SAS Faculty Resources: How to Update the Catalog

The Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs for the following year are built during Autumn Quarter.

  • New courses can be approved by UPEC/GPEC only during this quarter.
  • If you are considering revising major requirements, or offering a new program, Student Academic Services would appreciate partnering with you on that project. Set up a meeting with Ruth Adams to discuss your plans.

Remember — SAS can help answer questions and foresee possible roadblocks. Making your life easier is one of our top goals!


What Is the Catalog?


Catalog is the foundation of the Banner Student System.  From Catalog, we build the Time Schedule, which allows us to register and grade students.


For example, if a course is available for 3-5 credits in Catalog, we would not be able to create a 2-credit class in Schedule.  In a like manner, if a course only has a pass/no credit grading mode, we would not be able to give a student a letter grade for the course.  In other words, Catalog is where we build the rules for the courses that we offer. Thus, the information contained therein is vital and must be accurate.


Banner Catalog is also historical. When changes are made, we maintain the prior information. For example, if the School of Business and Economics decided they no longer wanted to offer BUS 1360, SAS would not go into Catalog and remove that record, we would simply end the effective term for the course. Removing the course would have ramifications for all the students who had taken the course previously.  If it no longer existed in Catalog, the academic history module would not know what to do with the course when it appeared on the student's transcript.


In addition, course numbers cannot be re-used.  For example, the School of Business and Economics could not decide to change BUS 1360 from statistics to algebra. This would have ramifications on students' transcripts. For example, if they had taken statistics under BUS 1360 and then took algebra under BUS 1360, academic history would replace the statistics grade with the algebra grade.


Catalog is a critical part of the University! The Catalog provides all information for degree completion and is considered a contract between the department and the student. So changes to Catalog can happen only once a year during the " Catalog Cycle" (September to December).

There are three parts to the Catalog:

  • The narrative section
  • The course information section
  • The degree requirements

NOTE: Publishing an online Catalog does not mean our deadlines can be flexible. Once the Catalog goes live online, it is viewed as a contract between the institution and the student, and cannot be changed until the following Catalog Cycle.



The Catalog narrative consists of all text except the course descriptions. It includes, but is not limited to

  • A description of the program
  • List of faculty members
  • Suggested course sequence 

Departments are able to revise the narrative every Autumn Quarter. The ability to make revisions will be made available online through the content management system called “Contribute.” In September, either the program chair or the administrative assistant will be given access to Contribute in order to make any necessary changes. All changes must be updated by February 1.     


     Contribute Training 12-13: Powerpoint Training Guide for Contribute Users


Course Information

Course information refers to the information specific to each course within a department. All changes to course information require a Catalog Change Form (PDF) signed by the chair and dean of the depatrment.

Changes to course descriptions are the only exception. Course information includes the following:                 

  • Course Number                 
  • Title                 
  • Special Approval               
  • Credits                 
  • Repeatability                 
  • Grading Mode                 
  • Schedule Type                 
  • Co-Requisites                 
  • Pre-Requisites                 
  • Attributes (Note:  The "Writing" attribute (undergraduate programs only) needs to be approved prior to submitting the form to SAS)                  
  • Restrictions                 

How to Fill Out Catalog (Course Information) Forms (Word doc)


Degree Requirements

These are the list of courses required for the major or minor (here is an example of one of the Degree Requirements pages for Art).

Schools review their programs requirements annually and submit changes on paper to the schedule and publications coordinator. These changes must be made in Banner, so changes must be submitted in writing to SAS.           


Editing the Information via Contribute


Contribute is a content management system used to author, review, and publish web content. Since the University Catalogs are published solely online, you use the software to edit your department’s Catalog pages.

From September each year through February 1, you can access these pages and edit at your own pace. On February 1, permissions are “turned off,” and no more edits are allowed.


At that point Student Academic Services and University Communications review the pages for typos and consistency, and edit content as necessary. You will be contacted if there are questions.


Computer and Information Systems (CIS) has step-by-step instructions to set up Contribute on your computer, but if you prefer visual cues, the below videos are for you! If you do use the CIS directions, be sure to follow those for Preproduction (pre-prod), as you’re editing a Catalog that is not yet live.