University of Saskatchewan


Nomenclature report

Academic Affairs

Responsibility: University Council
Authorization: University Council
Approval Date: Jun 16, 2011


The purpose of the University of Saskatchewan Nomenclature Report is to provide a consistent and cohesive language and framework for students, instructors, and administrators to discuss academic programming at all levels throughout the U of S.

Previous iterations of the U of S Nomenclature Report (1979 and 2001) were linked very closely to student information systems, and this document continues that tradition as one of the most important uses of consistent nomenclature is to facilitate the delivery of information throughout the university system.   Besides obvious benefits to the students, the student information system often identifies inconsistencies, problems with taxonomy, category errors, and internal contradictions that should be addressed.  By separating the policies contained herein from the academic definitions, it will become much easier to treat our university nomenclature definitions as a living document and react more quickly to changes as they occur.


At its most philosophical level, shared language makes collaboration possible.  In previous iterations of the Nomenclature Report, this collaboration was primarily between instructors and the administrators of the student information systems, which was certainly important and beneficial for the U of S.  However, our Academic Nomenclature needs to evolve alongside our student information systems and be flexible enough to encourage the changes in academic programming that are developing throughout campus.  In particular, the Innovation in Academic Programs and Services Area of Focus in our Third Integrated Plan emphasizes  the need to offer compelling, engaging, challenging academic programs which are creatively designed, are grounded in interdisciplinarity and broad global perspectives, are informed by the scholarship of discovery, utilize new methodologies and approaches, provide future‐oriented professional education and address areas of societal need.  The existing Nomenclature Report increasingly does not facilitate these objectives, and so the guiding philosophy of this policy document is that we can improve our academic programs by clarifying and revising the nomenclature that we use to communicate across campus.

Scope of this Policy

This document incorporates all of the policies, rules and procedures relating to academic and administrative nomenclature. It replaces the Nomenclature Reports of 1979 and 2001.


Under the Bylaws of University Council (Part One, Section 1),  Council prescribes curricula, programs of study, and courses of instruction, and authorizes the establishment of colleges and departments.  This responsibility includes the authorization of policies related to curriculum, programs, courses, and academic administrative structures.  The Academic Programs Committee of Council is responsible for recommending to Council classifications and conventions for instructional programs.

The Student and Enrolment Services Division is responsible for management of registration and student information systems so that academic programs may be administered in an orderly manner.  This responsibility includes the development and implementation of definitions for academic terminology, including coordinating with other university offices to establish common terminology.

Additional definitions relating to university governance, students and  faculty can be found in  The University of Saskatchewan Act (1995), the University Council bylaws, and the USFA Collective Agreement.

Procedure summary

View the Nomenclature Report policies, definitions and standards.

Related Documents

There are no other documents associated with this policy.

Contact Information

Contact Person: University Registrar and Director of Student Services
Phone: 306-966-6723