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A term used in the UK for money given to cover partial tuition costs, but not living expenses. The amount is usually not more than a few thousand dollars.



In the United States this is a two-year or four-year institute for students who have finished high school. In the United States, the word "college" is often used instead of "university". For instance, "Where do you go to college?" In the UK, college is a two-year institute for students between 16-18 years old.


Community College

A two-year college that teaches university level courses and vocational courses. It is possible to study for 2 years at a community college and then transfer to a four-year university for the final two years.


Doctorate (Ph.D.)

Many graduate schools consider the Master's Degree as the first step towards attaining the Ph.D. (doctorate). But at other schools, students may prepare directly for the doctorate without also earning a Master's Degree. It may take three to seven years to earn the Ph.D. Degree (depending on the field of study, country, and amount of time you must spend working to finance your studies).



A form of aid given to graduate students. Some fellowships include a tuition waiver or a payment to the university to cover tuition. Most fellowships aldo not have to be repaid.



Used in the US to mean 'standard' or year in school, and also to mean the marks you receive on an exam or at the end of a course.


Grade Point Average (GPA)

An average of a student's grades, converted to a 4.0 scale (4.0 is an A, 3.0 is a B, and 2.0 is a C). Some schools use a 5.0 scale for the GPA.


Graduate Assistantship

There are two types of graduate assistantships: teaching assistantships (TA) and research assistantships (RA). TAs and RAs receive a full or partial tuition waiver and a small living stipend. TAs are required to perform teaching duties. RAs are required to perform research duties, not necessarily related to the student's thesis research.



A type of financial aid based on financial need that the student does not have to repay.



Field of study. In the United States, students must major in one subject, but they are required to take introductory courses in a variety of other fields as well.


Master's Degree

This is the next step after completing a B.A. or B.Sc. It is usually required in fields such as library science, engineering, or social work. The M.B.A., or Master of Business Administration, is an extremely popular degree that usually takes two years. Some Master's programs, such as journalism, only take one year. In an academic Master's program, students study such fields as history and philosophy. These degrees are considered stepping-stones toward a doctorate (Ph.D.). A Master's Degree candidate usually must prepare a long research paper called a "master's thesis."


Master's Degree: Research (UK)

The MPhil course is perhaps the best known of these. It is similar in structure to a Doctorate, but because it is shorter (usually two years), the length of the thesis is limited to about 60,000 words. Research-based Master's are self directed. Rolling Admission The university will consider applications at any time of the year and will let you know if you have been accepted within a month or two of receiving your application.



A form of financial aid given to students to help pay for their education. Most scholarships are partial; they do not cover all a students' tuition and expenses. Many scholarships are restricted to students in specific courses of study or from specific places. Scholarships do not have to be repaid.


Terms for undergraduate students in the American system



A certain amount of money set aside for a specific purpose, such as scholarships. The eligibility criteria are usually very restricted (ie. only students studying a certain subject, or from a specific country).


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