Admissions Terminology

Academic Year: An "academic year" at University of the Incarnate Word is made up of 2, 15-week "semesters" and 2 summer sessions. The academic year technically begins with the first day of fall term and concludes with spring commencement and the end of spring term. The summer session periods are called "extended summer session" which lasts a total of 12 weeks. Summer sessions 1 and 2 are 6 weeks each. Note: UIW admits new students into all academic terms (Fall, Spring & Summer). Those students who choose to begin their academic career during a Summer Term are counted as part of the fall class for that year.

Accreditation: Colleges and universities and high schools must meet certain state or national requirements for academic programs, teaching and facilities to be certified by accrediting agencies. University of the Incarnate Word is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees.

ACT: American College Testing Program. All first year students who apply to UIW are required to submit their ACT or SAT scores. UIW does not have a preference which test a student takes nor is there a minimum test score requirement. Note: Scores must be sent directly from the testing agency in order to be considered.

Admissions Representative: Representative from the Office of Admissions who assists prospective students, applicants, parents and high school/transfer counselors through the admission process.

Admission Requirements: In order to receive admission to a college or university, students must meet certain requirements. These may include grade point averages, ACT and/or SAT scores, proficiency test results, specific high school courses, transfer coursework and GED results.

Adult Diploma: A student who did not graduate from high school may earn an equivalent degree by completion of a GED program or an Adult High School Diploma Program.

Advanced Standing Report: All college-level work from appropriately accredited institutions will be evaluated to determine whether the course will be accepted as course credit at UIW and if the course satisfies any other UIW's General Education Curriculum.

AP: Advanced Placement. UIW evaluates Advanced Payment exam scores and articulates those scores for possible course credit, usually within the General Education Curriculum. Students must score a minimum of 3 on advanced placement exams to receive college credit.

Baccalaureate Core: As a liberal arts institution, UIW has made a deliberate and concerted effort to support the concept of "liberal" learning through the creation of the Core Curriculum. Without apology, we require all of our graduates to complete a Core rich in the liberal arts tradition, grounded in the Catholic tradition, and appreciative of others and other cultures. We also recognize that many of our students transfer to UIW having completed all or most of our Core and as such, we accept those credits, where applicable, to ensure graduation in a timely manner. All students must complete the Core Curriculum requirements.

Bachelors Degree: The degree given by a college or university after a student has successfully completed a 4- or 5-year program.

Catalog: A book produced by a college or university that has general information about classes, admission requirements, academic programs, and tuition and degree requirements.

Certificate: A document given to a student after completing a course of study, not leading to a diploma, certifying that they may officially practice in certain professions.

CLEP: College Level Examination Program. The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) provides two types of examinations--General Examinations and Subject Examinations, available in a variety of disciplines. Standards for satisfactory credit are set by the University faculty in each discipline area and may be higher than the ACE recommendations. CLEP tests are under constant evaluation and scores are subject to change according to the evaluation period. Visit the UIW Testing Services site.

College: A constituent unit of a university, furnishing courses of instruction usually leading to a bachelor's degree.

Confirmation Fee: Students who have been admitted and have decided to attend UIW must submit a $200 matriculation fee to reserve a spot in the freshman class. This fee includes the orientation fee. Transfer students are required to pay a $100 matriculation fee to reserve a spot for the fall semester. You may pay by cash, check, money order, or credit card at UIW's self serve payment site.

Call the Admissions Office at (210) 829-6005 if you have any questions.

Cost of Attendance: The cost of attendance is the average costs for a student's educational expenses for the year. This is the estimated total cost for the year includes: tuition, fees, room, board and personal spending.

Credit: A college or university measures a student's progress toward a degree or certificate. Each credit hour is roughly equivalent to one hour of class time per week. For example, in order to obtain a bachelor degree at UIW, a student must have successfully completed at least 120 credit hours.

Decision: Determination of an applicant's admission status.

Decision Types

  • Admit: Offered a space (for a particular term) as a student at UIW. Student must continue to meet eligibility requirements as presented by the Office of Admissions.
  • Deny: Not eligible for admission to UIW given the current applicant pool.

Dual Enrollment: Simultaneous enrollment at UIW and a high school or community college.

FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid at

Federal Pell Grant: A federal aid grant given by the federal government. Grants do not have to be repaid. Students apply by filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Federal Subsidized Loan: Student financial aid that is processed by a bank or university. Loans must be repaid with interest after a student graduates or leaves college. Interest on federally subsidized loans does not begin accruing until the student graduates or leaves college. Students apply by filling out the FAFSA form.

Federal Unsubsidized loan: Similar to the subsidized loan, except that payments begin and interest accrues from the time the loan is taken out by the student or parent irrespective of whether or not the student is enrolled at a college or university.

Financial Aid: Federal, state or private funds that assist a student in paying for college tuition and fees. Financial Aid comes in the forms of grants, loans and college work-study.

GED: General Education Diploma - an alternative to completing a high school diploma. Individuals who did not finish high school may qualify for admission to UIW on the basis of satisfactory scores on the Test of General Education Development (GED) and high school courses via an official transcript. Freshmen applicants out of high school for more than two years and GED recipients are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores.

Joint Admissions Agreement with Alamo Community College District (ACCD): This agreement will enhance the opportunities for baccalaureate degree completion for students enrolling at ACCD institutions. Qualified students applying for admission to Palo Alto, St. Philips, San Antonio, or Northwest Vista have the option of simultaneously enrolling in the University of the Incarnate Word. This agreement will facilitate transfer of community college credit to UIW and encourage students to complete their baccalaureate degree at the University. For more information contact the Office of Admissions. Students interested in being dual enrolled at San Antonio College and University of the Incarnate Word can also take courses at the Dual Enrollment Center located on 1621 N. Main. Contact (210) 223-5747 for further information.

Need Based Financial Aid: Financial aid that is awarded based on demonstrated financial need as determined by the FAFSA and any additional verification materials requested by the Office of Financial Aid.

Non-Degree Seeking Student: Non-degree enrollment status is designed for students who wish to take courses but do not plan to pursue a degree.

If non-degree seeking, an applicant to Graduate School must submit:

  • Evidence of an earned Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning
  • Official transcripts from each college or university previously attended. These transcripts must be mailed directly from the college or university to the Admissions Office.

Non-degree-seeking students may register for a cumulative total of no more than nine credit hours of graduate course work under the normal grading system. Students holding a master's degree who do not wish to apply for admission as degree-seeking students may register for a cumulative total of no more than 12 credit hours of graduate course work under the normal grading system. Non-degree seeking students are expected to conform to graduate standards of scholarship. In some cases, credit hours taken under a non-degree seeking status and under the normal grading system may be applied toward a degree if a student later gains admission into a graduate program. Such credits will be evaluated as though they were transfer credits from another institution and must be approved by the Program Advisor and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

Non-degree seeking students may not be eligible for some forms of financial aid.

Official Transcript: Official record of high school and/or college courses and grades that must be received in a sealed envelope. All applications require an official high school transcript, as well as an official transcript from any college or university a student attempted or complete course work at.

Orientation: Orientation is required for Freshmen and optional for Transfer Students.

There will be a $10.00 fee per parent or family member attending orientation. This fee is payable during the orientation check-in process. Due to safety regulations and fire codes we ask that you limit the number of guests that are accompanying you to orientation to 2.

Prerequisite: A course that must be in progress or completed before a student takes a more advanced course.

Registrar: A person or office within a college or university who manages class schedules and student academic records.

Rolling Admissions: A school with rolling admissions considers each application at the time it is received. UIW operates on a Rolling Admissions cycle - with a complete application, decisions are generally made within two weeks.

Room and Board: The dollar amount that represents the combined housing and meal option costs (on-campus) for enrolled students. Room is the cost to live in a residence hall on campus, and Board is the cost for a meal plan on campus.

SAT: Scholastic Aptitude Test. All first year students who apply to UIW are required to submit their ACT or SAT scores. UIW does not have a preference which test a student takes nor is there a minimum test score requirement. Note: Scores must be sent directly from the testing agency in order to be considered.

Tuition: The cost of courses and fees taken at a college or university. This does not include room and board, which are separate expenses.

Work Study: Students must complete the FAFSA to determine eligibility for this program. Qualified students may work up to 20 hours per week on campus in a variety of work locations and settings. Wages vary depending on the type of work. Funds are subsidized by the Federal Government.