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Vocabulary Ninja

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Here are 50 (actually 56) of the most common words and phrases specific to campus life in
America. While most of you are familiar with studying vocabulary in textbooks, you may find the layout
of this book rather strange.

Definitions and example sentences are provided after the words are introduced.

Every time you encounter a new word it will be presented as such:

1. an elective - (my guess) ______A class you take that has something to do with politics.
Maybe you learn about how votes are counted during a political election. _______________

DICTIONARY ___ a course that is not required for your major________

For each word or phrase, you guess the meaning and then look it up in the dictionary

Instead of providing you with the definition or the word in context first, they’re provided after
you guess the meaning without context and search for the definition in a dictionary. The more time you
take to think critically about a word, the more likely you are to retain it.

The title of this book is American Campus Vocabulary: 50 Words Every International Student Must
Know, but there are actually 56 words. Each section is followed by a fill-in-the-blank activity to provide
you with further practice. If you plan on aMending an American university, you will definitely hear these
words during your academic career.

josh@vocabularyninja.com

Official Website : Vocabulary Ninja


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Josh MacPherson©
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Students On Campus
1. undergrad - (my guess) ____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
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________________________________________________________________________________

2. graduate - (my guess) ______________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
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3. eligible candidate - (my guess) ____________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
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________________________________________________________________________________

4. full-time student and part-time student - (my guess) _____________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

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5. a freshman / a sophomore / a junior / a senior - (my guess) ________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

1. undergrad - a student who is still studying to earn his or her bachelor’s degree

When I was an undergrad, I didn’t do so well because I partied every night.

2. graduate (student) - a student who has completed their bachelor’s degree and is now pursuing a
master’s or doctorate

Graduate students are usually more serious and studious than undergrads.

3. eligible candidate - an individual who meets all the necessary criteria to be part of a class, program
or job

Yonguk applied for a scholarship at Columbia University, but, unfortunately, he wasn’t an eligible candidate. He
was born in the States and the scholarship only applied to international students.

4. full-time student - a student who aMends class for at least 12 hours a week (usually)

Some full-time students have no choice but to work full-time jobs at the same time.

5. part-time student - a student who aMends class less than 12 hours a week, usually due to work,
family or other responsibilities

Most part time students want to be full-time, but their schedules are too busy.

6. freshman - first year student

Freshman are the easiest students to manipulate because they don’t know all the rules.

7. sophomore - second year student

During Viktoria’s sophomore year, she decided to switch majors.

8. junior - third year student

Michel decided to drop out of college in his junior year to travel around the world.

Josh MacPherson©
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9. senior - fourth year student

Seniors are the laziest students of all.

Vocabulary Practice
Directions : Use the word bank and fill in the blanks with the correct vocabulary.

freshman undergrads graduate student sophomore senior

part-time students eligible candidate full-time student junior

I’ll never forget my (1) ________________ year. I arrived at the dorms with all my luggage,
frightened. I didn’t know anyone and I had no idea who my roommate would be. It was the first time I
ever lived away from home. My roommate, Yolanda, was actually a (2) ________________ , one year
ahead of me, so she showed me around campus and let me know where I could buy food, hang out and
study. I was lucky to have her as a roommate.
On my first day of class, I sat in a sea of fellow (3) ______________________. Most of us were first
or second year students, working towards our bachelor’s degree. In my evening class, however, there
was more variety. Most of the students were adults with families and full-time jobs. They were only
(4) ___________________. I was lucky to be a (5) ______________________. My parents paid for
everything. They wanted me to focus on my studies. They didn’t want me to take any job. My job was to
be a good student.

I’m a (6) _________________ now and I still live in the dorms. Yolanda graduated last year and now
I have a roommate who’s a (7)___________________, one year younger than me. During my first year of
school, I worried so much about my roommate and if we would get along. Now, I don’t care. I’m
completely focused on my studies. I want to be a (8) ___________________ at Harvard School of Business
next year so I spend almost all of my time at the library. They have a scholarship program and I meet all
the criteria to be an (9) ________________________. It’s always been my dream to go to Harvard and I
want to make my parents proud.

Josh MacPherson©
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Jobs On Campus
1. advisor - (my guess) ____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

2. TA (teacher’s assistant) - (my guess)


_____________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

3. RA (resident advisor) - (my guess)


_____________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

4. work study - (my guess) __________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

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5. adjunct- (my guess) _______________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

6. tenure - (my guess) _______________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

1. (academic) advisor - a person who works on campus, will help you create a schedule each semester
and lay out a plan for you to graduate on time

After speaking with her academic advisor, Jessica decided to finally declare a major.

2. TA (teacher’s assistant) - a student, usually a graduate student, who helps the professor grade papers
and field questions from students

Every time I go to visit the professor during office hours, her TA is there instead.

3. RA (resident advisor) - someone who lives and works in a dormitory and is responsible for the safety
and security of the students who live in it

An RA is one of the most hated individuals in any dormitory.

4. work study - a program designed by the college where students aMend class while also working part
time in a position on campus

I was part of a work study program during my junior year, but I was too busy to do it again my senior year.

5. adjunct - a part-time professor who is paid an hourly wage

Many adjunct professors complain because they aren’t given any health benefits.

6. tenure - a professor who has been awarded a permanent position at the school

Usually, professors with tenure are much lazier than adjuncts.

Josh MacPherson©
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Vocabulary Practice
Directions : Use the word bank and fill in the blanks with the correct vocabulary.

advisor TA RA work study adjunct tenure

Shelia never liked her (1) ____________________, Robin. Even as a freshman, Shelia knew that
Robin was lazy. Whenever she would come to her with a question about next semester’s schedule, she
would just shrug her shoulders and say, “I don’t know.” However, now, she had no choice. Shelia
wanted a job as a (2)__________________ on campus. She asked her (3) ___________________ beforehand,
but he just shrugged and said, “Sorry, that’s not my job, I just manage this housing unit. You’ll have to
talk to Robin.”
That was the last place Shelia wanted to visit.
Later that afternoon she bumped into her Microeconomics teacher, professor Durkheim. She
thought he might know something about a job. Actually, she wanted to work in the Economics
Department, so she figured professor Durkheim might know. “Sorry, I’m just an (4) ________________,
they pay me to teach and nothing else. I’m not sure about work opportunities in the department. You
might want to ask Doctor Sedhom, he’s the chair of the department. Or, you know, you should probably
talk to Robin.”
“No!” Shelia thought, “Not that name again.”
She marched over to the Economics department office and, unfortunately Dr. Sedhom wasn’t in.
“Who are you?” Shelia asked.
“I’m Dr. Sedhom’s (5) ___________________, my name’s Josh. I’m a graduate student and he asked
me to help him out with a couple courses this year. Why are you looking for Dr. Sedhom? Maybe I can
help you out. To be honest, Dr. Sedhom has (6) ________________ now, so he’s hardly ever available. He
used to be here all the time, but now I only see him in class.”
Shelia told him the situation and he responded, “Sure, I think there’s a position opening up in a
few weeks.”
Shelia was ecstatic. “Really! That’s great. How do I apply?”
“You’ll have to go talk to Robin.”

Josh MacPherson©
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Life On Campus
1. coed - (my guess) ____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

2. tuition - (my guess)


_____________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

3. scholarship - (my guess)


_____________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

4. fraternity - (my guess) __________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

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5. sorority- (my guess) _______________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

6. dormitory - (my guess)


_____________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________

7. semester - (my guess) __________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

8. the registrar’s office- (my guess) ___________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

1. coed - a place where you can find both males and females, not limited to one gender

Many international students are shocked when they visit a campus with coed dormitories.

2. tuition - the amount of money charged by a school or institution

The tuition at an Ivy League school is much higher than it would be at a state school.

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3. scholarship - money awarded to students based on merit, talent or background

Jamie turned down a scholarship at Penn State University and decided, instead, to go to NYU.

4. fraternity - an all-male club or group on an American campus, part of Greek life

Many fraternities are well-known for their drinking habits and initiation rituals.

5. sorority - an all-female club or group on an American campus, part of Greek life

My sister was in a sorority while she was in college and loved it.

6. dorm (dormitory) - on-campus residence for college students

Henry lived in the dorms when he was a freshman but moved off campus in his sophomore year.

7. semester (term) - a 14-18 week period of school where classes begin and end

I’m taking 18 credits this semester. I have no idea how I’m going to pass all these classes.

8. the registrar’s office - the place on campus that keeps official student records

Jorge’s professor kicked him out of class because his name wasn’t on the aXendance. He went down to the
registrar’s office and was informed that he still owed the school $5000.

Vocabulary Practice
Directions : Use the word bank and fill in the blanks with the correct vocabulary.

coed tuition
scholarship fraternity

sorority dormitory semester registrar’s office

It was Dane’s freshman year and he was excited to stay in a (1)____________________. He figured
it’d be the best place to meet people who were in a (2) ____________________. He wanted to be a part of
Greek life, even before he arrived at school. Before he left home, however, his mother warned him to
focus on his studies. “The (3) ___________________ of that school of yours is outrageous. You’re lucky
you got a (4) _________________________. You have to maintain a 3.0 GPA to keep that money, so make
sure you keep your mind on the books and away from the girls and the parties, okay?”

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The only problem was that the main reason why Dane wanted to be a part of Greek life was
because he wanted to party and meet girls in a (5) _____________________. It was only the beginning of
the (6) _____________________, and he was already going out drinking every night.
College was everything Dean expected it to be. He lived in a (7) _________________ dorm and met
a lot of different people from around the globe. He eventually met some brothers and pledged. He
partied with girls and drank. One day, half way through the term, he got a call from the
(8) _____________________. His GPA had fallen well below a 3.0. Dean ended up leaving school and
returning home after just one semester.

Classes On Campus
1. an elective - (my guess) ____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

2. a prerequisite - (my guess)


_____________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
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________________________________________________________________________________

3. department - (my guess)


_____________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
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4. incomplete (or) withdrawal - (my guess) __________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
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_________________________________________________________________________________

5. office hours - (my guess) __________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
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_________________________________________________________________________________

6. 101 (course) - (my guess) ____________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
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________________________________________________________________________________

7. distance learning - (my guess) _________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________

8. minor/major - (my guess) _________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________

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9. credit hour - (my guess)
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
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10. a requirement - (my guess)


_____________________________________________________________________________________________
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DICTIONARY
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11. practicum - (my guess) __________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
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________________________________________________________________________________

1. elective - a course that is not required for your major

The best elective I’ve ever taken was History of Rock-n-Roll.

2. prerequisite - classes you need to have taken before entering a specific course

Higher-level courses you must take in your junior and senior years often require a prerequisite.

3. department - a specific division of study, i.e. Nursing Department

That school in California is famous for their Creative Writing program, so their English Department is huge.

4. incomplete/withdrawal - when a student leaves a class but it does not negatively impact his or her
overall GPA

Fatima decided to withdraw from the class and take an incomplete. If she had stayed, she would have failed.
Josh MacPherson©
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5. office hours - specific hours per week where you can visit a professor outside of class

Suzanne wishes her Medieval European history teacher had different office hours. She has to work on Tuesday
afternoons.

6. 101 (course) - a 101 course is an introduction to a specific subject, i.e. Psychology 101

When I was a freshman, I hated my Philosophy 101 course, however, as I got older, I started to read the same books
I had read in that course.

7. distance learning - learning and aMending class without being physical present in a room or school

There are countless distance learning programs in America because people are so busy nowadays.

8. major/minor - a student’s main course of study, a minor is a student’s 2nd main course of study

As an undergrad I majored in Education and minored in Social Studies. After college, I became a high school
history teacher. It was terrible.

9. credit (hour) - points or time awarded to students based on their aMendance and performance in
class. You need approximately 120 credits to graduate with a bachelor’s degree

Students usually don’t care much about one credit courses.

10. requirement - a course you must take in order to graduate

Before Lin earns her Bachelor’s degree, she has to do an internship; it’s a requirement.

11. practicum - a class that allows students to “practice” their future careers under the supervision of
professionals

Practicums are usually done by teachers and medical professors. They go out into the field, observe and document
actual professionals.

Josh MacPherson©
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Vocabulary Practice
Directions : Use the word bank and fill in the blanks with the correct vocabulary.

prerequisite practicums requirements


distance learning electives 101

minored department credits majored withdraw office hours

I’ve earned an associates, bachelor’s and master’s degree from three different colleges. I finished
almost all of my (1) ____________________ courses at my first school, where I earned my Associates
Degree in Liberal Arts. If you want to earn an Associates degree, all you need is 64 (2) _______________,
which I completed in less than two years.
As an undergrad, I (3) __________________ in Education and (4) ______________________ in
History. So, I didn’t get a chance to take too many (5) ________________________. Since I had both a
major and a minor, there were a lot of (6) _________________________. If I missed just one of these
classes, I wouldn’t have been able to graduate. I did have to (7) _______________________ from one of my
classes in the middle of the semester because I thought I could handle an additional class, but it turned
out to be way too much work. Besides that one class, I completed all of my classes with at least a B
average and participated in multiple (8) _______________________ in my last semester before finally
graduating with a bachelor’s degree.
For my Masters, I ended up joining a (9) _______________________ program. I was living abroad
at the time and the only way for me to aMend school was through the computer. It was more difficult
because I couldn’t meet with my professors during (10) ______________________ like I could as an
undergrad, and there was no academic (11) ______________________ for me to visit to ask questions
about a particular program. I still learned a lot and earned a Masters Degree in Teaching English as a
Second Language.

Josh MacPherson©
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Class Work On Campus


1. plagiarism - (my guess) __________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
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_________________________________________________________________________________

2. cram - (my guess) _________________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

3. due date - (my guess) _____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

4. thesis - (my guess)


_____________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

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5. syllabus - (my guess)
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

6. term paper - (my guess) __________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

7. an extension - (my guess)


_____________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

8. citations - (my guess) ______________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________

1. plagiarism - when you copy someone else’s work and pretend it’s your own

The professor could tell that Said had commiXed an act of plagiarism because he used challenging words like
‘didactic’, ‘inchoate’ and ‘indefatigable’.

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2. cram - to wait until the last moment to study

Many students believe that they perform beXer on a test when they cram.

3. due date - the time at which an assignment is supposed to be completed

I thought the assignment was due next Monday, but I just checked the class schedule and it says the due date’s
tomorrow.

4. thesis - for graduate students, you must submit a proposal or theory and prove that it’s either correct
or incorrect through extensive research and experimentation

My original thesis was going to be about Nieasche and how contracting syphilis may have influenced his later
writing. However, my professor said that topic was too speculative. I’d have to pick something else.

5. syllabus - an outline of the homework, essays, tests and other materials to be covered in a course

Professors almost always give students a syllabus on the first day of class.

6. term paper (note that the term paper and essay are used interchangeably in college) - an assignment where
you are expected to write in an academic fashion

My American History teacher gives us so much work. Not only do we have to prepare for three exams, but we also
have to write four term papers, all by the end of the semester.

7. extension - when a student is given extra time to complete an assignment past the due date

My term paper was due last week but my mother was sick in the hospital, so I couldn’t do any school work. I hope
my professor gives me an extension.

8. citation - a reference to a book, article or other resource where you first heard the information

I got a C on my literary analysis assignment. My teacher said that my writing was fine, but she deducted the grade
to a C because I didn’t include a single citation.

Josh MacPherson©
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Vocabulary Practice
Directions : Use the word bank and fill in the blanks with the correct vocabulary.

plagiarized crammed citations syllabus

due date extensions term papers


thesis

The professor handed out the (1) __________________ to the class on the first day, just like every
other college professor. The first (2) _________________ was next week, September 22nd. He warned the
class, “There are no (3) ______________________ in my class. I will not accept any assignment after its
due. Make sure you plan your schedule accordingly. Also…” professor Gold continued, “…since you’re
all graduate students, you’ll be expected to work on your (4) ________________, which will be due at the
end of the course. This is the sum of all your work in school, so expect to write a lot.”
Sarah, a straight A student all of her life, was, for the first time, nervous. She wasn’t like other
students. She never (5) ________________ before a test. She never (6) ____________________ from her
classmates or from Google. She prided herself on being an honest and diligent student who took her
studies seriously, even if many of her classmates did not. However, she was nervous about the thesis.
First of all, she never learned how to use (7) ____________________. She constantly got points off from
past (8) _________________ for having a poor bibliography. This was going to be the hardest class of her
academic career.

Grades On Campus
1. transcript - (my guess) ____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

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2. BA - (my guess) _________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

3. MA - (my guess) __________________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

4. PhD - (my guess)


_____________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

5. GPA - (my guess)


_____________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

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6. cumulative - (my guess) __________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

7. leOer of recommendation - (my guess)


_____________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

1. transcript - an official document from you university with a summary of your grades and course of
study

Many jobs require that they obtain an official transcript from the institution you graduated from.

2. BA - Bachelor’s of Arts

After earning his BA in Medieval European History, James decided to go back to school for his Master’s in
Secondary Education.

3. MA - Master’s of Arts

Almost every public school in every states in the US requires that a teacher earns an MA.

4. PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

She didn’t need to go back to school, but Lucille still wanted to earn her PhD. You see, Ms. Ball wanted people to
start calling her Dr. Ball.

5. GPA - Grade Point Average, the sum average of your grades

If you graduate with a GPA of 2.5 or below, it’s going to be hard for you to find a job.

Josh MacPherson©
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6. cumulative - the total number of grades brought together and calculated as a whole

Dongki got an A on his final exam, but his cumulative average for the entire class was a C.

7. leSer of recommendation - a short summary of your skills, abilities and previous experiences wriMen
by a former professor, advisor or other individuals in a qualified position

Viktoria’s Microbiology teacher refused to write a recommendation leOer for her because she never showed up for
class.

Vocabulary Practice
Directions : Use the word bank and fill in the blanks with the correct vocabulary.

transcript BA leMer of recommendation MA

PhD cumulative GPA

After four years of hard work, Sergei finally earned his (1) _________________ in Political Science.
His parents wanted him to be a lawyer, but that would mean a lot more school. True, he wouldn’t need
to get a (2) ________________ , like a doctor, but law degree programs are intense. Sergei felt like he
needed some real-world experience in the field. He asked for a (3) ____________________ from his
American Government professor and headed down to New York City to find a job in a law office.
Sergei had a lot of charisma. He was great in job interviews and found that he landed multiple
positions as a clerk in a law firm easily. The problem was that most of these jobs required a
(4) ______________________ from school and his (5) _______________________ was only 2.4. The
(6) ______________________ average of his undergraduate work really hurt his chances of finding a job.
After six months of searching, he decided to go back to school for two years to pursue his
(7) ______________________, and then, if he gets his grades up, he’ll go back out into the job market.

Josh MacPherson©
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Verbs And Phrases


On Campus
1. to pull an all-nighter - (my guess) _______________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

2. to fall behind - (my guess) ________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

3. to catch up (on) - (my guess) ______________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

4. to declare (a major) - (my guess) __________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

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5. to enroll - (my guess) _____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

6. to add (a class) - (my guess) _______________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

7. to drop (a class) - (my guess) ______________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DICTIONARY
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________

1. to pull an all-nighter - to stay awake all night and study

I have a Business Management final tomorrow and I haven’t read a single page of the textbook. Looks like I’m going
to have to pull another all nighter.

2. to fall behind (to be behind) - to fail to keep up with the pace of the rest of the class

I’ve fallen way behind in my Statistics class. I don’t know how I’m going to pass.

3. to catch up (on) - after falling behind, you study harder and faster until you reach the same place as
the rest of the class

Giuseppe was given a second chance. His Health and Management professor gave him an extension. He has a week
to catch up on all the work he has missed for the past two weeks.

4. to declare (your major) - to finally decide which degree you will pursue

After two years of soul searching, Jean finally declared his major as Financial Management.
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5. to enroll - to sign up for a school or class

If you don’t enroll in classes early, you won’t get the schedule you want.

6. to add (a class) - to expand the number of courses you study

Since Jorge’s only taking 12 credits this semester, he decided to add an elective at the last minute.

7. to drop (a class) - to leave a class before it finishes

Miranda’s overloaded. 18 credits in one semester is too much. She decided to drop her Human Anatomy class.

Vocabulary Practice
Directions : Use the word bank and fill in the blanks with the correct vocabulary.

pulling an all-nighter fall so far behind enrolled to add

drop undeclared catch up on

Oscar couldn’t (1) __________________ this class. It was too late. There were only a few weeks left
in the semester and he had missed the deadline. He was siMing at his desk at 2am, (2) _________________
to prepare for the exam tomorrow. “How did I (3) _____________________?” he asked the air. “I should
have never (4) _______________________ in so many courses at once.” He had just one night to
(5) _____________________ all the chapters he neglected to read throughout the semester.
In the beginning of the spring semester, Oscar learned from his advisor that he was 20 credits
short of the 128 credits he would need to graduate. Oscar remained (6) _______________________ until
his junior year, so he fell behind in taking the required courses needed to graduate. Each semester, most
students take 16 credits or less. Oscar figured, however, that he could (7) _____________________ in one
or two extra classes and overload his schedule. “Are you sure you want to take this many classes?” his
advisor asked. “Most people can’t keep up with all the assignments in all the classes.” Now, finally,
Oscar understood what his advisor had tried to warn him about, but it was too late.

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APPENDIX
Word Bank
1. undergrad - a student who is still studying to earn his or her bachelor’s degree

2. graduate (student) - a student who has completed his or her bachelor’s degree and is now pursuing a
masters or doctorate degree

3. eligible candidate - an individual who meets all the necessary criteria to be a part of a class, program
or job

4. full-time student - a student who aMends class for at least 12 hours a week (usually)

5. part-time student - a student who aMends class less than 12 hours a week, usually due to work,
family or other responsibilities

6. freshman - first year student

7. sophomore - second year student

8. junior - third year student

9. senior - fourth year student

10. (academic) advisor - a person who works on campus that will help you create a schedule each
semester and lay out a plan for you to graduate on time

11. TA (teacher’s assistant) - a student, usually a graduate student, who helps the professor grade papers
and field questions from students

12. RA (resident advisor) - someone who lives and works in a dormitory and is responsible for the safety
and security of the students who live in it

13. work study - a program designed by the college where students aMend class while also working part
time in a position on campus

14. adjunct - a part-time professor who is paid an hourly wage

15. tenure - a professor who has been awarded a permanent position at the school

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16. coed - a place where you can find both males and females, not limited to one gender

17. tuition - the amount of money charged by a school or institution

18. scholarship - money awarded to students based on merit, talent or background

19. fraternity - an all-male club or group on an American campus, part of Greek life

20. sorority - an all-female club or group on an American campus, part of Greek life

21. dorm (dormitory) - on-campus residence for college students

22. semester (term) - a 14-18 week period of school where classes begin and end

23. the registrar’s office - the place on campus that keeps official student records

24. elective - a course that is not required for your major

25. prerequisite - classes you need to have taken before entering a specific course

26. department - a specific division of study, i.e. Nursing Department

27. incomplete/withdrawal - when a student leaves a class but it does not negatively impact his or her
overall GPA

28. office hours - specific hours per week where you can visit a professor outside of class

29. 101 (course) - a 101 course is an introduction to a specific subject, i.e. Psychology 101

30. distance learning - learning and aMending class without being physical present in a room or school

31. major/minor - a student’s main course of study, a minor is a student’s 2nd main course of study

32. credit (hour) - points or time awarded to students based on their aMendance and performance in
class. You need approximately 120 credits to graduate with a bachelor’s degree

33. requirement - a course you must take in order to graduate

34. practicum - a class that allows students to “practice” their future careers under the supervision of
professionals

35. plagiarism - when you copy someone else’s work and pretend it’s your own

36. cram - to wait until the last moment to study

37. due date - the time at which an assignment is supposed to be completed

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38. thesis - for graduate students, you must submit a proposal or theory and prove that it’s either correct
or incorrect through extensive research and experimentation

39. syllabus - an outline of the homework, essays, tests and other materials to be covered in a course

40. term paper (note that the term paper and essay are used interchangeably in college) - an assignment where
you are expected to write in an academic fashion

41. extension - when a student is given extra time to complete an assignment past the due date

42. citation - a reference to a book, article or other rescue where you first heard the information

43. transcript - an official document from you university with a summary of your grades and course of
study

44. BA - Bachelor’s of Arts

45. MA - Master’s of Arts

46. PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

47. GPA - Grade Point Average, the sum and average of your grades

48. cumulative - the total number of grades brought together and calculated as a whole

49. leSer of recommendation - a short summary of your skills, abilities and previous experiences wriMen
by a former professor, advisor or other individuals in a qualified position

50. to pull an all-nighter - to stay awake all night and study

51. to fall behind (to be behind) - to fail to keep up with the pace of the rest of the class

52. to catch up (on) - after falling behind, you study harder and faster until you reach the same place as
the rest of the class

53. to declare (your major) - to finally decide which degree you will pursue

54. to enroll - to sign up for a school or class

55. to add (a class) - to expand the number of courses you study

56. to drop (a class) - to leave a class before it finishes

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Answer Key
Students on Campus
1. freshman 2. sophomore 3. undergrads
4. part-time students 5. full time student

6. senior 7. junior 8. graduate student 9. eligible candidate

Jobs on Campus
1. advisor
2. work study 3. RA 4. adjunct 5. TA 6. tenure

Life on Campus
1. dormitory 2. fraternity 3. tuition 4. scholarship 5. sorority 6. semester

7. coed 8. registrar’s office

Classes on Campus
1. 101 2. credits 3. majored 4. minored 5. electives 6. requirements

7. withdraw 8. practicums
9. distance learning
10. office hours 11. department

Class Work on Campus


1. syllabus 2. due date 3. extensions
4. thesis 5. crammed 6. plagiarized

7. citations 8. term papers

Grades on Campus
1. BA 2. PhD
3. leMer of recommendation 4. transcript 5. GPA 6. cumulative 7. MA

Verbs and Phrases on Campus


1. drop 2. pulling an all nighter
3. fall so far behind 4. enrolled

5. catch up on 6. undeclared 7. enroll

Josh MacPherson©