Graduate Studies Glossary

Terminology Index

Academics

Catalog: A multi-page document that lists the courses taught at a school by discipline, complete with a brief description of each course. See graduate department for specific information/ most recent graduate catalog.

Catalog Year: The year that a student began studying at a particular institution. If a student begins university in Fall 2020, their catalog year is 2020-2021. Students are expected to follow the curriculum requirements that were in effect for that particular school year. See graduate department for specific information.

Canvas: The learning management platform that provides students and faculty connection to each other and course content

Credentials: Each degree earned is designated on a separate diploma and transcript block. A major is associated with a degree and is typically designated on the diploma after the degree or reflected as part of the degree title.

Credit Requirements: Generally, minimum credits are required for each degree type (e.g., 120 credits for a bachelor’s degree, 30 for a master’s degree, etc.).

Defense: Final examination of a graduate student’s thesis or dissertation by informed questioners to determine the accuracy and significance of their research.

Department: A division of the college that gives focus to a particular subject.

Dual Degree: An approved combined or integrated curriculum for two degrees (typically at the graduate or professional levels) in complementary fields of study. Typically, students earn both degrees in less time than if each degree is pursued individually. Each degree earned is designated on a separate diploma.

Field of Study (FOS): The area in which a student is specializing. See degree programs.

Full-Time-Equivalent (FTE): A measure of the work effort expected for the specific appointment. One full-time- equivalent, or 1.0 FTE, is a workload approximately equivalent to 40 hours per week. Fractions of an FTE have workload expectations in hours that are approximately fractional to this 1.0 FTE level. For example, an appointment at the level of 0.5 FTE would have an expected workload of approximately 20 hours per week.

Graduate Study Committee (GSC): The committee chosen by the Dean of Graduate Studies to evaluate the thesis.

Major: Primary area of study that can lead to a degree through coursework; the subject area in which a student pursuing a college degree develops the greatest depth of knowledge, competence, and understanding (also referred to as an academic plan, program of study or degree plan).

Major Requirement: Required coursework and non- coursework requirements specific to the major.

Minor: A program consisting of 9-12 credit hours that expands student course work into another area of specialty.

Non-degree Seeking: Students who take courses without the goal of attaining a degree.

Research Proposal: Description of the research the student intends to undertake which will then be turned into a thesis.

Admissions

 

Admitted Student: A student who has been offered admission to the university by the Office of Admissions.

Admissions to Candidacy: Form for PhD candidates to signal the end of their research and preparedness for their thesis.

Accredited: A label applied to an educational institution by an official agency, association or ministry of education recognizing it for maintaining standards that qualify graduates for consideration for admission to higher or more specialized institutions.

Academic Calendar: A calendar resource for important dates and deadlines for all things related to course registration, add/drop, withdrawing, financial aid, tuition and bill due dates, and requirement documentation.

Credit Requirements: Generally, minimum credits are required for each degree type (e.g., 120 credits for a bachelor’s degree, 30 for a master’s degree, etc.).

Catalog: A multi-page document that lists the courses taught at a school by discipline, complete with a brief description of each course. See graduate department for specific information/ most recent graduate catalog.

Degree Plan: Identifies the requirements and list of courses and sequence of courses needed to fulfill the degree program.

Doctoral Degree: The highest academic degree awarded by universities. In most fields and countries, it serves as a research degree that qualifies the holder to teach at university level (doctorate, doctor’s degree or doctoral program).

Duolingo English Test: English proficiency test for international students.

Field of Study (FOS): The area in which a student is specializing. See degree programs.

Graduate Records Examinations (GRE): The generalized test to determine the admissibility of students.

Graduate Study Committee (GSC): The committee chosen by the Dean of Graduate Studies to evaluate the thesis.

IELTS: English Proficiency test for international students.

Interdisciplinary: Relating to more than one area of study or discipline.

MultiPass: The student’s username and password that allows access to all Mines accounts.

Oredigger Promise: The Student and faculty promise to adhere to Covid-19 protocols.

TOEFL: English proficiency test for international students.

Advising

Advisor: The faculty member appointed by a department or chosen by a student to mentor and guide a student through the completion of a graduate degree.

Course: Defines the curriculum and content of a field of study and course number. Established in the Course Inventory and needed to create classes in the Course Schedule.

Credit Requirements: Generally, minimum credits are required for each degree type (e.g., 120 credits for a bachelor’s degree, 30 for a master’s degree, etc.).

Degree Plan: Identifies the requirements and list of courses and sequence of courses needed to fulfill the degree program.

Thesis Advisor: Both Master’s and Ph.D. students choose a thesis advisor who guides them through the thesis process.

Attendance Cost And Funding

 

Assistantship: A merit-based, university-funded award whereby a student receives a financial stipend for services rendered; may include a tuition scholarship.

Differential Tuition Award: Differential tuition is the difference in dollars between non-resident and resident tuition. The differential tuition award is an institutional fellowship program that provides this tuition difference as part of the graduate appointment. If a student is eligible for a differential tuition award, the difference between non-resident and resident tuition is provided by Mines and, therefore, does not have to be provided by the Department, Division or Faculty member. The differential tuition award is intended to remove any financial disincentive for researchers to provide support to non-resident graduate students.

Fellowship: Money given to student with no expectations of work in return (varies according to department or source of funding)

Graduate Assistant: Student employment for graduate students that fall under Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships.

Graduate Hourly Appointments: Students who work part-time on campus in areas unrelated to their area of study.

In-state Tuition: The cost of classes for people from Colorado or WICHE.

Institutional Implementation Commitments: These are part of the Graduate Assistant, Graduate Hourly and Fellowship awarding process. These forms must be submitted to student.contracts@mines.edu by the appointing department, division or PI each semester an appointment is active. These spreadsheets specify how Mines is to financially implement the contract. A student signed copy of the implementation form represents the Student Agreement form and a copy should be sent to the Office of Human Resources.

Insurance Remission: Departments, Divisions or PI’s may choose to pay, as part of the appointment, the mandatory health insurance of the appointee. This payment is referred to as insurance remission.

Mandatory Fee Remission: Departments, Divisions or PI’s may choose to pay, as part of the appointment, the mandatory fees of the appointee. This payment is referred to as mandatory fee remission.

Reduced Registration: To maintain full-time status, appointees must typically register for 9 credit hours per semester. Upon completion of specific requirements and submission of the appropriate paperwork, appointees may be eligible for full-time registration at a reduced number of credit hours. Please see the Graduate Catalog for specifics on the requirements of eligibility for reduced registration.

Research Assistantship: A graduate assistantship that is overseen by faculty members to perform research that is associated with the students area of study. These are often supported or fully subsidized by grants or sponsored research contracts.

Stipend: Total salary received by a student appointee as compensation for services rendered to the institution. Graduate stipends are paid every two weeks during the term of the appointee’s contract.

Teaching Assistantship: Students who assist in the education of undergraduate or graduate students by teaching, tutoring, instructing, or lecturing. These are financially supported by the department budgets.

Tuition Remission: Departments, Divisions or PI’s may choose to pay, as part of the appointment, the full-time tuition of the appointee. This payment is referred to as tuition remission.

Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP): The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) promotes sharing of higher education within participating western states. This allows for in-state tuition classification.

Coursework

Catalog: A multi-page document that lists the courses taught at a school by discipline, complete with a brief description of each course. See graduate department for specific information/ most recent graduate catalog.

Course: Defines the curriculum and content of a field of study and course number. Established in the Course Inventory and needed to create classes in the Course Schedule.

Credit Requirements: Generally, minimum credits are required for each degree type (e.g., 120 credits for a bachelor’s degree, 30 for a master’s degree, etc.).

Degree Plan: Identifies the requirements and list of courses and sequence of courses needed to fulfill the degree program.

Doctoral Level: Course labeled 600-699.

Electives: Additional hours contributing to reach the degree plan total required hours that do not count toward any core, college, major, minor, or certificate requirement.

Free Electives: Courses that are not specific to the major the student is pursuing.

Master’s Level: Courses that are labeled 500-599.

Lab Hours: Hours as they relate to required lab contact hours.

Lecture Hours: Hours as they relate to required lecture contact hours.

Prerequisite: A course or additional work that a student must satisfactorily complete before enrolling in another course or being admitted to a certain program.

Program: Sequence of coursework leading to a degree.

Community

 

Blaster the Burro: Mines lovable mascot. Go Orediggers!

Marvin the Miner: School Mascot

Trailhead: The online portal where everything from financial aid to course registration will be found.

Oredigger: Students at Colorado School of Mines

Oredigger Promise: The Student and faculty promise to adhere to Covid-19 protocols.

Development

ABD: Acronym for All But Dissertation. Indicates that you’ve completed all your Ph.D. coursework, but not your dissertation.

Admissions to Candidacy: Form for PhD candidates to signal the end of their research and preparedness for their thesis.

Approval Process: Graduate and undergraduate certificates are formally approved by either the Vice Provost/Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education or the Graduate Dean.

Conferral: The official institutional awarding of a transcript- recognized credential by the University to the student, such as a certificate, degree, honors, major, or minor.

Course: Defines the curriculum and content of a field of study and course number. Established in the Course Inventory and needed to create classes in the Course Schedule.

Licensure/endorsement: An approved educator preparation program leading to state licensure. The licensure or endorsement is transcripted, but is not designated on diplomas.

Master’s Thesis: A 1-2 year program that involves research and the defense of a thesis.

Professional Degree: An approved specialized degree program that prepares students for a particular profession based on accreditation or licensure requirements and/or has a more practical/applied focus. E.g. A professional Master’s in Geology

 

Degree Program

ABD: Acronym for All But Dissertation. Indicates that you’ve completed all your Ph.D. coursework, but not your dissertation.

Audit: A formal examination of a student’s progress through their degree program. (see degree audit)

Candidacy: The final stage in a doctoral student’s education, after completing a substantial amount of the credit hours on the program of studies and all research/language tools (if required), passing a comprehensive examination (written and potentially also oral), in whatever form the academic department administers it. Candidacy primarily involves conducting research and writing the dissertation.

Catalog: A multi-page document that lists the courses taught at a school by discipline, complete with a brief description of each course. See graduate department for specific information/ most recent graduate catalog.

Certification: Certifying a student for eligibility or validating a credential for a student. Examples: Athletic certification (NCAA), Veteran (VA) certification, Enrollment certification, Degree certification.

Credit Requirements: Generally, minimum credits are required for each degree type (e.g., 120 credits for a bachelor’s degree, 30 for a master’s degree, etc.).

Conferral: The official institutional awarding of a transcript- recognized credential by the University to the student, such as a certificate, degree, honors, major, or minor.

Defense: Final examination of a graduate student’s thesis or dissertation by informed questioners to determine the accuracy and significance of their research.

Dissertation: A substantial academic research paper written, detailing in-depth research and analysis at the doctoral level that contributes to the current body of knowledge in a scholarly field.

Doctoral Degree: The highest academic degree awarded by universities. In most fields and countries, it serves as a research degree that qualifies the holder to teach at university level (doctorate, doctor’s degree or doctoral program).

Electives: Additional hours contributing to reach the degree plan total required hours that do not count toward any core, college, major, minor, or certificate requirement.

Full-time Enrollment: 9 to 15 credit hours per semester, see enrollment.

Full-Time-Equivalent (FTE): A measure of the work effort expected for the specific appointment. One full-time- equivalent, or 1.0 FTE, is a workload approximately equivalent to 40 hours per week. Fractions of an FTE have workload expectations in hours that are approximately fractional to this 1.0 FTE level. For example, an appointment at the level of 0.5 FTE would have an expected workload of approximately 20 hours per week.

Interdisciplinary: Relating to more than one area of study or discipline.

Joint Degree: Agreement by two or more institutions to grant a joint academic award whereby students’ study at two or more institutions and the institutions grant a single academic award bearing the names, seals, and signatures of each of the participating institutions.

Master’s Thesis: A 1-2 year program that involves research and the defense of a thesis.

Prerequisite: A course or additional work that a student must satisfactorily complete before enrolling in another course or being admitted to a certain program.

Professional Degree: An approved specialized degree program that prepares students for a particular profession based on accreditation or licensure requirements and/or has a more practical/applied focus. E.g. A professional Master’s in Geology

Program: Sequence of coursework leading to a degree.

Qualifying Exam: An oral examination conducted by faculty members to determine students; breath of knowledge.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): Students who fall behind in their coursework, fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average or fail to complete classes in a maximum time frame, may lose eligibility for aid.

 

Enrolling

 

Catalog: A multi-page document that lists the courses taught at a school by discipline, complete with a brief description of each course. See graduate department for specific information/ most recent graduate catalog.

Catalog Year: The year that a student began studying at a particular institution. If a student begins university in Fall 2020, their catalog year is 2020-2021. Students are expected to follow the curriculum requirements that were in effect for that particular school year. See graduate department for specific information.

Enrollment Status: Determined by credit hours taken and states if the student is full –time or part-time.

Field of Study (FOS): The area in which a student is specializing. See degree programs.

Trailhead: The online portal where everything from financial aid to course registration will be found.

MultiPass: The student’s username and password that allows access to all Mines accounts.

 

Examination

ABD: Acronym for All But Dissertation. Indicates that you’ve completed all your Ph.D. coursework, but not your dissertation.

Catalog: A multi-page document that lists the courses taught at a school by discipline, complete with a brief description of each course. See graduate department for specific information/ most recent graduate catalog.

Candidacy: The final stage in a doctoral student’s education, after completing a substantial amount of the credit hours on the program of studies and all research/language tools (if required), passing a comprehensive examination (written and potentially also oral), in whatever form the academic department administers it. Candidacy primarily involves conducting research and writing the dissertation.

Defense: Final examination of a graduate student’s thesis or dissertation by informed questioners to determine the accuracy and significance of their research.

Dissertation: A substantial academic research paper written, detailing in-depth research and analysis at the doctoral level that contributes to the current body of knowledge in a scholarly field.

Duolingo English Test: English proficiency test for international students.

Graduate Records Examinations (GRE): The generalized test to determine the admissibility of students.

IELTS: English Proficiency test for international students.

TOEFL: English proficiency test for international students.

 

Student Fundamentals

Academic Calendar: A calendar resource for important dates and deadlines for all things related to course registration, add/drop, withdrawing, financial aid, tuition and bill due dates, and requirement documentation.

Accredited: A label applied to an educational institution by an official agency, association or ministry of education recognizing it for maintaining standards that qualify graduates for consideration for admission to higher or more specialized institutions.

Advisor: The faculty member appointed by a department or chosen by a student to mentor and guide a student through the completion of a graduate degree.

Audit: A formal examination of a student’s progress through their degree program. (see degree audit)

Blaster the Burro: Mines lovable mascot. Go Orediggers!

Candidacy: The final stage in a doctoral student’s education, after completing a substantial amount of the credit hours on the program of studies and all research/language tools (if required), passing a comprehensive examination (written and potentially also oral), in whatever form the academic department administers it. Candidacy primarily involves conducting research and writing the dissertation.

Degree Plan: Identifies the requirements and list of courses and sequence of courses needed to fulfill the degree program.

Degree Program: A degree program is defined by two elements – the degree that is paired with a degree major.

Department: A division of the college that gives focus to a particular subject.

Differential Tuition Award: Differential tuition is the difference in dollars between non-resident and resident tuition. The differential tuition award is an institutional fellowship program that provides this tuition difference as part of the graduate appointment. If a student is eligible for a differential tuition award, the difference between non-resident and resident tuition is provided by Mines and, therefore, does not have to be provided by the Department, Division or Faculty member. The differential tuition award is intended to remove any financial disincentive for researchers to provide support to non-resident graduate students.

Duolingo English Test: English proficiency test for international students.

Full-Time-Equivalent (FTE): A measure of the work effort expected for the specific appointment. One full-time- equivalent, or 1.0 FTE, is a workload approximately equivalent to 40 hours per week. Fractions of an FTE have workload expectations in hours that are approximately fractional to this 1.0 FTE level. For example, an appointment at the level of 0.5 FTE would have an expected workload of approximately 20 hours per week.

MultiPass: The student’s username and password that allows access to all Mines accounts.

Thesis Committee: See Graduate Committee.

TOEFL: English proficiency test for international students.

Trailhead: The online portal where everything from financial aid to course registration will be found.

 

Teaching

Contractual Agreement: An institution enters an agreement for receipt of courses/programs or portions of courses or programs, e.g., clinical training internships, delivered by another institution or service provider.

Credit Requirements: Generally, minimum credits are required for each degree type (e.g., 120 credits for a bachelor’s degree, 30 for a master’s degree, etc.).

Teaching Assistantship: Students who assist in the education of undergraduate or graduate students by teaching, tutoring, instructing, or lecturing. These are financially supported by the department budgets.

Thesis/Dissertation

ABD: Acronym for All But Dissertation. Indicates that you’ve completed all your Ph.D. coursework, but not your dissertation.

Admissions to Candidacy: Form for PhD candidates to signal the end of their research and preparedness for their thesis.

Catalog: A multi-page document that lists the courses taught at a school by discipline, complete with a brief description of each course. See graduate department for specific information/ most recent graduate catalog.

Conferral: The official institutional awarding of a transcript- recognized credential by the University to the student, such as a certificate, degree, honors, major, or minor.

Defense: Final examination of a graduate student’s thesis or dissertation by informed questioners to determine the accuracy and significance of their research.

Dissertation: A substantial academic research paper written, detailing in-depth research and analysis at the doctoral level that contributes to the current body of knowledge in a scholarly field.

Thesis Committee: See Graduate Committee.