Key Terms

This page provides a summary of some common terms you will encounter when selecting and registering in courses at Acadia. These will be helpful to refer to during your course selection process.

Required Course
A course necessary to meet the specific requirements of your program.

Elective Course
A course that is not a specific program requirement, but which is counted towards the minimum credit hours required for a degree.

Course Load
A typical course load is five courses (15 credit-hours) per term, which means a total of 30 credit hours for the academic year (5 courses x 3 hours each x 2 terms).  Generally, a Bachelor degree requires 120 credit hours and is completed in four years.

Course Credit Weight
The credit weight is the relative value assigned to a course. The majority of courses at Acadia are weighted at 3 credit hours.  Normally, these courses consist of three instructional hours per week for the duration of the 12-week term (labs, tutorials, and studios often require additional hours).

Academic Year
The academic year consists of two four-month terms, typically running between September and April. Students are able to take courses for an additional fee during the Intersession (May to July).

Academic Terms
Fall -September to December.
Winter - January to April.
Fall/Winter - September to April.
Intersession – Typically May to July. Course fees are extra for courses offered during the Intersession.

Closed Course
When a course reaches the classroom space limit or when the enrolment reaches the maximum number that can be supported by a particular course format. If you encounter a closed course when registering, let the department know of your interest as sufficient interest may result in scheduling changes or additional sections being added. On the timetable screen in Acadia Central, closed courses will be shaded in blue.

Credit Hours
Courses are assigned a credit weight that varies from 1.5h to 6h or more. A one-term (four-month) course normally carries a weight of 3h. A course with a 6h weight is usually a full-year course taken from September to April.

Academic departments are approved by the Senate and Board of Governors (e.g., Department of History and Classics, Department of Physics & School of Computer Science). Departments and Schools can also refer to a non-academic area of the university.

A faculty is a division of the University. At Acadia, we have the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Pure and Applied Science, Faculty of Professional Studies, and the Faculty of Theology (Acadia Divinity College). Faculty also refers to members of the teaching community.

Grade Point Average (GPA)
Courses at Acadia are graded according to a letter scale (A, B-, C+ etc.) and a letter grade is assigned a numeric value and converted to a 4-point grading system for average calculation.

A formally recognized area of concentration as part of a degree program for which students must complete specific courses.

A secondary area of concentration for which students must complete specific courses.

A combination of required and elective courses that leads to a degree.

Academic Calendar
Acadia’s academic calendar is your comprehensive reference to study at Acadia University. he academic calendar contains degree requirements and a list of the courses and programs offered at Acadia, as well as information on admission requirements, university regulations, important dates, and fees. It is the responsibility of every student to be familiar with its contents.

Courses that are considered to be so similar in content that a student cannot retain credit for more than one of them.

A course or other requirement that must be completed concurrently with the selected course, unless you have passed it previously.

A course or other requirement that must be completed before you're able to register in a particular course. For example, MATH 1013 is a pre-requisite for MATH 1023.