Catalog & Curriculum

The general catalog provides a wealth of information about the university. This section provides a link to the catalog as well as links to historic catalogs and information about catalog submission procedures and deadlines.

The catalog year policy sets the rules for what catalog requirements will be applied to a students curriculum. The basis for most catalog designations is the term of declaration.

Revised credit hour policy outlines decisions of the University Curriculum Council.

Course equivalencies: list of courses that are coded in Banner as equivalent to each other for degree clearance purposes.

The curriculum section of this site provides links to curriculum proposal submission and tracking tools provided by the Office of Academic Programs, Assessment and Accreditation as well as some additional resources from the Office of the Registrar.


General Catalog 

You may view and search the general catalog online. The general catalog contains information about admissions procedures/policies, degree requirements, course descriptions, academic policies, and more. Students are assigned a catalog year in accordance with the catalog year policy. A student’s catalog year determines which academic requirements they are required to meet for their degree/major/minor/option to be awared.

Historic Catalogs

Catalogs are archived and available as PDFs in ScholarsArchives@OSU.

Catalog Update Submission Deadlines

Information in the online OSU General Catalog may be updated anytime. It is updated as curriculum proposals are approved throughout the year. Please email or campus-mail hard copy updates to the catalog coordinator, Larry Bulling, in the Registrar’s Office, B102 Kerr Administration Building.

The catalog coordinator emails annual update requests to all departments, schools, colleges, and other units in November. Updates are due in January. First, second and third proofs will be emailed back to updaters for approval in February and March.

PDFs of the official printed version of the OSU General Catalog for the coming academic year are posted in ScholarsArchives@OSU on April 15.

Printed copies of the catalog are available via print-on-demand orders through OSU Printing and Mailing.

Catalog Year Policy

The Policy

Here we've provided an explanation of the policy and procedural guidelines for its implementation. For additional information review the official policy in the catalog.

Catalog Term Obsolescence

At the time of graduation, all students, including transfer students, must use a catalog that is not more than ten years old. A student may petition to the Head Advisor of their College for any extension of a catalog greater than ten years from their expected graduation term.

Catalog Term in the Curriculum Record

The Catalog Term of the Curriculum record governs the catalog year used to evaluate baccalaureate core and university degree requirements in MyDegrees. The term here should reflect the term of the student’s admission and matriculation at a particular student level or their term of readmission at a particular student level. For Degree Partnership Program students, the first term the student is admitted to OSU will be the matriculation date and will determine the catalog year for institutional and baccalaureate core requirements.

Also, changing degree type (e.g. BA to BS degree) does not necessitate a change in the curriculum record unless that degree type was not available in that college/major at the original time of matriculation.

Field of Study Catalog

The Catalog designator in the Field of Study tab determines what catalog year requirements the associated field of study (major/minor/option etc.) will be evaluated under. These items can carry different catalog terms from one another and from the curriculum catalog term. Generally, the field of study catalog is determined by the term in which that particular field of study was officially declared by the student and entered in Banner. However, if the student is pursuing a major and option, the major and the 1st option associated with that major must have the same catalog. The catalog of the linked major and option is set by when the major was declared. However, if the option being declared did not exist at the time of the major declaration then the major catalog must be moved forward to the term when the new option was delcared. Subsequent majors/minors/options will be assigned a catalog based on the term they were declared.

Also, a student in consultation with their advisor can choose to move their field of study catalog year forward.  This is accomplished by submitting a signed Catalog Declaration form with the appropriate catalog term designation. Catalog terms can be moved forwards but not backwards in time (with the exception of moving the first option back to synchronize it with the major).

For Specific Examples, refer to the attached document.

Catalog Term Rules for Curriculum Changes - Advisors.docx18.64 KB


The Curriculum Proposal System (CPS)

The Curriculum Proposal System is provided by the Office of Academic Programs, Assessment and Accreditation for the submission and tracking of curriculum proposals.

Category I proposals are for major curricular changes that require state level approval.

Category II proposals are for other changes to courses, option and minor requirements, and more.

Academic Credit Definition

The Office of Academic Programs, Assessment and Accreditation provides information and guidance regarding the assignment of credits to a course. View Credits–Definition and Guidelines for more information.

OrACRAO Curriculum Tracking

Curriculum Changes at Oregon State University

The OSU university curriculum council approves curriculum changes throughout the year as proposals are submitted, not on a set schedule by term.

To generate your own reports of OSU curriculum changes, follow these directions:

  • Open the OSU Curriculum Proposal System (CPS). The CPS includes both category I and II proposals.
  • Click on Reports in the left column.
  • Click on the Curricular Changes Report link.
    • Select the Term you're interested in or leave ALL to get all terms.
    • Click Search and read the report or click Excel download to put the report on your machine.
    • Select the Academic Year of interest.

Category I proposals

Category I proposals are new academic degrees or academic units, or changes to academic degrees or academic units. For further details, see the Office of Academic Programs, Assessment and Accreditation.

Category I proposals started after January 2010 may be found in the curriculum proposal system (CPS) administered by Academic Planning and Assessment (no password or logon required).

Category I proposals prior to 1/2011 were reviewed and processed on paper, and recorded, tracked, and stored in an online database. No password or logon is needed to look at this database. The database is best viewed in Internet Explorer. You may experience problems using other web browsers.

Category II Curriculum Proposals

Category II proposals are for new courses, options and minors, changes to courses, options, minors, or terminations of courses, options, and minors. They are reviewed, processed, and stored in the curriculum proposal system (CPS) administered by Academic Planning and Assessment (no password or logon required).

To search through the proposals, click on the view all proposals link.

Prerequisite Policy

Prerequisites are established by Category II approval.

Information on prerequisite enforcement.

No prerequisites or corequisites may be deleted from or added to a course or section without an approved category II proposal. Prerequisites for a section must be in place before registration for a the term begins.

If registration is not in progress, existing prereqs or coreqs may be switched from unenforced to enforced, or enforced to unenforced, without category II proposals. Prereqs may not be switched or changed once registration has begun.

All sections of a course must use the same prerequisites or corequisites that have been approved for that course except as noted below.

Departments may not add prereqs or coreqs to the section Comments field of the online Schedule of Classes except as noted below:


Blanket courses: X01 through X10 (Research & Scholarship, Independent Study, Thesis/Dissertation, Writing & Conference, Reading & Conference, Special Problems/Special Projects, Seminar, Workshop, Practicum/Clinical Experience, Internship/Work Experience)

Special Topics courses, X99: Note–there are still some courses titled “Special Topics” that do not follow the X99 numbering convention. These will be treated as X99s.

These two exceptions are handled at the section level (each CRN).

Prereqs enforced by Banner are coded at the section level in SSAPREQ.

Coreqs (Banner-enforced corequisites) are coded at the section level in SSADETL.

Prereqs and coreqs enforced after registration by the instructor or department cannot be coded at the section level in SSASECT but may be listed in the section's Comments field.

Graduate-level courses that have undergraduate prereqs that are not enforced by Banner. These prereqs may be deleted without a category II. Email your request to the catalog coordinator.

When exceptions may be added:

Departments may add enforced prereqs to blanket courses and special topics course sections without Category II proposals, as long as no enrollment has occurred.

If students have enrolled before the enforced prereqs were requested to be added to a CRN, Associate Registrar Tom Watts decides to add them or not. Such changes are rarely approved.

OSU Credit Hour Policy

Review & Update of OSU Credit Hour Policy

Curriculum Council, June 7, 2013

New federal regulations call attention to institutional policies and oversight procedures for conferral of academic credit. In response, new NWCCU credit hour policies were adopted and published by NWCCU in November 2012. These policies will be a focus of the Year Three (Resources & Capacity) Evaluation scheduled for Spring 2014.

OSU’s longstanding credit hour policy is referred to in several places in the OSU document structure.

  1. OSU General Catalog- Catalog Definitions
  2. OSU General Catalog-Academic Glossary
  3. APAA (Academic Programs, Assessment & Accreditation) Website-Curricular Policies & Procedures

On June 7, 2013, the Curriculum Council reviewed the policy and voted to incorporate a limited set of language updates. The Council clarified that the formal policy is that which appears in the OSU General Catalog under Catalog Definitions. Supporting explanations for faculty and implementation appear in the Curricular Policies & Procedures of the APAA website. The revised Catalog and APAA entries, as approved by the Council are as follows:

1. OSU General Catalog: Catalog Definitions

Credit: One credit represents approximately three hours per week of learning outcome related work for the average student over the course of a full academic quarter; thus one quarter credit represents approximately 30 hours of work. For example, each hour of class lecture is generally expected to require two hours for preparation or subsequent reading and study. One credit would be given for a lecture course that met for one 50-minute period each week over a 10-week quarter; i.e., 10 contact hours between faculty and students. Where the time is wholly occupied with studio, field, online, or laboratory work, or in the classroom work of conversation classes, three full hours per week through one quarter are expected of the student for each unit of credit; but, where such work is supplemented by systematic outside engagement under the direction of the instructor, a reduction may be made in the actual studio, field, laboratory, or classroom time according to standards developed by the academic unit. All credits given in the General Catalog refer to quarter credits. When transferring in course work from a semester system institution, multiply the number of credits by 1.5 to determine how many quarter credits will be transferred (3 semester hours x 1.5 = 4.5 quarter credits). If planning to transfer OSU credits out to a semester system institution, multiply the number of quarter credits by .67 to determine how many credits will transfer (4 quarter credits x .67 = 2.68 semester credits).

2. OSU General Catalog: Academic Glossary

Credit: The academic value assigned to a course based on the type and level of the subject material, as well as the expected number of hours spent on class preparation. One credit represents approximately three hours per week of learning outcome related work for the average student over the course of a full academic quarter; thus one quarter credit represents approximately 30 hours of work.

3. APAA Website: Policies and Procedures

Credits - Definition and Guidelines

The OSU Catalog Definitions ( state that “One credit represents approximately three hours per week of learning outcome related work for the average student over the course of a full academic quarter; thus one quarter credit represents approximately 30 hours of work.”

The following guidelines come from C.J. Quann’s “A Handbook of Policies and Procedures”:

“Academic credit is a measure of the total time commitment required of a typical student in a particular course of study. Total time consists of three components: 
(1) time spent in class; 
(2) time spent in laboratory, studio, fieldwork, or other scheduled activity; 
(3) time devoted to reading, studying, problem solving, writing, or preparation.

One quarter credit is assigned in the following ratio of component hours per week devoted to the course of study: (1) lecture courses—one contact hour for each credit (two hours of outside work implied); (2) laboratory or studio course--at least two contact hours for each credit (one hour of outside preparation implied); (3) independent or online study—at least three hours of work per week for each credit."

While there may be natural diversity among academic units in administering these standards, they should be carefully considered when assigning credits to new (or existing) courses. For example, one- or two-day workshops, field trips, etc., will not qualify for academic credit unless there are extensive pre- or post-workshop trips or assignments to provide the required 30 hours of work per credit. Also, the extensive outside work required of some laboratory or studio classes should be taken into account in assigning credits.

Credit levels are assigned as part of the approval process and are reviewed by the Curriculum Council at the time of approval. Academic units are responsible for ensuring that all courses within their course designators have appropriate credit levels.

Approval & Revisions: Curriculum Council 3/13/95, 6/7/2013