Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

TRU Lingo — Learn the Language of University

As you may have discovered, there is some jargon that's unique to post-secondary education and some acronyms unique to TRU, so here's a glossary of terms to help keep you on course.


Programs of study which usually involve theoretical knowledge and research and usually lead to a diploma or degree.

Academic Advisor

A person associated who helps students determine which courses they need to complete a degree, diploma or certificate. They can also help students with the application and admission processes. Visit Academic Advising.


A process in which college and university programs are reviewed, assessed and accepted by provincial, national or international guilds, institutes or review boards. When a program is accredited, it means that the program meets the training standards set by government or the industry.


Being allowed into a program after the requirements for entering the program have been met. Some programs have 'limited admission,' which means there are a limited number of spaces available. Visit the Admissions Department.


A graduate of a particular school, university or college. The Alumni & Friends Association offer benefits and services to TRU Alumni.


The first step toward being admitted to a program of study. How to Apply at TRU.


Taking a course for the educational value, but not for credit. Students who audit a course pay the same fees, but do not write the exams, and will not receive a grade upon completion of the course.


Monetary award to students who demonstrate financial need, similar to a grant. Learn more at Financial Aid and Awards.


Catalogue of courses and programs offered by a post-secondary institution. Our calendar is only available online!


Campus Activity Centre.


An applied program of study involving theoretical and practical knowledge, usually leading directly to a certificate or diploma in a specific career path. Visit Trades & Technology.


Recognition that a student has successfully completed a program of applied study.


A faculty member, chosen by his/her peers to coordinate the instructional activities of a program.


An honourary appointment to head the university, bestowed on a community leader by the university's Board of Governors.


A single teaching session within a course.


A cluster of courses in one discipline within a general Bachelor's degree program, combined with area requirements which ensure a broad selection of courses.


An educational component that allows students to participate in paid, on-the-job training sessions often for credit. The Co-operative Education department at TRU manages these work terms.


The large, formal ceremony where students receive their degrees, diplomas and certificates, the university's version of graduation ceremonies. Our convocation ceremonies happen in June and October. Visit the Convocation website.


A person attached to the Student Services department who helps students determine career goals and objectives, or assists in dealing with issues relating to success in post-secondary education from stress to study techniques. Visit Counselling at TRU.


A single component of a program of study, which includes classes, seminars and labs. Semester courses are approximately four months long.


A counting system used to determine the amount of class time that a student has completed, usually based on hours of instruction. Every course has an assigned number of credits, which are used to calculate the cost of tuition. The number of credits that a student has completed are recorded on a permanent record or 'transcript.'


The Clock Tower building which is home to University Administration, Research, Faculty of ACT and the Alumni Theatre.


The head of a faculty or school.

Dean's List

A listing of students with exceptional academic standing compiled by the Deans of each school.


Recognition that a student has successfully completed a four- or five-year program of study in a university program.


Recognition that a student has successfully completed a two- or three-year program of study.

  1. The instructors at a post-secondary institution.
  2. A group of university departments concerned with one area of knowledge.

TRU Foundation is a registered society raising and managing funds to provide scholarships, bursaries and special needs funding to support students in post secondary education and training.

Grade Point

The value of the final mark in a course rated on a scale between 0 and 4.33, with 4.33 being an "A" or "A+".

Grade Point Average

GPA, the value of each course final mark multiplied by the credit value of each course, divided by the number of courses taken.


An undergraduate degree more specialized than normal studies which requires students to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or greater and completion of a thesis or additional course work.


A hands-on portion of a course in which students apply the theoretical knowledge they have gained in their classes.


A process which allows students to apply credits earned in previous post-secondary study towards a higher level program. For example, many diploma programs allow you to "ladder" those credits into a degree program.


A program of study in a degree program in which the student specializes in a particular field in the final two years in order to obtain a Bachelor's degree in that field.


A program of study accompanying a major program, where the student specializes in a second field.


Old Main building.


An unpaid practical component of a program that allows students to gain on-the-job experience. In many TRU programs, these are a required part of the program, and also may be called "practicum" placements.


A course or other requirement which must be met before taking certain courses or enrolling in some programs.


Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition is a process involving the assessment and assignment of credit for learning that a student may have acquired as previous education or work experience. Students requesting PLAR usually submit a portfolio summarizing learning gained from non-formal learning experiences and may also need to write an exam or essay or complete a set of assignments to gain the required credit.


A group of courses that combine to provide skills and learning leading to a certificate, diploma or degree.


The selection of individual courses after completion of all required admission procedures. Full payment of fees is usually required to finalize your registration. TRU students register online with myTRU.


Monetary award to students who demonstrate excellence in their program of study. Visit Financial Aid & Awards.


A group of university departments concerned with one area of knowledge.


A period in the school year in which courses are completed.


A scheduled discussion period in which students debate and discuss classroom theory and lab results.

Study Abroad

An international exchange program that allows students to live and study in a different country and obtain credit toward their degree. Visit the Study Abroad website.


A permanent record of the number of courses a student has completed, together with the marks for those courses. Read more about Transcripts.


Thompson Rivers University Student Union, an elected body of student representatives who deal with student services, events and advocacy issues. TRUSU is located in the Campus Activity Centre. Visit the TRUSU website.


Fees charged for courses, usually charged on a "per credit" basis. Vocational tuition is based on a per-month charge. Learn more about tuition and fees at TRU.


An applied program of study, usually less than two years, that leads to a certificate in a specific career path. Fees for most vocational programs are calculated on a per month basis, not per credit.