FSU Terms

Photo of Hemenway Hall

Learn FSU lingo and become familiar with campus using our interactive glossary!

  • Club (Ski Club, Craft Club) – A club is a student led group with an executive board supported by an advisor (a campus faculty or staff member). Clubs allow students to explore their interests, make friends, and gain leadership experience. You can learn more about clubs and organizations on RamLink. Log into RamLink using the same username and password as Blackboard and myFramingham. Can’t find the club you want? Start it yourself following the guidelines linked here
  • Commuter Lounge – The Commuter Lounge is located on the entry level of the McCarthy Center. There is seating, tables, chairs, desktop computers, and a printing station available for student use. You may do homework or simply hang out and meet new people. Check out more commuter services here.
  • Commuter student – a student who lives off campus and commutes to the university
  • Dining Dollars – Dining dollars are a part of every student’s meal plan. They can be used at any dining location on campus and are stored on your student identification card. To learn more about your dining dollars and meal plan click here. To learn about other meal plan variants such as “Rams on the Run” click here
  • Full-time student – a student who maintains 3 or more credits
  • Organization – Organizations are like clubs except they have a larger following and therefore are provided more funding. Some examples are Student Union and Activities Board (SUAB) and the Student Government Association (SGA)
  • Parking pass – Commuter and Resident students can purchase parking passes through the Parking Office. Overnight guests may also get a temporary parking pass from University Police (FSUPD). Click here to view Parking FAQs. 
  • Part-time student - a student who maintains less than 3 credits. Part time students cannot typically live in on-campus housing. However, special arrangements can be made.
  • Peer Mentor – a Peer Mentor is an upperclassmen who works in the Foundations seminar to serve as a resource for the first-year students in that class. They provide information about academic habits, campus resources and how to navigate Framingham State.
  • RAM Cash – RAM Cash is money that you can transfer from a debit card or credit card onto your student ID card. This cash can be used at any dining establishment on campus, the FSU Bookstore, or to do laundry in the residence halls. There is a link to add Ram Cash to your account on the Blackboard login 
  • RAM Tram – The University affiliated transportation service that drives students to and from the parking lots, the Natick Mall, Target, Shopper’s World, CVS, and the Commuter Rail. The RAM Tram has weekday and weekend schedules posted at the front desk in the McCarthy Center lobby as well as online
  • Resident Assistant – A Resident Assistant, or RA, lives in the residence halls and serve as a resource to resident students.
  • Resident student – a student who lives in on-campus housing
  • Student ID number – Your student ID number is located on the front of your Student ID card. It is used to identify you specifically.
  • Admission Welcome Center – The Admissions Welcome Center can answer any questions you may have about applying to FSU. The Center offers tours for prospective students in order to explore campus and all it has to offer. Learn more about Undergraduate Admissions here
  • Alumni House or The Independent Association of Framingham State Alumni (IAFSA) – The Alumni House is located on Adams road near Linsley Hall. They are a separate organization from the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. They offer various internship and scholarship opportunities for FSU students.
  • The Framingham State Bookstore – The FSU Bookstore is located within Dwight Hall on the entry level next to Peirce Hall. You may buy or rent all textbooks or class supplies from the Bookstore. They also sell FSU merchandise and a variety of toiletries.
  • Crocker Grove – Crocker Grove is the lawn outdoor seating area behind Crocker Hall. Our famous Ram statue has its home in Crocker Grove. 
  • Crocker Hall – Crocker Hall is located in between Horace Mann Hall and May Hall. It contains office spaces and is home to the Business Department. Some of your professors may have an office in Crocker Hall.
  • Dwight Hall – Dwight Hall is both an administrative and academic building. It is located near Peirce Hall and the Hemenway Labs. Some of your classes may be held in Dwight Hall.
  • Foster Hall – Foster Hall, located in between the McCarthy Center and O’Connor Hall, houses the Health Center and the Counseling Center. These two offices provide support to students that remains confidential.
  • Heineman Ecumenical Center – The Heineman Ecumenical Center is located near West Hall on Maynard Road. It is home to many cultural and social events on campus such as recitals and poetry readings.
  • Hemenway Hall – Hemenway Hall is home to technology classrooms, student computer labs (you may print in color or black and white), and the Child Development Laboratory. Many STEM and Fashion Design and Retailing classes are held in Hemenway Hall. But of course, review your schedule on myFramingham to check classroom locations.    
    • Hemenway Annex - Hemenway Annex is connected to Hemenway Hall and contains classrooms and faculty offices for a number of academic departments, as well as the Food Pilot Plant Laboratory, and green house. Some of your classes may be held here.
    • Hemenway Labs – The Hemenway Labs opened in fall 2015. This addition features 16 chemistry, biology and food science labs, a beautiful atrium, and several lounge and study areas. Some of your lab courses may be held here.
  • Henry Whittemore Library – The Henry Whittemore Library contains classrooms, the Red Barn Café, and of course a variety of books, reference texts, periodicals, and journals for student use as well as computer stations. The library is home to a segment of the Information Technology (IT) Department who can help you with your laptop or other devices.
  • Honors House – The Honors House is a study location and resource for students in the Honors Program. The House archives Honors Theses to help current students find inspiration for their own semester long projects.
  • May Hall – May Hall is an academic building which houses the English, History, and Art departments. Classes in these areas will likely meet here. Of course, check your course schedule on myFramingham to see the locations of all your classes. 
  • McAuliffe Center – The McAuliffe Center is connected to O’Connor Hall. It offers a variety of programs for students to learn about space and space travel.
  • McCarthy Center – The McCarthy center is home to administrative offices (Dean of Students, the Registrar, Financial Aid, etc.), and Dining Services. The Dining Commons is located here along with Starbucks, The Ram’s Den Grille, and The McCarthy Center Marketplace. The McCarthy Center also has a Bank of America ATM.  Click here to see what dining options are open at any given time.     
  • O’Connor Hall – O’Connor Hall is home to the New Student and Family Programs, Advising Center and The Center for Inclusive Excellence (CIE). The Advising Center helps student register for classes and discuss possible higher education and career paths. The Center for Inclusive Excellence is a space for students to celebrate and learn more about diversity and inclusion. 
  • The Office of Development and Alumni Relations – This office helps both students and alumni of Framingham State. Visit them here to learn more.
  • Pharos Printing Stations – “Pharos” is the system used to print documents on campus. Information Technology can help set up the Pharos printing system on your laptop or you can download it here.  There is a black and white Pharos printing station in CASA, in the Commuter Lounge (located in the McCarthy Center), and in the Honors House. There are black and white as well as color printing stations in the Henry Whittemore Library and the student computer lab in Hemenway Hall. 
  • The Office of Residence Life – Residence Life is an annex to the Corinne Hall Towers. This office processes all housing assignments and micro-fridge rentals. Resident students can access their housing application and view their assignment on myFramingham by clicking the “Around Campus” tab followed by logging into the “myResLife” portal.  Residence Life can answer any questions you may have about living on campus at FSU!
  • Blue emergency phones – There are blue emergency poll phones situated throughout campus. They allow students to quickly call the Framingham State University Police Department by pressing the red button located on the phone. 
  • The Framingham State University Police Department – FSUPD (also known as University Police) keeps students safe by responding to incidents on campus. They may be reached at 508-626-4911.
  • Security Desk Attendants (SDA) – SDAs work at the front desk of all 7 residence halls. They maintain the safety of the building in conjunction with Resident Assistants and other Residence Life professionals.
  • SHAPE – Sexual Harassment & Assault Prevention & Education is a movement on campus to “SHAPE” an environment that is safe and welcoming to all. Here is a listing of all services Framingham State offers to protect its students.    
  • Academic Colleges – Academic Colleges are a group of academic departments that have similar areas of focus.
    • STEM - Biology, Chemistry and Food Science, Computer Science, Food and Nutrition, Mathematics, Nursing, and Physics and Earth Science
    • Arts and Humanities - Art and Music, Communication Arts, English, Fashion Design and Retailing, Liberal Studies, and World Languages
    • Education - Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education, Secondary Education
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences - Business, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology and Philosophy, and Sociology
  • Advisor – Your advisor is a professor within your major who guides you in choosing courses for each semester. They can also help you determine career paths or possible endeavors into future education. Students whose major is “Undecided” may have an advisor who is not a professor but is a professional staff member who works in Advising.  
  • Advising Center – The Advising Center is located in O’Connor Hall. In addition to personal advisors, students can visit the Advising Center for further advice or for any questions regarding scheduling.  
  • Audit – You may audit classes at Framingham State University. This means that you will not take the class for credit. Instead you will attend and participate in the class without the pressure of submitting work or achieving a final grade. 
  • Bachelor’s Degree – A Bachelor’s Degree is awarded when you have completed 32 credits. These credits are made up of general education as well as major course credits.  
  • Blackboard – Blackboard is the site that Framingham State University uses to connect Professors and organizations with students. It is a supplemental tool for courses the same way that a textbook is. Professors will often have a course site on Blackboard where you can view the syllabus, required texts, take part in discussions, submit assignments and utilize  
  • CASA – The Center for Academic Success and Achievement (CASA) helps you reach your academic potential through support programs such as Peer Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction (SI). CASA also helps students with Disabilities Services.
  • Concentration – Certain majors offer specific concentrations that relate to a field within the major. For example, you may major in English and have a concentration in Journalism or Film Studies. Check out any major’s website in order to see what concentrations are offered, or, stop by the Advising Center and ask!      
  • Credits – What you earn after completing a course.  They are given per class which add up over each semester. In order to graduate with Bachelor’s Degree students must complete 32 credits. 
  • Drop/withdraw – Students may drop or withdraw from a class if necessary. “Dropping” indicates that the class was removed from your schedule prior to the end of the Add/Drop period. “Withdraw” signifies that the course was removed after the Add/Drop period.  The Add/Drop period occurs at the beginning of each semester and ends on a specific date per calendar year. Students will receive notification when the Add/Drop period is drawing to a close. Dropping or withdrawing from a course could influence your date of graduation and your status as a full time student. It is important to meet with your advisor or a representative in the Advising Center before dropping a class. If a course is dropped, it does not appear on your transcript as having attempted it. A course is usually dropped so that another course can be added in its place. A course that is withdrawn from will appear on the transcript as having attempted and is usually done so that a student’s GPA will not be affected by a low grade. 
  • FAFSA – FAFSA stands for the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid.” From the FAFSA website: “The FAFSA is the application students fill out in order to determine their financial aid  FAFSA needs to be filled out each academic year.” Submit the FAFSA here.
  • The Office of Financial Aid – The Office of Financial Aid is located within the Student Services Center (the 5th floor of the McCarthy Center). Grants, scholarships, work studies, federal loans, and private loans are all examples of financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid can help you figure out what type of financial aid is best for you. 
  • General Education course – General Education Courses are courses that all students must take. These courses factor in to the 32 credits that must be reached to achieve a Bachelor’s Degree. 
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) – GPA is the grade out of 4.0 that is calculated based on the grades a student gets each semester. As each semester passes, your overall GPA is recalculated to reflect new grades. However, each semester will also have its own individual GPA, as will your general education courses, major, and minor. 
  • Library Card – Students can turn their Student ID into a Library Card by going to the Information Desk in the Whittemore Library. After filling out a short application a sticker will be added to the back of your ID card. This will allow you to take books out of the library as well as Interlibrary Loan items from nearby universities and colleges. 
  • Major – A major is the course of study that a student pursues. The major is what a student’s Bachelor’s Degree will be in. An example is a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in English. English is the major. Framingham State offers undergraduate degrees in Bachelors of Arts and Bachelors of Science. We also offer some certificate programs. Explore our programs page to see what major might be right for you! 
  • Matriculated – Any student who is “matriculated” is enrolled in a program at the university
  • Minor – A minor is a path of study comprised of 4 to 5 credits. These minor credits add to the 32 credits necessary to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree. Some examples are Business Administration or Diversity Studies. 
  • myFramingham – myFramingham is the site used to access various accounts and academic schedules. myFramingham is where bills will be posted for each semester. Definitely explore myFramingham to see all the tools it offers.
  • Outlook Office 365 – Outlook Office 365 is the email server for students. Correspondence will be sent to your Outlook email address from professors, faculty, and other staff members.  Your email will be comprised of your myFramingham/Blackboard username followed by @student.framingham.edu (e.g. asmith15@student.framingham.edu). Outlook 365 is available in app form for iPhone and Android so that you can check your email on the go. Outlook 365 also offers useful tools such as Outlook Calendar and Outlook Invites so that you can always be on time! 
  • Prerequisite – A prerequisite is a course that must be completed before enrolling in another course. The Course Search and Registration tool on myFramingham as well as the Course Catalog can be used to see which courses have prerequisites and what those prerequisites are. 
  • The Office of the University Registrar – The Registrar helps students with questions regarding course credit, the path to graduation, and approves major and minor change request forms. The Registrar also approves paperwork for long term projects such as Independent Studies, Internships, and the Honors Thesis.
  • Starfish - Starfish is a web portal that professors and advisors use to schedule meetings with students. It connects the appointment to your Outlook Calendar and can even send you reminders! Your username and password for Starfish will be the same username and password that you use for Blackboard and myFramingham.  
  • The Office of Student Accounts – The Office of Student Accounts resides within the Student Services Center along with the Registrar and Financial Aid. They are in charge of all billing which is sent out electronically and can be accessed on myFramingham under the “Accounts” tab.   
  • Study Abroad – Studying abroad is an opportunity for students to learn and grow in a new environment. There are short term study abroad trips as well as semester long options. The Office of International Education can help you determine where you may study abroad and, in conjunction with financial aid, can determine how you will finance the trip. 
  • Syllabus – A Syllabus is a document given to you by professors that lists the Professor’s Office Hours, office location, contact information, required textbooks, grading policies, and an outline of what each class day will consist of. Syllabi contain important due dates and information so it is imperative to keep syllabi in a safe place.
  • Transcript – Transcripts outline all of the courses you’ve taken and the accompanying grades you’ve received. Your unofficial transcript can be viewed on myFramingham under the “Academics” tab.   
  • Undergraduate Certificate – An undergraduate certificate program is different from a degree program in that it takes less time and is not connected to a four year degree. They often have a smaller scope and focus on certain skills or themes. They are often pursued to increase knowledge one may already have. For example, we offer undergraduate certificates in Financial Planning and Computer Programming Languages. Browse undergraduate certificate programs here
  • Work-study – Work Study positions are federally funded aid that is a part of some students’ financial aid packages. Work Studies are offered in various offices such as Residence Life and First-Year Programs.