UBC Acronyms and Lingo


Documentation  |  General  |  Course and Registration  |  Special Programs of Study


UBC has a lot of acronyms. Here is a breakdown of some of our lingo to help you better understand on-campus services, resources, and tools. 



Degree Progression Letter vs Degree Completion Letter

  • PROGRESSION LETTER can be requested through Academic Advising if you need documentation outlining your expected graduation date and current progress in your degree.

    • TIP: In order for the letter to properly reflect all the information you need, it is strongly recommended that you see an Advisor in-person. 

  • DEGREE COMPLETION LETTER is an official document that students can download through their SSC. This letter confirms that all requirements for your degree have been completed as well as the date your degree was conferred. 

Proof of Enrolment Letter vs. Confirmation of Enrolment

  • PROOF OF ENROLMENT LETTER (POE), also commonly known as Verification of Enrolment letter, is an official UBC letter that can be downloaded through your SSC under 'Grades & Records'.  This can also be used for confirming your enrolment for employment, scholarships, or banking purposes.

  • CONFIRMATION OF ENROLMENT (COE) is a process to verify your registration for the purpose of a student loan. For course load requirements, visit Winter Session and Summer Session

Official vs. Unofficial Transcripts

  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS can be ordered online through your SSC or in-person at the Student Services Front Desk (UNC206). Your transcript is a physical sealed document that has been signed by the Registrar. For more information visit Ordering Transcripts.

  • UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS can be printed off of your SSC under 'Your Grade Summary'.

UBC Vancouver Degree vs UBC Okanagan Degree 

  • Both UBC's Okanagan and Vancouver campuses grant degree certificates designated from the University of British Columbia. The difference is the location you confer your degree (Kelowna or Vancouver), which will appear on the degree certificate.



 Academic Advisors vs. Program Advisors vs. Counsellors

  • ACADEMIC ADVISORS are individuals that provide help to students with course selection, degree planning, study skills, and graduation. Appointments are booked Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and Drop-ins are Tuesdays and Thursdays (subject to change during certain times of the year). For more information visit Advising & Involvement Centre

  • PROGRAM ADVISORS are faculty members who assist students with program requirements, honours programs, study abroad credits, making substitutions in prerequisite or program courses, and preparing for graduate school.

  • COUNSELORS are qualified individuals who give guidance on personal, social, and psychological problems. For more information or to contact a counselor, visit the Health & Wellness Centre

iMED vs. BC MSP vs. Extended Health & Dental Plan

  • iMED (International Medical Education Directory) is medical coverage for international students for the first 3 months of school. It is an automatic fee on international/iCharleston student accounts. For more information visit International Programs and Services

  • MSP (Medical Services Plan) is BC's provincial health insurance plan, which covers basic medical needs. Full-time enrolled International students will transition to BC MSP after three months.

  • EXTENDED HEALTH AND DENTAL PLAN is your extended coverage outside of MSP. The UBC Students' Union Okanagan administers the plan, which provides coverage for expenses such as: dental, pharmacy/prescriptions, physiotherapy, massage, chiropractic, vision care, travel insurance. Students are eligible to opt out or add a dependent to their extended plan during the Change of Coverage period in September if you have proof of alternate coverage for health and dental (i.e. parent's health and dental plan). 

Positive Space

  • POSITIVE SPACE is a campus wide awareness and visibility initiative to foster a welcoming atmosphere and inclusive, respective dialogue for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. To learn more about the campaign, visit Positive Space Campaign


Student Services vs. Student Service Center (SSC)

  • STUDENT SERVICES is the front desk located on the 2nd floor of the University Centre that assists with tuition payments, UBC Student IDs, transcripts, student loan information, and more. For more information visit Student Services.

  • STUDENT SERVICE CENTER (SSC) is the online system for students to manage their UBC account, which includes Admission, Finances, Course Registrations, Grades & Records, Exams, Housing & Food, Graduation and more. Login with your Campus Wide-Login (CWL) in order to access your SSC.

Third Party Authorization vs. Authorization Code

  • THIRD PARTY AUTHORIZATION is in place to protect your personal information from being released to unauthorized individuals under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). 

  • AUTHORIZATION CODE is a code you give to a designated individual that authorizes UBC to release personal information on your behalf. To grant authorization, login to your SSC, click 'Personal Information', and select 'Third-Party Authorization'. Anyone calling on your behalf will be required to give the authorization code. This code can be a combination of any letters, number, or words. 


Courses and Registration

Academic Accommodation vs. Academic Concession

  • ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATION is available if you have been diagnosed or are with a suspected disability. You must apply through the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to receive Academic Accommodation. The DRC seeks to create equal and full access to all aspects of student life. For contacts and more information visit the Disability Resource Centre.

  • ACADEMIC CONCESSION is requested in circumstances that may adversely affect your attendance or performance in a course or program. These circumstances include, but are not limited to: medical condition, personal or other problems, religious observance, and military service. For more information visit Academic Concessions

Admission Deferral vs. Academic Leave

  • DEFERRAL request is used to delay your attendance for up to a year (or 2 years in cases of mandatory military service) after receiving your Offer of Admission. For more information visit Admissions Deferral

    • Note: There is a deadline to apply for deferral. 

  • ACADEMIC LEAVE is an option for current students wishing to take up to one Academic year off from Academic studies. You will be automatically eligible for registration in the following Academic Winter Session. Not all programs are eligible for Academic Leave. Please refer to your Faculty for eligibility and for more information visit Academic Leave

Change of Campus vs. Change of Degree Program

  • CHANGE OF CAMPUS is the application process for transfer between campuses (Okanagan to Vancouver). Keep in mind that transfers cannot happen during the middle of a session. Applications close January 15. For more information visit Change of Campus.

  • CHANGE OF DEGREE PROGRAM is the application process to switch between your current program to a different one. For more information visit Change of Program

    • Note: You can apply for a change of degree program/campus can be completed on your SSC under the Registration Tab. 

Course Description vs. Course Syllabus/Outline

  • COURSE DESCRIPTION is a short summary of the course topic. This is available on the course schedule page and/or the Academic Calendar

  • COURSE SYLLABI is a detailed breakdown of the course content, course material, and course assessment (i.e. test, midterm, quizzes, papers, presentation). Please contact the faculty/professor of the course to view the syllabus. 

Course Withdrawal without a 'W' vs. Course Withdrawal with a 'W'

  • WITHDRAWAL WITHOUT A 'W' is when you withdraw from a course before the deadline (see Academic Calendar for deadline), you will avoid having your particular course as a record on their transcript. You will also receive 100% refund on the course tuition fee. 

  • WITHDRAWAL WITH A 'W' is when you withdraw from a course after the deadline, the course will appear as a record on your transcript with a "W" standing, but no grade record. Refund of the course tuition fee will be dependent on the date the withdrawal occurs (see Academic Calendar for details).

    • Note: You can withdraw from your courses through the Student Service Center (SSC). Please refer to the online course schedule for specific course withdrawal dates. Those who withdraw after the date must submit a LATE WITHDRAWAL REQUEST FORM directly to their Faculty. For more information visit Late Course Changes

Cross Campus vs Distance Education

  • CROSS CAMPUS request is a form submitted if you would like to take an in-class course at the Vancouver campus. For eligibility and more  information visit Cross Campus Registration.

  • DISTANCE EDUCATION courses are offered through the Vancouver campus. If you are interested in taking a course, contact Academic Advising. Click here to view the full list of online courses.

Full Time Status vs. Part Time Status

  • FULL TIME STATUS ​is normally defined as registration in 18 credits or more during the Winter Session. Graduate student status is determined based on program delivery.

  • PART TIME STATUS ​is normally defined as registration in fewer than 18 credits during the Winter Session. Graduate student status is determined based on program delivery.

  • Full Time and Part Time statuses are used to calculate student fees. For details visit the Academic Calendar

    • Note: Full time and Part time status for student loans may differ depending on your program. Please refer to the Student Loans and Grants for more information. 

    • Note: Full time status for scholarships and bursary eligibility may differ depending on your program. For more information visit Awards & Financial Support

Full vs. Blocked vs. Restricted vs. Waitlist

  • FULL ​courses are when all available seats in the class have been filled. You may register in a waitlist (if available) or select another course/section.  

  • BLOCKED courses are when the faculty has prevented registration. TIP: Register for the course waitlist section if one is available.

  • RESTRICTED  courses are designated for students in certain Faculties/Year Levels/Programs. Some courses are restricted, but have a certain number of general seats available. Details on the restrictions will be displayed below a course description.

  • WAITLIST is a queue for a specific lecture/lab/tutorial section where students can register if the lecture/lab/tutorial is full. Not all courses offer waitlists. For more information refer to the ‘Section Comments’. 

Hard Pre-Requisite vs. Soft Pre-Requisite vs. Co-Requisite

  • HARD PRE-REQUISITE is a  course requirement that is needed in order to register for a course. If you do not have the pre-requisite, you will not be able to register for the course. This will show up as a red warning box when registering.

  • SOFT PRE-REQUISITE is a course requirement that is not needed to register for a course, but will be verified by the faculty. This will show up with a yellow warning box when registering.

  • CO-REQUISITE is a course that is required to be taken simultaneously with another. If a co-requisite is required, it will be listed on the course schedule during registration. 

Letter of Permission (LOP) vs. Articulation Request

  • LETTER OF PERMISSION (LOP) request forms are submitted to your faculty if you wish to take a course at another post-secondary institution. An LOP is an agreement between the student and UBC that guarantees that you will get transfer credits for the courses you completed. 

  • ARTICULATION REQUEST forms are submitted to the faculty if you wish to take a course at another post-secondary institution that UBC has yet to assess for transfer credit (according to the BC Transfer Guide). Articulation is a system used by post-secondary institutions to determine which courses are equivalent to one another. For more information visit Transfer Credits

Program vs Degree vs Major

  • DEGREE is the Bachelor's program you are working to complete (i.e. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Management).

  • MAJOR is the SPECIALIZATION within that degree program. It is the academic subject you choose to pursue and has the largest number of senior credits in your degree (i.e. Major in History, Minor in Biology).

    • TIP: To declare your specialization, login to your SSC, select 'Course Schedule', 'Browse', and 'Specializations'. Some specializations require specific requirements and faculty/program approval. You will only be able to declare your specialization during your Registration period.

    Winter Session vs. Summer Session

    • WINTER SESSION is divided into 2 terms. Term 1 runs from September to December and Term 2 runs from January to April (i.e. 2017W).

    • SUMMER SESSION is divided into 2 terms. Term 1 runs from May to June and Term 2 runs from July to August (i.e. 2017S).

      • Note: Before you are eligible to register in an academic session, you will be required to pay a non-refundable registration deposit. 

    Withdrawing vs. Dropping

    • WITHDRAWING or DROPPING from a course are considered the same action. 

      • IMPORTANT: Make sure when you drop/withdraw from a course, the action is done on your Registration Tab, NOT your Worklist. It is the students responsibility to withdraw/drop from a course before the add/drop date. View this video to learn more.


    Special Programs of Study

    Go Global vs. Exchange vs. Study Abroad

    • GO GLOBAL is an international experience program for students. There are over 200 Universities and Institutions worldwide partnered with Go Global.  

    • EXCHANGE is an international experience that allows you to take one or more courses at a partner institution around the world while you pay tuition fees directly to UBC. For more information visit Go Global - Exchange.

    • STUDY ABROAD is an international experience that allows you to take courses at a partner institution around the world, where you pay your tuition fees directly to the host school. For more information visit Go Global - Study Abroad

    Non-degree Studies

    • ABORIGINAL ACCESS STUDIES is an application if you are Aboriginal and may not be eligible for direct admission to a degree program. For more information visit Aboriginal Access Studies.  

    • ACCESS STUDIES is if you have not completed a post-secondary degree and want to enroll in courses for general interest, professional qualification, or to upgrade post-secondary qualifications. For more information and on how to  apply visit Access Studies.

      • Note: BC residents who are 65 years of age or over and Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply for Access Studies. For more information visit Access Studies.  

    • CONCURRENT STUDIES is an application if you are enrolled in a BC secondary school, has a superior academic record, and the support of your school principal and your parent/guardian. For more information and on how to apply visit Concurrent Studies. 

    • STEPS-Forward is a program that provides inclusion support for students with developmental disabilities. For more information about the BC Initiative for Inclusive Post-Secondary Education (BC-IPSE) visit Steps-Forward.

    • VISITING STUDIES is if you are completing a degree program at a recognized degree-granting institution and wish to take courses at UBC for transfer credit back to your home institution. For more information on how to apply visit Visiting Studies.

    • UNCLASSIFIED STUDIES is if you have completed a post-secondary degree and wish to enroll in courses not intended to lead to a particular UBC degree or diploma. For more information and on how to apply visit Unclassified Studies. Unclassified students may be eligible for student loans under Student Aid BC for up to 52 weeks provided that you have pre-requisites or entrance requirements that need to be satisfied in order to apply for the specific undergraduate/graduate program. 

    Last reviewed shim10/16/2017 3:03:52 PM