Program and Organizational Unit Definitions

Center – an organizational unit focusing primarily on research and scholarly activity where services are typically unrelated to internal administrative operations (for the purposes of new unit proposals this definition is the same as “institute”).

Certificate – an award granted certifying that certain training or educational requirements have been achieved.

College – collection of departments, can include schools, that grant degrees in particular fields (may also be known as a division).

Degree – the award given to graduates based on educational level. The basic levels include associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate. (AA, AS, AAS, BA, BS, BAS, MA, MS, Ph.D)

Department – division of a school or college focused in a particular academic area – reports to a unit other than another department, usually a college.

Diploma Requirements – diplomas can only recognize Board approved degrees and majors. This means that emphases/concentration/options that have not been approved by the Board cannot appear on a diploma. Transcripts, however, may include emphases/concentration/options.

Discipline – a distinct area of study, branch of instruction, or academic field

Emphasis, Concentration, Option – a specific area or branch of study within a student’s major. For example: a student majoring in Animal Science may choose to pursue an emphasis (i.e. option or concentration) in Equine Sciences or Rangeland Livestock Production.

Institute – an organizational unit focusing primarily on research and scholarly activity where services are typically unrelated to internal administrative operations (this definition is the same as “center” and is intended only to be used for the purposes of new organizational unit proposals, primarily to distinguish between internal administrative “institutes” or “centers” occurring at the community college versus research oriented units occurring at the universities).

Major – the primary field of study within a degree characterizing the body of knowledge gained within a discipline

Named Degree – the integration of a major title into a degree title. For example, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is a named degree. Academic Affairs Council agreed in December 2004 that named degrees are only permitted in cases where accreditation, professional, or national recognition require it.

New Program Follow-up –Board policy establishes an accountability system whereby institutions are directed to provide periodic follow-up information on cost estimates and enrollment projections provided in the program proposal process (Title 4, Chapter 14, Section 5). Reports must be submitted following the first, third, and fifth year of a program’s existence.

Organizational Unit – a department, school, college, division, center, or institute

Primary Field of Study – a term used to describe the equivalent of a major within an associate degree or bachelor of applied science degree

School – generally associated with professional degrees, can be within colleges, depends upon discipline and national context, generally similar to a department but larger and usually have multiple areas representing different academic programs

Study Abroad – formal affiliation or consortium involving students or faculty in another country for educational purposes in which academic credit is granted. Faculty or student exchanges which involve a limited number of people for a period of less than one semester and international arrangements for the purposes of research are excluded from this definition.