Office of First-Generation Support and Engagement

College Knowledge

Academic Success

The following free resources are available to all students at Hofstra and exist with the goal of helping students to be as successful as possible in their academic lives.


US News and World Report has generated the US Higher Education Glossary that can help you easily define words and terms associated with University Life.

Additionally, there are a lot of words and phrases specific to Hofstra, which we’ve defined below.

Is there a world or phrase not on this list that you had to figure out? Tell us so that we can add it!

Academic Success Programs (ASP)

Academic Success Programs (ASP), under the auspices of the Center for Academic Excellence, target students' specific challenges, such as time management, procrastination, motivation, note-taking, and study strategies, by providing in-person workshops and online resources to help students overcome barriers to academic success.

Add/Drop Process

The add/drop process is a brief period at the beginning of the semester when students may drop or add classes. Students may add/drop courses online until the last day of the first week of classes. After this time, a student must request permission to be signed in to a class by the professor or the department.

Advising Dean

An advising dean works with students in planning their academic endeavors throughout their time at Hofstra. Advising deans can assist students with course planning, major exploration, questions and concerns about academic policies and procedures, academic opportunities available at Hofstra, and other general academic issues. Upon major declaration, academic departments assign students to a faculty advisor for major-related questions or concerns. Throughout their time at Hofstra, students can rely on advising deans in the Center for University Advising and faculty advisors in major departments to support their academic endeavors.


Hofstra's online bulletins serve as a student's contract with the University. The online bulletins detail degree requirements and other essential information, including brief summaries of the many educational and cultural resources offered to students and the community. In addition to listing Hofstra's goals and mission statement, the bulletins highlight University degrees, majors, minors, academic departments, activities, and student life. They include descriptions of the academic programs and courses offered through Hofstra University. Also included in the bulletins is information concerning admission, academic policies, regulations and requirements, academic offerings, and services and facilities available to students. All Hofstra bulletins (Undergraduate and Graduate bulletins, January Session, and Summer Sessions) are available online only. The programs of instruction, the academic calendar, and personnel contained in the bulletins are subject to change at the discretion of the administration. Notice of such changes will be on record in the Office of Academic Records. Hofstra University's current and archived bulletins may be found online at; use the drop-down menu to select the desired Bulletin.

Career Hub

The Career Hub is an online resource that allows for "one-stop shopping" for career resources. The site provides a variety of sites and resources specifically for Hofstra students to explore options, prepare applications, and seek internship and job opportunities. Students can access the system at Parents and family members can learn more at


The Chronicle is the student-run newspaper. It is published weekly by undergraduate Hofstra students and provides in-depth coverage of campus news, sports, and cultural events for its more than 13,000 students and faculty.

Common Hour

Common Hour occurs between 1p.m. and 2:25p.m. every Monday and Wednesday. No classes are scheduled during this time in order to allow students and faculty the opportunity to participate in cocurricular activities.


A corequisite is a course that must be taken before or at the same time as another course.

David S. Mack Public Safety and Information Center

David S. Mack Public Safety and Information Center is home to the Department of Public Safety, and is the location for parking permit distribution. The center is located on South Campus, at the corner of Hempstead Turnpike and California Avenue. The Department of Public Safety provides around-the-clock security to the Hofstra community. The general telephone number is 516-463-6608. In case of emergency, students should call 516-463-6789.

Degree Audit

The degree audit provides the student with a list of the requirements that must be completed in order to earn a Hofstra undergraduate degree. General University requirements, distribution requirements, and major requirements are shown on this report. Completed courses are shown in each area indicating progress toward completion of the degree requirements. The degree audit indicates the remaining courses and number of semester hours required to complete the program. A student should use this audit to review requirements prior to meeting with an advisor to plan a schedule for the upcoming semester.

Distribution Courses

Distribution courses, offered by particular academic departments in Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, are those that have met special standards set by the faculty. Distribution courses are required for most majors and are designed to afford the student some familiarity with the subject matter and intellectual methods used in the various liberal arts and sciences. In addition, distribution requirements expose students to a broad range of cultural traditions, and encourage students to partake in interdisciplinary studies that draw on the general resources of the liberal arts and sciences. The categories of distribution courses include: Humanities – Creative Participation (CP), Literature (LT), and Appreciation & Analysis (AA); Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Science – Natural Sciences (NS), Mathematics (MA), and Computer Science (CS); Social Sciences – Behavioral Social Sciences (BH) and History, Philosophy, Religion (HP); and courses in Cross Cultural (CC) and Interdisciplinary Studies (IS).

Division of Student Enrollment, Engagement, and Success

The Division of Student Enrollment, Engagement, and Success is composed of offices that work together to promote student learning, growth, and success, in and out of the classroom. When students meet someone who works in Advising, Student Leadership and Engagement, Residence Life, the Fitness Center, Student Health and Counseling Center, the Center for Career Design and Development, or any other office in Student Affairs, they will find a professional staff member whose primary aim is to help them develop, refine, and meet their goals at Hofstra.

Dutch Treats

Dutch Treats is the convenience store at Hofstra USA. It is open from 11am to midnight, seven days a week, and features fresh food concepts with made-to-order pizzas, sandwiches, and salad bowls.


An elective is a course a student chooses to take because of interest in it, to satisfy intellectual curiosity, or to complement degree requirements. An elective course may be outside of a student’s field or discipline or may have a direct relationship to the student’s degree program. Limits are placed on the number of elective credits students can earn that count toward a degree. Students must consult with a faculty advisor when planning a program of study.

Explore Next Door (END)

Explore Next Door (END) is a program sponsored by the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement that offers free trips to New York City and Long Island for Hofstra undergraduate students. These coordinated outings allow new students to meet, learn outside of the classroom, and have fun! Trips in the past have included Broadway shows, baseball and basketball games, museum visits, Radio City Music Hall, bike tours, pumpkin picking, the ballet, and more!


FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The completed FAFSA is necessary if a student is requesting financial grants, loans, or any aid other than from family. Not completing this form in its entirety prevents the processing of the request for aid, resulting in aid not being granted. The form can be filed very easily at

Family eSpace

Family eSpace is an online resource designed to inform and engage family members. Through Family eSpace, family members have access to view classifieds, discussion boards, family and campus events, Hofstra’s family regional directory, Parent Council information, volunteer opportunities, and webinars. FERPA-authorized users have access to their student’s schedule and campus address.

Federal Work-Study

The Federal Work-Study program offers on-campus jobs to students who qualify for the program. Students must submit a completed FAFSA in order to be eligible.

First Generation Pride

First Generation Pride is a movement at Hofstra to provide resources to first-generation college students, to help them build community among one another, and to provide role models in the form of faculty and administrators who are also first-generation college graduates. The First Generation Pride Committee sponsors and organizes programs and social events, and maintains resources for students, such as the website – all in an effort to help first-generation Hofstra students succeed and earn their degree.

Full-Time Students

Full-time students are students who are enrolled in at least 12 semester hours (credits) for the academic semester. This is an important factor for many reasons, including financial aid qualification, health insurance benefits, campus housing eligibility, NCAA athletic eligibility, and international student visa status.


GPA stands for grade point average. The grade point average is the index of academic performance used to determine whether a student will be permitted to continue at the University and/or graduate. The grade point average is cumulative, meaning that it includes new semester grades. Students can calculate their grade point average by multiplying the number of credits for a course by the grade received to obtain the quality points. Totaling the quality points for all courses and dividing by the number of credits attempted will result in the grade point average. For more information about grades, please visit
A = 4.0, A- = 3.7, B+ = 3.3, B = 3.0, B- = 2.7, C+ = 2.3, C = 2.0, C- = 1.7, D+ = 1.3, D = 1.0.

Guide to Pride

The Guide to Pride, along with other important core documents, provides the governing principles by which students learn, study, and live at Hofstra University. This handbook contains valuable information about Hofstra University’s policies, regulations, and procedures. Students are responsible for adhering to all Hofstra University rules, policies, and procedures detailed in this handbook and other institutional documents. Clarification of matters contained in this handbook may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of Students. To view the Guide to Pride, visit


Handshake is a primary source of career-related information at Hofstra, including event listings and internship/job opportunities. Students access Handshake, which has thousands of opportunities each year, through the Career Hub. Parents and family members can read more at


HCLAS stands for Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. HCLAS includes the following schools: Peter S. Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs; School of Education; School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts; and School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. See more information at

Hofstra USA (HofUSA)

Hof USA refers to the dining and recreational facilities within the Hofstra USA complex on North Campus. It is a casual meeting place for the Hofstra community, providing recreation, dining and dancing, a concert facility, and a theater.

Hofstra Cultural Center (HCC)

The Hofstra Cultural Center (HCC) is an internationally renowned organization that includes a conference and symposium component, a music program, and the publication of the proceedings of its conferences and symposia. It plans and coordinates conferences and symposia in the fields of humanities, business, law, and the sciences to promote the University as an international arena of scholarly thought and to foster Long Island as a cultural entity. The activities of the Hofstra Cultural Center augment the offerings of the academic departments of the University. For information, please visit or call 516-463-5669.

Hofstra Portal

The Hofstra portal ( offers students a quick and simple way to register for courses. Looking up classes, registering for open classes, and adding/dropping classes are all just a click away via the Hofstra portal. Pre-advised, matriculated, and continuing graduate and undergraduate students in Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Peter S. Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs; School of Education; School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts; and School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics), Frank G. Zarb School of Business, The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science, and School of Health Sciences may register online through the Hofstra portal. (Note: NOAH Scholars Program students are not able to register online.)

Rabinowitz Honors College (RHC)

Rabinowitz Honors College (RHC) is dedicated to serving students who perform at the highest academic level. Through an innovative curriculum centered in the liberal arts and compatible with all majors, students in any major can earn special designations indicating their degree was earned with a certain level of distinction. RHC brings together all honors students in a first-year sequence of courses (Culture and Expression) that satisfy some undergraduate requirements for graduation.

Hofstra University Museum

The Hofstra University Museum is the only university museum in the region that is nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The permanent collections house more than 5,000 works of art in varied media dating from the ancient to the contemporary, and includes American artists of the 18th through 21st centuries. Open year-round to the public with free admission, the Museum mounts four to six original exhibitions each year and comprises two wheelchair-accessible galleries: Emily Lowe Gallery (located behind Emily Lowe Hall, South Campus) and David Filderman Gallery (located on the ninth floor of the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library, South Campus). The Museum engages with students through class visits and activities as well as offering public programs during the year to more than 32,000 visitors by way of lectures, symposia, and workshops. In addition, the Museum cares for approximately 70 outdoor sculptures installed on the University’s 244-acre campus. For information, please visit or call 516-463-5672.


Humanities refers to the disciplines of art, dance, drama, English, foreign languages, literature, and music.


IEI stands for Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion. IEI works closely with students, faculty, administrators, and staff to develop diversity education programs and social awareness initiatives that allow campus community members to explore identity, enhance intercultural competence, and develop skills to build an inclusive campus climate.

Liberal Arts Course

A liberal arts course is a course in the natural sciences and mathematics; government, public policy and international affairs; and humanities, fine and performing arts. A liberal arts education develops a variety of skills, such as critical thinking and the ability to access and analyze information and ideas in a technologically sophisticated world. Every undergraduate degree program at Hofstra requires a certain number of credits in liberal arts, so our graduates emerge as lifelong learners who are intellectually ambitious and adaptable to change.

Matriculated Student

A matriculated student is a student who has successfully satisfied all admission requirements, has been officially accepted into a degree program at Hofstra University, and has registered for courses.

Natural Sciences

Natural sciences generally refers to the study of natural objects, including biology, geology, mineralogy, physics, and chemistry. All natural science distribution courses must be taken with a corresponding lab requirement.

New Student Orientation

A Hofstra student’s journey begins with New Student Orientation. It is designed with student success and enjoyment in mind. Students stay on campus in a residence hall for the three-day summer program, regardless of whether they will be residential or commuting students in the fall. The dates of the program are listed within the student’s Welcome Packet, and sessions are available from June to August. Parents attend Family Orientation on Tuesday, the first day of each New Student Orientation session. The program introduces new students to all areas of Hofstra, including student services, faculty, academic advisors, and the campus culture. During the program, students will learn about Hofstra’s curriculum and campus resources, register for classes, tour the campus, meet faculty and advisors, and begin to develop friendships with fellow students. The first semester is an exciting time for a new student; the opportunities are endless, from campus clubs and organizations to special programs and events.

NOAH Scholars Program

The NOAH Scholars Program, established in 1964, is an academic success initiative that provides postsecondary access, academic support, and enrichment opportunities for talented, highly motivated New York state residents who have experienced precollegiate educational and economic disadvantage. is the email address for first-year questions and information.


OSLE stands for the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement and is the office responsible for supervising and coordinating student organizations and clubs, and organizing orientation and new student programs, leadership opportunities, and class programs and traditions.


A prerequisite is a course that must be taken and passed prior to enrollment in another course.

Probation (Academic)

Probation (academic) occurs when a student’s grade point average falls below 2.0 (a C average) or if a student fails to satisfactorily complete a minimum percentage of their attempted credits. If this occurs, the student must meet with an advising dean in the Center for University Advising to create an academic action plan.

Quality Points

Quality points are determined by multiplying the grade earned by the number of credits for a course. Totaling the quality points in a particular semester and dividing it by the number of credits attempted results in the grade point average for that semester.


An RA is a resident assistant of a residence hall. The RA’s responsibilities include providing general assistance to residential students; managing and helping groups; facilitating social, recreational, educational, and cultural programs in the residence halls; informing residents about campus life or referring a student to the appropriate campus resource; explaining and enforcing University policies; and maintaining a safe, orderly, and relatively quiet environment. RAs are full-time students.


An RD is a resident director. The resident assistant staff reports to the RD in their respective area. RDs are full-time master's degree level professional staff members in the Office of Residence Life. RDs respond to emergencies, coordinate the resident assistant staff, develop programming, and handle maintenance concerns for the building.

Repeat Course Option

The Repeat Course Option is an option available to students to repeat a completed course, regardless of the grade, for a better understanding of the subject. Such courses are listed on a student’s transcript as a repeated course, for which a final grade is given. Both grades appear on the student’s transcript, but credit is given only once. However, if the student completes the necessary paperwork before the deadline and is approved, only the second grade is counted toward the grade point average. This option may be exercised twice during a student’s educational career at Hofstra.


A semester is typically 15 weeks long in the fall and spring.

Semester Hour

The term semester hour is used to describe the number of credits received by the student for successfully completing a course. A semester hour is a one-hour period of participation in class per week, or a minimum of two hours of laboratory or studio work per week for one semester, or the equivalent.

Social Sciences

Social sciences refers to the study of anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology, sociology, and geography.

Student Financial Services (SFS) Suite

The Student Financial Services (SFS) Suite is home to Student Financial Services, Financial Aid Operations, the Bursar (billing), and the Registrar (class registration and transcripts). Please visit for step-by-step instructions and answers to many frequently asked questions.

Student Success Advisors (SSAs)

Student Success Advisors (SSAs) are staff members within the Center for Academic Excellence who work closely with students, faculty, and other departments on campus in an effort to proactively identify academic or other concerns; they also coordinate campus resources to foster students’ academic and personal success.


A syllabus is a collection of information about a course. It usually contains the following: course description; goals and objectives of the course; reading assignments and due dates; a general outline of the course, including course requirements; and means and methods of evaluation. The syllabus is the key to understanding course content and course policies, and is distributed by the professor at the beginning of a course.

Title IX

Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. In accordance with Title IX and our mission, Hofstra has policies, procedures, and resources to prevent and address issues such as discrimination based on sex, including sexual violence and gender-based harassment. More information is available at


TRP stands for Tuition Refund Plan available through A.W.G. Dewar Inc. This optional tuition insurance plan may help minimize the potential financial loss if your student needs to withdraw from classes and leave school during the semester due to illness or accident. This refund plan supplements the University’s published refund schedule. Subscribers are eligible for a refund throughout the term, even when Hofstra University’s refund policy has expired. Costs covered by the TRP include tuition only. The plan will refund up to 70% of insured tuition for injury, sickness, or mental health withdrawal. For more information, visit


Unispan is the name of the original pedestrian bridge that connects the Sondra and David S. Mack Student Center (North Campus) to the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library (South Campus). In addition, there are two other pedestrian bridges that connect the North and South campuses.

Undergraduate Tutorial Program (UTP)

The Undergraduate Tutorial Program (UTP) is internationally certified by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA). Graduate and undergraduate tutors who lead the tutorial sessions are in excellent academic standing and have shown proficiency in all courses in which they tutor. Students may request one-on-one sessions with tutors and/or participate in small group sessions. Tutorial support for biology, chemistry, astronomy, physics, computer science, and business statistics are offered in small group sessions only. These tutoring appointments are scheduled as walk-in sessions, for which the specific days and times are posted online. Students may receive tutoring for 1.5 hours per class in up to three classes per week. Students interested in requesting a tutor may schedule appointments via the Hofstra portal at, through Student Success CONNECT. For more information about the Undergraduate Tutorial Program, call 516-463-2000, visit, or stop by Axinn Library, third floor, South Campus.


WRHU-FM is Radio Hofstra University, broadcasting to Long Island and New York City as well as parts of Connecticut. WRHU’s operates at 88.7 FM, with 470 watts. The station’s community radio programming includes music, news, talk, and sports. Since 2010, WRHU student staff have produced and distributed over 675 live NY Islanders NHL game broadcasts. WRHU has earned three National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Marconi Awards (2019, 2017, 2014) as the noncommercial station of the year, and has twice been named the top college station by The Princeton Review. For more information, please visit

Student Involvement

Research shows that students who are involved on campus make connections with other students, faculty, and staff that lead to making more friends, being more likely to feel like they belong on campus, being more likely to have a higher GPA, and being more likely to graduate. Skills learned by involvement in clubs and organizations, as well as other leadership opportunities, translate well to a student's resume. Employers tell Hofstra often that they are most interested in job applicants that were involved while in college. Consider some of the ways you can be involved on campus:

    Hofstra has hundreds of student clubs and organizations, ranging from academic areas of interest to social interests. With so many options, there are bound to be a few for you. To see which ones are available, check out the GetInvolvedHU portal. Go to, click the waffle icon in the top right corner, and look for the orange GetInvolvedHU icon.
    The Office of Student Advocacy and Prevention Awareness hosts six different peer mentorship positions that you can apply for. Peer mentors provide mentorship and guidance to groups of students in a variety of areas, including access, diversity, LGBTQ+ students, transfer students, international students, and commuting students. To apply, visit their page.
    The Residence Hall Association (RHA for short) is a group of student leaders who live on campus and provide leadership to the residential community. Focusing on areas of residence hall policy and social programming, students in this organization provide feedback to the Office of Residence Life and plan and execute large-scale social programming for campus residents. Past programs have included Nugget Nite, Silent Disco, and Big Prize Bingo.
    The Student Government Association (SGA for short) is the student governing body of Hofstra University. Its aim is to act as a liaison between Hofstra students and faculty, staff, administration, and the Board of Trustees at the institution. In addition to providing feedback to the University, the organization investigates and advocates for student concerns, holds educational programming, and provides operating funds to all student clubs and organizations.
  • Commuting Students Association
    The Commuting Students Association (CSA for short) is the organization for students in the Hofstra community who live off campus and commute to class. The goal of the Hofstra Commuter Student Association is to help ensure that commuter students feel welcome at Hofstra. The CSA feels that students should strive to be as involved on campus as possible. For more info, email

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