Are you heading to university in the USA? How exciting! During this transition time, you will have a lot of “firsts”: your first time choosing classes and schedule, your first time attending a university lecture, your first time selecting a career path, etc. Each of these experiences will require you to learn some new vocabulary. Here are 9 English words you will need to know before you enter university in the USA.
9 Great English Words for University
Definition: To attend a class that you are not enrolled in (in order to decide if you want to take this class). This is also called a “sit in” or “sitting in.”
Example: I am going to audit a statistics class this afternoon. I can’t decide if I should take this class or a different class about research analytics.
Definition: The names for first, second, third, and fourth year students (in that order).
Example: When I was a freshman, I lived on campus. Now that I am a sophomore, I live in an apartment.
Example: I waited until my junior year to take a communications class. Now, I’m thinking about changing my major to communications!
Note: We say freshman for one person and freshmen for a group of first-year students.
Definition: A student who is not from the state where the college/university is. This person must pay a higher rate for tuition.
Example: I paid the non–resident fee for two years because I am from Florida but I attended UC Berkeley.
Definition (noun): A student who studies for two degrees.
Example: I am a double major in psychology and public health administration.
Definition (verb): The act of studying for two degrees.
Example: He is double majoring in business and Japanese.
Definition: A class where the professor speaks and teaches. Typically, in a lecture, students attend class and take notes. There may be some discussion and student participation, but the class time is mainly dedicated to the professor’s speech.
Example: I have a chemistry lecture today and then I have chem lab tomorrow.
Definition: A class that is dedicated to discussing the topics that the professor talked about in the lecture. Often, this class is led by a teaching assistant (usually someone who is getting their PhD in the subject).
Example: In discussion today we reviewed the three poems my professor taught us on Monday.
Pass/No Pass (or Pass/Fail)
Definition: An option of taking a class and receiving one of two marks: “pass” or “no pass” (also called “fail”). Students receive this grade rather than an A, B, C, D, or F.
Example: I didn’t complete the final homework assignment. I’m taking the course pass/fail, and since I already have a 95% in the class, I didn’t need to complete the final assignment.
Definition: The area of campus where students can gather, study, and socialize.
Example: I’ll meet you at the student union at 10 am.
Waitlisted/to be on a wait list
Definition: To be placed on a list for a class that has full enrollment (in hopes that some students drop the class and there will be a space open).
Example: I am waitlisted for my biology class. There are three people ahead of me. Hopefully I will get in!
Definition: To pause your studies.
Example: I am going to defer my studies until the fall because I am having some family issues that require my attention.
Definition: A record of all of the classes that you have taken and the grades you received.
Example: Where can I order and pick up my official transcript? I need it to apply for a master’s program.
Did you know that IEC@DVC offers a clear path to attending a U.S. university? Contact us to learn more about our programs, which allow students to begin taking classes at a California college. We are the clear and successful path to university in the U.S.!