First Year Experience

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292-OHIO (6446)
This is the telephone number for Ohio State directory assistance. From campus phones, students can dial 0.

academic advisor
These professional advisors are an excellent resource for students. In particular, they can help students select proper course sequences, describe alternatives for typical course offerings and serve as a general resource to connect students’ future goals with current academic opportunities.

ag campus
An informal term for the buildings just west of the river that house the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; the School of Environment and Natural Resources; and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

ARC, or the Adventure Recreation Center, is located on West Campus (Woody Hayes Drive near Kenny Road), a convenient stop on the CABS route and easily accessed by commuter students. ARC features fitness equipment, indoor turf fields, basketball courts, a giant climbing wall, bouldering cave and outdoor adventure instruction.

Bill Davis Stadium
Home to the men’s baseball team, the stadium seating capacity is 4,450, although attendance has topped 5,000 on more than one occasion.

Block O
This student cheering section adds spirit to Ohio State sporting events. For football games, Block O sits at both ends of Ohio Stadium and wows the crowd with its colored cards. It is the loudest and most colorful section in the horseshoe.

The Buckeye mascot seen at almost any Ohio State event.

A nickname for an Ohioan. The buckeye tree is native to the state of Ohio. The Indians called the buckeye “hetuck,” meaning the eye of the buck, because of its resemblance to the eye of the buck deer.

For walk-in technology consultation and support regarding a wide variety of issues, stop by the IT Service Desk’s BuckeyeBar in 60A Thompson Library. For more information or hours of operation, call 614-688-HELP (4357) or visit

Buckeyes First
The Buckeyes First early arrival program combines outdoor adventures with exciting experiences across campus and in the city of Columbus. Participants will become familiar with the ins and outs of the Ohio State community while connecting with dedicated peer leaders, Ohio State faculty and staff, and other first-generation students. (Ohio State considers a first-generation college student to be a student from a family where neither parent earned a four-year bachelor’s degree.)
Students take care of the business of being a Buckeye online with this website, which provides links to information, instructions, and deep links into their secure and personalized My Buckeye Link.

Buckeye Link 
Buckeye Link, located in the lobby of the Student Academic Services Building at 281 W. Lane Ave., is where students go for one-on-one assistance with services related to Buckeye business.

Buckeye Mail
Buckeye Mail allows students to check their Ohio State email accounts online from anywhere in the world. Students will need to log in with their Ohio State username and password. To manage your Ohio State email account, including activating your Buckeye Mail account or changing delivery options, visit

The university’s multifunctional identification card. BuckID allows students to purchase goods and services all around campus and access university resources.

CABS: Campus Area Bus Service
No pass is needed to ride a CABS bus, which provides 24-hour service, seven days a week, to meet students’ transportation needs across the Ohio State campus. With several different bus routes, it is sure to get students where they want to be on campus. Real-time bus arrival and route information is available via the Ohio State app.

Carmen is Ohio State’s online course management system. Professors can use Carmen to post a class syllabus, Powerpoints and other course materials. In addition, professors can host online discussions, allow students to submit papers into a “dropbox” online, and give students access to view grades and course progress. Not all courses and professors use Carmen. Your professors will share their expectations regarding the use of Carmen at the beginning of the course. Visit the website to learn more and to complete a tutorial.

“Carmen Ohio”
Ohio State’s alma mater and oldest school song. Every Friday at noon, “Carmen Ohio,” “Buckeye Battle Cry,” “Fight the Team Across the Field” and other Ohio State songs peal out of Orton Tower and float across the Oval.

class number
The number used to enroll in a specific section of a course. Class numbers are found in the Schedule of Classes available online at or through the Student Center accessible via

change ticket
A university form used to change a student’s schedule, usually to drop or add a course. A student’s college office will fill out and process the form for the student. Most changes to a student’s schedule can be accomplished online at, so students may not need to use a change ticket.

Convocation is the official welcome to Ohio State for new students on the Monday of Welcome Week. Students hear from the president and top administrators, experience their first academic procession, and learn some of the history and traditions of Ohio State, including the words to the Ohio State alma mater, “Carmen Ohio.” Convocation is one of many memorable moments for new students at Ohio State!

COTA: Central Ohio Transit Authority
COTA is the Columbus bus system that has routes throughout the city of Columbus. Ohio State students pay $13.50 per semester as a part of their tuition and fees that allows them to have unlimited rides on COTA by swiping their BuckID. COTA provides easy access to downtown, local shopping and campus area activities.

course enrollment permission form
Some courses require that students obtain the permission of the instructor to enter the course. This can be done by obtaining a course enrollment permission form. The online registration system will not allow students to enroll in courses that require permission until permission is received and the form is processed at the student’s college office.

course packet
A collection of articles or book chapters selected by a professor to serve as reading materials for a specific class.

Drake Performance and Event Center
Home of the Department of Theatre, which hosts numerous plays and other events in the Thurber and Bowen theatres located there. Also home to the box office for Ohio State theatre and other events.

EM credit
Examination (EM) credit is assigned on the basis of proficiency demonstrated by taking an examination before or after admission. Up to 30 credit hours may be earned by examination. A student’s college office can explain eligibility for EM credit.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (otherwise knows as FERPA) governs the access to and release of records maintained by Ohio State (and other educational institutions).

French Field House
Located next door to St. John Arena on Woody Hayes Drive, this athletic facility is shared with Recreational Sports. It contains a 200-meter indoor track and weight/conditioning facility.

Fresh Start Rule
Allows an undergraduate student who has been absent from the university for five or more consecutive years to petition for a recalculation of his/her point-hour ratio. All grades of C- or better, PA, S, or EM and K credit are counted for credit hours only. All courses taken for credit remain on the record, but the student starts with a clean slate as far as his/her point-hour ratio is concerned. The Graduate School and professional programs sometimes have other rules. The fresh start petition is approved by a student’s college office.

FYE: First Year Experience
This is the office on campus dedicated to helping new freshmen, transfer and campus-change students make a smooth transition to Ohio State. There are many people on campus who work hard to make sure our students are successful. If you have any questions, get in touch with us at, and we can point you to the right resource on campus!

FYSS: First Year Success Series
A complement to the required college survey course, Success Series seminars address typical challenges that students face. Each autumn, more than 300 thematic seminars are taught by campus experts, community leaders and nationally known personalities on the following themes: academic engagement and exploration, health and wellness, Buckeye Book Community, diversity and global awareness, finances, and leadership and civic engagement.

GE (General Education)
The academic core of a student’s curriculum, mostly completed in the freshman and sophomore years. The GE requirement helps students develop the foundation essential to succeeding in their major programs, including writing and critical thinking skills; engages them in topical contemporary issues; and gives them a broad understanding of diversity, the natural and social sciences, aesthetics and, for some programs, basic foreign language aptitude.

GPA (grade point average)
At Ohio State, the official name for GPA is cumulative point-hour ratio (CPHR).

Grade Forgiveness
Permits students to petition to repeat up to three courses for which the grade in the repeated course will replace the grade for the original course in the calculation of the student’s cumulative point-hour ratio.

More than 60 nationally affiliated fraternities and sororities (also known as Greek letter organizations because most of their names are letters of the Greek alphabet) have chapters at Ohio State. Many chapters have houses in which some members live. Find out more by stopping at the Ohio Union.

High Street
The eastern edge of campus is bordered by High Street. This is the main north-south thoroughfare of Columbus and is lined with shops and restaurants. It is also the scene of the Homecoming Parade in autumn.

Honors Program
The Honors Program offers greater academic challenges in limited enrollment sections and special courses. These courses are designated “H” and must be entered by permission. Students interested in the Honors program should call their academic advisors or the University Honors Program at 614-292-3135.

Huntington is the Official Consumer Bank of The Ohio State University—the only bank through which students can link BuckID to a checking account and the bank with the most ATMs on campus. Huntington offers students Asterisk-Free Checking™—a checking account with no monthly checking maintenance fee, no minimum balance requirement and no monthly debit card fee. Once a BuckID is linked to a checking account, students only need to carry one card since they can use their BuckID to access cash through ATMs and make PIN-based debit card purchases. For more information, call (855) 341-4OSU (4678) or visit

incomplete (I)
Mark indicating course work is satisfactory but, for justifiable reasons, a portion is not complete at the end of the grading period. Students must complete the work no later than the sixth week of the following semester.

HD, AHD: Hall Director and Assistant Hall Director
Each residence hall complex has a full-time, professional hall director who is assigned to work with students and staff in their respective buildings. Hall directors have earned their master’s degrees in higher education, college student personnel or a similar program and are charged with creating an educational community in the residence halls. The assistant hall director is a graduate student who lives in the residence hall and assists the hall director with hall responsibilities.

IT Service Desk
The IT Service Desk, located at 025 Enarson Classrooms Building, provides walk-in consultation assistance for classroom services, support and distribution of equipment for class use to students faculty and staff, including LCD projectors, laptops, digital audio recorders, and still and video cameras. For more information, call 614-688-HELP (4357) or visit

Jesse Owens Recreation Centers
Satellite recreation centers located on north, south and West Campus. JO South features fitness equipment; JO North has basketball and volleyball; JO West is for tennis.

K credit
Transfer credit given at Ohio State for course work completed at another college or university. Grades do not transfer, but course credit hours may. Contact the Transfer Credit Center, 614-247-7250, for information on the evaluation of courses.

The Lantern
The daily campus newspaper published by the School of Communication. All editors and reporters are students. Many announcements and ads about deadlines, meetings, lectures, etc. appear in The Lantern.

late registration
A period following the regular registration period. Late registration runs through the first Friday of the semester. When a student receives his/her schedule, he/she can add and/or drop courses using the online registration system.

Long Walk
The long sidewalk that bisects the Oval from east to west. In the early years of the university, freshmen were forbidden to be on the Long Walk. University legend says that if a couple holds hands while walking the span of the Long Walk, they will be together forever.

Mershon Auditorium
Completed in 1957, the auditorium seats 3,072 people and has been host to individuals including Bill Cosby, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Henry Kissinger, Spike Lee and Ohio State alum Richard Lewis. Legend has it that Ohio State President William Oxley Thompson gave Ralph Mershon a loan to finish college. After graduation, Mershon offered to repay, but President Thompson declined. Later, Mershon donated $11 million to Ohio State for the auditorium.

Mershon Center
The Mershon Center is a group of faculty and graduate students who mobilize university resources to help governments and civic-oriented organizations deal with problems related to national security and public policy.

MD vs. PhD
When most of us think of doctors, we think of people who have earned a medical degree, such as a family physician or a surgeon. This degree is called an MD and stands for the Latin words Medicinae Doctor meaning “Teacher of Medicine.” At Ohio State, students will be working with doctors because their professors on campus are also doctors. College professors have earned their doctor of philosophy or PhD which is the highest academic degree offered in many fields.

Mirror Lake Hollow
The scenic area around Mirror Lake extending from Neil Avenue to College Road. Occasionally, there are band concerts in this area, and it’s a great place to take a break and enjoy the outdoors.

Multicultural Center (MCC)
The MCC celebrates Ohio State’s diverse community through cultural and intercultural events, programs and learning opportunities which include courses, dialogues, workshops and trainings. The MCC welcomes all students and community members while supporting and teaching about specific identity groups including African/African American, American Indian/Indigenous, Asian/Asian American, Hispanic, Latino and Latin American, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning, women, men, disABILITY, and faith communities.

My Buckeye Link
Students log in to My Buckeye Link to update their records, track financial aid, pay fees, register for courses, etc.

nontraditional students
College students are traditionally 18–22 years old, but many students do not fall into that age range. Having deferred starting college, dropped out or stopped along the way, students enroll at all ages. This diversity of ages adds interest and experience to students’ classes.

The Nut House
This student cheering section adds spirit to Ohio State basketball games. It is the loudest and most colorful section in the Value City Arena at the Schottenstein Center.

OAC (Outdoor Adventure Center)
The Outdoor Adventure Center provides fun, challenging and affordable wilderness-based experiences for the Ohio State community. Through a variety of workshops and backcountry trips, participants can learn the requisite skills to safely enjoy the outdoors.

Ohio Stadium (the ‘Shoe)
On the list of national landmarks, Ohio Stadium is the home of the football team and is the centerpiece for Buckeye athletics. The seating capacity is over 100,000. It also hosts spring commencement and occasional stadium concerts.

Olentangy River
The name of the river that flows through campus comes from the Wyandot Indian word Olentanga, meaning “river of rest.”

OCIO (Office of the Chief Information Officer)
The Office of the Chief Information Officer helps students, faculty and staff make the best use of technologies for learning, teaching, research and administration. For technical questions, email or call the IT Service Desk at 614-688-HELP.

Orton Hall
Completed in 1893 and named for Ohio State’s first president, Orton Hall is the oldest building on campus. Home to the Orton Geological Museum and Library, this campus landmark is built almost entirely out of 40 types of native Ohio stone, which is arranged in the order of the earth’s strata as it appears below Ohio. Orton Hall also houses the campus chimes, which ring every 15 minutes. The 14 bells weigh over 25,000 pounds and were gifts from the classes of 1906–1914.

Short for Ohio State Catalog for Automated Retrieval, OSCAR is the computerized catalog that helps students find library books quickly.

Oval (The)
The open grassy area stretching from College Road to Thompson Library, the Oval is a popular site for Frisbee games, sunbathing, touch football, juggling, gathering with friends or just relaxing. When the weather and professors cooperate, classes are occasionally held on the Oval.

PA or NP
(Pass or Non-Pass) This option was designed for undergraduate students and continuing education students who want to take courses outside their normal degree programs without undue concern about the grade. Courses taken PA/NP count toward a degree if completed satisfactorily but cannot fulfill any specific requirements and do not count in a student’s GPA. Up to 20 credit hours may be taken PA/NP. Students must declare this option before the fourth Friday of the semester. Students should consult their academic advisors for information about this option.

Peer Leader
Peer Leaders focus year-round on outreach and relationship development, expanding the mission of First Year Experience to holistically impact all new students as they progress through their first year. Students in this role use their knowledge and perspective as experienced peers to connect new students to the people, resources and information essential for success in the first year. Peer Leaders are significant in shaping first-year students’ transition, motivation and satisfaction, which contributes to students’ persistence to the second year and beyond.

The university has assigned a point value, called the number of credit points, to each course letter grade. Multiplying the number of credit hours taken by credit points equals total points earned, and dividing total credit points earned by total hours attempted equals the GPA or grade point average. This is also called a “point-hour ratio” or “point-hour” or “cumulative point-hour ratio” (CPHR). Students should see their academic advisors for help in calculating their CPHR.

Port Columbus International Airport
This international airport is located on the east side of Columbus.

The chief academic officer of the university

Rank 1 vs. first year
“Rank 1” is a term used at the university to identify any student who has earned between zero and 30 hours of credit at Ohio State. Rank 2 students have earned between 30 and 60 hours of credit, Rank 3 students have earned between 61 and 90 hours of credit, and Rank 4 students have earned 90+ hours of credit. “First year” is a term used to identify a student who is experiencing the first year at Ohio State. Freshmen, transfer students and campus-change students can all be “first-year” students. Often, first-year students can be rank 1, 2 or 3, if they earned AP, IB or transfer credit.

RA: Resident Advisor
An RA is an upper class student who lives on a residence hall floor, builds an educational community, and serves as a resource to students in the residence halls. As an incoming student, your RA is the first person who can answer many of your questions about how to get around campus, where to buy books, where to eat on campus, etc. Find out more about the RA position or how to apply to be an RA:

In order to achieve a smaller class size, allow for hands on activities, administer quizzes and assign homework, and to review content learned in lectures, Ohio State splits up students into smaller groups of 20-25 for recitation. For courses that include this component, you will sign up for both a lecture and recitation section when you schedule for classes each semester. 

RPAC (Recreation and Physical Activity Center)
The Recreation and Physical Activity Center, located near Ohio Stadium, is Ohio State’s state-of-the-art fitness center featuring 25,000 feet of fitness space, athletic courts, jogging tracks, pools, spa facilities and cafés. RPAC requires an Ohio State ID.

S (Satisfactory) is a mark used to indicate satisfactory progress or completion of work in specified courses. U (Unsatisfactory) indicates unsatisfactory work, for which no credit is given.

Schedule of Classes
The Schedule of Classes contains registration information and listings of courses offered—the course hour and number, credit, class number, days and times offered, building and room, and instructor. Students need this information to schedule classes.

Schottenstein Center (the Schott)
The Jerome Schottenstein Center, located at the corner of Lane Avenue and Olentangy River Road, is a multi-use facility that hosts athletic and entertainment events—everything from commencement to family shows. Within the Schott, Value City Arena is home to Ohio State men’s and women’s basketball and men’s ice hockey. The center seats 19,500 for basketball, 17,500 for hockey and 20,000 for concerts.

University District Gateway (the Gateway)
The redevelopment of the campus’s southern gateway along High Street offers restaurants, shopping, a theater, entertainment venues and apartments.

South Oval
The open area at College Road and 12th Avenue is the site of the Annual Renaissance Festival and home to informal softball and football games, Frisbee tosses, picnics, parties and concerts.

St. John Arena
Home to The Ohio State University men’s and women’s volleyball and gymnastics, the 13,000-seat venue also houses the men’s wrestling program and hosts community sporting events. Note: there is no apostrophe “s” in the name (not St. John’s).

Student Financial Aid (SFA)
Student Financial Aid makes every effort within its means to help all students with limited financial resources secure needed funds. Financial aid is intended to help students finance their education when family and personal resources are not adequate to meet total educational costs. Financial aid consists of scholarships and grants, loans (which must be repaid), and part-time employment.

Survey (UNIV 1100)
Most entering first-year students will enroll in a one-credit-hour survey course their first semester at the university. This course is designed to introduce students to Ohio State, their majors or colleges, our library system, how to schedule for classes and how to conduct other university business. Many students attend success series events as a requirement for their survey course. Entering students will register for their survey class at orientation.

A document professors create listing course objective and purpose, grading criteria, expectations, readings, and assignments for each specific course a student takes.

TA: Teaching Assistant
A TA is an undergraduate or graduate student who assists a professor in teaching a class. A TA receives compensation through a stipend or tuition reimbursement. Often a TA will lead the recitation or lab section of a course.

TBDBITL is short for The Best Damn Band In The Land—and that’s the truth. Students can see The Ohio State University Marching Band in action at football games, at the skull session in St. John Arena or during autumn semester practice (at about 4:30 p.m. every day) at a field near Lincoln Tower.

TOPP (Tuition Option Payment Plan)
A budgeting tool for assisting students/parents with payment of tuition and other associated educational expenses.

the towers
The two tall cylindrical buildings along the river, Lincoln Tower and Morrill Tower, are campus landmarks and residence halls. Morrill houses two residence halls, Conaway House and Ross House; Lincoln houses one residence hall, Lincoln House.

Tuttle Park Place
Located on campus, Tuttle Park Place houses a parking garage, restaurants, shops and 24-hour pay machine parking access.

UniPrint provides quality, cost-effective professional printing and document management for Ohio State, by Ohio State. UniPrint’s print, copy and shipping center is located in Barnes & Noble at the Ohio Union.

University Hall
A replica of the first building at Ohio State, University Hall also houses the University Museum’s collection of university artifacts and memorabilia.

University Registrar
The University Registrar is responsible for processes related to students’ academic records, including transcripts, academic progress, enrollment data, classroom support, academic certification, fee assessment, and national and institutional testing.

USG, or the Undergraduate Student Government, is Ohio State’s official undergraduate student governing body. Members are elected by students. CGS is the Council of Graduate Students, and IPC is the Inter-Professional Student Council. These organizations represent the student voice in what happens on campus.

Students who are closed out of a course during scheduling have the option to be placed on an automated wait-list for individual class sections of that course. If a space opens up in the requested section of the course, the first student on the wait-list is placed into the course (assuming that the student meets requisites and has no time conflict) through a process that runs periodically during the enrollment period. For more information, students should see the Schedule of Classes or their academic advisors.

Wilce Student Health Center
An accredited outpatient medical center staffed by physicians and other licensed professionals, the Wilce Student Health Center provides medical care to all students. A nurse is available at 292-4321 to set up an appointment or give medical advice.

Woody Hayes Athletic Center
Named for the legendary Ohio State football coach, the Hayes Center is home to an indoor practice field used by football, soccer, baseball, softball and lacrosse teams; an 8,000-squarefoot weight room for use by university athletic team members; coaches’ offices; and an atrium displaying Ohio State sports history.