Terms You Should Know

Finding the online graduate engineering program that's the best fit for you can be a confusing process. To help you navigate this process, we've developed an alphabetical glossary of terms that you may encounter while browsing our website or looking through our publications.

Academic Certificate - Select courses taken for credit designed to provide students with specialized knowledge.

Auditing a course - Allows students to take a course without the benefit of grade or credit for a course.

Blackboard - Course management system used by Purdue to centrally manage the content of, and provide access to online instructional materials. Faculty members may use Blackboard to post course materials such as lecture notes, homework, or grades.

Distance learning - Method of learning and studying in which lectures are broadcast or classes are taken over the Internet, without attending the physical location of a college or university.

Exam proctors - Individuals responsible for receiving testing materials from Purdue, administering exams, and returning the student's testing materials to Purdue once the exam is complete.

Interdisciplinary - Combining two or more academic disciplines into one class, major, or program.

Lean Six Sigma - Systematic approach organizations use to identify and eliminate sources of waste and activities that do not add value to create maximum productivity.

MPEG4 video - Developed by Moving Picture Experts Group to stream multimedia video and audio at lower data rates and smaller file sizes.

myPurdue - Internet portal for Purdue students with academic and financial account information.

Non-degree - Courses taken for credit without applying toward a graduate degree.

Plan of Study - Academic contract between student, faculty members of the advisory committee, and Purdue University's Graduate School.

Professional Certifications - Courses taken for no credit, encouraging students to explore subjects outside their major.

Project course - Courses that apply theories and/or concepts introduced in previous Purdue coursework and may be job related. Project courses are by special arrangement.

Public exam site - A location or facility where you can take exams, such as a local community college or public library.

Purdue career account - Assigned name for each Purdue student. When you become a Purdue student, you receive a Purdue career account log-in and will need to create a password to give you access to university resources.

Registration PIN - Number that is assigned to you, giving you access to your myPurdue registration system.

Self-study courses - Courses that allow students to work at their own pace and take classes and exams on your time.

Seminars - Small, discussion-based courses that offer tremendous diversity in subject matter.

Site representative - Individuals who not only serve as proctors but also serve as the main contact between the exam site, student, and Purdue.

Short courses - Enable employees and team members to develop skills and knowledge in your chosen area of professional, personal, or academic interest in a much shorter time than a traditional class.

Statement of purpose - Document for prospective students where they outline their reasons for undertaking or continuing graduate study at Purdue, professional plans, and career goals. You can also explain any irregularities or special circumstances applicable to your background, as well as elaborate on your special abilities, awards, achievements, scholarly publications, and/or professional history.

Streaming video - Content on the Internet that is displayed as it arrives for students in real time.

Time ticket - Time blocks during which you are eligible to register for classes.

TOEFL - The Test of English as a Foreign Language provides proficiency for non-native English language speakers wishing to enroll in U.S. colleges and universities.

VOIP - Voice Over Internet Protocol is another way of making telephone calls, such as Skype, by using your personal computer.