include the grade in parentheses immediately after the course number. For example, "MAC 2311(B)" indicates that students are required to obtain a grade of B in Calculus I. "MAC2311" by itself would only require a grade of D-.
  • Enumerate all majors or minors included (if all majors in a college are acceptable the college code is sufficient).
  • "Permission of department” is always an option so it should not be included in any prerequisite or co-requisite.
  • Prerequisites will be automatically checked for each student attempting to register for the course.

For Example: A grade of C in HSC 3502, passing grades in HSC 3057 or HSC 4558, and major/minor in PHHP should be written as follows:

HSC 3502(C) & (HSC 3057 or HSC 4558) & (HP college or (HS or CMS or DSC or HP or RS minor))

Professional Program

Professional programs are defined as JD, MD, DDS, VMD, and PharmD. Certain other programs (including nursing and audiology) are considered professional but are not designated as such on the BOG curriculum inventory.


See Degree Program

Program Major

An organized curriculum offered as part or all of an existing or proposed degree program. A (degree) program major shall be reasonably associated with the degree program under which it is offered and shall share common core courses with any other majors within the same degree program. Although in some cases the major and the degree program names are synonymous, only the degree program shall be assigned a CIP Code and shall be included in the BOG Academic Degree Program Inventory as a stand-alone program. [BOG Regulation 8.011(2)]

All program majors (and academic programs/degree programs) must have associated Academic Learning Compacts and Student Learning Outcomes.


In the Academic Approval Tracking System, this status decision returns the request to the approval group in the preceding approval process step. This decision usually indicates that the requestor must modify the request by uploading revised documents and/or forms, after which the request can again be considered by the approval group to which the request was recycled.

Also see ApprovedCommentConditionally ApprovedDeniedTabled, and Transferred

Repeatable Credit Course

Courses that may be taken by a student multiple times for credit. Requests for repeatable credit courses must indicate the maximum number of total repeatable credits allowed per student. Some courses, such as independent study courses will also have variable topics. Students may be allowed to repeat these courses as long as the content is different.

Rotating Topic Course

A course with varying topics depending on when it is offered.


Statewide Course Numbering System for the Florida Department of Education (


A specialization is an organized undergraduate curriculum within an undergraduate major. It is offered as part of a major and enhances or complements the major in a manner which leads to specific educational or occupational goals. The number of credit hours for the specialization may not exceed the number of credit hours established for the program major.

In the student records system, specializations are coded as sub-majors. Also see Sub-major

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Specific statements of what students will know and be able to do at the completion of their program. Student Learning Outcomes address three domains – Content Knowledge, Critical Thinking, and Communication. (BOG Regulation 8.016)


In courses with this designation, students receive a final grade of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. Courses are entered into the UF curriculum inventory as letter-graded or S-U, and therefore a course may not have both options.


An organized undergraduate, graduate, or professional curriculum that demonstrates a student has completed a significant body of work within a major. Sub-majors are frequently referred to as tracks, since the student records system stores the two or three-letter sub-major code for a student in the “Track” field. 

Sub-majors do not print on diplomas (with the exception of undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies major concentrations), but may print on the official transcript with an awarded degree and major. When printed on a transcript, sub-majors appear as an Emphasis, Concentration, or Track.

Also see ConcentrationEmphasis and Track


In the Academic Approval Tracking System, this status decision maintains the request at the current approval process step, typically for later review by the approval group.

Also see ApprovedCommentConditionally ApprovedDeniedRecycled and Transferred

Teach-Out Plan

The written plan and subsequent process by which the University provides instructional and academic support services to students enrolled at a site that has been closed and/or in a degree, major, minor or certificate that has been discontinued. The teach-out process often extends well beyond the termination date (the date on which the site or program is closed permanently to admissions) to allow time for enrolled students to complete their programs in a reasonable amount of time. The plan must provide for the equitable treatment of students if an institution, or an institutional location that provides fifty percent or more of at least one program, ceases to operate before all students have completed their program of study.


A specialization within programs in the College of Nursing that prints on transcripts but does not print on diplomas. These are termed tracks instead of concentrations or emphases due to specific licensing requirements for nurses.

Also see Sub-major


In the Academic Approval Tracking System, this status decision allows the request to be redirected to another approval group. Upon transfer, the request will become a pending request at the new group but will remain at the same step in the approval process. It is typically used by department approval groups if the submitter (the person who initiates a request) selects an incorrect initial department.

Transfers may only occur between approval groups at the same level. These levels are 1) Department Approver, 2) College Approver, 3) Faculty Senate Committee or Council Approver, and 4) Office of the Provost Approver.

Also see ApprovedCommentConditionally ApprovedDeniedRecycled and Tabled