During the application process you will read a lot of terms that may be unfamiliar to you. This page includes definitions that we hope will make it easier for you to select the correct forms and documents while applying to the University at Buffalo.

On this page:


Student with fewer than 30 completed credit hours, typically in the first year of study.

Freshman Applicant

You are a prospective freshman applicant if you are currently in high school (secondary school), or have graduated high school and have taken no post-secondary courses.

General Education Requirements

General education requirements, or Gen Eds for short, are courses that all UB students are required to take no matter what your academic major is.


Graduate studies require that a student already has a bachelor’s degree. These are advanced level studies leading to master’s, doctoral or professional degrees.


You are an international applicant if a visa is required for you to reside and study in the United States.

A U.S. citizen or permanent resident who currently lives and studies outside the U.S. is considered a domestic applicant with foreign credentials.


Student with more than 60 but fewer than 90 completed credit hours, typically in the third year of study.

Leave of Absence

If you need to take a break from your studies for any reason, you may qualify for a leave of absence. If you follow the required steps and secure a leave of absence before you stop your studies, you may not be required to reapply to the university once you are ready to return.

Lowerclassman or Underclassman

A term that describes freshmen and sophomores.


Your academic major is your primary field of study. Although you will receive a well-rounded education from the University at Buffalo, you will choose one primary subject to focus on. You will choose your major from our list of degree-granting programs.

Major - Accept

If you are admitted to UB as “accept to major,” then you have already met all the prerequisites required for admission to your chosen academic major.

Major - Double or Dual

It is possible in some instances for you to choose two majors. You are required to meet all the requirements for each major in order to graduate with a double or dual major.

Major - Intended

If you are admitted to UB with an intended major, then you have not yet met the prerequisites required for admission to your chosen academic major. This is how most students are admitted to UB. You will work with an academic advisor to take the classes you need to be admitted to your chosen academic major before graduation.

Minimum Wage

A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly wage that employers may legally pay to their workers. In the U.S. these wages are set by both the federal and state governments. As of 2016, New York State requires that employees be paid no less than $9.00 per hour.


You can choose an academic minor in addition to your major. Choosing a minor allows you to learn about your major in depth or to study something completely different.

Non-degree or Non-matriculated

Non-degree or non-matriculated students are those who are enrolled on a semester-by-semester or course-by-course basis and have not been accepted as a regular student pursuing a degree from the University at Buffalo.


Many advanced level courses require that you first take more basic, foundational courses before registering. These required courses are called prerequisites. This term is also used for the classes you need to take before being admitted to certain majors.


If you were previously enrolled as a UB undergraduate student and are not on an approved leave of absence, you will need to complete an Application Form for Returning Students to re-enter the university.

If your previous attendance at UB was as a non-matriculating or graduate student, you will need to complete an international undergraduate application and select the Transfer option.

If you are currently on an approved leave of absence, you should contact International Student Services (ISS) with any questions you have about returning to school.


Student with more than 90 credit hours, typically in the fourth year of study.


Student with more than 30 but fewer than 60 completed credit hours, typically in the second year of study.

Transfer Applicant

You are a transfer applicant if you started postsecondary studies at one college or university and then chose to move to a different school. If you have completed any academic coursework during a regular session at a college or university after high school, you are a transfer applicant.

Intensive English language study is not considered academic coursework.

We do not offer the option for a “Fresh Start” or “Start Over.” No matter what type of program you were enrolled in previously, or what major you have selected at UB, taking even one college class makes you a transfer applicant.


Undergraduate studies are postsecondary studies at a college or university. Undergraduate studies may lead to an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. “Undergraduate” can also refer to any university student who is not enrolled in graduate studies.


A term that describes juniors and seniors.