Words and expressions

Here, you can find explanations of the words and expressions we use at the university and that you may not have heard before.

Questions and answers

What is min.usn.no?

min.usn.no is USN’s own intranet for students and staff.

At min.usn.no you can e.g. find:

  • your time schedule
  • your notifications from Canvas
  • access to StudentWeb
  • news and information relevant for you as a student
  • services and tools you need as a student

Activate your account and log on to min.usn.no.


Canvas is our learning platform. Communication between lecturer and student takes place mainly through Canvas.

Here, you can e.g. find descriptions of work requirements and assignments, deadlines for submissions and notifications from lecturers. Here, students can also participate in learning activities and submit assignments, etc.

Read more about Canvas and login here.

Transcript of records

All students can order a digital transcript of records via Studentweb.

Note 1: An official transcript of records on paper must be signed and stamped by the given university or university college.

Note 2: For security reasons you must not send your social security number (FNR) or national ID number (SNR) by email. Nor must you send attachments or screenshots that show your FNR or SNR.


Online studies and e-learning

E-learning is used to describe various forms of teaching where you use your computer. Teaching often takes place online. E-learning plays a central role for USN’s online studies, but is also used more and more in teaching of campus students.



StudentWeb is an online service where you can, among other things:

  • register for semesters and approve your individual education plan
  • pay semester fees (you can find your invoice at StudentWeb)
  • sign up for examinations
  • see your examination results
  • maintain your contact details
  • check your exam dates from October 1st in the fall semester and March 1st in the spring semester

Log into StudentWeb.


At USN we use the term “campus” to name our study locations. We have eight campuses. 


The word auditorium means a room for audiences. 

An auditorium is a large teaching room or hall where your lectures will take place. Auditorium is often abbreviated as “aud”. 

Democracy time

We have fixed democracy time at all of our eight campuses. The time is reserved so that students who hold student political offices can attend meetings without missing lectures or other teaching activity.

Democracy time is every Wednesday from 2pm for the rest of the day. No teaching may be scheduled during this period.


Faculty is the term used for the academic subdivisions of the university. A faculty is responsible for teaching and research within subject areas that are naturally related.

We have four faculties:


A department is an organisational entity that is responsible for teaching and research in specific subjects. 

During your studies, you will have most to do with the department and department staff.

You can find an overview of the departments and heads of department under our faculty pages.

Grading system

On assessing an examination, grades are awarded on a five-point scale from A to E for a pass, and F for a fail.



General, non-subject-specific description of assessment criteria



Excellent performance that clearly excels. The student demonstrates excellent judgement and a high degree of independent thinking.


Very good

Very good performance. The student demonstrates very good judgement and independent thinking.



Consistently good performance that is satisfactory in most areas. The student demonstrates good judgement and independent thinking in the most important areas.


Fairly good

An acceptable performance with some significant shortcomings. The student demonstrates a certain degree of judgement and independent thinking.



The performance satisfies the minimum requirements, but no more. The student demonstrates little judgement and independent thinking.



Performance which does not satisfy the minimum academic requirements. The student demonstrates an absence of both judgement and independent thinking.



The library's physical and digital collections: books, articles, journals and more. Oria contains links to full-text documents. Expand the search to include other Norwegian university- and college libraries by selecting Norwegian Academic Libraries.

USN students and staff may sign in to manage their library loans and to request books and copies of journal articles.

In Oria, you can search for the library's books, magazine articles, etc.

Log in to reserve, order or renew library items.


A semester is the term for a limited teaching period with a related examination.

At most colleges and universities in Norway a year of study is divided into two semesters – an autumn semester and a spring semester.

A few courses are taught over several semesters.

Study programme and study plan (syllabus)

A programme of study can be described as a unit to which students are admitted for a course or specific programme of study. A programme of study consists of one or more courses. A programme of study is described in a syllabus, and a course is described in a course plan that is based on the syllabus.

As a student you are attached to a programme of study or a course (applies to EVU studies for which credits are not earned). Besides being attached to a programme of study, you are also part of a year group.

Each programme of study has one or more courses for which you will be assessed. If you pass the assessment for a course, you will have passed it and will obtain credits for this. Once you have passed the assessments for all of the courses required under the programme of study, you will have completed the study programme. If the study programme awards a diploma, you will receive a diploma and Diploma Supplement, and if not you will receive a transcript.

Here is a link to all study- and subject plans (syllabuses).


Credits indicate the scope of a course or programme of study by estimating the amount of work we expect you to complete.

One study year’s work is set as 60 credits. The courses at USN range from 5 to 30 credits.

See the syllabus/course plan for more information.

Study plan

Your study plan (individual education plan) shows which courses you must take, and when. You can find it in StudentWeb. You can change it, but we recommend that you do this together with your student adviser. 

You must confirm your individual study plan each semester. It is included as part of the semester registration in StudentWeb

In formal terms, the individual education plan is an agreement that is mutually binding for the student and the university. The plan contains provisions concerning the university’s obligations towards the student, and the student’s obligations towards the university and fellow students. The individual education plan includes a general and a special section – Part 1 and Part 2. The general part contains provisions concerning the university’s responsibility and obligations towards the student, and the student’s obligations towards the university and fellow students. The special section is an overview/plan of the courses are included in your course of study and in which semesters you will take these courses.