International Terms to Know
There can be many new words and concepts to learn when you start considering studying abroad. Here is a comprehensive list of terms that might help you as you apply to Baylor.
International Student - At Baylor University, we consider any student who is on (or will need to be on) a nonimmigrant visa to be an international student.
International Applicant - Students currently applying to Baylor University from a school that is located outside of the United States, even if they have a U.S. passport or Permanent Residency (considered “international” for admissions & application processes only).
Types of International Students and Degrees
- Bachelor's degree - An undergraduate academic degree awarded for a course of study that generally requires four years of work.
- Graduate degree - A degree earned in addition to a bachelor's degree, such as a master's degree or doctoral degree.
- Graduate student - A student who has already completed a bachelor's degree and is working toward a master's or doctoral degree.
- High school - School attended after elementary school or primary school and usually consisting of grades nine through 12. Also known as secondary school.
- Non-degree seeking student - Students who are taking classes at a university, but who are not actively seeking a degree. At Baylor, these students must go through the regular admissions process.
- Post-baccalaureate student - A student who has received a bachelor's degree and is taking additional undergraduate classes.
- Undergraduate student - A first-level university student working toward a bachelor's degree.
General Admissions Terms
- ACT - One of two standardized achievement tests (the other is the SAT) taken by U.S. high school students and international students interested in studying at a university in the United States. For more information, visit the official ACT website.
- Admissions counselor - A prospective student's direct Baylor contact for questions about the admission process. Anis Qourzal is Baylor's Director of International Admissions. Contact him at International_Admissions@baylor.edu.
- Baylor ID number - All Baylor University students are assigned a nine-digit identification number that they can use to access their grades and other information.
- Credit hour - A unit counted toward completion of an academic program. Each course is worth a number of credit hours (also known as "credits"). The number of credits reflects the number of hours a student spends in class for that course per week. These classes also carry the expectation of two hours of out-of-class student work for every hour in class. A typical course offers three credits. Students typically take 12-15 credit hours per semester. A bachelor's degree typically requires a total of 120-124 credit hours.
- GPA - Grade Point Average. This is the average of grades earned, weighted by the number of credit hours earned. Baylor calculates GPA on a 4.0 scale.
- SAT - The Scholastic Assessment Test is one of two standardized achievement tests (the other is the ACT) taken by U.S. high school students and international students interested in university study in the United States. For more information, visit the official SAT website.
- TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language; a test that measures and scores the ability of non-native speakers of English to use and understand North American English. For more information, visit the official TOEFL website.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
- Academic standards - Measure of scholastic excellence held by a university; most require that students maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) to continue their studies.
- Merit-based scholarship - Money awarded to students to attend college based on a student's academic achievements on standardized tests (SAT and ACT) and high school performance.
- CSS Profile - Form submitted through College Board to begin the process of being considered for Need-Based Aid. Students can submit their request during their initial application for admission or after completing their application. Students may waive this if they do not want to be considered for Financial Aid.
- Financial documentation - Proof that a student has the necessary funds to study in the United States, often in the form of bank statements or certificates of deposit. Baylor University requires international students to submit financial documentation before an I-20 or DS-2019 can be issued.
- Financial statement - A document issued by a bank or credit company that tracks a person's finances, including credits and debits.
- Mandatory fees - Required costs charged by the university in addition to tuition. Examples include student activity fee, student health fee, technology fee and transportation fee.
- Miscellaneous fees - Extra costs charged by the university for services such as providing an official transcript.
- Tuition - The cost of college instruction based on the number of hours taken. At Baylor University there is a flat rate as long as you are enrolled as a full-time student (at least 12 hours).
- Fall - The fall semester generally begins in August and ends in early December. Fall also refers to one of the four seasons (weather-based divisions of the year) experienced in Texas. Fall, also called autumn, is comprised of the transition months of September, October and November when the weather begins to cool and winter approaches.
- Minimester - Between the spring semester and the summer session, Baylor offers a minimester, a short and intense semester during which students can earn credits.
- Spring - The spring semester generally begins in January and ends in May. Spring also refers to one of our four seasons (weather-based divisions of the year) experienced in Texas. Spring is comprised of the transition months of March, April and May when the weather begins to warm and summer approaches.
- Summer - There are classes during two smaller summer terms (First Summer Term: early June-early July; Second Summer Term: mid July-mid August). Summer also refers to one of the four seasons (weather-based divisions of the year) experienced in Texas. Summer is comprised of the months June, July and August when the weather is at its warmest.
- Winter - Occasionally, Baylor offers a winter minimester term between the fall and spring semesters. Winter also refers to one of the four seasons (weather-based divisions of the year) experienced in Texas. Winter is comprised of the months December, January and February when the weather is at its coldest.
- Freshman - Usually a student's first year at a university. In Baylor's system these students have less than 30 credit hours.
- Sophomore - Usually a student's second year at a university. In Baylor's system these students have more than 30 hours, but less than 60 hours.
- Junior - Usually a student's third year at a university. In Baylor's system these students have more than 60 hours, but less than 90 hours.
- Senior -Usually a student's fourth and final year at a university. In Baylor's system these students have more than 90 hours.
- DS-2019 - An immigration document used by students to obtain a J-1 visa. You can download the form here.
- I-20 - An immigration document used by students to obtain an F-1 visa. You can download the form here.
- Immigration - The act of coming into a country to live where one is not a native resident.
- SEVIS - The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is a database used by universities and colleges to record information about all students who will need an F, M, or J student visa to enter the United States. It is also used by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State to send information about admitted students electronically to consulates and embassies in preparation for interviews.
- SSN - Social Security Number is a number assigned by the government to United States residents at birth.
- International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) – This office provides guidance and support to those at Baylor who have an F-1 Visa or J-1 Visa, helping them with their initial transition to Baylor and their connection to the Baylor experience. Email: ISSS_Support@baylor.edu.
- Alumni - graduates or former students of a particular university. Students can visit the Alumni Network's webpage to learn more about Baylor's graduates.
- Campus housing - Apartments and residence halls (dorms) located on campus property and owned by the university. Students can visit Campus Living & Learning's webpage to see all of Baylor's living options.
- Dorm - Shortened form of "dormitory"; also known as "residence hall." A university building where students live while going to school, often with shared rooms. Baylor offers several dorms across the campus.
- Mascot - A person, animal, or object believed to bring good luck, especially one kept as the symbol of an organization such as a sports team. Baylor's mascot is a bear. We even have a live bear, Lady, who lives on campus.
- Off-campus housing - Apartments and houses not located on campus property and owned by someone other than the university. To find off-campus housing, students can view Baylor's Off-Campus Housing Guide.
- Student Activities- A department of the university that oversees student organizations and events connected with the university, such as sports teams, clubs and volunteer activities. Visit Student Activities' webpage to see all of Baylor's activities.