A Glossary of Campus Terminology
As a graduate student you will be exposed to a great deal of new terminology that might at first seem a bit overwhelming. In order to alleviate and clarify, we have put together a list of important but unfamiliar terms, some of which you may encounter in any graduate program, but all of which you will encounter at UCSB.
ABD: All But Dissertation. This unofficial term is used to describe Ph.D. candidates who have completed all of the program requirements except for writing the dissertation.
Academic Residence: All UCSB students are required to pay fees and register for at least four units per term to be considered in "academic residence." Students seeking the Master's degree must be in academic residence for at least three quarters, while those seeking the Ph.D. must be in residence for at least six quarters.
Advanced to Candidacy: When a student finishes all of the necessary requirement to become ABD, they are considered to have "advanced to candidacy" for the Ph.D. degree.
BARC: The campus billing system. Log in to pay your tuition and fees and check for account refunds.
Dissertation: Ph.D. candidates are required to complete an extensive, original work based on independent research, known as a dissertation. This dissertation must be approved by the doctoral committee, and must be filed with the University, as well as microfilmed.
Doctoral Committee: The doctoral committee administers the student's exams, guides the research and writing, and administers the doctoral defense. The doctoral committee typically must be made up of three tenure-track faculty from within the student's department, although requirements differ by department, and may include outside faculty. The committee chair is typically the student's research advisor.
Fellowship: There is no real difference between a scholarship and a fellowship. Both provide free money towards your education, require you to enroll and make satisfactory progress towards your degree, etc. But most graduate school financial awards are called fellowships. Fellowships may pay for tuition and fees, health insurance, research supplies, travel and more. Some fellowships provide the student with a stipend for one or more years. Some fellowships are for specific purposes, such as writing a dissertation.
Field Exam: Some graduate programs, especially in the humanities, require students to take a field exam, which is a specialized oral and/or written one-on-one exam between a student and a professor on a specific topic chosen by the student, based on a reading list composed by the student. Typically, field exams are the final step in advancing to candidacy, and are sometimes called Qualifying Examinations.
GauchoSpace: The campus course management system
GOLD: Gaucho On-Line Data, the online system you will use to register for classes and get transcripts
- Graduate Program Assistant—Each department at UCSB has one, and they are an invaluable resource for graduate students. GPAs handle paperwork, monitor student progress, answer student questions, and direct opportunities to students, among a variety of other tasks. A good GPA can make the graduate experience much easier on the student.
- Grade Point Average
Graduate Division: The Graduate Division facilitates and coordinates graduate education and student services for all graduate academic and professional programs at the University of California. The goal of the Graduate Division is to promote academic excellence, to foster a diverse and inclusive graduate community, and to cultivate an intellectual and supportive climate for graduate students.
GSA: The Graduate Students Association—GSA is an elected council which represents the interests of all UCSB graduate students. The GSA appoints students to various committees, and schedules a variety of activities for graduate students, which are advertised in a GSA newsletter. The GSA Lounge on the 2nd floor of the MultiCultural Center is open to all graduate students as a place to meet or study.
GSR: Graduate Student Researcher—also known as RAs (Research Assistants). GSRs are appointed by departments, typically as part of aid packages, and are expected to aid in a faculty member's research through a variety of individually planned methods. GSRs with 25% appointments at UCSB have part of their fees paid by the University, as well as their health insurance. GSRs with 35% appointments or more have all of their fees paid.
GSRC: Graduate Student Resource Center, run by the Graduate Division, is located in the Student Resource Building room 1215, not to be confused with the GSA Lounge in the MultiCultural Center.
IEPGS: Intercampus Exchange Program for Graduate Students. Graduate students in the UC system are permitted to apply to take courses and use the facilities of another UC campus while still being registered at their own campus. Exchange students must be in good academic standing, have completed at least 1 quarter of residence, and demonstrate a need to work on another campus, or with a specific faculty member.
In Absentia: Students whose research or study requires them to remain outside California for the duration of a full quarter can take advantage of in absentia registration. Students who are approved for in absentia registration will receive a reduction of 85% of the combined Tuition, Student Service Fee, and Campus Fees. More information.
Leave of Absence: Students dealing with extraordinary circumstances may petition for a leave of absence to maintain continuous enrollment with the university and to guarantee a student's place in their degree program upon return. More information.
P1, P2, P3:
- P1 status degree objective is academic or professional doctorate, but student has not been advanced to candidacy.
- P2 status degree objective is academic or professional doctorate, and student has been advanced to candidacy (students can maintain P2 status for up to 9 quarters).
- P3 status after 9 registered quarters as P2 status a student goes into P3 status.
Qualifying Exam: This exam, or series of exams, are usually taken after all coursework is completed, but before work on the dissertation has really begun. This is usually the last stage in advancing to candidacy (or becoming ABD).
TA: Teaching Assistant—TAs are appointed by departments to aid in the teaching of larger courses, and appointments are typically, but not exclusively, part of aid packages. TAs perform a variety of tasks, including leading weekly discussion sections, occasionally lecturing in the main class, and grading student work. TA assignments vary but can not exceed 50% time (20 hours/week). UCSB TAs receive partial payment of their fees, and complete payment of their health insurance for each quarter they are employed.
Thesis: Master's students are typically expected to write a thesis, which is a report on the results of original investigation, in conjunction with the thesis committee. Length and style of thesis vary by department, but all must be filed with the University.
Thesis Committee: The thesis committee guides the research and writing of the thesis, and is selected by the student. The committee is made up of three tenure-track faculty, at least two of whom must be from the student's home department. Typically, the committee chair is the student's research advisor.
Time-to-Degree: Under Graduate Council policy, students admitted prior to Fall 2010 are given four years to complete a master's degree, four years from beginning graduate study at UC Santa Barbara to advance to doctoral candidacy, and seven years total to complete a doctoral degree. Students admitted Fall 2010 or later will follow their departmental time-to-degree standards approved by Graduate Council. See Time-to-Degree Standards.
UC SHIP: University of California Student Health Insurance Plan—unless waived, all registered students are covered by the campus student health insurance
UCSBnetID: Your UCSBnetID is used to log in to a variety of campus online services, including GOLD, BARC, U-Mail, and the campus wireless
U-Mail: The student e-mail service.