AAO Glossary

If you’re not familiar with the world of higher education or if you’re feeling a bit lost, don’t let that get you down. AAO has created a massive NU term glossary to help you navigate the NU landscape. To help narrow down your search, we broke these terms down by the alphabetical order. Click on a letter below that interests you to jump to that section.

  • Academic Advising Office (AAO)
Works with the first year undergraduate students. AAO provides assistance in course selection and course registration, supports students with academic difficulties, provides personalized advising which considers the special needs of each student and makes referrals to relevant offices, when necessary. The students’ information and their academic performance is maintained confidential by AAO.

  • Academic Advisor
AAO or Faculty member to assist students with course selection, major-related questions and navigate university resources. In the first year at NU, all students are assigned to AAO advisors, and in their second year of studies they will be re-assigned to Faculty members from the Department of their major.
  • Academic standing
A student's academic progress and the official outcomes of the University's academic review process. Good academic standing is GPA 2.0 and above. Failure to meet Good academic standing results in probation and loss of state stipend.
  • Add period
The first five days of each semester during which students can add courses to their course load. These dates are stated in the Academic Calendar for each year.
  • Academic Calendar
Provides important calendar dates for one academic year. Please check this on the website of the Office of the Registrar using this link.
  • Academic Integrity
The value and expectation of honesty to ensure that students submit their own work, based on their ideas, thoughts, and knowledge. In no way, plagiarism or cheating are tolerated. Failure to meet the rules of academic integrity results in academic misconduct categorized either as Category A, Category B, or Category C. Please read more about the Academic Misconduct using this link.
  • Appointment
Meeting date and time assigned to a student for meeting with her/his advisor. Appointments are done via the AAO website.
  • Audit
The course Audit Option provides students with the opportunity to register for a course for enrichment and/or exploration. Audited courses are designated “AU” on the student’s transcript; no grade is recorded and no academic credit is earned. As an auditor, the student is considered a passive learner and may not recite in class or take examinations. Regular class attendance is expected. The credit value of audited courses is included in the semester program load for purposes of determining fees and maximum credits carried.
  • Administrative Withdrawal
This grade indicates that a student has been required to withdraw from a course based on 1) disciplinary grounds, following the procedures and standards specified in the internal regulations of the University; 2) non-attendance of classes; or 3) non-payment of tuition where appropriate following the procedures and standards specified in the internal regulations of the University.
  • Attendance
Students are expected to attend all classes in courses for which they are registered at the University.
  • Anti-requisite
An anti-requisite means that credit will not be given for the subject if you have already undertaken another subject listed as an anti-requisite. 
  • Course
The basic component of an academic program, sometimes referred to as a subject and identified by a course abbreviation.
  • Course Abbr
An identification number specific to a course which includes department code, and class number.
  • Credit
The quantitative measurement and recognition assigned to a course towards the requirements of the degree program. 
  • Course Catalog
The page available on the Registrar website that describes courses, their contents, pre-/anti-/co-requisites, and schedule for each semester.
  • Course underload
Registration form available on myRegistrar for students to fill in if the number of enrolled credits is lower than the allowed minimum number of credits - 24 ECTS. Course underload is given under special circumstances only and each case is considered individually. 
  • Change of Kazakh Level
If you wish to change your level of knowledge in Kazakh or you have questions related to the level of Kazakh, you can contact the representative of the Department of Kazakh Language and Turkic Studies Saule Mussabekova smussabekova@nu.edu.kz
  • Co-requisite
A course(s) that must be taken concurrently with or prior to another course.
  • Double major
A program of study that meets the academic requirements of two distinct majors in a single Bachelor’s Degree. Double-major students are not given any registration priority and only primary major is reflected on the University Diploma, secondary major is listed on the Transcript. Students should declare a double major in their 4th year of studies at NU.
  • Department
Academic division of the University specializing in a particular area of study like Mathematics. 
  • Department chair
Faculty member assigned to manage an academic department. The Department Chair considers academic requirements for the department-related majors, transfer decisions, course registration issues, etc. 
  • Drop period
The first ten days of the semester during which students are permitted to drop the courses without any consequences or records kept on the student record. These dates are stated in the Academic Calendar for each year. 
  • Dormitory
Campus housing where students live within close distance of the academic buildings. For dormitory accommodation, only non-Nur-Sultan residents are allowed. For questions regarding dormitory accommodation, please contact Student Housing at student_housing@nu.edu.kz 
  • Dean's List
Students with semester GPA of 3.75 and above are eligible to be placed on the Dean’s List, and this award will be posted on the student transcript. Usually students are invited to a closed Dean’s List School Ceremony to celebrate their academic achievements. 
  • Degree Audit
Report that evaluates a student’s progress towards a degree. School Managers do the audit for students. 
  • Elective
Courses for which a student receives credit towards the degree, but these are not part of the major-required courses. 
  • Examination
A form of summative assessment where a student is required to undertake a specified academic task within a specified period of time, normally between one and three hours. The location of the examination and access to external assistance is regulated.
  • Extra Place
Registration form that is used in case a student is given permission for extra place in an overloaded class
  • Faculty
Academic staff including professors, teaching assistants, lab assistants. 
  • Final exam
Test taken at the end of a course that usually includes subject matter from the entire course. The final exam schedules are posted on the Registrar website. Students cannot have more than two final exams during the 24-hour period. 
  • Freshman
First-year student.
  • Fellows
AAO Fellows are well-trained junior and senior students who work at NU AAO throughout the academic year to support students in their first year of studies at NU. Make an appointment with AAO fellows using the AAO website
  • Freshman Marathon Challenge
The Freshman Marathon Challenge is a challenge to run one marathon in one month as a great opportunity for you to help advance your academic and life skills, while challenging yourself to learn new material and strategies for self-management. The SSF Team and Freshman Experience Program Coordinators are here to support and encourage you in your first-year journey at NU, while you do your best for personal development. Sign up here
  • FreshService
IT Helpdesk ticketing system. Read more here
  • Grade Point Average (GPA)
Grade points are calculated by multiplying the number of credits by the grade points of the grade awarded for each course. The Grade Point Average (GPA) for one academic period is computed by dividing the sum of the earned grade points by the total graded credits attempted in this period. The Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) period is computed by dividing the sum of the earned grade points by the total graded credits attempted in the whole period of study. The total graded credits attempted, not the credits earned toward graduation, are used in computing the GPA and CGPA. For more information, please refer to the Registrar website
  • Grade Appeal
A student has the right to appeal any grade they have received that they believe is in error. The error must be based on one of the following criteria:
1) error in calculation
2) error in application of the class grade policy as presented in the Course Syllabus;
3) incorrected entry of the grade into the database or;
4) incomplete marking of an assessment.

The student must first consult with the instructor within 3 (three) working days of his or receipt of the contested grade. In the event that the student is still dissatisfied, he or she may appeal to the Dean of the relevant School or the Dean's designee within 7 days. The Dean or designee shall consult with the Instructor before making any decision. The decision of the Dean or designee shall be final.
  • Graduate Student
An individual who has been accepted into a Master’s or Doctoral degree program.
  • Incomplete
When a student has completed a substantial portion of the requirements for a course, but due to extenuating circumstances is unable to complete all requirements the course instructor may assign a temporary grade of incomplete (i). For more information, please refer to the NU UG Academic Policies and Procedures. 
  • Independent study
A course that allows students to earn credit toward their degree for work with a faculty member outside the traditional classroom setting. Usually only junior and senior students are enrolled in this course, and this requires the Add Course Form to be completed on myRegistrar. 

  • Junior
Third-year student.
  • Leave of Absence (LoA)
Leave of absence is a period of time during which a student is permitted to suspend their enrolment in an academic program. For more information, please refer to the NU UG Academic Policies and Procedures. 

  • Letter of Recommendation
A letter written on behalf of a student that assesses their qualifications and skills, required for admission to a program of study or as part of the application process for a fellowship, internship, scholarship, etc.

  • Moodle
Online classroom where students can find their registered courses and course-related content (e.g. syllabus, announcements, homeworks, textbooks, etc). - moodle.nu.edu.kz

  • myRegistrar
The Registration system where all students can register for and view the school courses, schedule, registration priorities, submit the registration forms, order spravkas and transcripts, and check grades - registrar.nu.edu.kz
  • my.nu.edu.kz Student Portal
An online companion which allows students to access any of the online student services we have, including payments for student services, room booking, or joining student clubs. 

  • Major
Student's main field of specialization, consisting of a required stream of courses usually studied in sequence. For major requirements, check Academic Handbook. 
  • Minor
Student’s secondary subject that complements her major. Minors are not compulsory, and are not shown on the University Diploma, only on student transcripts. Requirements for minor declaration are different for each program, check Academic Handbook. 
  • Major's Fair
Each semester AAO holds a Major's Fair for students to have an opportunity to explore major choice options with faculty and students from various departments across the University. 
  • Midterm exam
An exam given approximately halfway through a course term that generally covers all lecture, reading and discussion material presented so far. The dates of midterm exams are communicated by the Course Instructor. 

  • Major declaration
A student declares his/her major choice by meeting certain requirements that are set by each school and major (SSH Undeclared students intended to declare Social Science or Humanities majors and SMG students intended to declare three majors of SMG school).
  • Major confirmation
A student confirms his/her major by meeting certain requirements that are set by each school and major (SSH Science students: Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Physics).
  • Mid-Semester report
Mid-semester reports are required from all course instructors in all courses to identify and assist students who may need additional academic guidance. mid-semester grading is based on Satisfactory (S)/ Non-Satisfactory (NS) system.
  • Office Hours
Each professor sets time for Office Hours, where students can come visit them in their office to discuss any academic issues, course-related content, or future plans. You can find Office Hours in the course syllabus.  
  • Orientation week
A program of activities run at the beginning of the academic year that is designed to provide students who are new to the University with the information and support they need to become familiar with, and confident about, University life. The program includes info-sessions from various Departments, informal events from peers, and games. AAO usually holds the info-sessions on registration, academic requirements, and mock registration. 
  • Plagiarism
Plagiarism means directly copying any material without acknowledging the source, not referencing the original work, submitting another student's work in whole or in part or using another person's ideas, work or research data without acknowledgement. Plagiarism is in no way tolerated and is subject to disciplinary action. Please read more about the Academic Misconduct using this link.  
  • Priority override
Registration form that is used in case а student is given permission to register for the course not keeping the established priority. The form is available on myRegistrar. 
  • Provost
Senior academic administrator who works closely with academic deans, department deans and faculty to ensure the quality of academic programs.
  • Probation
A status given to students with semester GPA less than 2.0. The probationary period requires students to improve their performance (get the semester GPA and cumulative GPA 2.0 and above) or be dismissed from school. AAO offers an Academic Probation Support Program. 
  • Pre-requisite
A course must be completed prior to another course.
  • Requisite override
Registration form that is used in case а student is given permission to register for the course without satisfying the required requisite(s). The form is available on myRegistrar. 
  • Registrar
The Office of the Registrar is responsible for administrative academic duties like registering students for classes, preparing student transcripts, preparing class schedules and analyzing enrollment statistics - registrar.nu.edu.kz
  • Retake
Any student who receives а grade that would prevent academic progress in their program of study мау retake that course. Students can retake the course as many times as they would like but should be reminded that retaking the course means that you may fall behind the recommended schedule and number of credits, and requires students to catch up. If a student has the grade C- and above but would like to retake the course, she/he must submit the Retake Permission form on myRegistrar. If a student has a grade D and lower, the system allows the student to register automatically. 
  • Re-admission
If a student was previously enrolled as an UG student at University and returns to pursue an UG degree, all courses taken at University at UG level in the preceding 5 (five) academic years will be recorded in the transcript and included in computing the student’s CGPA.
  • Student Handbook
A student’s primary resource on their student-related departments, contacts, school’s academic policies, disciplinary procedures, student expectations and information about student services.
  • Student Code of Conduct
This document consists of standards, policies and procedures governing student  conduct at the autonomous organization of education “Nazarbayev University”. Both academic and non-academic behaviors are considered, with appropriate  procedures established to deal with instances to misconduct in each case. The goal of the Student Code is to balance the necessary protections of due process and fundamental fairness for the students with need for the University to maintain its standards and character as an educational enterprise and as a community. Find it here.
  • Senior
Fourth-year student.
  • Sophomore
Second-year student.
  • Transcript
An official record of a student's performance. Students can access Unofficial Transcripts on myRegistrar anytime, and can order Official Transcripts as well via myRegistrar, Official Transcripts are usually made during 3 working days. 
  • Transfer
After entering NU, students may discover that their first choice of major does not correspond to their interests or intellectual abilities. Those students may seek to change their degree. NU supports these decisions by allowing internal transfers between undergraduate Schools after the first year of undergraduate studies
Fill in the Transfer form (available in Student Requests module on registrar. nu.edu.kz) and submit online. Transfer decisions are primarily based on the applicant’s eligibility, academic performance, English language proficiency, and the ability to complete the chosen  program within the allotted time.
  • Tutors
AAO Tutors are experienced sophomore and junior students of different majors helping freshmen engage their active learning and develop critical thinking skills. Tutors help students learn how to learn and find answers on their own. They also provide assistance with skills outside the course content to teach note-taking skills, reading strategies, and writing tips. Read more about AAO Tutors using this link
  • Undergraduate
An individual who has been accepted into a Bachelor’s degree program.
  • Undergraduate Core Curriculum Framework (UCCF)
The UCCF was designed to create common curricular elements that unite to deliver a common educational experience to all NU students, leaving an indelible NU brand and ensuring all of our undergraduates develop the knowledge, skills and attributes that will position them for future success.
  • Withdrawal
A message confirming that an applicant has changed their mind and no longer wishes to be considered for a course. This is kept recorded on student transcripts.
  • Waitlist
A student is waitlisted when the course they have attempted to register for is full. The waitlist places the student in a list according when they have attempted registration.
Email us

For further questions, visit your Advisor or email us at aao@nu.edu.kz