Decoding College Lingo: A Student Handbook to Common Terms

Krissy Archambeau, Director of Operations & Processing for the Office of Admissions, assists a prospective student durin the Oct. 20, 2023 Black & Yellow Day. Matt Crow/Undergraduate Admissions
Krissy Archambeau, Director of Operations & Processing for the Office of Admissions, assists a prospective student during the Oct. 20, 2023 Black & Yellow Day. 


Navigating the college search process can be overwhelming, especially when faced with unfamiliar terms. To simplify things, we've compiled a list of common college admission words and abbreviations:

Application – A form that students fill out to seek admission to a specific college.

Degree-Bound – Describes students who are enrolled to earn a degree (associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, etc.).

Adult Learner – Refers to a student who is 21 years of age or older with fewer than 24 credit hours, often returning to education after a break. Also referred to as "returning adult."

Major – The chosen area of study, such as biology, mechanical engineering, accounting, etc. You can explore the extensive list of majors offered at Wichita State at

Semester – The academic year is divided into smaller units known as semesters, each varying in duration.

Admission – The status attained by a student who has applied and meets the admission criteria of a particular college. Sometimes referred to as "acceptance."

Admissions Representative – A valuable resource for prospective students and their families. Admissions representatives, often shortened to admissions reps, are available to answer questions and help you learn more about a school. Discover your admissions representative at

Campus Visit - Daily opportunities for students to visit Wichita State. It's free to visit Wichita State; just sign up at least two weeks in advance at

Legacy – Denotes a student whose parent, stepparent, legal guardian, grandparent, or step-grandparent graduated from Wichita State with a degree (associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral).

Transfer Student – A student with 24 or more college credit hours seeking to continue their education at a different institution.

Transfer Gateway – A helpful tool that aids in estimating the transferability of college credits to your desired degree program at Wichita State.

Transcript – A detailed record of a student's academic history.

If you have any questions as you navigate the college search process, don't hesitate to reach out to the Office of Admissions. We're here to guide you every step of the way!


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