Learn English Vocabulary: The people you will meet at UNIVERSITY

Learn English Vocabulary: The people you will meet at UNIVERSITY

Basic English vocabulary class – What is the difference between a “freshman” and a “sophomore”? What exactly is a “dean”? In this lesson, I will teach you words to describe different people you will encounter in college and university. These words are very important to know if you plan to go to university or if you are taking the IELTS or TOEFL. You will learn vocabulary like “junior”, “senior”, “TA”, “RA”, “grad”, “undergrad”, “prof”, and many more. After watching the video, come take my quiz to see how much you learned from the lesson at http://www.engvid.com/english-vocabulary-people-at-university/


Hello. My name is Emma, and in today’s video, I am going to teach you a lot of university language. I’m going to teach you specifically about the people you will see at university. I’ve used, here, the word “uni”, this is very British English. “Uni” means “university”. In American English, we would call it “college”; in Canadian English, we would call it “university”. Okay? And I don’t know about Australian, but I would assume it’s probably “uni” also.

So, there are many different words we use when we talk about people at the university. I’m going to tell you what we call students, what we call professors, what we call the boss of the professor. Okay? So you will learn a lot of words today.

So let’s get started. I have here a pyramid. This pyramid represents power at the university. Okay? It represents position at the university, and also, the number of positions at a university. So, if you notice… We’ll start at the bottom. I have here “freshman”. A freshman is a first-year student. Okay? So, when you get to university, you will be a freshman. It means you are in your first year of university. There are a lot of freshman at university.

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Then what happens? Second year comes along. When second year happens, you become a “sophomore”. This means you are in the second year of your program. We don’t say “sophomore”. Okay? We don’t say “sophomore”, no, no, no. “Sophmore”, so it’s almost like this “o” we spell with, it’s silent when we say it. “Sophomore”. And you’ll notice the “ph” is a “f” sound: “sofmore”. So your second year is your sophomore year.

Then, some people will continue on in university, and they’ll get to their third year. Okay? In your third year, you will be called “a junior”. “Junior”. Okay? So I want you to say these words: “freshman”, “sophomore”, “junior”.

If all goes well, after your third year, you’re going to be in your last year or your final year, and you will be-so fourth year-a “senior”. So this means you are the top of undergrad. You will be a senior in your fourth year. So all of this, these “freshman”, “sophomore”, “junior”, “senior”, this all refers to undergrad students or undergraduate. Okay? So for short, we say “undergrad”. In the long, we say “undergraduate students”. Okay? So when I was an undergrad, I started as a freshman; then my second year of undergrad, sophomore; third year of undergrad, junior; and finally, in my fourth year, I was a senior. Okay? If you finish and you finish your senior year, you get a bachelor’s. Okay? So you get a bachelor’s degree. You do four years of university, you get a bachelor’s degree.

Now, some people, after their fourth year, after they’re a senior, they’re tired of university, they’re so happy they’re finished, you know, it’s finally over, so they go and they start working, and they forget all about university. Other people want to do more university. They stay in university, and they continue studying. We call these people “master’s students”. Okay? Usually a master’s is a two-year program. It can be a one-year program, but it happens after undergrad. So we call these students “grad students”, we can also say “graduate students” or “master’s student”. Okay? So, again, usually these people are in a program for one or two years, they are grad students, master’s students; it means the same thing.

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From this point, you’ll find that some grad students get a job at the university. Okay? So they’re still a grad student, but they get a job. The job they get at the university is a “TA” job or a TA position. A “TA” is a person who is a teaching assistant. So, a TA is the same thing as teaching assistant; it’s just the short way to say it. A teaching assistant works for a professor. They help the professor teach freshman, sophomore, junior, and seniors. So, the TA is the assistant to the professor, and they help the professor teach these people. Sometimes they mark. Okay? Essays, they might… If you write a test, it might be a TA who marks your test because the professor is too busy. So it’s the professor’s assistant.

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Learn English Vocabulary: The people you will meet at UNIVERSITY


  1. Vuthy Lim Architect

    I get it the grade year how to talk from first to fourth , but some other country have study 5 years in university. So how to call for fifth ?

  2. Sarah Castelli

    you too

  3. What would be BS student called ??

  4. Música en acordeón Ricardo Mendoza

    Thanks Teacher

  5. Luis hernando Rojas guzman

    Hi there lecturer emma it's awesome the lesson video's today I teaching the news word when I will be in the university, for my learnning inglish languaje it's vert important to learn freshman, sophmore junior, senior TA RA instructor, lecturer, phd, dean. Thank you so much. For your amazing english lesson every day.

  6. Queen of Ambition

    Thanks I really need it

  7. Roberto Di Giacomo

    Emma, where are you from? Are you Irish or American of Irish descent? (I can detect a slight Celtic accent 🙂 ). In other words: is this vocabulary totally applicable to British Universities?

  8. Juan Sanchez

    Me encanta la forma como enseña Emma.

  9. Safar Ibadov


  10. Hi you are very amazing

  11. wow that was so useful, THANKS!

  12. Wayne Bishop

    useless info if not looking not to pay tax/ gift to the gov. no legislation or law to say you have to pay tax, this system is getting you ready for paying tax.

  13. Wayne Bishop

    why dident you do a cake?? pyramids are dangerous

  14. U r a good teacher

  15. Егор Сосновский

    How do I call peoples who studies more then 4 years? (example 5-6 years in most Russian specialist)

  16. Yalcin Batalay

    thanks emma ,regards

  17. Bashar abdullah

    Thank you a lot i like your teaching

  18. Selma Malakaj


  19. Selma Malakaj


  20. Edgard Santiago Granados

    Hi! Once in a recomendatio letter for an scholarship, one proffesor of mine signed the letter as "provost". What does a provost means? Thanks a lot in advance

  21. Like before I watch the video

  22. i have a question. can we call a girl freshman or should we Call a freshwoman?

  23. Joseph Baker

    Emma! You are awesome!
    Thank you 🙂

  24. Rafael Naviliat

    Montevideo Uruguay,bueno lo que haria por mientras,aya en Bston en uns pares de meses mas ya que em dijo mi herman no hase un ar de minutos,seria seguir con el ajedrez,y unos de mis suenios es estudiar Peridodism deportivo paara informar sobre el ajedrez, las aptidas y demas a demas se em ocurrio el fobal feemnino aca hay muy pocos Periodistas en el fobal feemnino y ya que s u deporte tambien aprovechar el lcaso y por mientras lo de Director de cine,por ahora ver estas posbilidades a demas de la viola mientras uno cuando llega a Canada-Boston me hago mis horarios y veo que dias pode estar en la Univercidad de Biston haciendo las dmeams cosas que no son muchas,bueno asi que bien hablaria con mi hermano ya que es por eso lo de Boston y mis cosas lo de ir a vivir aya a Canada como te decia Emma,y beun dej por aac,ya que estoy en el concuso de jaedrez,y no s ebien hasta cand dura este concurso para saber mas sobre etse tema,y fueron mis Noticias al ment,Rafa.

  25. terrific useful knowledge ,thx.

  26. Hassan Alimohammadi


  27. Hi, everyone wants to practice English with me?

  28. Mustafa abroum

    thank you so mush our teacher

  29. Emma, why some universities call supervisor the professors that guide students instead call advisor. Is it the same that Principal x Dean?

  30. Alice Hernandez

    I love your vidoes. keep doing it. it really helpful

  31. Sachitanand Ray

    Very useful! Thank you so much.

  32. who wants to practice English with me ?

  33. how can i write my trypicel monday. please write a paragraph and send me

  34. thank you very much honestly your lessons is so help full thanks again

  35. I wish I knew this when I was at uni !!

  36. Why are English Teachers are so attractive? 🙂
    Thanks for the lesson.

  37. You are great, Emma.Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!! yeah

  38. hassan alshaalan

    i hope ond day you will be dean in the university in canada

  39. awesome! thank you Emma!

  40. Thank you so much miss Emma.

  41. Ismail Alzin

    Thanks so much

  42. Chi-Chi Chou

    Thanks a lot Emma : )

  43. Ansari Abdul Latif

    Fruitful to some extent

  44. This is really helpful

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