New in the Glossary of Confusing Words: University Catalog

dictionary and thesaurus

International student advisor Megan wrote to our Glossary of Confusing Words to suggest the following:

I’m an international student advisor, and I’ve noticed that new students generally have no idea what a university catalog is. This would be a great addition to your glossary!

We asked our current bloggers, and even they were unsure what a catalog is.  Nareg got the closest, suggesting, “Is it a prospectus?” Sort of.

A university catalog (or college catalog) is an official publication that contains all the information a current or prospective student might need about academics and student services at a university.  

It usually contains information about academic requirements, grading policies, calendars, tuition rates, and, probably most importantly, it lists all the programs and courses available at a university.

It’s basically like the big guide to academic and official student life at a university.

Here’s an example of the table of contents for a standard college catalog.  This one comes from Emory University:

Academic

Departments & Programs

Majors & Minors
Centers, Institutes, and Other Resources

Course Descriptions

For First Year Students
By Requirement (General Education)

Calendar
Academic Regulations
Study Abroad
Awards
Honors Program
Internships

Admission & Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Need-based
Grants
Emory Advantage
Loans
Employment
Scholarships

Future Student

Atlanta Schools
Barkley Debate
Courtesy Scholar
Dean’s Music
Emory Scholars
Goizueta Business
Methodist Ministerial
National Merit
Veterans

Current Student

Tuition & Costs

Admission

Application Forms & Overview
Dates for Admission
Fees for Admission
First-Year Applicants
International Applicants
Re-admission
Statistics
Transfer Admission

Life at Emory

College & University Policies
Arts
Athletics
Dining
Fraternities & Sororities
Honor Societies
Housing
Religious Life
Safety
Student Media
Student Organizations
Transportation & Parking
Volunteering & Service Learning

About Us

Faculty

Chairs & Directors
Directors of Undergraduate Study

College History
Directions & Map
Our Mission
Our Profile

Do you have a word to contribute to our Glossary of Confusing Words? Share words that have confused you or that might confuse others about studying in the U.S. Leave your suggestions in the comments, or use the form below.