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:
Departments & Programs
Majors & Minors
Centers, Institutes, and Other Resources
For First Year Students
By Requirement (General Education)
Admission & Financial Aid
Tuition & Costs
Application Forms & Overview
Dates for Admission
Fees for Admission
Life at Emory
College & University Policies
Fraternities & Sororities
Transportation & Parking
Volunteering & Service Learning
Chairs & Directors
Directors of Undergraduate Study
Directions & Map
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.