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Terms & People You Should Know

UL Lafayette may have certain terms with which you may not be familiar. Take a minute to look over these.

University: an institution of higher learning authorized to confer degrees in various specialized fields above the bachelor’s degree level. The person in charge of a university is often called a president.
Our University president is Dr. Savoie.

College: an institution of higher learning that can confer a bachelor of science only, or subdivisions of a university where various areas are located. At UL Lafayette we have eight undergraduate colleges: Arts, Business Administration, Education, Engineering, General Studies, Liberal Arts, Nursing, and Sciences. The person in charge of a college is called a dean.

Department: an academic unit within a college that is specific to a particular academic area. The person in charge of a department is called a department head.


  • Bachelor of Science: a baccalaureate degree conferred in the sciences
  • Bachelor of Arts: a baccalaureate degree conferred in the arts
  • Master of Science: a bachelor’s degree plus further study
  • Ph.D (Doctor of Philosophy): degree awarded with bachelors and masters degrees plus further study
  • Ed.D (Doctor of Education): similar to a Ph.D. but granted in the field of education

Administration: the University staff who oversee operations and academics.

  • President: head of University (Dr. Joseph Savoie)
  • Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs: senior academic administrator (Dr. Jaimie Hebert)
  • Vice President of Student Affairs: oversees services and support to enhance student growth and development (Patricia Cottomham)
  • Deans: oversee various colleges
  • Associate Deans: help Deans in various colleges
  • Directors: oversee schools or divisions
  • Department Heads: oversee departments
  • Advisors: work with students in various schools or departments

Who will teach you at UL Lafayette:

  • Teaching Assistant: masters or senior level bachelors students
  • Instructor: someone with at least a masters degree
  • Assistant Professor: someone with a Ph.D. or at least a Masters degree
  • Associate Professor: generally holds a Ph.D., Ed.D., or a comparable level of training
  • Professor: highest level of faculty; has Ph.D. or Ed. D

Accreditation: term used to indicate that a program has been reviewed by a team of experts from outside the university. This team usually represents the professional organization that oversees the standards necessary for a program to produce competent graduates. Some employers will only hire graduates from an accredited program.

Catalog or Bulletin: provides information ranging from academic requirements for a particular degree to the calendar for the academic year. Students should be familiar with their major curriculum.

Curriculum: the prescribed course of study required to achieve a particular degree.

Elective: a course that is not required in a curriculum. These allow students to take courses outside their field of interest to learn more about a particular subject. Some colleges have “free" electives (courses dealing with anything of the student’s choice) and “required” electives (a list of electives that the student is required to choose from).

Grade Point Average: the numerical computation derived by dividing the number of hours taken into the number of quality points earned. All students should learn how to figure their GPA as soon as possible.

Community Assistants (CA): a student (usually Upper Division) that works in a residence hall. A CA’s job is to oversee an area of a dorm and to help students acclimate to dorm life as well as report trouble to the proper authorities. If you are dissatisfied with your living arrangements in a residence hall, the first person to talk to is the CA.

Junior Division: the classification given to all freshmen, transfer, and reentry students until they meet the requirements for admission into the Upper Division of their academic college. The goal of every freshman, reentry and transfer student is to be accepted into the Upper Division of his/her college. A student will be eligible for entrance to the Upper Division of a college once he/she has met the following requirements: a) ENGL 102 (ESOL 102) with grade of “C” or better, b) MATH 100, 105 or 107 with grade of “D” or better, c) 3 hours or more in BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, PHYSICS, or RRES 150 with a grade of “D” or better, d) 30 non-developmental hours e) 2.0 adjusted GPA and f) additional academic requirements of the desired college and/or department.

For more information, visit the Academic Success Center website.