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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Institutional Catalogs and Bulletins : 2:04:00:01

Policy/Guideline Area

Academic Policies

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office


The following policy of the Board of Regents is hereby adopted to establish certain minimum standards concerning the publication and contents of catalogs of the institutions governed by the Board. These are minimum standards only, and each institution may provide any and all additional information through the catalog which is deemed appropriate.


  1. Introduction
    1. Catalogs and bulletins (hereinafter referred to as catalogs) primarily serve as the publications which provide a comprehensive description of the educational services of institutions of higher education.
    2. While catalogs should reflect the unique characteristics and the individual purposes, missions and programs of each institution, there are certain subject areas and types of information which are common among all institutional catalogs.
    3. In addition, there are certain types of information which should be included within catalogs to comply with accreditation standards, Board policies, and federal and state laws and regulations.
  2. General Provisions
    1. Printing, Retention and Filing
      1. Each institution should make every effort to minimize the cost of printing and reproducing copies of its catalog. All printing and reproduction services should be procured pursuant to competitive bidding laws, policies and procedures, and the number of copies should be reasonably related to the actual needs and demands of the institution.
      2. Each institution shall maintain a minimum number of copies of the catalog for each year as a permanent record of the institution. Permanent record copies may be maintained electronically.
      3. Each institution shall file an electronic copy of its catalog for each year with the Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents.
    2. Limitations and Reservations on Scope
      1. Each catalog should clearly reflect the academic terms to which it is applicable, and no catalog should cover a period in excess of two (2) academic years, including summer sessions.
      2. Each catalog should clearly express the effective period during which the degree requirements set forth in the catalog shall remain in effect, subject to changes as provided herein, which period shall not exceed seven (7) years from the beginning of the first academic term covered by the catalog in question.
      3. Each catalog shall contain a statement providing that the course offerings and requirements of the institution are continually under examination and revision. The catalog is not intended to state contractual terms and does not constitute a contract between the student and the institution.
  3. Minimum Standards of Content
    1. Calendar
      1.  Each catalog should contain the calendar for each academic term to which it is applicable, which calendar should include, but is not limited to: the period of registration, the beginning of classes, the last dates to add and drop courses, holidays, the last date to withdraw from the institution, dates for applications for degrees, the period of final examinations, and the commencement date.
      2. The calendar should contain a statement that the calendar is subject to change at any time prior to or during an academic term due to emergencies or causes beyond the reasonable control of the institution, including severe weather, loss of utility services, or orders by federal or state agencies.
    2. Listing of Administrators, Faculty and Staff
      1. The catalog should contain an appropriate listing of the chief administrators, the faculty, and appropriate members of the professional staff of the institution.
      2. The listing of faculty should reflect the department, academic rank, and the appropriate degree or degrees by year of each faculty member.
    3. Listing of Degree Programs
      1. Each catalog should contain a concise listing of all degree programs and majors offered by the institution which have been approved by the Board and by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in the case of programs and majors developed after its creation.
      2. No program or major for which approval is pending shall be printed in the catalog.
    4. Admissions and Transfer Credit
      1. The catalog should contain the general admissions policy for the institution, and any special admissions policies for specific programs of the institution, which have been developed consistent with and approved pursuant to the Board's Admissions Policy, No. 2:03:00:00.
      2. The policy of the institution on the acceptance of transfer credit, as approved pursuant to the Board's Admissions Policy, should be clearly stated in the catalog.
    5. Academic Retention and Readmission
      1. Each catalog shall contain the academic retention standards of the institution, and the policy on readmission of students who have been dismissed or suspended, developed pursuant to the Board's Guidelines for Undergraduate Academic Retention Standards, Policy No. 2:03:01:01, and approved by the Chancellor.
    6. Academic Regulations
      1. The catalog should contain the general academic regulations of the institution, including policies concerning class attendance, classification of students, full-time and maximum course loads, withdrawals, and alternative methods of obtaining credit.
    7. Curriculum
      1. The catalog need not contain course descriptions of all or any courses offered by the institution.
      2. When course descriptions are not contained in the catalog, the institution shall maintain a permanent file of course descriptions which are adequate to inform students of course content. (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Standard Three, Illustrations and Interpretations)
      3. Course descriptions may be published in the catalog or in any other format appropriate for distribution to students and other interested persons.
      4. All course descriptions should clearly and accurately describe the contents of courses, and should not contain any representations of the result to be expected from enrollment in the courses.
      5. The catalog and other published materials concerning all institutional offerings on and off campus should accurately and honestly reflect the academic resources of the institution. (SACS Standard Three, Illustrations and Interpretations)
    8. Degree Requirements
      1. The degree requirements of the institution for all programs should be included in the catalog, and at the universities and community colleges should be consistent with the Board's Policy on Degree Requirements, No. 2:01:00:00.
      2. For each degree program the catalog should reflect an orderly and identifiable sequence of courses with an adequate number of hours required in courses above the elementary level, with an appropriate system of prerequisites.
      3. The catalog should define a major or field of concentration, with a stated minimum and maximum of hours required.
      4. There should be limitations on the number of hours allowed in specialized areas, and provision should be made for electives. (SACS Standard Three, Illustrations and Interpretations)
    9. Financial Aid
      1. The catalog should contain information concerning financial aid policies and programs offered by or through the institution, and the financial aid policies of the institution should be clearly expressed and openly published, and should contain both general and specific requirements. (SACS Standard Three, Illustrations and Interpretations)
      2. The catalog need not contain the information concerning financial aid programs required by federal laws and regulations, provided such information is available upon request by any student.
    10. Privacy
      1. The catalog shall contain the policies and procedures of the institution developed to implement the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the regulations promulgated thereunder.
    11. Nondiscrimination
      1. The catalog shall contain appropriate statements concerning the policies of the institution against discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, color, national origin and handicap consistent with federal laws and regulations.



T.C.A. § 49-8-203; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended; Rules & Regulations of the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools (SACS), Tennessee Higher Education. Commission.


TBR Meetings, June 30, 1978; September 30, 1983; December 15, 1989

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