University Admissions Vocabulary 102

By the SMU Social Media Team

Once you start your university applications process, you’ll encounter more and more unfamiliar terms that lead you deeper down the rabbit hole. Before you find yourself turning as mad as a hatter, check out the second part of our guide to the odder terms that you might come across as you go through your university admissions journey.


1. “Matriculation”

Matriculation is the process of formally entering SMU. If it makes things easier, you can explain it to your parents as the university’s registration process.



A big part of SMU’s matriculation is done online: updating/verifying your personal details, uploading your photograph for your matriculation card (aka ‘matric card’, which is essentially your SMU student ID), filling in your bank account details, etc. The fun parts are offline, such as your Freshmen Orientation and various camps.



SMU VIVACE is an annual affair that primarily falls on the same date as our Academic Year Opening Day. What is it, you ask? To put it simply, VIVACE is SMU’s annual mega CCA fair!

Attending VIVACE, you’ll find the SMU Campus jam-packed with booths, student showcases and even setups that allow to personally try out the CCA activity for yourself! With over 120 student clubs covering sports, music, visual arts, culture, community work and more, you’ll seriously be spoilt for choice.

P.S. if you can’t find a club of your interest, there is always the opportunity to set one up of your own!


3. “Provisional Enrolment”

There’s something about the word ‘provisional’ that makes people feel uncomfortable. Let’s clear that up.


This term applies only to students enrolled in one of our double degree programmes. What it means is simply this: until you’ve completed the requirements of your double degree by the end of Year 2 (or the end of Year 3 if one of your degrees is in Law), you are provisionally enrolled in the double degree programme. Once you’ve completed the requirements, your provisional status goes away instantly. And if you don’t complete the double degree requirements, you’ll be taken off the programme.


4. “Special Term”

You’ve been offered a place in SMU. You’ve also been serving your National Service for the past two years, and you’re finally done. Woohoo!


Problem: You ORDed in December, and you have nothing to do until the school year starts in August.
Solution: Matriculate early, and you can start taking modules during the Special Term in April. Depending on how many modules you take in each subsequent semester, you may even be able to graduate early!


Undergraduate applications are open — visit to learn how you can Transform into a Different U.