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WSU Health Professions Student Center New Student Glossary

New Student Glossary

Buildings/Locations on Campus
ASCC Academic Success and Career Center; located in Lighty 160-180; provides career services for students as well as tutoring and accommodations for students with disabilities
The Bookie The Barnes & Noble bookstore located in the CUB; contains textbooks, school supplies, and WSU apparel
Bryan Hall The Clock Tower building
Chinook Renovated from the Old Bookie building; new location on campus as of 2017; similar to the CUB; contains several amenities with the goal of improving the quality of life for WSU students
CougTech Located in CUE 302; help with technology-related issues
CUB Compton Union Building; the main hub for WSU students; contains food court, the Bookie; location of many student organization offices
CUE Center for Undergraduate Education; AKA Smith Center


Holds offices for the university’s administrators, including the president, human resources and personnel department, the Registrar, and more; located on Wilson Road off of Stadium Way; connected to Light Student Services
Lighty Student


Hosts career services, student advising, Student Financial Services, Multicultural Student Services, New Student Programs, Student Affairs, and the Office of Admissions; located on Wilson Road off of Stadium Way; connected to French Administration
HPSC Health Professions Student Center; located in CUE 502; location of all pre-health specialists


Located across from Martin Stadium


Located between the CUE and Todd Hall
MLC Math Learning Center; Cleveland 130; provides tutoring for all math courses
MSS Multicultural Student Services; located in several locations across campus including the 4th floor of the CUB; provide support for multicultural, first generation, and other underrepresented students
The Pit Fulmer 226, lecture hall
Todd Aud Todd 116, auditorium
College A constituent part of WSU; academic and research programs are organized into colleges
CAHNRS College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences
Carson COB Carson College of Business
CAS College of Arts and Sciences
COE College of Education
CON College of Nursing
COP College of Pharmacy
CVM College of Veterinary Medicine
Elson S. Floyd COM Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Honors The Honors College
Murrow COC Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
VCEA Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture


College/university education after high school/secondary education; in the US, secondary education is typically grades 8-12, and primary education is K-7


Schooling that leads to earning either a two or a four-year degree
Associate Degree Two-year degree
AA Associate of Arts
AS Associate of Sciences
CVT/LVT/RVT Certified Veterinary Technician/Licensed Veterinary Technician/Registered Veterinary Technician; credentials depend on state regulations
LPN/LVN Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse; credentials depend on state regulations
OTA Occupational Therapy Assistant
Pharm Tech Does most of the pill counting and label sticking; pharmacists check their work. Requires training at a community college for about 4 quarters, and state certification. Some chains, like Safeway and Walgreens, have a PharmTech training program of their own.
PTA Physical Therapy Assistant
Bachelor Degree Four-year degree
BA Bachelor of Arts
BS Bachelor of Science
BSN Bachelor of Science in Nursing
RN Registered Nurse
RN-BSN Program for an RN that wants to earn the BSN degree
Post-Baccalaureate Refers to a 2nd bachelor’s degree or to coursework for those who have already earned a first bachelor’s degree. Some students choose to participate in these programs to improve their academic record before applying to medical school; others may be changing careers.
Graduate School Schooling that leads to earning a Master’s degree or PhD
PhD Doctor of Philosophy; a doctorate degree; it is a research degree (typically four years post-baccalaureate). The highest academic qualification in American education.
Master’s Degree Typically two years post-baccalaureate
MOT Master of Occupational Therapy
NP Nurse Practitioner


Typically Post-Baccalaureate education that entails specialized training for a specific career (e.g., medical school)
DDS Doctor of Dental Surgery
DMD Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry
DO Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine; treat patients using holistic philosophies as well as modern technologies and medicine; licensing is equivalent to MD
DPT Doctor of Physical Therapy
DVM Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
MD Medical Doctor; use remedies such as medications or surgery to combat diseases; licensing is equivalent to DO
OD Doctor of Optometry
OTD Doctor of Occupational Therapy
PA-C Physician Assistant – Certified
Pharm D Doctor of Pharmacy


Typically an Associate degree that will allow you to transfer completed coursework from a community college to WSU or another 4-year university
AAS-T Associate of Applied Science Transfer; your credits will be assessed on a course-by-course basis, you are not guaranteed junior standing, and you are still responsible for WSU UCORE classes
AS-T Associate of Science Transfer; generally junior standing will be granted, you will be responsible for any UCORE classes that are not fulfilled by your degree, as well as a Roots of Contemporary Issues course [ROOT], a second course in [COMM] or [WRTG], a diversity course [DIVR], and a Integrative Capstone [CAPS]
DTA Direct Transfer Agreement; associate degree that incorporates general education requirements similar to WSU’s, you’ll get credit for lower-division UCORE courses and will generally be given junior standing, you will still need to complete any upper-division UCORE courses as well as an Integrative Capstone [CAPS]
Certificate An officially recorded document issued by WSU, displaying the WSU seal and president’s signature; issued to students who have completed a course of study that meets the guidelines and has been approved by the Faculty Senate
Occupational Titles
CNA Certified Nursing Assistant; may complete training programs after high school at community colleges, trade schools, or online
MA Medical Assistant; may complete training programs after high school at community colleges, trade schools, or online

Therapy Aide

Not the same as an OTA; typically has a high school diploma or equivalent and receives on-the-job training
Pharmacy Assistant Lowest on the totem pole in a pharmacy. Does what is needed by both the pharmacist and pharm-techs; may double as a cashier. Excellent position for students who want to gain experience with the goal of becoming a pharmacist. Requires an HIV/AIDS Training Course and state certification.

Therapy Aide

Not the same as a PTA (see below); typically has a high school diploma or equivalent and receives on-the-job training
Veterinary Assistant Typically has at least a high school diploma or equivalent and receives on-the-job training; can complete training programs online or at community colleges
Professional Tests
DAT Dental Admission Test; usually required for admission into dental school
GRE Graduate Record Exam; the most commonly required admission test for graduate and professional schools
MCAT Medical College Admission Test; usually required for admission into medical school
OAT Optometry Admission Test; usually required for admission into optometry school
PCAT Pharmacy College Admission Test; usually required for admission into pharmacy school
TEAS Test of Essential Academic Skills; usually required for admission into nursing school
Educational Terms
Dead Week The last week of classes before final exams; no exams are allowed to be given
FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid; this form helps provide financial aid to college students all over the nation
FERPA Family and Education Rights and Privacy Act; this protects the privacy of student education records
Finals Week Full week where students take their scheduled final exams; no classes are held
Lab Space in which students can perform certain functions in controlled situations that help them test and understand what is being taught in the lecture, can be led by a TA or the professor
Lecture Class where instructor/professor lectures on class material
Major Student’s chosen field of study
Midterms Exams that test students on lecture materials; typically in the middle of the semester
Minor Specific number of credit hours in a secondary field of study
NEP Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
Pre-Req Prerequisite; this is a required course that must be taken in order to enroll into other classes or to get into graduate programs
SHS Speech and Hearing Sciences
Syllabus An outline of topics or subjects that will be covered in your course, it may also contain the professor’s expectations and policies on grading or attendance
Syllabus Week The first week of classes; contrary to the name, professors do not typically spend more than 1 lecture at most going over their syllabus
Transcript Permanent academic record of a student
UCORE University Core Requirements; these are required to graduate from WSU
Extracurricular Activities Terms
ASWSU Associated Students of Washington State University; WSU’s student government body
CCE Center for Civic Engagement; located in CUB L45 and L48; organization that holds volunteer events in the Pullman Community for all WSU students
DU Down Under Recreation Center; an extension of the UREC located in the “down under” (basement) of the Stephenson complex
IM Intramural Sports; recreational sports organized through the university
ORC Outdoor Recreation Center; part of UREC; organizes outdoor adventure activities for students
RSO Registered Student Organization; organization in which all student clubs are registered
SEB Student Entertainment Board; student group that puts together fun events for all WSU students to attend
UREC/SRC AKA “the Rec”; University Recreation/Student Recreation Center; facility on campus that houses exercise equipment and fitness classes
Online Portals
CougSync AKA “OrgSync”; your way to connect to university organizations and clubs, communicate with other members, and explore your community
myWSU The website that provides all information regarding your WSU account; this is where you enroll for classes, check financial aid/status, and access a variety of WSU resources
People on Campus
Advisor School official assigned by your college who will help you choose classes and make sure you are taking the right courses to graduate
Alumni Someone that has graduated from WSU
Chair AKA Department Chair; the chief academic and administrative officer of the department; reports to the Dean of the College
Dean Faculty member that is head of a college or department
Faculty Teaching staff with the university, typically doctoral level
Instructor College teacher ranking below assistant professor
OC Orientation Counselor; guides future students through the Alive! Orientation


Located in the HPSC, they will help you prepare yourself for professional school
Professor Teacher of the highest rank in a college or university; usually has a PhD
RA Research Assistant; participates in research in a lab on campus
Staff University support personnel
TA Teaching Assistant; usually in charge of instructing labs and assisting the instructor/professor
Residence Life Terms
RA Resident Advisor; a student who is responsible for supervising and assisting other, typically younger, students who live in the same residence hall
RDA Residence Dining Account; account that allows students living in residence halls to purchase food and other necessities at many locations on campus
RED Residential Education Director; a non-student responsible for the daily operations of the residence hall; supervises RAs
RHA Residence Hall Association; a student-run residence hall governing body