First-Generation students are trailblazers and challenge seekers used to engaging in new experiences on their own. They also are used to doing things on their own and not asking for help.
Ask for Help!
First-generation students are often used to doing things on their own. They can be so determined they often forget to ask for help and use vital services to get ahead. UCR has a wide range of support services first-generation students should use including:
- Academic Resource Center: The Academic Resource Center provides academic support, tutoring, and mentoring.
- Student Disability Resource Center: support, referrals, and resources for UCR students with documented permanent and temporary disabilities.
- Library: serves as an information commons and intellectual center for campus. Assistance with research, printing, books, and journals.
- TRIO Scholars Program: academic, social, personal, and career support for first-generation students who are low-income with a physical or learning disability (see site for eligibility).
Get Engaged, Build Community!
Building connections with students, faculty, and staff as well as engaging with your academic disciplines.
- Student Organizations and Highlander Link: Explore student organizations to connect with other students. Being part of students groups, and networking
- First Generation Student Association: A mentorship-focused student organization designed to support first-generation students of all backgrounds.
- Community Service and Service Learning: learn about opportunities to service your local community through service programs and even service as part of courses.
- Undergraduate Research: Opportunities for student involvement in undergraduate research including: undergraduate research opportunities, Undergraduate Research Journal, Symposium for Research and Creative Activity, and Chancellor's Research Fellowship
- Mentoring Summer Research Internship Program (MSRIP): summer research program for first-generation juniors/seniors in preparation for graduate school studies.
- First-Year Mentor Program: a student life program designed to connect first-year students with trained peer mentors.
- Academic Internships: academic internships are available through three options: national in Washington DC, state-level in Sacramento, and locally in Riverside.
- Ethnic and Gender Program Offices: feature student support services, community involvement, multi-cultural events and leadership training that allows students to engage in cultural growth and development.
- Student Organizations and Highlander Link: Explore student organizations to connect with other students. Being part of students groups, and networking
Use Your Resources!
Using all the campus resources is key to a complete experience and full preparation for the next transition to a career or graduate work and a healthy life.
- Career Center: provides students access to a job database, career counseling, resume and interview advice as well as alerts to upcoming workshops and job fairs.
- ORBITS: A Career Center program focused on supporting first-generation students in their second and third year.
- Financial Aid: provides assistance with grants, scholarships, loans, financial wellness, and even emergency loans.
- Campus Safety: General information on Campus Police, Campus Safety Escort Service, the Campus Emergency Notification System and Environmental Health and Safety.
- Early Childhood Services: provides a safe, nurturing environment for the children of UCR students, staff and faculty (programs for children ages four months to kindergarten).
- Health, Fitness and Wellbeing: provides several integrated wellness programs that foster a culture of health and wellness and promote the importance of maintaining an optimal quality of life.
- UCR Dining, Hospitality & Retail Services: provides the campus with great food as well as a variety of locations to relax, socialize or study.
- Career Center: provides students access to a job database, career counseling, resume and interview advice as well as alerts to upcoming workshops and job fairs.
- University of California Guides
Academic Calendar: The academic calendar provides a timeline for major dates, deadlines, and dedicated time in the academic year. The academic calendar highlights the first day of class for each term, necessary registration and payment deadlines, final examination testing days, holidays, and campus closures.
Add/Drop Period: The add/drop period at the beginning of the semester is the time in which students may make schedule changes without incurring a failing grade.
Breadth Requirements: The breadth requirement gives you the opportunity to choose courses across a range of subject areas, allowing you to gain knowledge and an understanding of disciplines outside of your main fields of study. (See individual colleges)
Colleges: An academic subunit of the university concentrated around areas of study. UCR has 3 colleges and 4 schools:
- Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE)
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS)
- College of Agricultural Sciences (CNAS)
- School of Business
- School of Medicine (SOM)
- School of Public Policy (SPP)
- Graduate School of Education (GSOE)
Corequisite: A course that must be taken at the same time as another course.
CRN: A five-digit number specific for a course and its sections. A specific section of MATH might be 34567.
Course Load: The number of units and/or courses that a student takes during a quarter.
Curriculum: The courses required to earn a degree in a major.
Degree Audit: A degree audit is a progress report that allows students to view the number of units they have received towards their degree and demonstrates which requirements they would likely need to accomplish to obtain their degree and graduate.
Hold: A restriction in R’Web that limits a student's ability to enroll, receive a diploma, and/or other actions until the hold is removed. Holds can be unpaid fees, parking tickets, or other violations.
Lower Division: Courses with numbers between 0-99, usually taken by first and second-year students.
Matriculation: The process of a student being accepted to UCR and enrolling in classes.
MWF and TR: MWF = Monday, Wednesday, and Friday classes. TR = Tuesday and Thursday classes.
Placement Exam: A placement exam or placement test is designed to evaluate a person's preexisting knowledge of a subject and thus determine the level most suitable for the person to begin coursework on that subject.
Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP): Undergraduate students may interrupt their regular education for one year (or less) for a variety of reasons including clarifying educational goals, gaining practical experience away from campus, or completing a program that will benefit their academic life.
Planned Opportunities Abroad Agreement (POAA): POAA allows students to study abroad with a non-UC program and return to UCR without having to apply for readmission.
Prerequisites: A course that must be completed before taking another course. Some prerequisites can be waived under the professor’s discretion.
Priority Registration: Priority registration is reserved for: Regents and Chancellor's Scholars, students with disabilities, foster youth, graduate students, student-athletes/team managers, University Honors students, and veterans/military.
Readmission: The process of being accepted back to the university after academic dismissal.
Registrar: The university official and office that oversees enrollment, student grades, and transcripts.
Registration: The process of selecting and enrolling in courses through R’Web.
Reinstatement: The process of being accepted back to a major in a college within the university, following academic dismissal.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards ensure that students are successfully completing coursework and can continue to receive financial aid. All students receiving financial aid are required to meet SAP standards.
S/NC Grading: Earning an “S” grade (Satisfactory) in a course will earn you credit for the course. Earning an “NC” grade (No Credit) will not earn you credit for the course. Changing the grading basis to S/NC means that the S or NC grade will not be calculated in your GPA.
Subject to Dismissal: Students are placed on Subject to Dismissal status when the quarterly GPA for any quarter is below 1.5, or after two terms on academic probation, the cumulative GPA is less than 2.00.
Time Ticket for Registration: Earned units determine your time ticket. Students with more units register first. Pending transfer units do not count as earned units until official transcripts are processed.
Upper Division: Courses with numbers between 100-199, usually taken by third- and fourth-year students.
Waitlist: An option when a course is full, where students can join a waitlist, to enroll in the course. If room in the course becomes available, the waitlist order is typically used to allow students to enroll.
Withdrawal: Dropping a class after the drop/add period has ended is considered a Withdrawal. You may withdraw from a course after the add/drop period has ended with no grade penalty, however, you will not be eligible for a tuition refund and must still pay any outstanding balances owed to the college.
Withdraw from University: If beginning on the first day of instruction, you find you are not going to attend UCR any longer, you must formally withdraw from the university.
Academic Advisor: A professional who provides guidance on course enrollment, academic progress, and graduation. Students typically meet with an advisor each quarter before enrolling.
Academic Integrity: At the University of California, Riverside (UCR) honesty and integrity are fundamental values that guide and inform us as individuals and as a community. Students must represent themselves truthfully, claim only work that is their own, acknowledge their use of others’ words, research results, and ideas, using the methods accepted by the appropriate academic disciplines, and engage honestly in all academic assignments.
Academic Probation: Students are placed on academic probation when the term GPA is less than 2.00 but greater than 1.50, or your cumulative GPA, computed on the total of all courses undertake n at the university, is less than 2.00.
Academic Year: The academic year consists of four quarters: summer, fall, spring, and winter. UCR's academic year begins in summer.
Accreditation: Recognition that a university or program meets national or regional standards.
Advanced Placement (AP): College-level courses taken while in high school. Students may receive college credit based on their AP exam scores.
ACT: An exam that is a college admission requirement for many universities. The test measures students' English, reading, math, science, and writing.
Alumni (Alumna/Alumnus): People who have graduated from UCR. A female graduate is an alumna; a male or female graduate is an alumnus.
Associate Degree: Usually a two-year degree awarded to students who complete community or technical college requirements. With careful planning, the degree can match many requirements for a UCR four-year degree.
Baccalaureate: A bachelor’s degree.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.): A type of degree that includes modern language courses.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.): Most common type of bachelor’s degree. In some programs that offer B.A. and B.S. options, it is a degree that does not include the same modern language course requirements.
Bachelor's Degree: Degree awarded to students who graduate from a four-year college or university, and typically required before a master’s degree. You can earn a B.S. or B.A.
Class Schedule: A list of courses in which a student is enrolled, along with when and where the classes meet. Students access their class schedule through R’Web.
Co-Curricular: A program or activity that may not specifically be academic but complements a classroom experience.
Commencement: The official title of the graduation ceremony held each year in June.
Comprehensive Exam: A term often used with final exams. A comprehensive final exam will cover all the material in the course.
Course Catalog: A list of the courses offered by the university, organized by academic year. The university's official summary of degree requirements, programs of study, and academic Policies.
Cumulative GPA: Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) refers to the overall GPA, which includes dividing the number of quality points earned in all courses attempted by the total degree-credit hours in all attempted courses.
Dean: The leader of a college within the university.
Degree Requirements: Course requirements a student must meet to earn a degree. 180 credits are the minimum required for a UCR bachelor’s degree. (See individual colleges)
Discipline: An academic field of study.
Discussion Section: A small course section often taken along with a lecture (usually a requirement of the course).
Doctorate, or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.): The highest degree achievable. Students usually receive a bachelor's degree and a master's degree before they earn their doctorate.
Dual Degree/Major: Term for when a student is pursuing two degrees.
Elective: A course that a student chooses to take that may count toward degree requirements.
Experiential Learning: Experiential learning gives students hands-on ways to connect their classes to the world outside the classroom. Study abroad, service-learning classes, internships, and research are good examples of this kind of learning.
Extracurricular activities: Groups you belong to outside of class, such as sporting teams, clubs,& and organizations.
Faculty: Professors and instructors who teach and/or conduct research.
FERPA: Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This law governs how UCR protects and shares student information.
Final Exam: An exam that typically is given during finals week, the last week of the semester.
First-Generation Student: A student whose neither parent nor guardian has earned a four-year degree.
Fraternity: An organization of men to build a community. Some provide housing so that members can congregate and live together.
Freshman: A first-year college student, or one who has earned fewer than 45 units.
Full-Time Student: A student enrolled in at least 12 units during the fall/spring/winter quarters, and/or nine units in the summer to qualify for financial aid. It is recommended students take 15 units per quarter to graduate within 4 years.
Grade-Point Average (GPA): A measure of course performance. A GPA is obtained by dividing the number of grade points by the credit hours completed, where each credit hour of an A = 4 points, B = 3 points, C = 2 points, D = 1 point, and an F = 0 points.
Good Academic Standing: Students are in good standing when their quarter and cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher.
Graduate Student: A student who has graduated with a bachelor's degree and is pursuing a master's or doctoral degree.
Humanities: The fields of art, dance, drama, English, foreign languages, literature, and music.
International Baccalaureate IB Credits: College-level courses taken while in high school. Students may receive college credit based on their IB exam scores.
Internship: A temporary professional experience typically in a student's career field or major. It can be paid or unpaid and can sometimes be taken for academic credit.
Junior: A third-year college student, or one who has earned more than 90 units and fewer than 135 units.
Lab: Short for laboratory: a part of a course where a student completes hands-on activities. It is also a term used for spaces where some faculty conduct research.
Lecture: A course where the teaching is done mostly through oral presentation.
Liberal Arts: A term that refers to subjects such as humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics.
Librarian: A librarian is a professional trained in information science. Working at a school, a local library, or even for the government, a librarian assists those in need of informational articles and services while managing and organizing those materials.
Major: The progression of courses required to earn a degree. For example, a biology major is pursuing a degree in biology and will take courses oriented to that area of interest.
Master’s Degree: A graduate degree usually completed after the bachelor's degree; most commonly two years in length.
Mentee: A student who receives support, guidance, and advice from a mentor.
Mentor: A fellow student or professional on, or off-campus, who provides support, guidance, and advice to a mentee.
Midterms: Exams offered around the midpoint of a semester.
Minor: A progression of courses a student chooses to complete in addition to their major.
Natural Science: A term that refers to subjects such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, botany, archaeology, and geology, among other disciplines.
Non-Traditional Student: Most commonly describes a student starting college later in life rather than right after completing high school, or one who is a parent.
Office Hours: Specific times that faculty are available in their office to meet with students. Students are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities, either virtually or in-person.
Orientation: Highlander Orientation is a period before the start of an academic year at UCR. A variety of events are held to orient and welcome new students during this period.
Part-Time Student: A student enrolled in fewer than 12 units during a fall/spring/winter quarter or fewer than nine units during the summer.
Peer Mentor: A student who provides support, guidance, and advice as a mentor to a fellow student.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the word-for-word transcription of a section of someone else’s work, without attribution and quotation marks. Plagiarism can also take the form of using sections of someone else’s work while finding synonyms for certain words. The deliberate plagiarism of someone else's work is unethical, academically dishonest, and grounds for disciplinary actions, including expulsion.
Professor: A faculty member who has a Ph.D. or other equivalent degree. A professor may advance from assistant to associate to full professor.
Public University: A university that receives state funding. Tuition is lower for students who are residents of that state than for out-of-state students. UCR is a public university.
Quarter: The period in which a course is set. A quarter is 10 weeks of instruction followed by final examinations, except for the summer quarter which has three sessions — A (5 weeks + finals), B (5 weeks + finals), and F (10 weeks + finals).
Quiz: A short assessment of knowledge given to students in courses.
Red Phone: Campus-wide “red phones” reach directly to a dispatcher for the “Campus Safety Escort Service” program, from dark to 11:30pm.
Research 1 University (R1): A group of universities labeled by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions with a high level of research activity and a high number of Master’s and Doctorate degrees conferred. UCR is an R1 institution. Visit ugr.ucr.edu for information on getting involved in research at UCR.
Resident Advisor (RA): A student, employed by Housing and Dining Services, to live in a campus residence hall or apartment and serve as a resource and role model to students.
Residence Halls: Buildings on campus where students live, eat, and engage in activities together.
Senior: A fourth-year college student, or one who has earned more than 135 units.
SAT: An exam that is a college admission requirement for many universities. The test measures students' English, reading, math, science, and writing.
Sophomore: A second-year college student, or one who has earned more than 45 and fewer than 90 units.
Social Science: The study of human society and social relationships. Often used to refer to the following disciplines: American Ethnic studies, anthropology, economics, gender studies, geography, history, law, politics, psychology, and sociology, among other disciplines.
Sorority: An organization of women to build community. Some provide housing so that members can congregate and live together.
Student Life: Student Life provides services to support students academically and personally.
Syllabus: A document that describes important information about a course. It may include items such as office hours, required books or other materials, assignments, due dates, grading scale, expectations, procedures, and policies.
Teaching Assistant: A graduate student who assists an instructor with various aspects of a course.
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities.
Traditional Student: Most commonly describes a student starting college right after completing high school and who is not a parent.
Transcript: An official record of the courses a student has taken, and the grades received at a college or university.
Transfer Credit: Credits from courses completed outside UCR that are transferred in for academic credit.
Transfer Student: A college student who completed courses at another college or university before enrolling at UCR.
Term: Another name for a quarter.
Undergraduate (UG): A student who is pursuing but has not yet received a bachelor's degree.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals): The purpose of the Deferred Action Plan for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. DACA gives young undocumented immigrants: 1) protection from deportation and 2) a work permit. The program expires after two years, subject to renewal.
International Student: International students are defined as "non-immigrant" visitors who come to the United States temporarily to take classes.
Non-resident Achievement Scholarship: Out-of-state and international freshman and transfer students are automatically considered for the Achievement Scholarship with their acceptance to UC Riverside.
Out-of-State: A student who is not a resident of California. Tuition for out-of-state students at UCR is higher than in-state students.
AB-540: Under California law AB-540, certain nonresident students are exempt from paying nonresident supplemental tuition. If you are granted an AB-540 exemption, you will be charged in-state tuition and fees.
Award Letter: When your student has completed their FAFSA and aid applications and the money has been awarded, they will receive an email (their award letter).
Bear Bucks: Bear Bucks turns your R'Card into a Debit Card, good at dozens of locations on and off-campus.
Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan: Gift aid granted to California undergraduate students who have family annual income under $80,000.
California Dream Act: The California Dream Act is a program that allows undocumented and non-resident students who qualify for AB-540 to be able to receive grants and funding such as state-administered financial aid, Cal grants, University grants, college fee waivers, and scholarships.
California Dream Loan: The California DREAM Loan Program provides eligible undocumented AB 540 undergraduates with the option to borrow loans to help cover the cost of attending UC.
Default: Failure to repay a loan.
Deferment: A plan allowed under certain conditions to delay payment on a loan.
Delinquent: A term for a loan whose payments are not received on time.
Dining Plan: Dining Plans are available to students living in on-campus housing. Dining Plans are designed to meet individual preferences.
Emergency Loan: You can borrow up to $1000 with no interest with the Henry Ramsey Jr. Emergency Loan. Fees must be current, and repayment is due within 30 days or at the end of the quarter (whichever comes first).
Expected Family Contribution: A value from the FAFSA that represents the amount a student or family should be able to contribute toward their college costs.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid): The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that uses a student’s parent’s tax information [ if that student is a dependent] or the student’s tax information [if that student is an independent] to determine and grant that student financial aid.
Financial Aid: Financial support that students receive for college expenses. Some financial aid, such as loans, must be repaid, while other forms, such as grants or scholarships, do not need to be paid back. Collectively all the financial aid that students are offered is known as their financial aid package.
Grant: A form of financial aid that does not need to be repaid.
Kalyn Smith-Tranquil’s son Memorial Fund: This is a grant for LGBTQ+ students who have been financially cut-off from their families.
Pell Grant: Financial Aid awarded to citizens and eligible non-citizen undergraduate students who do not have a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree.
Federal Loans: Federal loans are available to you regardless of your income and provide you with flexible repayment options (which other types of loans are not required to provide).
Private Loans: Private loans are funded through banks and other private lending institutions. We recommend you only consider private loans if you need more money after taking the federal student loans for which you already qualify.
R’Card: Student ID card which is used for school events as an entry ticket, financial aid office as a form of student verification, printing card at the Highlander Union Building (HUB), and can be used to deposit dining dollars.
Scholarship: A form of financial aid that does not need to be repaid.
Student Business Services: The office that bills students for tuition, housing, and other college costs.
Student Loans: Student Loans are borrowed money that the state grants to eligible students to borrow to fund their education. The money is expected to be paid back with interest and is determined by the available funding and the number of eligible students attending UC Riverside each year.
Summer Aid: Financial Aid funds for summer courses. To apply for Summer Aid, the total credit amount taken over the summer sessions is necessary to determine the number of funds that will be allocated to your account.
UCR Loans: A limited number of UCR loans are available to undergraduate students for up to $5,000 annually. There are loan programs available to all students regardless of income.
Unsubsidized Student Loan: A loan that is charged interest while the student is in school.
Work-study: Part-time work offered by the university as part of your financial aid package from the federal government.
Yellow Ribbon Program: The Yellow Ribbon Program fully or partially funds tuition and fee expenses for the pursuit of higher education for Veterans and Dependents under the Transfer of Entitlement in any approved institutions of Higher Learning [ degree-granting institutions] in the United States.
Campus Resources and Terminology
Academic Resource Center (ARC): The Academic Resource Center provides student resources for academic assistance including tutoring and supplemental instruction.
ASPB: The Associated Students Program Board (ASPB) brings entertainment and special events to UC Riverside. Throughout the academic year, the student-run board hosts concerts, special events, films, and lectures for undergraduate students.
Bell Tower: The UCR Carillon Bell Tower is one of four carillon bell towers in California, is 161 feet (49 m) tall and contains 48 bells, cast in France, and was dedicated in 1966.
Campus Advocacy, Resources, and Education (CARE): CARE is a department on campus that is dedicated to ending sexual violence at UCR. The office provides programs and resources to create a happy and safe environment on campus
CHASS F1RST: CHASS F1RST First-Year Experience Programs support students in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences during their first-year at UCR.
Costo Hall: Costo Hall is where the identity and ethnicity-based programs are located in. Some of these programs are:
- African Student Programs (ASP)
- Asian Pacific Student Programs (APSP)
- Chicano Student Programs (CSP)
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center (LGBT)
- Native American Student programs (NASP)
- Middle Eastern Resource Center (MERC)
- Undocumented Student Programs (USP) Women’s Resource Center (WRC)
- Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC)
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): UC Riverside's Counseling and Psychological Services is dedicated to creating a positive, healthy atmosphere for our undergraduate and graduate student populations, working hand-in-hand with students to provide access to mental health resources that support and promote their academic, career, personal and social development.
Education Abroad: Education Abroad offers high-quality international opportunities, offered through academic coursework, experiential learning, immersion to cultivate intercultural understanding, and collaboration.
Imposter Syndrome: Imposter Syndrome is a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.
Handshake: The Career Center's recruiting and career services platform.
Highlander One-Stop Shop (HOSS): The Highlander One-Stop Shop provides a multitude of services such as answering any financial aid, admissions, transcript, grade, and billing questions.
iLearn: iLearn is the virtual learning environment allowing students and faculty to participate in classes delivered online or use online materials and activities to complement face-to-face teaching.
Ivan’s: Ivan’s is a popular coffee shop on campus inside Hinderaker Hall.
NetID: UCR NetID is a unique identifier for each employee, faculty, or student connected with UCR. The UCR NetID is the first part of an @ucr.edu email.
R’Side: R’Side is a UCR mantra to demonstrate school spirit. It goes:
- Person A: “Who’s side?!”
- Person B: “Rrrrr side!”
- Person A: “Whooooooooooo’s side?!”
- Person B: Rrrrrrrrrr side
R’Pantry: UCR’s food pantry combats student food insecurity by giving students free pantry items, fresh produce, and toiletries.
R’Web: R'Web self-service connects you directly to Academic History, Class Registration, R'Mail, Transcript and Verification, iLearn, iGrade, Authorized Users, and more. Scotty the Bear: Scotty Bear is UCR’s campus mascot. His formal name is Scotty Highlander.
SID (Student Identification Number): The ID number for any UCR students.
Student Recreation Center (SRC): The recreation center for students offers various exercise options free to students.
The Barn: The century-old building known as “The Barn” is one of the most popular and beloved places on the University of California, Riverside campus. The Barn offers dining, faculty/staff lounge, concert venue, and multi-use classroom performing and rehearsal space for music and theater students.
The Well: The Well helps students have a healthy mind and body through the UC system-wide Mental Health/Healthier Campus Climate Initiative.
Transfer F1RST: Transfer First is a program under the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, providing workshops, mentoring, and resources ensuring a successful transition from community college.
UCDC/UCCS: UC Washington Center and UC Center Sacramento are academic internship programs offered for UC students every quarter.
UCPD: UCR UCPD heightens the quality of life on campus by providing a safe and secure environment through professional service to the University community.
UC SHIP: A health plan for UC students that offer dental, vision, mental health, and substance abuse disorder benefits. The insurance is typically included within your fees and is covered by your financial aid. There are waivers to opt-out of the health insurance if you or your parents are already covered.
University Honors: University Honors engages a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff in the creation of global citizens through high-impact experiences that emphasize original scholarship, contribution, creativity, and innovation.