Graduate Lingo


Learning the longhorn lingo may take a little time, but it's worth the effort.

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Ad Hoc Interdisciplinary Program

Students may propose to construct an ad hoc interdisciplinary doctoral program that draws on the intellectual resources of several graduate programs and involves faculty members from more than one school or college, allowing students who have been admitted to a graduate program to design a course of study that does not fit into an existing degree plan.

Changes in a student's schedule are accomplished by adding or dropping courses. The procedures for adding and dropping courses can be found in the graduate student catalog.

Admission with Conditions
With the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies, a program may admit a student who does not meet the Graduate School's minimum standards for admission. A conditional admission may require the student to maintain a certain grade point average (GPA) or take a certain number of semester hours of coursework or meet other academic criteria in order to continue on in the program.

Various teaching, research and academic assistantships are awarded by academic departments. The positions are designed for a specific service determined by the department. International students and non-resident students may pay resident tuition and fees if the assistantship is related to the student's degree program.

This can be a financial (i.e. a library fine) or a non-financial (i.e. advising) restriction that prohibits a student from registering until it has been cleared.

The university's official mascot, a longhorn steer, accompanies the Longhorn football team to all home and many out-of-town games.

Big 12
UT Austin is a part of the southern division of the Big 12 athletic conference with Baylor University, Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University and University of Oklahoma. Schools in the northern division include Kansas State University, University of Colorado, Iowa State University, University of Kansas, University of Missouri and University of Nebraska.

Bursar's Office
Also known as the Cashier's Office or Student Accounts Receivable, this is where students may pay their fee bills or pick up student employment checks.

If registration is withdrawn, or cancelled, by a student before the first class day of any semester, a full refund of tuition and required fees minus a $15 matriculation fee is issued. A student may initiate a cancellation of registration by contacting the Graduate School.

Cashier's Office
The Cashier's Office is also known as the Student Accounts Receivable and the Bursar's Office, where students may pay their fee bills, clear bars or pick up student employment checks.

Confirming Registration
Students who have a "zero amount due reflected on their fee bill due to financial assistance they are receiving must complete, or confirm, their registration via the Web or by submitting their fee bill showing a "zero amount due to the cashier's office by 5 p.m. on the day their registration is processed to avoid a cancellation of registration for nonpayment.

Course Schedule
The course schedule lists the courses to be offered each semester, including time, location, unique number and instructor, as well as other essential registration information and instructions. It is currently available online through the registrar's Web site. Printed course schedules are no longer available for purchase.

The University Co-Op has several locations in Austin. The main location is at 2246 Guadalupe St., directly across from the West Mall. Partially owned and operated by students, faculty and staff of the university, the Co-op sells UT Austin clothing, textbooks, magazines and has a camera department, as well as a service center for paying bills, shipping packages and more.

The Daily Texan

The award-winning student-run newspaper on campus.

Each college and school is headed by a dean. The academic dean for all graduate students is Judith H. Langlois, Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies ad interim.

The Drag
This refers to Guadalupe Street, in general, and the portion of Guadalupe running between Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (MLK Boulevard) and West Dean Keeton Street, in particular. The University Co-op, fast food establishments, clothing stores and more are located on the drag.

Dual Degree Programs
Dual degree programs are structured so that a student can pursue graduate work in two fields and fulfill the requirements of two degrees; in programs leading to two master's degrees, the degrees are awarded simultaneously.

East Mall

The area east of the Main Building between Speedway Avenue and the bus circle on East 23rd Street.

EID (Electronic Identity)
The UT EID and password enable students to use secure UT Austin Web services such as Registrar's Online Services (ROSE) registration, tuition and fee bill calculation, student address update and ticket draws for intercollegiate athletic events. Students can activate their UT EID and password online or when they get their student ID.

Explore UT
Each March the university hosts the biggest open house in Texas. Students, faculty and staff showcase UT Austin's literary and art collections; dance, music and theater talents; and cutting edge scientific research for Texans of all ages.

Abbreviation for the Peter T. Flawn Academic Center located on the West Mall next to the Main (MAI) Building. The FAC offers a student lounge, the University ID Center and the Campus Computer Store.

University fellowships, which are administered through the Graduate School, are administered to new and continuing graduate students in most academic areas.

Forty Acres
The original UT Austin campus was on 40 Acres surrounding what is now the Tower. This is the area framed by 24th Street, Speedway Avenue, 21st Street and Guadalupe Street.

General Information Catalog
This refers to the booklet published by the Official Publications Division of the Registrar's Office. It provides information regarding general admission requirements, registration and fees, academic policies and procedures, student affairs, libraries and other academic resources. It can be purchased at campus area bookstores or viewed online.

Gone To Texas
This celebration takes place on the Main Mall the night before classes start each fall. It serves as the official welcome to The University of Texas at Austin.

Grade Status
Graduate courses may be offered on a letter grade basis or on a credit/no credit (CR/NC) basis. Students may verify the grade status of a course offering in the course schedule. With the graduate adviser's consent, a student may change his or her grade status in a course through the deadline published in the course schedule.

Grade Reports
Students can view final grades through UT Direct using their EID or request that a printed grade report be sent at the end of the semester. Printed grade reports are mailed to the student at the address the student requests.

Graduate Adviser
Each graduate program has a faculty member designated to advise students and represent the Graduate School in matters pertaining to graduate study. The graduate adviser makes administrative decisions at the departmental level that pertain to university policy and serves as a liaison to the Graduate School.

Graduate Assembly
This group is comprised of 31 faculty members elected by Committees on Graduate Studies, six student members, and 17 ex officio members, including the president, the executive vice president and provost, the dean of the Graduate School, and others.  The Graduate Assembly can legislate on all matters having to do with the academic character of the graduate program of The University of Texas at Austin.  It is primarily involved with determining minimum criteria for graduate admission and continuation, approving new graduate programs, evaluating existing graduate programs, recommending the abolition or substantial modification of existing graduate programs, setting policy concerning graduate student programs and student welfare, and setting policy concerning graduate student support.

Graduate Catalog
This refers to the book published by the Official Publications Division of the Registrar's Office that lists many requirements and policies of the Graduate School, as well as specific information about each degree program. The Graduate Catalog is the authoritative source of information regarding graduate study at the university. It contains degree requirements for all graduate fields of study, rules that affect graduate students, description of graduate courses and a list of graduate faculty members.

Graduate Coordinator
The graduate coordinator is a staff member who assists the graduate adviser and other faculty members in the administration of the program, as well as provides student services to graduate students in the department. This is the staff member most graduate students get to know best because they are the first departmental contact on many issues.

Graduate and International Admissions Center
The Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) is the part of the Office of Admissions that processes all the applications, transcripts and various other credentials for all graduate and international students.  The GIAC staff works with universities from all over the world to evaluate student transcripts and collect the necessary paperwork to make sure a student's admission to UT is as smooth as possible.

Graduate Research Assistant (GRA)
A graduate research assistant is a student academic employment appointment held by a graduate student to assist a faculty member with research related to the student's field of study.

Graduate Student Assembly
The Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) has been the official representative body for graduate students since 1994. GSA addresses issues that are important to graduate students and reports administratively to the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies.

Graduate Studies Committee
Each department has a committee made up of primarily tenured and tenure-track faculty who make decisions about the coursework students must complete. The Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) also approves the qualifying examinations students must pass and determines general academic policy pertaining to earning a graduate degree.

Hook 'em / Hook 'em Horns
The hand symbol, resembling the head of a longhorn, UT Austin fans use to show their school spirit. Introduced in 1955 by Harley Clark, the hand signal was an instant hit.

IF Account
An individually funded computer account allows you to access campus computer labs and printers  and obtain other computer services.

In Absentia Registration
Students must be registered for the semester in which they graduate and must apply for graduation by the deadline published in the academic calendar. An exception is made for students who apply to graduate in the summer session and miss the deadline for acceptance of the thesis, report, recital, dissertation or treatise, but complete degree requirements prior to the fall semester. In this case, the student may be registered in absentia for the fall semester by degree evaluators in the Graduate School. The fee for in absentia registration is $25.

International office
The International Office coordinates and administers programs that serve international students, faculty members, staff members and visitors to the university community, as well as university students going abroad.

Broadcasting from atop the UT Tower, KVR-TV is a completely student-run low-power commercial television station. KVR's over-the-air signal reaches homes in central and east Austin over VHF channel 9. In addition, KVR is available 24 hours a day in on-campus dormitories and is simulcast over Time Warner Cable during certain hours of the day.

KUT Radio
KUT Austin is licensed by the FCC to the Board of Regents of The University of Texas and operates as a department within the College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin.  The local station offers national public radio and local news and music.  For a schedule of programming go to

Late Registration
The period of late registration is given in the course schedule. During this period, a student may register with the consent of the graduate adviser. Late fees are assessed during late registration periods. Students must pay their fee bills or confirm their zero bills by 5 p.m. on the day their late registration is processed or their registration will be cancelled. Signatures required for late registration vary based on the timing of the request.

Leave of Absence
Graduate students may request a leave of absence from their degree program for up to two long semesters. A student on approved leave must apply for readmission in order to return to the university, but readmission during the approved period is automatic and the application fee is waived. Requests for leaves of absence require the approval of the graduate adviser and, in the case of doctoral candidates, the graduate dean.

Minority Liaison Officers
Minority liaison officers are faculty members who have been appointed by their departments or programs to act as a resource for enrolled and prospective minority students. In addition they act as advisers and advocates for enrolled minority students.

Optional Fees
These fees are charges for programs and services not included when a student pays tuition and required fees. Optional fees include Longhorn All-Sports Package, Department of Theatre and Dance tickets, Cactus yearbook, parking permits, Performing Arts Center/Tix for Six and the Analecta literary journal.

Office of the Ombudsperson
The ombudsperson serves as a neutral third party providing assistance to students who have university-related complaints of a non legal nature. The ombudsperson is authorized to investigate grievances involving both academic and nonacademic concerns and to recommend corrective measures. All assistance provided by the office is confidential and is available by phone or in person.

Personal Computer Account
This computer account, also known as an IF account, allows you to access campus computer labs and printers and subscribe to many computer services.

Portfolio Programs
Portfolio programs are opportunities for students to obtain certification in a cross-disciplinary academic area of inquiry while they are completing the requirements for a master's or doctoral degree in a particular discipline. A portfolio program usually consists of four thematically related graduate courses and a research presentation. For master's portfolio programs, a practical experience related to the portfolio program may replace the presentation.

"Q" Drop
A notation appearing on a students' transcript when they drop a class after the 12th class day. Refunds are not issued for courses that are Q-dropped.

Registrar's Office
This office oversees registration; maintains and certifies student records; issues diplomas and transcripts; and publishes catalogs, course schedules and final exam schedules.

Required Fees
Students enrolled at UT Austin are automatically assessed certain fees including but not limited to library fee, student services fee, Texas Union fee, information technology fee, recreational sports fee, student health fee and general purpose fee. Additionally, newly admitted students must pay the one-time general property deposit that is assessed upon entry to the university.

Restricted Directory Information
Currently enrolled students may request that their directory information, including information such as name, address, phone number and enrollment information not be made available to the public by contacting the Office of the Registrar during the first 12 days of any long semester or the first 4 days of any summer semester.

ROSE (Registrar's Online Services)
This Web site allows students to access course schedules, class availability, class listings, final exam schedules and grade reports. Students also can update their addresses, view an interactive degree audit and register for classes.

Short-Term Loan
The university provides short-term emergency or tuition loans to students. Emergency loans are cash loans, normally for one month, and are designed to be repaid in full on or before the due date. Tuition loans, which have a one to three month repayment period, must be applied to a student's fee bill. Any subsequent refund or tuition and/or fee payment must be applied to a cash or tuition loan regardless of the due date of the loan.

The Six-Pack
A group of six buildings on the South Mall: Parlin, Batts, Benedict, Mezes, Calhoun and Rainey.

South Mall
The area directly south of the Tower, surrounded by Parlin, Batts, Mezes, Calhoun, Benedict and Rainey. Students are often found here studying, playing frisbee or relaxing with friends.

Speedway Mall
This section of Speedway Avenue is closed to traffic between 24th Street and Inner Campus Drive. Student organizations and university departments set up tables and hold special events in this central-campus alternative to the West Mall.

Student Health Insurance Program
Administered by University Health Services (UHS), this program provides optional low-cost group health insurance to students at UT Austin who are not covered through other insurance programs.  Additional information is available at University Health Services.

Student Identification Card
Every student is required to have a university identification card (student ID).  The card may be obtained after the student's first registration or at summer orientation.  The student ID card is required for many purposes, including use of the libraries and University Health Services; it also may be used to draw tickets for or to be admitted to intercollegiate athletic events as well as other special events. The cost of a UT ID is $10. This one-time fee must be paid in addition to tuition and fees. Lost UT ID cards may be replaced for an additional $10 charge.

Student Liability Insurance
Students must show evidence of student liability insurance when enrolled in field experience courses that use off-campus facilities, if such facilities require the insurance.

Teaching Assistant (TA)
A teaching assistant is a graduate student academic employment appointment which allows a graduate student to work within a specific academic department to assist a faculty member with teaching courses related to the graduate student's field of study.

Texas Union
Known as the "living room" of the university, the Texas Union offers lounges, meeting rooms, student organizational offices, fast food services, a large ballroom and an art gallery. The Texas Union also houses the famous Cactus Cafe, plus an underground billiards and bowling hall.

The Tower
Also known as the Main Building, the Tower stands 307 feet tall. It houses the Graduate School, the President's Office, the Registrar's Office, the Cashier's office, an information desk and other administrative offices. The Tower remains one of the best-known symbols of the university.

UT Direct
This is a personal Web interface for each student to conduct university business and view online course sites. Students can customize their own personal page, access e-mail and schedules, pay fee bills, renew library books and track news and events.

The UT EID is a student's personal electronic identifier used to access many computer services at UT. The UT EID provides convenience and security for online university transactions. Students also can use their UT EID to register online, claim a university e-mail address and much more.

Warning Status
A graduate student who is in "Warning Status" has failed to maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA), make satisfactory progress in fulfilling any admission conditions, or meet any requirement outlined by the Graduate Studies Committee. Once on Warning Status, a graduate student will have one semester or summer session to raise his or her GPA to a 3.0, the minimum GPA for all graduate students, or the student is dismissed from the Graduate School.

A file storage system that provides up to 150 megabytes of disk space to store copies of important documents, to publish a personal home page or to share files. The service is available to all UT students, faculty and staff.

West Mall
This is the open area surrounded by the Flawn Academic Center, the Texas Union, the West Mall Building and the Architecture Building. Student organizations set up tables to recruit new members, and rallies are often held in the rally space on the steps of the Tower from noon to 1 p.m. on weekdays.

Wireless and Wired Network Access
Many buildings and public areas on campus have publicly accessible wired (Ethernet) and wireless access points installed. Students with a wireless compatible or Ethernet-equipped device can access the Internet from many campus hot spots simply by logging in with their UT EID.

Dropping an entire course load constitutes a withdrawal from the university for that semester. Graduate students can withdraw through the last day of class for the current semester.

When your current or future semester enrollment is cancelled or zapped when tuition and fees are not paid by the posted deadline.


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