A-Z of WFU

This is a glossary of terms to help undergraduate students and families understand some of the basic terminology and offices of Wake Forest. We hope this glossary is helpful in understanding our students’ experience.

Academic, Offices, and Processes Terms

These are terms and definitions that pertain to students’ academic experience: how they are academically advised, how they register for courses, and more.

Academic advising and course planning

The Office of Academic Advising is responsible for helping guide undergraduate students in their academic journey. Each incoming student is assigned an academic adviser (aka Lower Division Adviser). Advisers are faculty or staff members who are specially trained in understanding our curriculum requirements and helping students navigate their course plan. Students will keep their Lower Division Adviser until the spring of their sophomore year. Once they declare a major (and minor if applicable), they are assigned a new adviser in their major/minor. Here are some academic terms you should know:

  • Basic Requirements

    Basic requirements are classes every Wake Forest student must take. Students can choose among various topics for the First Year Seminar and Writing 111. The number of foreign language classes they need to take will vary by student based on their Foreign Language Placement Test (FLPT) or AP/IB scores.

  • Bulletin (or Academic Bulletin)

    The Bulletin provides course descriptions and curricular requirements as well as current information and policies for undergraduates in Wake Forest College and the School of Business as well as graduate students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and School of Divinity. A student graduates under the requirements of the bulletin of the year in which they enter. However, when a student declares a major or a minor, the requirements for the major or minor that are in effect at the time of declaration will apply.

  • Course and Course Section

    A course is also known as a class (e.g., English 175 is a course). There can be multiple sections of a class, taught on different days and times, and with different faculty members. Sections are typically denoted by letter (e.g., Eng 175 section A might be taught on M-W-F at 10 am, Eng 175 section B might be taught on T-Th from 9:30-10:45, Eng 175 section C might be taught on W-F from 3-4:15, etc.).

  • Divisional Requirements

    Divisional requirements allow students to choose courses within related academic departments. For example, in the Humanities division, students must take two classes among the following departments: history, philosophy, religion, and women’s, gender and sexuality studies. Students cannot take two Divisional classes from the same department. Students also have to fulfill a Cultural Diversity and Quantitative Reasoning requirement; these typically can be fulfilled via a Divisional, major, or minor class.

  • Foreign Language Placement Test

    All undergraduate students are required to pass a 200-level language course as part of the Basic requirements. Subsequently, any student who has studied a foreign language in high school must complete a Foreign Language Placement Test in the language(s) studied. Course placement is determined by the Foreign Language Placement Test. If you have AP/IB credit or English is not your first language, see the FLPT site for more information on your individual circumstances.

  • Hours

    An hour is the quantitative unit used to measure coursework. Most undergraduate courses are 3 hours; many science and math courses are 4 (a 3 hour course and a 1 hour lab). Wake Forest requires 120 hours to graduate, which averages out to taking an average of 15 hours per semester for 8 semesters. However, each student has the ability to vary their course load and pace based on their individual circumstances. In some semesters, they may take more/less than 15 hours. A minimum of 12 hours is required for full-time status.

  • Major

    A student’s primary area of study. Students typically declare a major in the spring of their sophomore year – once they’ve earned at least 40 hours – and take much of their major coursework their junior and senior years. Once a student declares a major, they are assigned a major adviser who is a faculty member in the major department. Every student must declare a major. Some students may declare a double major (i.e., they are majoring in two different academic areas). Each major has specific requirements each student must fulfill, as outlined in the Bulletin.

  • Minor

    A student can choose to minor in an academic department, but a minor is not required. Minors typically require fewer courses than a major. Students declaring minors are assigned a faculty member from their minor department as their minor adviser.

  • Syllabus

    A document written by the faculty member that contains all the requirements for their course, including assignments and when they are due, course policies (such as attendance), learning objectives, required textbooks or other materials. The syllabus is typically given out on the first day of the course, and the faculty member reviews the pertinent information. Students are held responsible for knowing what is in the syllabus and adhering to its requirements.

Registrar’s office and processes

The Office of the University Registrar is responsible for ensuring the accuracy, accessibility, and security of students’ academic records. They are the official keeper of a student’s transcript, which shows the courses a student has taken and the grades they received. They also manage the process of course registration (i.e., picking classes for the next semester) and maintain the academic calendars for Wake Forest. Here are some registration and Registrar’s office-related terms you should know:

  • Academic Calendar (Academic Services Calendar)

    The calendar for the undergraduate schools that shows all key academic dates, plus breaks/holidays.

    Note: While we try not to change the calendar once it is published, it can be altered if circumstances require it.

  • Access to students’ grades (aka Proxy Access)

    Even though parents/families may be the ones paying tuition, students are protected by an academic privacy law called FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) that prohibits university officials from disclosing information about students’ grades, class schedules, student experience, etc. without the student’s permission. If you want to be able to see your student’s grades or be able to speak to university officials about their experience, your student needs to grant you Proxy Access.

  • Drop/Add

    Drop/Add is the process of a student removing a course from their schedule, or adding a new course to their schedule. Typically there is a period at the start of the semester where you can drop or add without special permission.

  • FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

    FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is a federal law that prohibits university officials from disclosing information about students’ grades, class schedules, student experience, etc. without the student’s permission.

  • GPA (Grade Point Average)

    GPA (Grade Point Average) – loosely speaking, is the average grade for all classes taken by a student, weighted by course hours; the GPA is obtained by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of hours attempted (refer to the Undergraduate Bulletin for more information).

  • Incomplete

    An Incomplete is when a student fails to complete the work of a course, typically due to illness or some other extenuating circumstance that is beyond the student’s control, they are given a grade of “I” (incomplete). If the work recorded as “I” is not completed within thirty days after the student begins their next semester, the grade is automatically changed to an F.

  • Registration

    Registration is the process of a student selecting courses they wish to take in the next semester. Registration is done electronically through the Registration Portal, where students can access the Course Schedule (Browse Classes) -which shows the classes being taught, how many seats are available, and the days/times each course meets; check for any holds (Prepare for Registration); create registration plans (Plan Ahead); and register directly from their plans.

  • Transcript

    A transcript, which contains the signature of the University Registrar and the Wake Forest University seal, is a student’s official academic record. It contains all coursework taken while enrolled at Wake Forest, the grades received in each course, and their overall GPA. While a student can log in and see their coursework/grades online, an official transcript is needed to apply to graduate or professional schools, or for some jobs. A transcript can only be requested by the student themself. 

  • Transfer Credit Portal

    Transfer students (or new undergraduate students who have prior college work/dual enrollment credits) should consult the transfer credit portal for information about transferring credits into Wake Forest.

  • Wait List

    Some courses allow a wait list once all seats in a class have been claimed during registration. If a student tries to register and the course section is full, they will receive an error message stating that that section is closed and indicating the number of students already on the waitlist. (Example: “Closed – 6 Waitlisted” indicates 6 students are already waitlisted; you will be in the 7th waitlist position). Not every course section offers a wait list. Note: wait lists are not available to incoming new students during registration for Fall 2023 courses.

  • Withdraw (from a course)

    When a student leaves a class after the official drop period (but within the Withdrawal period). Withdrawing from a class shows a grade of W (withdrawn) on a student’s transcript, so it shows a course was attempted, then dropped. Any withdrawn classes are not computed in a student’s GPA.

Financial Terms

Within financial terms, there are two main offices to be aware of: Student Financial Aid (who helps provide financial aid to students) and Student Financial Services, which handles each student’s account for things such as tuition and housing (what they are billed and what was paid).

Student Financial Aid office and processes

The Student Financial Aid office is responsible for helping make a Wake Forest education possible for students by providing them with financial resources based on their demonstrated financial need. Here are some financial aid terms you should know:

  • Demonstrated financial need

    Demonstrated financial need is the difference between the estimated cost of attendance and the calculated ability of a family to meet this cost is defined as a student’s “demonstrated financial need.” Demonstrated financial need is determined by the family’s completed FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and CSS Profile® (which is used by colleges and scholarship programs to award Institutional (their own) aid).

  • Expected family contribution

    Expected family contribution is a figure used by colleges to calculate how much financial aid students are eligible to receive, if any. It’s not the amount of money families will pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid students will receive.

  • Estimated cost of attendance

    The estimated cost of attendance is the total of tuition, fees, and living expenses (which includes a student’s housing and meal plan). Note that living expenses may vary, depending on specific choices of housing, food, and personal expenses.

  • Federal Work Study

    Federal Work-Study is having a job that helps pay for some of a student’s educational expenses. Undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need are notified of their eligibility which may be up to $2,000 per academic year in either on-campus or off-campus employment. Earnings are paid directly to students biweekly as work is performed. For students who are not eligible for Federal Work-Study, the Office of Student Financial Aid maintains and posts a current listing of employment opportunities on campus and in the community.

  • Grants

    Grants are financial aid that a student does not repay. Example: a Federal Pell Grant is money offered to undergraduate students with the highest financial need (and they do not have to repay it).

  • Loans

    A loan is money borrowed by students or parents to help pay for a student’s education. Typically a parent/family member or a student may borrow a loan to cover the difference between what they are able to pay and the total cost of attendance. Loans require that borrowers pay them back with a specified interest rate.

  • Merit-Based Scholarships

    A Merit-Based Scholarship is financial aid that is offered to students who have shown extraordinary achievement, leadership, and/or talent. Students do not need to repay scholarships, but there may be requirements that they maintain a specific GPA, live on campus, etc. Scholarships can be institutional (i.e., they come from Wake Forest) such as the WFU Presidential Scholarship for

  • Need-Based Aid

    Need based aid is financial aid that is based on a student’s demonstrated financial need, which is defined as the difference between the estimated cost of attendance and the expected family contribution. Need-based aid can consist of grants, need-based scholarships, loans, and/or Work-Study.

Student Financial Services office and processes

Student Financial Services is the office that manages all Wake Forest student accounts, including the costs of tuition, housing, and other University-related fees, as well as payments for the same. Here are some financial and student account terms you should know:

  • 1098-T

    Each year by January 31, Wake Forest University makes available via WIN or mails an IRS Form 1098-T to all students who had qualified tuition and other related educational expenses billed and paid to them during the previous calendar year.

  • Authorized Payer

    A student has the ability to grant a parent/family member access to their DEAC account as an authorized payer (aka third party payer). This allows the authorized payer to see the student’s account information (including bills/payments due) and to make payments, and also provides permission to SFS to disclose information about the student account to the authorized persons.

  • DEAC (Deacon Electronic Account Center)

    DEAC (Deacon Electronic Account Center) is the online billing system that allows students and authorized payers to view the student’s account activity in real-time, 24/7. Students are advised to make their parent(s)/family member(s) Authorized Payers in DEAC, which will allow a trusted adult to have access to their billing statement and can make payments for tuition and other fees.

  • Direct Deposit

    Students who are eligible for refunds due to a credit balance on their student account are encouraged to sign up for Direct Deposit to receive their refund as this is the fastest and most secure method of delivery.

  • Guest Payer

    Guest Payers can pay toward a student’s account (as long as they have the student’s ID number) but do not have access to view any account details.

  • Refund of Charges

    Refund of charges policy pertains to a student who officially withdraws or is granted continuous enrollment status during a semester may be entitled to a refund of tuition, housing, and dining charges depending on the student’s date of withdrawal, date of continuous enrollment status, and/or the last day residing in University housing.

    See the Schedule of Refunds for Withdrawal or Continuous Enrollment.

  • Tuition & Fees

    Tuition and fees is the cost for the instruction (i.e., classes) as well as other services and fees related to academics and the student experience.

  • Tuition Insurance

    An unexpected withdrawal due to sickness or injury can mean significant financial consequences for families. Wake Forest offers an elective tuition insurance plan through A.W.G. Dewar, Inc. (a program going on 15+ years) that will help minimize financial loss if a student suffers a serious illness or accident and must withdraw before the end of a semester. This plan extends and enhances the University’s published refund of charges policy.

Housing Terms

The Office of Residence Life and Housing are partners in our students’ journey to create a home at Wake Forest. They work with housing assignments, our residential communities, and integrate learning and development into each resident’s experience. Here are some housing and residential terms you should know:

  • (Disability-Related) Accommodations

    (Disability-Related) Accommodations are when a student submits a request and supporting documentation asking for special housing or dining arrangements based on a disability. 

    • Requests for disability-related housing or dining accommodations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and receipt of the necessary documentation does not guarantee that an accommodation will be granted. The diagnosis of a medical condition in and of itself does not automatically qualify a student for accommodations.
    • Decisions regarding requests for accommodations can be made only after appropriate documentation of the disability and supporting information has been received. 
    • The request and supporting documentation should be submitted by the stated deadline (see rlh.wfu.edu/accommoations). Requests submitted after the deadline will be reviewed, however approved reasonable accommodations are subject to availability of housing.
  • Community

    Community is a residential building on campus where students live; formerly referred to as “residence halls” or “dorms.”  Within a community, there can be several room types/styles:

    • Single – a room that one person lives in
    • Double – a room that two people live in
    • Suite style – a series of rooms that are shared by a group of students; there may be single or double rooms, a shared living area, shared bathroom, etc. 
    • Apartment style or townhouse style – a living space typically shared by two or more students; there may be single or double rooms, a shared living area, a kitchenette, shared or single bathrooms, etc.
  • Community Director

    The Community Director is a full-time master’s-level, live-in professional who manage a residential community and supervise Resident Advisers (RAs) and Graduate Hall Directors (GHDs).

  • Graduate Hall Director

    The Graduate Hall Director (GHD) is a live-in graduate student who assist professional and student staff in the general management of a residential community.

  • Housing Credit

    Students are required to live in campus housing for six semesters (Fall and Spring), which is typically all first-year, second-year and third-year students. Each semester a student earns a housing credit. 

    • Students who study abroad during the Fall or Spring semester earn housing credits. 
    • Transfer students who have lived on campus at another college or university are given credits after providing proof of residency. 
    • Students who go on CES, withdraw for medical purposes, or participate in an internship or abroad program that requires you to withdraw from the University, do NOT earn housing credits.
  • Housing Portal

    The housing portal is what students use for housing and meal plan selection. Note: first-year students will not select housing; only their meal plan.

  • Housing Selection

    In the spring of each year, current students (i.e., current first-year students, sophomores, juniors, etc. who are actively enrolled) choose their housing for the next year. 

    • Incoming first-year students (i.e., new students who have not yet moved in to Wake Forest or started classes) have their housing selected for them for their first year. 
    • Once enrolled, transfer students will receive information about housing from the Office of Residence Life and Housing. The process for transfer students will depend on the semester and timing of their enrollment. Please note the University’s residency requirement does apply to transfer students who have not completed six semesters of full-time studies at another institution.

    Common housing selection terms are:

    • Housing credits – Students living in University housing or studying abroad during the fall or spring semester earn a housing credit as of the census date each semester. Students who are away from the University (e.g. CES, withdrawal) as of the census date do not earn a housing credit for that semester. 
    • Selection time – housing selection times are randomly generated based on the number of housing credits a student has. The earlier the selection time, the sooner that student is allowed to participate and the more room options they may have. The earliest selection time within each roommate group will represent that group.
    • Roommate Group – students who wish to live together can form a roommate group. The group will then select housing based on the number of people in the group (i.e., a roommate group of 10 students will be able to select from available 10-bed spaces).
    • Group Leader – One member of the roommate group should be designated the group leader. The group leader must invite each person to join the roommate group in the Housing Portal. The group leader will also be the one to physically select housing and assign names to beds, based on the earliest selection time within that roommate group.
  • Off-Campus Lottery

    Students who have earned four housing credits may enter the Off-Campus Lottery. This indicates a desire to live off-campus prior to fulfilling the residency requirement. As the Office of Residence Life and Housing finalizes the number of students able to live off-campus, they will use a random selection process to release the appropriate number of students. Students approved to live off-campus must register their residential address and complete an online orientation course thereby declaring their compliance with the University’s off-campus expectations.

  • Residency Requirement

    Students are required to live in University housing for six semesters (e.g., first year through junior year) unless they meet certain requirements (e.g., living with a parent or guardian in town, etc.) or have been released via the off-campus lottery. 

    • Students are expected to fulfill the residency requirement consecutively, barring time away from the University (e.g. CES, withdrawal).  
    • Transfer students will receive a housing credit for each fall or spring semester completed at full-time status at another institution. Residence Life and Housing will work with the Office of the University Registrar on these evaluations.
  • Resident Adviser (RA)

    Resident Advisers are undergraduate students who are also paid staff members; they live and work in the residential communities. RAs serve as a resource and support for residents: they develop relationships with residents through one-on-one interactions, create programming for their residents (such as hall meetings, informational bulletin boards, etc.), and serve as a resource for students.  

Meal Plan Terms

Every residential student is required to have a meal plan so that they have access to food on campus. Here are some meal plan terms you should know:

  • Deacon Dollars

    Deacon Dollars are a declining balance fund that can be used for both food and non-food purchases at many campus locations including the Bookstore, Deacon Shop, Mail Services and many others. Funds can be added online or at the customer service window of Reynolda Hall Room 12. Deacon dollars roll over each semester until a student leaves the University at which time any remaining funds are credited back to the student’s account.

  • Food Dollars

    Food Dollars are like a gift card for food on campus. They are accepted at retail locations, cafes, coffeehouses, restaurants, and convenience stores on campus. This is when you want a snack or a meal that is not on our old gold menu at retail locations. You can add additional food dollars at Reynolda Hall Room 12, between 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday or at dining.wfu.edu anytime during the year. Food Dollars that are part of your Fall meal plan roll over to spring semester as long as you have a meal plan and will expire at the end of the school year. Food Dollars added in addition to your meal plan roll over each semester until you leave the University.

  • Meal Plans

    All students residing in University housing are required to have a meal plan. Students can choose from a variety of meal plans based on their housing type and depending on how often they want to eat at campus dining locations (vs. cook on their own/eat out, etc.)  

  • Meal Swipes

    Meal swipes are designated amounts of meals at Residential Dining Halls on campus. These can be used at The Pit and Magnolia Room in Reynolda Hall or at Hilltop Market at North Dining.

  • Old Gold Swipes

    Old Gold swipes are included in your total number of meals and serve as enhancements to the traditional meals. A portion of your Meal Swipes is considered Old Gold. These swipes can be used to purchase combo meals in most retail locations. Old Gold Swipes can also be used as a regular meal swipe in the residential dining halls.

Technology & Personal Identification Terms

Wake Forest has a wide variety of technology available to students, including academic technology, software, and more. Here are some technology and information security terms you should know:

  • Canvas

    Canvas is the university’s supported Learning Management System (LMS). With Canvas, you can view grades and course content, submit assignments, keep track of course work with your to-do list and calendar, send and receive messages, post to discussions, and more.

  • Deacon OneCard

    The Deacon OneCard is students’ official Wake Forest University identification card, which they will want to carry with them at all times. Students most often use their Deacon OneCard to enter their residence hall and other campus buildings, or to swipe at dining venues for their meal plan. The Deacon OneCard is also used for on-campus financial transactions, library privileges, and event admission.

  • Service Desk and 758-HELP

    The Information Systems Service Desk is located in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library on the main floor of the Wilson Wing. Students experiencing issues with technology (laptop, wireless, software, etc.) can visit the Service Desk in person for friendly tech help. Students can also call 336-758-HELP (758-4357) for technology assistance.

  • Student ID Number

    Each student is assigned an 8-digit ID number that is used in various Wake Forest computer systems. Students can find their Student ID number in the acceptance email they received from Admissions. They can also find their ID number in WIN under Personal > Your Personal Information.

  • Technology Grants

    Technology grants are awarded to incoming undergraduate students who receive need-based, merit, or athletic scholarship funds from Wake Forest during their first two years of enrollment. Students are notified of their eligibility to redeem a Technology Grant from the WakeWare Program Manager in late May, or whenever they become eligible thereafter. You are able to redeem your grant at any time within your first two years at Wake Forest.

  • WakeWare

    Students are required to have a laptop. WakeWare is the ‘official technical outfitter of the Forest’. If you are considering a new laptop, visit the WakeWare website to purchase a well-equipped, insured, and supported laptop at a negotiated price.

  • WFU Username

    Students will find their username during the account activation process after they enroll. Their username is set for them by Wake Forest, and typically consists of letters from their last name, first name, middle initial, and a number. Students will receive an email at their personal email address (the one they used on their admissions application) with instructions on how to activate their WFU account. Once they activate the account, students will see their username and will be prompted to create their password. Important note: students’ logins and passwords should not be shared with anyone, including their parents/family members.

  • WFU Wireless

    The WFU wireless network (i.e., wifi) provides unrestricted bandwidth to campus and Internet services and is recommended for use by students with all capable devices.

  • WIN (Wake Information Network)

    The Wake Information Network, or WIN, is an internal network accessible only to users authorized by Wake Forest. WIN offers a wealth of information and resources for all members of the Wake Forest community.  Important note: students’ logins and passwords should not be shared with anyone, including their parents/family members.

  • Zoom

    Zoom for desktop and mobile is a platform for video conferencing, recording meetings, chatting, screen sharing, and more.

Transportation Terms

Here are some terms you should know about travel and transportation – both on campus as well as in the region:

  • Airports

    The closest airport to fly into is Greensboro (GSO-Piedmont Triad International), which is about 30 miles from campus. The Charlotte Airport (CLT) is about 70 miles from campus (about a 90 minute drive), and Raleigh-Durham (RDU) is about 85 miles from campus (about a 2 hour drive). Note that Wake Forest does not offer shuttle service to and from the Raleigh-Durham airport.

  • Airport Shuttles

    Transportation and Parking Services offers airport shuttle service to Greensboro and Charlotte (but not Raleigh) during designated break times throughout the school year. If a shuttle reservation for Greensboro or Charlotte is needed outside our posted schedule, or if you need to travel to Raleigh, you can make a reservation through Black Tie Transportation (336-758-5177). Black Tie Transportation in Winston-Salem provides airport transportation to surrounding airports (GSO, CLT, RDU). You can also use Uber or other rideshares/car services of your choosing.

  • Shuttles (The Wake Line)

    WFU Transportation provides a network of shuttle buses throughout the year for students, faculty & staff. Whether you are getting around campus between classes, doing research at the medical center, or exploring downtown Winston Salem, the Wake Line makes it easy. Keep up to date with schedules, request a ride or even track your bus live while you wait.

  • Zipcar

    Zipcar is a car-sharing program that is an alternative to students bringing their own car to campus. Zipcars are an affordable option that are available 24 hours a day and can be rented by the hour or by the day; rates include gas and insurance.

Miscellaneous Terms

These are additional terms and definitions that you might want to know.

  • Orientation

    Orientation (aka New Deac Week) is a required activity for new undergraduate students. It typically takes place in three parts: 1) an online set of mini courses over the summer, 2) in-person activities following new student Move-In, and 3) a September Orientation module (online). Note that we do have in-person Orientation activities for parents and families at Move-In as well.

  • Pre-Orientation

    Pre-Orientation are optional programs that allow new students to come to campus a few days before official Move-In and Orientation to get to know a smaller group of their classmates, typically around a common interest such as hiking and camping, community service, spirituality, and more.

  • Student Health Insurance enrollment/waiver process

    Health insurance is required as a condition of enrollment for: full-time, degree-seeking domestic undergraduate students in Wake Forest College; degree-seeking domestic graduate students* in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Divinity, School of Business and School of Law; International students with F or J visas; and undergraduate students who are degree-seeking students who only need part-time status to complete their degree.

    Students who are not currently ensured may enroll in the Student Blue plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. Students who are covered under their own insurance plan or a parent’s plan that meets the University’s criteria (found here), may elect to waive the Student Blue plan. Students must enroll or waive prior to the fall semester each year, as the benefits period is August 1 through July 31.

  • Title IX

    Title IX is a U.S. statute which states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Wake Forest’s Title IX office is responsible for responsible for oversight and coordination of sex discrimination and sexual misconduct reports, investigations, and more.

International Students Terms

There are some terms and definitions that might be of particular interest to international students and families.

Fraternity and Sorority Life Terms

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life works with students who want join social fraternities and sororities.

  • Active

    Active is a fraternity or sorority member who has been formally initiated into their chapter.

  • Bid

    A bid is a formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.

  • Bid Day

    Bid Day is the last day of recruitment where PNMs/male students receive bids to join chapters and become new members. Note: not every potential new member will receive a bid.

  • Big Sister

    A Big Sister is an active member of a chapter who is paired with a new member as a mentor. (Also known as a “Big”).

  • Chapter

    A Chapter is a local member fraternity/sorority of a national organization.

  • Fraternity

    A social organization for men.

  • Gamma Rho Chi (GRC)

    Gamma Rho Chi (GRC) is a recruitment counselor. These are members of a sorority who have chosen to disassociate from their own chapters to help unbiasedly lead a group of PNMs through the recruitment process.

  • IFC (Interfraternity Council)

    The IFC (Interfraternity Council) is the men’s social fraternities on campus.

  • IFC Recruitment

    IFC recruitment is the process where male students who are interested in joining one of our social fraternities can explore their options. (Formerly known as ‘rush’).

  • Initiation

    Initiation is the formal ceremony that brings new members into full membership in a fraternity or sorority.

  • Intake

    Intake is the process where men and women who are interested in joining one of our historically Black fraternities and sororities or our multicultural sorority can explore their options. Intake takes place at various times throughout the year depending on when a chapter is able to accept new members.

  • Legacy

    Legacy is a PNM whose mother, sister, or grandmother is an alumna or an active member of a particular sorority. A chapter is not obligated to extend a bid to legacies.

  • New Member

    A new member is a student who has accepted a bid for membership and after a period of education, the student is initiated to become a full member.

  • NPHC (National Panhellenic Council)

    The NPHC (National Panhellenic Council) is the nine national historically Black fraternities and sororities, plus one associate member.

  • Panhellenic Council

    The Panhellenic Council is the women’s sororities on campus.

  • Panhellenic Recruitment

    Panhellenic recruitment is the process where women who are interested in joining a social sorority on campus can explore their options. (Formerly known as ‘rush’). There are two types of recruitment: formal and Continuous Open Bidding (COB):

    • Formal recruitment takes place in January prior to the start of classes. 
    • COB occurs after the conclusion of formal recruitment and takes place year-round.
  • Potential New Members (PNMs)

    Potential New Members (PNMs) are women who are interested in joining a sorority and who are going through the formal recruitment process.

  • Sorority

    A social organization for women.

  • Unrecognized Organizations

    Unrecognized organizations are those that were previously recognized by Wake Forest University and lost that recognition as a result of a University or national organization conduct process. Wake Forest does not sanction the activities of unrecognized organizations nor encourage students to become members of such organizations.

People Terms

Students, faculty, and staff or administrators can be referred to in a number of different ways. Here are some terms that will help you understand enrollment statuses, titles, and people’s roles on campus.

Student types and enrollment statuses

  • Continuous Enrollment Status (CES)

    Continuous Enrollment Status (CES) is the process of taking a period of time away (typically a semester or two) for medical or personal reasons,

  • Current Student/Continuing Student

    This is a student who is already enrolled and is taking classes (i.e., they are not new to Wake Forest).

  • First-Year Student

    A first-year student is a student in their first year at Wake Forest; formerly referred to as a “freshman”.

  • Full-Time Student

    Any student taking at least 12 hours.

  • Graduate/Professional School Student

    A student who has already graduated from college and is pursuing a Masters degree (MA, MS, MDiv, etc.) or a Ph.D.

  • Incoming Student

    A student who has been accepted for admission but has not yet moved to campus/started classes/gone through Orientation.

  • Off-Campus Student

    A student who chooses to live off campus in a house, apartment, etc. once they have met their 6 semester residency requirement.

  • Part-Tme Student

    Any student enrolled in less than 12 hours.

  • Resident Student

    A student living in a university housing community. Typically this would be first-year students, sophomores, and juniors. Seniors who have met their residency requirement can live on or off campus.

  • Transfer (process)

    The process by which a student decides to leave Wake Forest and attend another school instead.

  • Transfer Student

    A student who started their college journey at another school butleft that school to come to Wake Forest. Transfer students (or new undergraduate students who have prior college work/dual enrollment credits) should consult the transfer credit portal for information about transferring credits into Wake Forest.

  • Undergraduate

    A student who has not yet graduated from college (i.e., they are a first-year, sophomore, junior, or senior in college).

Administrative titles

  • President

    A college/university president is typically responsible for the high-level vision and direction of their school, providing leadership for the institution.

  • Provost

    The Provost is the chief academic officer at a university. Provosts typically work with the deans of individual schools on academic initiatives, research, ensuring effective teaching and technology, etc.

  • Dean (administrative)

    Administrative deans are in charge of major functions at the university (e.g., Dean of Residence Life and Housing, Dean of Students) and operations within their unit.

  • Department Head

    The department head is in charge of a specific administrative department on campus.

  • Vice President

    Vice Presidents are in charge of the main operational divisions of the university, such as advancement, campus life, finance, legal, etc.

Academic titles

  • Deans (Academic)

    Academic deans are in charge of individual schools or programs (e.g., Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Dean of the School of Business, etc.). Academic deans work with the faculty and staff of their school to implement academic and curricular initiatives, etc.

  • College Faculty

    College Faculty are permanent members of the faculty who teach Wake Forest courses have the title of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Teaching Professor, Associate Teaching Professor, Assistant Teaching Professor, or Professor of the Practice. 

  • Teaching Assistant (TA)

    Some courses have graduate students who serve as Teaching Assistants (TAs); they might teach the lab portion of a science class, for example.

Additional Resources