UCLA is a mini-city made up many departments and resources for it’s community.  There are many acronyms and phrases used when referring to the people, places and things that compose the university. Below we’ve outlined some of the basic acronyms and phrases to help acquaint you with your student’s home away from home.


AAP – Academic Advancement Program

AAP promotes academic achievement and excellence through academic advising, collaborative learning workshops, mentoring to prepare for graduate studies and professional schools, summer bridge programs for entering freshmen and transfer students, and scholarships.

Add/Drop Deadlines

Different deadlines exist for undergraduate students to add or drop courses from their Study List. There are different methods, fees, and transcript notations depending on when the student would like to add or drop a course.

CAC – College Academic Counseling Center

CAC is the principal advising unit administered by UCLA for students in the College. CAC has full-time college counselors and staff who are available to meet with UCLA College students for same-day appointments Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

CAM – College Academic Mentor

College Academic Mentors are graduate students from a wide variety of academic departments who advise undergraduates in the following areas:

•GE Program planning (first & second years)

•Choosing a major (first & second years)

•Preparing for Graduate / Professional School (third & fourth years)

Departmental Undergraduate Advising

Undergraduates may earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in one of 126 different disciplines.  Every major and minor at UCLA has department-specific advisers who can help students with understanding degree requirements, scheduling courses, processing petitions, and enrolling in courses.

ECP – Expected Cumulative Progress

The Expected Cumulative Progress Policy is designed to promote four-year graduation for undergraduates in the College of Letters and Science. ECP is a progress check that occurs every two quarters that you are enrolled. If a student is not making steady progress towards his/her bachelor’s degree, which can happen for a number of reasons, the student will be required to meet with his/her College Counselor.

FERPA – Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

When your student was in high school, you were able to access their educational records with relative ease. At UCLA, we realize that you do not stop being a parent or family member when your student begins college. However, it is important to note that once a student turns 18, or attends a school beyond the high school level, the University cannot release information about the student to anyone. Information cannot be released to parents or other family members because of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. FERPA’s purview includes grades, disciplinary proceedings, billing and financial aid.

GE – General Education

Courses in the General Education curriculum offer diverse perspectives on how human beings think and feel, solve problems, express ideas, and create and discover new knowledge.GE regulations and application of GE credit vary among the College and schools. A summary of campuswide GE requirements is available, as is a GE course master list. Students should consult their respective counseling office to determine which courses best fulfill their GE requirements. Students follow a general education curriculum that is grouped into three foundational areas: Arts and Humanities, Society and Culture, and Scientific Inquiry, with subcategories in each group.

PTE – Petition to Enroll

A PTE number gives your student “permission to enroll” in a class for which they are technically ineligible (either they have not met the class prereqs, or the class is already full). Students can speak with their advisor or professor/TA to request PTE numbers but PTEs are not guaranteed.

Quarter Begins vs. Instruction Begins

These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are two different dates in the quarter. “Quarter begins” indicates that the campus is open (such as after winter holidays), while “Instruction begins” refers to the first day that classes are in session.

TA – Teaching Assistant

Teaching assistants are selected on the basis of scholarship and are under the supervision of regular faculty members who are responsible for curriculum and instruction in the University. TAs support courses by leading discussion sections and holding office hours.

Third-Party Access

Third-Party Access allows a student to give access to their account to another person, typically to parents. Students can grant access by individual function. Third parties can view Study List, Degree Progress Report, Grades & GPA, Registration Status, Holds, Billing and Receivables (BAR) Account, Financial Aid and Address. In addition, the student can elect to have their third party receive billing emails.


Academic work at UCLA is measured by units of credit, which are used to evaluate the amount of time a student has devoted to a particular subject and to determine a student’s class level. One unit represents three hours of work per week per term by the student, including both class attendance and preparation. Undergraduate class level is based on completed and in-progress units, not years attended.


FIR – Faculty In Residence

The Faculty In Resident Program is staffed by UCLA faculty and academicians who reside in UCLA On-Campus Housing so that they can live and work with a specific Residence Hall community.

RA – Resident Assistants

Resident Assistants are live-in, part-time student staff. RAs are responsible for the administration and implementation of the student development program in a residential community.

RD – Resident Director

Resident Directors are live-in, full-time professional staff. Each of our fifteen residential facilities is supported by a Resident Director who develops the programmatic vision for the community.

RL – Residential Life

Residential Life and Housing and Hospitality Services (HHS) staffs work closely to provide students comfortable and affordable housing options. Their partnership strives to enhance opportunities for academic success, community development and personal growth.

The Hill

The buildings associated with the residential community are often collectively referred to the “the Hill”. This includes residential halls, plazas, suites, and dining halls.

Student Finances & Registration

BPP – BruinPay Plan

BruinPay Plan is a payment plan which allows you to pay your tuition in either 3 quarterly or 4 semesterly installments.This means you will not need to make the full tuition payment by the term deadline. This is a great option for students not receiving full financial aid to cover all of their fees.


All students have a BruinBill account which displays all charges and payments associated with registration, housing and transportation, as well as other charges like health insurance and textbooks. Your BruinBill is available to manage nearly 24/7; just login to MyUCLA.

eFAN – Electronic Financial Aid Notification

Once a student, and their parent(s)/guardian(s), completes the FAFSA it is submitted to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships for processing (if necessary the office may contact the individual for additional documentation).

FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Federal Student Aid is responsible for managing the student financial assistance programs.  These programs provide grants, loans, and work-study funds to students attending college or career school.

SIR – Statement of Intent to Register

As the name implies, this is the first thing a newly accepted Bruin must complete to officially register/enroll at UCLA. For First years the SIR date is May 1. For Transfers the SIR date is June 1st.

SRC – Scholarship Resource Center

The Scholarship Resource Center was established to provide scholarship information, resources, and support services to all UCLA students, regardless of financial aid eligibility. While they primarily assist UCLA’s undergraduate students, they offer resources for graduate students as well. Services include drop-in scholarship counselling, scholarship essay writing support, and quarterly workshops. All services are provided at no charge.

Student Life


The 8-Clap is UCLA’s signature cheer to showcase our Bruin spirit. It is an essential for athletic events, so check out this guide for a step-by-step how-to!

ASUCLA – Associated Students UCLA

The Associated Students UCLA is a  student-controlled, non-profit organization that provides retail and student union services to UCLA. ASUCLA runs the UCLA Store and employs many student workers.

BRC – Bruin Resource Center

The Bruin Resource Center can enrich your student’s experience by providing valuable resources, services and learning opportunities and by promoting a supportive and inclusive campus community. The BRC serves all UCLA students, with a particular focus on current and former foster youth, students with dependents, students in recovery, student veterans, transfer students, and undocumented students. The BRC also offers programs that promote holistic development and education of the student and the larger campus community.


BruinCard is the official University ID which also functions as a debit card for use at BruinCard merchants on campus and in Westwood, library card, and gym pass. For students in on-campus housing, BruinCard is used as an access card to gain entrance into residential buildings, laundry card, and meal card.


MyUCLA is your student’s portal to UCLA where they will do everything from enrolling in classes to keeping up with campus news and events.With Third Party Access, you can also create a MyUCLA account to access some features, like the BruinBill.

NSO – New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation is an extensive introduction to the academic and campus life at UCLA. Orientation sessions for first year students (those coming to college directly from high school) are 3 days and include a 2-night stay in the residence halls. During this time, students will have an New Student Advisor (NSA) who will guide them through orientation’s activities, such as enrolling for fall quarter courses.


The Student Alumni Association is a student volunteer group that works on behalf of the UCLA Alumni Association to enhance the student experience at UCLA. The mission of SAA is to facilitate interaction between students and alumni, and to enhance the student experience by providing opportunities that strengthen their lifelong loyalty to UCLA.

SAC – Student Activities Center

The Student Activities Center houses a gymnasium, some intercollegiate sports, locker rooms, showers, an outdoor swimming pool and multiple on-campus organizations. SAC also houses the Community Programs Office or CPO.

SOLE – Student Organizations, Leadership, & Engagement

The SOLE main office advises about 1000 campus organizations, helping to register new and continuing organizations, provide programming assistance, and advisement on rules and regulations. The office also approves time, place, and manner for the campus activities of registered organizations.

USAC – Undergraduate Students Association Council

The Undergraduate Students Association Council is the governing body of the Undergraduate Students Association (USA), whose membership is comprised of every UCLA undergraduate student.

Zero Week

Zero week refers to the week prior to the first full week of instruction during each quarter. For the fall quarter, zero week is preceded by Move-In Weekend and holds many exciting True Bruin Welcome events geared towards new students, but is open to all students.

Student Wellness

CAE – Center for Accessible Education

The Center for Accessible Education provides services are designed to meet the unique educational needs of regularly enrolled UCLA students with documented permanent and temporary disabilities. Offers services such as transcription, van rides, and disability parking.

CAPS – Counseling and Psychological Services

Counseling and Psychological Services is a multidisciplinary student mental health center for the UCLA campus. CAPS supports the academic and student development missions of the University and the Division of Student Affairs.

RISE – Resilience In Your Student Experience

The RISE (Resilience In Your Student Experience) Center, is an affiliate program and physical extension of UCLA’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). The RISE Center is a holistic wellness hub that provides an array of programs, classes, trainings, and self-directed resources to foster and support resilience, connection, and well-being for our UCLA community.

UC SHIP – University of California Student Health Insurance Plan

UCLA wants to keep your student healthy! Therefore, all registered students are automatically enrolled in UC SHIP annually. However, if you have comparable insurance and do not want to keep UC SHIP as dual coverage, your student must submit a request to waive enrollment by the specified deadline.