Information for Parents

LAU Glossary


Admissions: The office that receives and processes applications from prospective students.

Advising: Guidance provided by a staff member or professor to a student. Choosing what courses to take next can be overwhelming to some students, especially newcomers. Therefore all students have advisors — professors who can advise them in this regard. “Advising” also refers to counseling or guidance for students who are experiencing difficulties with their courses. That kind of assistance is provided by specialized staff members at LAU.

Accreditation: An official acknowledgment that a degree program (or university) meets high quality standards set by a specialized accrediting agency. Several degrees at LAU are accredited by American agencies. In addition, LAU as a whole is accredited by the New England Association for Schools and Colleges (NEASC) just like many universities in the United States.

AKSOB: Adnan Kassar School of Business

ARCSON: Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing


BA: Bachelor of Arts, a degree equivalent to the French licence.

Business Office: The office where students pay for their applications or other fees.

BS: Bachelor of Science, a degree equivalent to the French licence.

Banner: Banner is the web-based software where information about each and every student — application, fees due and paid, financial aid, courses taken and to be taken, grades, etc. — is stored and accessed. Each student can log in to Banner from anywhere with an internet connection.

Blackboard: Web-based software used by professors to deliver readings, homework, quizzes, messages, discussions, etc. Through Blackboard, students and faculty can communicate online.


CAPP Degree Evaluation: An automated report showing your student’s progress toward her/his degree.

Commencement: Graduation. Sometimes referred to as “commencement exercises.” LAU holds three commencement ceremonies in June — two in Beirut and one in Byblos.

Credit: A measure of how much instruction a student gets. One credit equals roughly one hour of class per week. For example, a student taking a 3-credit course will spend 3 hours per week in class for that course. (In the summer term, which is shorter than regular semesters, a 3-credit course means 6 hours/week of class time.)

CRN: A unique number assigned to each class that students use when registering for that class in Banner.

Curriculum: The set of courses one must pass to receive a certain degree. The curriculum usually includes Liberal Arts Curriculum courses (basic common courses for all LAU students), core requirements (specific major courses), and electives (chosen by each student according to her interest).


Drop/Add period: A short time at the beginning of each semester, during which students can change the courses they registered for. The changes sometimes reduce or increase the bill for that semester.

Deposit: All students are required to pay an amount ahead of the fall semester (or their first semester at LAU) to secure their place. The deposit is later discounted from the fees due.

Dean of Students: The LAU official who is in charge of student life matters, such as orientation, activities, counseling, and much more.


Financial aid: Students can reduce their fees by working in university offices, taking out loans, or receiving grants. Before they can do so, they have to apply, be evaluated by the university, and be found eligible to receive help. See also Scholarships.

Full-time: Students who are registered for 12 credits or more per semester.

Freshman: In the United States, the freshman year is the first year of university (and first-year students are known as freshmen). However, students coming from the Lebanese or French school system typically skip this year and start directly at the sophomore level (second year in the American system). Students who do enter as freshmen are placed in either “freshman arts” or “freshman science” depending on their interest (more details).


GPA: Grade Point Average. Every course ends with a grade (A, B, C, D, F) that carries a numerical value (4, 3, 2, 1, 0). These numbers are computed as explained in Scholasting Standing to obtain the student’s grade, which is between 0 and 4.0. Semester GPA is the computation of grades for the courses taken in one semester. Major GPA is the computation of grades for the courses in the student’s major (without counting electives); sometimes a student needs to attain a certain major GPA to be able to graduate.


Holds: A “hold” in Banner prevents the student from completing a particular action, such as registration or viewing their final grades. It might happen for several reasons, for example if the fees haven’t been paid, documents are missing, etc.


International Services: The office that manages exchange programs and study-abroad opportunities.


Junior: A third-year student in the United States. For Lebanese students, the junior year is typically their second year of university (see Freshman to learn why).


MA, MBA, MS: Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science. A master’s degree is an advanced degree that typically follows a bachelor’s degree and precedes a doctorate.

Minor: A mini-specialization in a field. It could be related to the major, or very different. For example, a student can graduate with a major in English literature and a minor in mathematics.

MWF: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.


Petition: A formal written request by a student to a university authority.

Portal: A personalized website where students find applications, utilities, deadlines, and instructions to perform various tasks.


Registrar: The official in charge of keeping students’ academic records — courses taken, grades, withdrawals, eligibility for graduation, etc. The Registrar’s Office also issues transcripts and diplomas.

Registration: Before each semester, students choose the courses they want to take and reserve a place in them. This procedure is known as registration.

Returnee: A student who is returning to the university after missing a semester or longer.


Senior: A fourth-year student in the United States. For Lebanese students, the senior year is typically their third year of university (see Freshman to learn why).

Sophomore: A second-year student in the United States. For Lebanese students, the sophomore year is typically their first year of university (see Freshman to learn why).

Special Students: Students taking courses for credit but without getting a degree.

Statement of Fees: The bill you receive each semester (typically in September and January), listing all the fees that must be paid for that term.

Student Councils: Students elected by their peers to represent them in key university councils that make decisions on fees, financial aid, activities, and many other aspects of university life.

Student portal: A website that delivers personalized information and services to each student. It’s the best point of entry for all applicants and students of LAU looking for useful online services. Access to the portal is given soon after a student applies.

Student clubs: Clubs are started by students and focus on many different interests, including culture, sports, human rights, the arts. Through clubs, students engage in extracurricular pursuits and hobbies and get to know others who share their interests.

Syllabus: A list of topics and readings to be covered during a course. It is prepared by the professor and given to all students at the beginning of a course.


TR (sometimes TTH): Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Tuition: The amount charged by a university for academic instruction. It appears along with other fees on each semester’s statement of fees (bill).


Varsities: Sports teams representing LAU in competitions.


Waitlist: In Banner, if a student finds a course is full, she can sign up for the “waitlist.” If someone drops out of the course, the student on the waitlist will be instantly notified.

Withdrawal: One can drop out of courses before completing them, as long as one follows certain rules and deadlines (see Academic Rules and Procedures). After dropping out, the student receives a special W grade.