University Lingo

In your first year, you will hear a lot of new terms. Use this collection of OU’s most common terms to help you get up to speed.


Students may register and add courses without faculty signature via MySAIL Web registration or in person at Registrar Services through the first week of classes. During the second week of classes, instructor’s permission is required.

Career Tool

Review your degree requirements and potential career options for your chosen major.

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Published online annually, this reference contains the requirements needed to achieve your degree at OU. Each major is listed, including all courses that are offered in each subject area.

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Courses (usually two or more) that must be taken simultaneously.


Most OU courses are 4 credits. Important Note: The number of CREDITS a course has does not always EQUAL the number of hours in class per week.

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Drop a Course

After initially registering for a semester, students may go back and drop a course via MySAIL, in person at Registrar Services, by fax or by certified mail at any time until the last day to drop a course. First-year students interested in dropping a course should consult with their FYAC adviser first.

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Students are considered full-time when enrolled in at least 12 credit hours in one semester. To stay on track for graduation, 16 credits is recommended.

Good Academic Standing

Students with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above are considered to be in good academic standing. Students who fall below this standard are placed on academic probation and must meet minimal standards of progress each semester to continue at OU. Note: Each program may have higher GPA requirements for good academic standing. See your FYAC adviser for more information.

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Your student identification card that can be used for access to the Recreation Center, after hours access to your residence hall (if applicable), meal plan and campus dining, checking out books from Kresge Library, printing, accessing to your GrizzCa$h account, receiving tickets to campus activities and services, and as your Oakland University Credit Union Visa debit card.

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A required corequisite of courses typically in the natural science and engineering areas.


You will meet in the same classroom with the same instructor for every class period.

Lecture/Online Hybrid Class

Common in writing courses, you may meet once or twice a week in a classroom but also have required online components through Moodle, OU’s online course management system.

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Macomb University Center (MUC)

Situated in Clinton Township, this Macomb County location offers more than 200 OU courses each year.

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Mt. Clemens

This location in Macomb county offers more than 100 OU courses each year.

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Online Class

A course offered online through Moodle, Zoom or Google Meet. An online course may meet virtually at the same time every week (synchronous) or have assignments, lectures, and course materials accessible on Moodle that you will need to complete by a given deadline (asynchronous).

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Permission granted to a student for a class they are prohibited from registering for. Consult with your academic adviser.


Students may register for a course that requires a prerequisite; however, they must successfully complete that prerequisite before the course begins.


Responsible for teaching courses, conducting research and providing service to OU. Professors and faculty are credentialed in their field of study.


A required extra session of a course often used for additional lecture time or to administer quizzes or exams.


Students may repeat a courses once (sometimes twice) after their first attempt to improve their grade earned during prior enrollment, but they must do so at OU. Students should consult with their academic adviser as repeats can impact time to degree completion, a subsequent semester of courses and OU scholarship eligibility. The most recent grade will be the grade of record regardless of whether it is the highest grade earned.

Schedule of classes

Found on MySAIL, the schedule of classes includes class offerings for each semester, including days, times, instructors and locations.

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Supplemental Instruction (SI)

A free service that provides organized study sessions two to three times per week for students enrolled in difficult courses. SI leaders, students with previous course success, attend the course along with students and then facilitate the study sessions.

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Teaching Assistant (TA)

Master’s or doctoral level students who work closely with faculty in the development of classes and classroom management. They may teach classes or labs/workshops in their department of study.


Similar to labs and most common with mathematics courses, workshops are a required corequisite of a course and provide an opportunity for you to work on problems and speak with your instructor in a smaller setting.


An electronic process (in MySAIL), available for selected courses only, which allows students to add themselves to a waitlist. Students are notified via OU email when a seat becomes available in the course. Students must register for the course within 24 hours; if the student does not register within the time allotted, the next student on the list will be offered the seat. Being on a waitlist does not guarantee registration into the course.

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Students may withdraw from a course from the third week through the ninth week of classes via MySAIL, in person at Registrar Services, by fax or by certified mail. Students have until 4 p.m. on the last day of the withdrawal period to withdraw from the course. Freshmen interested in withdrawing from a course should consult with their academic adviser first. Students who do not officially withdraw within the drop/withdrawal time period will remain officially enrolled. Instructors will assign the grade earned at the completion of the course. Simply notifying faculty or ceasing to attend classes does not relieve students from financial obligations.

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