Higher Education / University Glossary


What does the academic term Freshman mean in higher education?


Freshman definition

Short Definition

Freshman is a first-year undergraduate student.

In-depth Overview


Long definition: A freshman, often referred to as a "first-year student", is an individual in their initial year of undergraduate study at a college or university. Freshmen are typically recent high school graduates who are new to the higher education environment. This period is marked by transitions, adjustments and orientation to academic and campus life.

Etymology: The term "freshman" originates from the words "fresh" and "man". In this context, "fresh" signifies their newness to higher education, while "man" is a historical use of the term for any person, regardless of gender. It has been used for centuries to describe students in their first year of college.

Synonyms or related academic terms: First-year student, frosh (informal), freshman student, newcomer, neophyte.

Examples of Use:

  • The freshman orientation program helps new students acclimate to campus life.
  • Many freshmen take general education courses during their first year.
  • Being a freshman can be both exciting and challenging.

Spanish: Estudiante de primer año
French: Étudiant de première année
German: Erstsemester
Italian: Matricola
Portuguese: Calouro (Brazil), Caloiro (Portugal)
Japanese: 1年生 (Ichi-nensei)
Chinese (Simplified): 大一新生 (Dà yī xīnshēng)
Hindi: पहला वर्ष का छात्र (Pahla Varsh Ka Chhatra)

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Wikipedia Article


unirank Glossary Classification

Miscellaneous higher education terms > University academic terms

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