Student Files

There are seven physically separate files in SRS that contain information about students. This grouping of physical files result from several technical considerations. Unless you plan to write programs that report on the information in these files, it is not necessary to understand the technical details. For practical purposes, student records fall into three logical groups:

- the Student BIO file

- the Student "Academic File" (composed of five physical files)

- the Student Term File

Each file serves a particular purpose in the overall operation of the system.


The Student Bio File contains name, address, and demographic data about each student. It is the "hub" around which the integration of other University student-related systems will occur. The intention is eventually to have only one BIO file that can be used by every student-related system in the University. Changes in the name, student identifier, and address will be reflected immediately in all systems that have access to this file.


The "Academic File" consists of five physical files that contain general academic information about students. Some of the types of data contained in these files are:

- academic program summary

- transfer credit

- registration and transcript holds

- log of transcript request

- degrees received

Of these, the academic program summary is the most complex and the most important in understanding the overall relationship of the files. See the Academic Program Summary for more information.


The Student Term File contains the academic program and course information that is specific to each term. Each student has a record on the Student Term File for each term in which that student is activated. Some of the types of data contained in this file are:

- primary and secondary programs

- majors and minors

- a count of registered and earned hours

- grade point average

- Student Course Entries

Of these, the Student Course Entry is the most complex and the most important to understanding the overall relationship of the files. See the "Student Course Entries" for more information.

If the student is matriculated in two programs concurrently, the programs are designated "primary" and "secondary" on the Student Term File. The designation initially follows the order of the APS entries, but it can be changed, and it can vary from term to term. Each program has its own set of majors and minors, its own classification, and its own maximum course load. When a student completes a course, the course is credited toward the primary or secondary program or both depending on the established default rules.

Students can matriculate in more than two programs. There is not term-related information for programs after the first two. But courses can be credited to the other programs by designating the career to which the credit applies. See "Academic Records" for more information on designating career for credit.


When you admit students to the University, you must matriculate them into academic programs. The record of a student's entry to and exit from these programs is kept in an area of the Student "Academic File" known as the Academic Program Summary. Each entry in the APS minimally includes:

- an approved academic program (division, degree,

major, and corresponding career)

- the student's most recent classification in that

program (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior)

- the entry term and the entry action (admit, transfer)

- the exit term and the exit action (graduation, leave)

- graduation data and degree checkout status

APS entries define the period of time during which a student is matriculated at the University of Pennsylvania. No academic action is permitted that does not fall within that period of time.

A student must register in the term of his APS entry. That is, if a student's APS entry has an entry term of 89C, the student must actually register in that term for any further activity to be allowed on the system. If the student does not attend in his/her entry term, and you try to register him/her for any other term, the system will not allow it.


Each time a student requests a course, SRS creates a Student Course Entry in the Student Term File. The SCE minimally contains:

- course ID

- the status of the request and the reason for the status

- grading data (grade type, official grade, reported grade, previous grade)

- registered, earned, and quality hours

- academic program pointer (identifies which academic program(s) the course is credited toward)

- career pointer (identifies which career(s) the course is credited toward)

When you activate a student in his or her entry term, SRS creates a record in the Student Term File for that student. It includes initial values for the Primary and the Secondary Programs based on the entries in the APS. In subsequent terms, SRS rolls this data forward, as long as the APS entries show that each program remains valid. If the student is no longer enrolled in the Primary or Secondary Program, that program is not rolled forward.

As an undergraduate student earns academic credit, SRS updates the classification on the Student Term Record for the next term. It also updates the corresponding APS entry with the most current classification for that program.

You can change the student's major on the Student Term File as long as it remains a valid major for that division and degree. SRS updates the corresponding APS entry with the most recent major for that program.

Each time you change a grade on an SPE, SRS recalculates the term statistics on the Student Term File and the cumulative career statistics on the Student "Academic File".


The "Academic File" contains only summary information about the student's academic program. It shows the division, degree, and the most recent major and classification. For a more detailed view of the student's academic program, you must use the Student Term File.


The Student Term File completes the view of the academic program with data about a maximum of three majors and three minors, special programs, and desired and maximum course loads.

Return to Academic Programs