Glossary

 Definitions of Common Terms Used in Academic Planning at UM

Term Definition
Academic Bulletin UM's official catalog of courses, policies
Academic Credential An official document awarded and transcipted by the University such as a credit-bearing certificate, artist diploma, or degree.
Academic Program A coherent set of courses leading to an academic credential offered by instruction in a specific physical location or via a specific modality. 
Academic Year The standard academic year at the University of Miami starts in the fall semester, followed by the spring semester, with an optional summer term following the spring semester. Certain programs may intake new students in the summer or spring semester rather than in the fall.
Accelerated Program A single degree program in which a student is able to complete degree requirements in an accelerated time frame from the standard program. This may be connected to a dual/joint degree program (see below) or it may be a standalone program.
Accelerated Dual/Joint Degree Programs (UM internal definition) A dual or joint degree program in which a student is awarded each degree sequentially as each degree's requirements are met. (Otherwise students in dual/joint degree programs receive both degrees at the same time after the requirements for both degrees are met.)
ADPC The Academic Deans Policy Council (ADPC) includes each of the academic deans from the University's 12 colleges and schools, the Executive Vice President & Provost, and the University President. The ADPC meets once per month during the academic year.
Area of Knowledge The University general education requirements for undergraduate degree programs include the Areas of Knowledge requirement which is intended to help students understand and appreciate intellectual achievements in major areas of human inquiry and creative endeavor.  Students can satisfy this requirement through a cognate (major, minor, thematic cognate, or individualized cognate) in each of three broad disciplinary areas: Arts and Humanities, People and Society, and STEM. Each cognate is a minimum of 9 credit hours in the Area of Knowledge. [NOTE: The STEM Area of Knowledge is not connected to the Dept. of Homeland Security's STEM designations.]
Articulation Agreement A cooperative academic agreement between UM and another college/university to accept the other institution's courses for transfer credit toward a UM degree program.
Asynchronous Instruction Online instruction not provided in real time (live) (i.e., instructor records class lectures and students view them on their own time).
CaneLink UM's student information management system which is the official source of academic records (students and programs)
Career (UM internal definition) CaneLink uses the term "career" to define a student's level and academic structure at UM. An academic program's career determines the governance approval workflow. Careers include: graduate, undergraduate, Medicine (MD), Law, and non-credit.
CAT UM's system to update and publish the online Academic Bulletin. Non-program pages in the Bulletin can be updated directly in CAT whereas program pages are updated directly through CIM to ensure they go through the appropriate approval
Certificate An academic credit-bearing certificate is an academic credential that is less than a degree program. Certificates are not usually eligible for federal financial aid. A certificate may be offered as a standalone program or earned concurrently while pursuing a degree program at UM. Once earned, a certificate may be applied toward another degree. Certificates are offered at the following levels: undergraduate, post-baccalaureate (graduate level), post-master's, and post-doctoral.
CIM Pronounced "kim." UM's curriculum information management system. There are two modules. CIM Course Management and CIM Program Management. Both modules integrate with the Academic Bulletin (via the CAT module) and with CaneLink. CIM is used for the creation, revision, and closure of academic courses and programs.
CIP Code The federal government requires every academic program to be assigned a six-digit standardized numeric code to represent the discipline/subject area, the Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) Code. The first two digits of the CIP code represent broad disciplinary areas. The final four digits represent subdisciplines or more specific areas. You can search for CIP codes on the NCES website. CIP Codes are used to determine which programs qualify for a Dept. of Homeland Security STEM designation.
College (UM internal definition) The UM Faculty Senate Bylaws (B6.1) define a college as follows: A College is a departmentalized instructional and research unit of the University offering two or more Bachelor's degrees, and one or more different first level professional or graduate degrees, under the primary authority and responsibility of a designated tenured and tenure‑track faculty that meets on a regular basis.
Concentration subcomponent of an academic program. It is not the primary field of study but rather, a secondary or tertiary field of study within a degree program.
Cooperative Academic Agreement Any agreement between UM and another entity (college/university, consortium, organization, agency, etc.) involving academic cooperation. This is an umbrella term that includes articulation agreements, memoranda of understanding, exchange agreements, academic program contracts, etc.
Credit Hour A unit to measure the amount of classroom instructional time and student work associated with a college course. UM uses the federal definition of a credit hour: 1 credit hour equates to a minimum of 1 hour of classroom instruction and 2 hours of out-of-class student work per week for 15 weeks, including the final exam (45 total hours). A 3-credit hour course should require a minimum total of 135 hours of instruction and student work. The University uses the Carnegie unit of 50 minutes=1 hour of class time for standard class slots. Non-standard class slots must use a clock hour definition to calculate credit hours.
DCIE The Division of International and Continuing Education at UM
Degree An academic credential. The University of Miami is approved to offer bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, educational specialist degrees, and doctoral degrees.
Department (Academic) An organizational unit of faculty within a college or school. Academic programs are usually housed within academic departments and sometimes within interdisciplinary programs (units). The School of Architecture, the School of Nursing and Health Studies, and the Graduate School are nondepartmentalized schools. The Faculty Manual (B6.3) defines a department as follows: A Department is a component of a school or college offering instruction and conducting research, in a defined subject matter area or major, under the primary authority and responsibility of a designated tenured and tenure‑track faculty that meets on a regular basis.
Department (CaneLink definition) The CaneLink term "department" refers to a course subject area, not an academic department per se though these may align in certain schools. The CIM system uses the CaneLink definition of department. The governance process uses the Faculty Senate definition of department.
Dual Degree (UM internal definition) Internally at UM, this term is used to indicate one program in which a student earns multiple academic credentials (degree, certificate, diploma) within one college/school. Students in dual/joint degree programs receive both degrees at the same time after the requirements for both degrees are met unless they are in an accelerated dual/joint degree program.
Dual Degree (SACSCOC definition) SACSCOC defines a dual degree program as an academic program offered by UM in partnership another college/university in which the student receives a separate degree from each institution.
Effective Term (On CIM form) The term when the new program will first enroll students or when program changes will be implemented. The effective term must be at least one term after the proposal is approved.
Faculty Senate UM's democratically elected legislative and executive body of the University Faculty. It is part of the shared governance structure of the University and is responsible for approving academic programs.
First Term Valid (On CIM form) The term in which administrative access to the new program or program changes will be required. For example, if a new program starts in a fall semester, the first term valid may need to be in the previous spring semester so that applicants can be admitted into the new program for the fall semester. For clarification, contact Jenny Vargas in the University Registrar's Office.
Full-Time Status (Enrollment) An undergraduate student is considered full-time when registered for 12 credit hours or more within a semester. A graduate student is considered full-time when registered for 9 credit hours or more within a semester. Students enrolled in certain courses (such as 800-level dissertation courses) are considered enrolled full-time regardless of the number of credit hours. Full-time status is required for full financial aid eligibility. International students also need to be enrolled full-time in order to qualify for a student visa. It's important to remember these credit hour requirements when designing or revising a program of study so that students are able to qualify for financial aid throughout the program.
Graduate Career (UM internal definition) Any program that falls under the umbrella of the Graduate School is in the graduate career in CaneLink (this includes all graduate programs at UM except for the MD program and Law School programs).
Graduate Council The school council of the Graduate School and is responsible for approving all programs in the graduate career as well as academic policies governing these programs.
Hybrid Course A course in which some instruction is offered online and some via in-person instruction.
Hybrid Program A program which offers some but less than 100% of instruction online.
In-Person Course A course in which 100% of instruction is offered when the instructor and students are located in the same location at the same time.
Instructional Location The location where courses are taught for an academic program. The federal government requires that each program's instructional location(s) be approved in advance. UM has three approved instructional locations: Coral Gables Campus, Marine Campus, Medical Campus. 
Interdisciplinary Program (UM internal definition) The Faculty Manual (B6.4) defines an interdisciplinary program (as an organizational unit) as follows: An Interdisciplinary Program is a specified group of courses offered by the faculties of two or more departments or undepartmentalized schools. Tenure may not be granted within or by an Interdisciplinary Program. The Program curriculum shall consist primarily of courses offered under the authority of the faculty of the cooperating units. The Program may offer a small independent core of courses that are not in conflict with existing course offerings and are inappropriate for cross‑listing, and are required of all students in the Program. All students in the Program shall be enrolled in one of the cooperating departments or undepartmentalized schools.
Joint Degree (UM internal definition) Internally at UM, this term is used to indicate a dual degree program that involves credentials from more than one UM college/school.
Joint Degree (SACSCOC definition) A degree program offered by UM and another college/university in which the student receives one degree with both institutions' names on the diploma. (This is rare.)
Law Career (UM internal definition) Any academic program offered by the Law School falls into the law career in CaneLink.
Major The primary field of study in any degree, diploma, or certificate program. CaneLink uses this term for undergraduate and graduate programs. Each academic program is required to have a major even if it is not transcripted. Undergraduate programs may also have one or more "additional major(s)." Undergraduate majors are generally 30 credit hours but can vary by degree program.
Medicine (MD) Career (UM internal definition) The Medical Education (MD) program in the Miller School of Medicine falls under the medicine (MD) career in CaneLink. [All other MSOM programs fall under the graduate career.] 
Memorandum of Understanding A cooperative academic agreement between UM and another college/university that is broad in nature (not specific like an articulation agreement).
Minor For undergraduate programs only: this is a curriculum shorter than a major (generally around 15 credit hours) that counts toward the degree requirements but is not a standalone program.
Modality of Instruction Modality refers to how instruction is offered. There are three types of instructional modality: in-person, hybrid, and online.
Non-Credit Career All non-academic-credit-bearing programs at the University (generally offered by DCIE) fall under the non-credit career in CaneLink. These do not need approval by the university governance process because they do not count toward an academic credential.
Non-Degree Certificate (UM internal definition) This is an internal UM term to indicate an academic-credit bearing certificate. The term "non-degree" is utilized because a certificate is less than a degree.
Off-Site Location An instructional location that is not one of the University's three campuses (excluding clinical rotations). UM does not have any approved off-site locations.
On-Campus Program An academic program which offers exclusively in-person courses.
Online Course A course in which instruction is offered exclusively (100%) online (including exams).
Online Program An academic program which offers 100% of instruction online.
Option subcomponent of an academic program that allows students a different option for pursuing the same academic program such as a thesis or non-thesis option.
Part-Time Status (Enrollment) An undergraduate student is considered part-time when registered for less than 12 credit hours within a semester. A graduate student is considered part-time when registered for less than 9 credit hours within a semester. [NOTE: Students enrolled in certain courses (such as 800-level dissertation courses) are considered enrolled full-time regardless of the number of credit hours.] Students enrolled part-time may not qualify for financial aid. International students enrolled part-time may not qualify for student visas.
Plan Code (Academic) CaneLink uses an academic plan code to designate a specific academic program or its subcomponents. (Areas of knowledge also have plan codes.) The first part of the plan code usually denotes the major/field and the last letters denote the degree or track. For example,  the plan code for the Bachelor of Science (degree) in Chemistry (major) program is CHEM_BS. A plan code does not correspond on a one-to-one basis with a major or academic program. It is common for there to be multiple plan codes for any given program because of primary versus additional majors, different tracks, thesis vs. non-thesis options, etc.
Plan of Study (on CIM form) Each academic program is required to include a suggested or sample plan of study in the CIM proposal that shows how a student might complete the program. A plan of study includes all the curriculum requirements but broken out into years and semesters with examples of possible course selections. Certificate programs and minors are not required to include a plan of study. Dual/joint degrees should include one plan of study incorporating both degrees. Programs with subcomponents may want to include a plan of study for each subcomponent. The Plan of Study is also a good planning tool as you design or revise a curriculum because it can point out problems such as when certain courses are offered and courseload issues.
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate An academic credit-bearing certificate program composed exclusively of graduate level courses. A post-baccalaureate certificate may be able to be counted toward a graduate degree program.
Post-Doctoral Certificate An academic credit-bearing certificate program that requires a doctorate for admission and involves coursework beyond the doctorate (usually in a highly specialized area).
Post-Master's Certificate An academic credit-bearing certificate program that requires a master's degree for admission and involves coursework beyond the master's degree. This certificate may be able to be counted toward a doctoral program or it may be used for additional professional certification/specialization. A certificate program that involves master's level courses is not a post-master's certificate program but rather, a post-baccalaureate certificate.
Repackaging (Curriculum) Creating a new program using existing courses or content from existing courses. Or, revising a curriculum of an existing program using existing courses or content from existing courses. Repackaging is generally not considered a substantive change and does not require SACSCOC notification or approval.
SACSCOC Pronounced "sax" or "sax see oh see." The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the regional accrediting agency that accredits the University of Miami. SACSCOC accreditation requirements regulate certain aspects of academic programs, curricula, faculty qualifications, policies, etc. During the CIM program approval process, the Office of University Accreditation reviews proposals for compliance with SACSCOC requirements and to determine if notification to or approval from SACSCOC is required.
School (UM internal definition) "School" can be used as a general term for a college or school within UM or it can be specific. The Faculty Manual (B6.2) defines a school as follows: A School is an instructional and research unit of the University offering curricula leading to a Bachelor's degree, or professional or specialized graduate degrees, under the primary authority and responsibility of a designated tenured and tenure‑track faculty that meets on a regular basis.
School Council Each school at UM has a school council which serves as the school's executive agency. The council is a democratically elected body of voting facutly in the school. The school council must approve by vote all proposals that require Faculty Senate approval.
Significant Departure (SACSCOC Defintion) A proposed new program or revisions to an existing program that is significantly different from UM's current programs and course offerings in terms of content, academic discipline, and/or degree level. A significant departure will require SACSCOC approval because it is considered a substantive change.
Standalone Program An academic program that is open for admission, not offered only as part of another credential. Most academic programs are standalone programs, even if the curriculum is embedded within another program. Examples of programs that are not standalone include a certificate which can only be earned concurrently with a degree program, undergraduate minors, a master's degree earned within a doctoral program, and a degree that is only awarded as part of a dual or joint degree.
STEM Designation The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated certain academic program CIP codes as STEM-designated. A program with a STEM-designation is eligible to participate in the OPT visa extension program which allows international students an extended stay after graduation. Click here for a list of all of the DHS STEM designated CIP codes. Refer to the University's program inventory (on the third tab) to see all of the STEM-designated programs at UM. [NOTE: There are many different definitions of STEM programs in higher education as well as at UM. Some STEM programs are not included on the DHS STEM-designated program list because the DHS follows its own specific selection criteria for STEM. Other entities have different definitions of STEM. UM's general education STEM area of knowledge definition does not correspond with the DHS STEM designation.]
Subcomponent A portion of a program curriculum that counts toward the full program or a special pathway in an academic program. Subcomponents include tracks, concentrations, thesis/non-thesis options, etc.
Subplan Code (Academic) CaneLink uses an academic subplan code to categorize students in academic programs so that academic program administrators can easily report on certain types of students (such as a fall cohort vs. a spring cohort, etc.). It is not usually used for academic program subcomponents. A subplan code is usually not transcripted.
Substantive Change (SACSCOC definition) A significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an
accredited institution. Examples of substantive changes are listed in the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures.
Synchronous Instruction Online instruction in real time (live). (Instructor and students are not in the same physical classroom but the instructor is providing the instruction at the same time as the students are receiving the instruction.)
Track A subcomponent of an academic program that involves a specific curriculum or pathway. A track usually appears on a transcript as part of an academic credential.
Undergraduate Career (UM internal definition) All undergraduate degree and certificate programs fall under the undergraduate career. All undergraduate programs require review by the University Curriculum Committee which also oversees general education and advanced writing and communication requirements university-wide.
Undergraduate Certificate An academic credit-bearing certificate composed of undergraduate level courses (100-500 level). An undergraduate certificate may be able to be counted toward an undergraduate degree. An undergraduate certificate could require a bachelor's degree for admission but that does not make it a post-baccalaureate certificate. The level of a program is determined by the program's courses, not the program's admission criteria.
University Curriculum Committee (UCC) A standing committee of the Faculty Senate with faculty representatives from each of the universities undergraduate colleges and schools. (The Graduate School, Law School, and Medical School do not offer undergraduate programs.)
University Faculty Member (UM internal definition) The Faculty Manual (A2.1) defines the University Faculty as follows: The University Faculty shall consist of the President, the Executive Vice President and Provost, the academic deans, the Regular, Research, Librarian, and Educator Faculty.