252  University Catalogs

Approved by President
Effective Date: September 15, 2021
Responsible Division:  Academic Affairs
Responsible Office:  University Provost
Responsible Officer:  Vice Provost for Academic Programs

I. Purpose

This policy establishes certain minimum standards concerning the publication and contents of catalogs of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University). These are minimum standards only and the University may provide any and all additional information through the catalog which is deemed appropriate.

II. Introduction

A.  The catalogs primarily serve as the publications which provide a comprehensive description of the educational services of the University.

B.  Catalogs should reflect the unique characteristics and the individual purposes of the graduate and undergraduate programs of the University with the need to include the subject areas and types of information that commonly appear in all university catalogs.

C.  In addition, certain types of information should be included in catalogs to comply with accreditation standards, University policies, and federal and state laws and regulations.

III. General Provisions

A.  Publication, Retention, and Filing

1.  The University will make catalogs available.

2.  Previously archived catalogs shall be made accessible and available.

B.  Limitations and Reservations on Scope

1.  Each catalog shall 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 shall clearly indicate the period during which the degree requirements 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.

3.  Each catalog shall contain a statement providing that the University course offerings and requirements 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 MTSU.

IV. Minimum Standards of Content

A.  Calendar

1.  Each catalog shall contain the calendar for each academic term to which the catalog applies. Each term's calendar should designate, at minimum, the inclusive dates for registration, the first day of classes, the last dates to add and drop courses, holidays, the last date to withdraw from the University, dates for applications for degrees, the date range for final examinations, and the commencement date.

2.  The calendar shall 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 University, including severe weather, loss of utility services, or orders by federal or state agencies.

B.  Listing of Administrators, Faculty, and Staff

1.  Each catalog shall contain a current listing of the chief administrators, the faculty, and administrative staff of the University.

2.  The listing of faculty shall reflect the department, academic rank, the degree or degrees held, and year of each faculty member's initial appointment.

C.  Listing of Degree Programs

1.  Each catalog shall list all degree programs and majors offered by the University and approved by the MTSU Board of Trustees (Board) and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

2.  No program or major for which approval is pending shall be published in the catalog.

D.  Admissions and Transfer Credit

1.  Each catalog shall contain both the general admissions policy for the University and any program specific special admissions policies consistent with and approved pursuant to Policy 301 Admissions.

2.  The University's policy on accepting transfer credit, as approved pursuant to the Board's Admissions Policy, shall be clearly stated in the catalog.

E.  Academic Retention and Readmission. Each catalog shall contain the academic retention standards of the University and the policy on readmitting students who have been dismissed or suspended, developed pursuant to the Policy 314 Undergraduate Academic Retention Standards and approved by the Board.

F.  Academic Regulations. Each catalog shall contain the general academic regulations of the University, including policies concerning class attendance, classification of students, grades, full-time and maximum course loads, withdrawals, and alternative methods of obtaining credit.

G.  Curriculum

1.  Each catalog shall contain adequate descriptions of all courses offered by the University to inform students of course content.

2.  Course descriptions may also be published in other formats for distribution to students and other interested persons.

3.  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.

4.  Each catalog and other published materials concerning all University offerings on and off campus should accurately and honestly reflect the academic resources of the University. 

H.  Degree Requirements

1.  The degree requirements for all University programs shall be included in the catalog and shall be consistent with Policy 304 General Education Requirements and Degree Requirements.

2.  For each degree program, the catalog shall 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.  Each catalog shall define a major or field of concentration with a stated minimum and maximum number of hours required.

4.  The number of hours required in specialized areas should be limited with provision made for electives.

I.  Financial Aid

1.  The catalog shall provide information concerning cost of attendance, refunds, and financial aid policies and programs offered by or through the University. The financial aid policies of the University shall be clearly expressed and openly published and should contain both general and specific requirements. 

2.  Catalogs need not contain the information concerning financial aid programs required by federal laws and regulations, provided such information is available upon request.

J.  Privacy. The catalog shall contain the policies, standards, and procedures of the University developed to implement the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the regulations promulgated thereunder.

K.  Nondiscrimination. The catalog shall contain appropriate statements concerning the University's policies against discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age (as applicable), or status as a covered veteran consistent with federal and state laws and regulations.

Forms: none.

Revisions: June 5, 2017 (original); September 15, 2021.

Last Reviewed: September 2021.

References: Policy 301 Admissions; 304 General Education Requirements and Degree Requirements; 314 Undergraduate Academic Retention Standards; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974; SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation (2018), Standards 9 and 10.