Glossary of Terms

Admission Average

An admission average is calculated based upon the five required courses for the program the student has applied. Admissions averages can vary from one program to another. For example, look at the admission average for this one Nova Scotia student to two programs:

Example: Arts vs. Engineering

Bachelor of Arts  
  - English 82
Four other highest:  
  - Chemistry 84
  - French 90
  - Geography 87
  - Academic Math 88
Admissions Avg.
Bachelor of Engineering  
  - English 82
  - Chemistry 84
  - Physics 79
  - PreCalculus
One other highest:  
  - French 90
Admissions Avg. 84%

Adjusted Average

An adjusted average is calculated based upon the level of difficulty of courses (IB and AP courses), and the total number of university preparatory classes beyond the required five. The adjusted average is created through a scale. Students can earn up to two additional points which are added to the admission average.

Advanced Standing

Students begin their study at Dalhousie at a level appropriate for their knowledge in that subject which is generally the first year or introductory level. In some circumstances, students will be permitted to start their study beyond the first year level. Students who are permitted to do this are granted advanced standing. Advanced standing does not reduce the length of a student's program - students may begin their studies at a higher level without completing the introductory class, but must still complete the required number of classes for the program. Some departments offer advanced standing for AP classes, but not transfer credits.


An award granted on the basis of financial need.

Covocation Awards

Award given at convocation based on overall academic achievement.

Co-op Student

A student enrolled in a co-operative program, where they study at certain times of the year and work in a study-related position for part of the year.


A parent or guardian who co-signs a loan application and agrees to be responsible for paying back the loan if the student is unable to.

Course Descriptions

A course description is a brief outline of the material covered in a class. A course description can be obtained either from your post-secondary institution's website or their course calendar/catalogue.

Course Outline/Syllabus

An outline/syllabus is obtained from the professor of the course who taught a class or the appropriate department at the post-secondary institution who provided the course as they might also have this information. A course outline or syllabus includes a course description, lists the texts that were used, how students were evaluated as well as the contact information of the professor who taught the course. A course outline/syllabus is usually handed out to the class at the beginning of a course.

Current Student

A student who has attended Dalhousie for one year.

Entrance Scholarship

A scholarship provided to students entering Dalhousie for the first time. Typically, these are awarded to high school students.

External Scholarship or Bursary

An award given to the student of the university by an external agency. (The University may share in the selection, administration and/or payment of such an award).

Faculty Approval

You must have completed the work that we will be considering for transfer credit within a specified period of time in order to use it towards your degree. The specified period of time will vary per degree. Classes that have not been completed within the required time frame yet meet all other requirements, require a waiver [PDF - 168k] from the appropriate faculty or school for approval. For more information, please see section 15 in the undergraduate academic calendar.

Financial Need

When your legitimate expenses are more than your resources.

Graduate Student

A student registered in a Masters or Doctoral program.

In-Course Scholarship

Scholarships for students currently attending Dalhousie. These range in value from $500 - $3,000.

Interest (bank loan)

A monthly charge for the use of borrowed money. Usually set at a percentage of the total amount owing.

International Student

A student from a country other than Canada.

Letter of Permission Courses

A Letter of Permission authorizes a Dalhousie student to take a class(es) at another institution for credit towards a Dalhousie qualification. Such permission needs to be obtained before taking the class(es).

Line of Credit

A line of credit gives you access to a specific amount of money that you can withdraw as you need it. Interest is paid on the money you withdraw.

Mature Student

A student who is over the age of 23, has been out of high school for at least four years and has never attended another post-secondary institution.


An award based on recognition of an outstanding academic record at Dalhousie for a specific degree program in a particular subject.

Official Transcripts

Transcripts must be sent to us directly from your previous secondary or post-secondary institution of study (either by fax or mail). Should your previous secondary or post-secondary institution of study issue you a copy of your transcript, they must have been sent sealed (never opened) in an envelope in order for it to be considered "official". Advanced Placement results must be sent directly to Dalhousie from the College Board of North America. International Baccalaureate results must be sent directly to Dalhousie from the International Baccalaureate Organization.


A monetary award of any value, or a non-monetary award, based on general academic excellence, or proficiency in a specific area of study or competition.

Prospective Undergraduate Student

Students who are thinking of coming to Dalhousie University. They may be coming right from high school, transferring from another university or be a mature student.

Renewable Scholarship

A scholarship that runs over more than one year, with a set amount provided for each year of study.


A monetary award, at the entrance or in-course and/or graduating level based on academic excellence (in specific subject or group of subjects) and on the recognition of additional relevant attributes.

Stafford Loans Program

The federal American loans program for undergraduate & graduate students.

Temporary Loan

Loans that Dalhousie makes to students on a temporary basis to fill in until another guaranteed source of funding comes in. They are available for 30 days, but can be available up to a maximum of 90 days.

Transfer Student

A student who has attended another post-secondary institution.