The Bulletin is Washington University's official record of academic programs, requirements and policies. It is used by many different populations, including current and prospective students, faculty and staff, and the university's accreditors. It is considered best practice to store program requirements in the Bulletin and then to link into the Bulletin from other websites to eliminate duplicate content. The Bulletin differs from school and departmental websites in that it has a year-long publication cycle; it is published each year in the summer. It also includes information about admissions, academic regulations and student services. Other WashU websites can be updated at any time, but the Bulletin has deadlines, and there is a final draft that is archived each year.
Previous electronic versions are accessible from the Bulletin website, and the Office of the Registrar and the library archives hold physical copies of the course catalogs that go back to the very early years of the university. These archives may be consulted to see what the degree requirements were for the year a student started a program, to see when certain organizational changes may have happened, and so on.
WashU uses the Catalog (CAT) module of the CourseLeaf catalog management software by Leepfrog to organize, edit and publish the Bulletin. CourseLeaf is used to create the necessary pages and then to track those pages through a series of approvers to make sure that all information is accurate and current. It allows for collaboration across the university, and it tracks the progress of the more than 700 pages of the Bulletin through the publication cycle. CourseLeaf also imports course information from the WUCRSL Curriculum file so that course descriptions and details can be displayed in various ways throughout the publication.
Administrative users from all schools and departments are required to review their assigned content annually. When the Bulletin is open for editing for the coming academic year, all users will receive an email from the Bulletin editor that includes a list of all pages for their school and the assigned page owners for each page.
For each school, there is a page that has a description of the school. Some of these pages include tabs for faculty, majors, minors, and courses. For the larger schools, the school description will be on a single page, and there will be a Fields of Study link in the navigation. In that case, for each field of study, there will be a Bulletin page that includes the tabs for faculty, major, minor, and course information. There may be some variation to this pattern, and the information differs somewhat for the graduate programs, where usually there are tabs for faculty, degree requirements, and courses.
Page owners work within the "nextbulletin" environment to make changes to their pages. Basically, everyone will be working on a draft of the upcoming Bulletin that goes live to the public the summer before the relevant academic year begins. After the page owners complete their edits, the pages come back to the Bulletin editor for style and formatting changes and then go through a workflow to the appropriate departmental and school approvers for a final check before the Bulletin is published.
It is recommended that you bookmark the following CourseLeaf CAT links for easy access in the future. You will need to copy and paste these into your browser due to the way CourseLeaf handles links to other pages of the Bulletin.
- To log in to the "nextbulletin" environment to edit:
- To log in to the Page Approval Dashboard:
You will log in to CourseLeaf using your WUSTL Key, but you will first need to be set up as a CourseLeaf User. New users gain access to CourseLeaf when their departmental contact emails a request to the Bulletin editor. The email should include the new user's name and email address as well as the Bulletin pages to which they need access.
Here's a quick rundown of the 2019-20 Bulletin publication cycle to provide a general idea of what's happening when. More specific dates are included in the opening email that is sent out each year, and periodic reminder emails will be sent throughout the publication cycle.
- Early December 2018: 2019-20 Bulletin opens for editing
- February 1, 2019: Page changes due from page owners
- February 18, 2019: First course import occurs
- April 1, 2019: Second course import occurs
- April and May 2019: Page approval process takes place
- July 1, 2019: 2019-20 Bulletin goes live and initial PDFs are created
- July through October 2019: Limited final edits take place via the Bulletin editor
- October 1, 2019: 2019-20 Bulletin is closed for editing and final PDFs are created
Q. How do I know if I have a page to edit or approve in CourseLeaf?
A. If you receive an email that the Bulletin is open for editing, you are a page owner or approver with at least one page to review. Find your name in the "Contacts" document attached to that email, and then click the linked URL to visit your page. You can also contact the Bulletin editor for a list of your pages. If you have a page to approve, CourseLeaf will send you an automated email with a link that will take you to the Page Approval Dashboard.
Q. Is CourseLeaf training offered?
A. CourseLeaf training is offered each year after the Bulletin opens for editing, usually in December and January. Training dates will be listed in the Bulletin opening email. Alternatively, this website and the user manuals cover the material offered in the training session, and the Bulletin editor is always available for questions.
Q. What is the best browser to use with CourseLeaf?
A. The most current versions of Firefox, Chrome and Safari should work well with CourseLeaf.
Q. How do I log in to CourseLeaf?
A. Go to http://nextbulletin.wustl.edu/ and navigate to the pages you own, or follow the links to your pages in the "Contacts" document. Log in using your WUSTL Key by clicking on the "Edit Page" icon in the upper left corner.
Q. How do I log out of CourseLeaf?
A. CourseLeaf does not have a log out button, so you will need to close your browser to exit the software.
Files to Download | Signing In and Getting to Your Pages | The Editor Toolbar | Choosing a Section to Edit | Editing Shared Content | The Page Body Editor | When You've Finished Your Edits | Workflow and Page Approval Process | Help
Below you will find a summarized version of the Bulletin User Manual that will hopefully answer some common questions. For more detailed information, please download the following documents:
- Bulletin User Manual (PDF): This is a thorough manual that should address most questions about creating and editing different types of content in the Bulletin.
- Bulletin Quick Start Guide (PDF): This is a visual guide to the CourseLeaf interface that appears when a page owner logs in to edit a page.
- Bulletin Approval Guide (PDF): This is a visual guide to the Page Approval Dashboard, which is used by individuals with approval roles.
- WUCRSL Curriculum Report (PDF): This provides some information about the importing of the WUCRSL Curriculum file into the Bulletin.
There are two ways to log on to CourseLeaf and begin editing:
Use the "Contacts" document sent with the Bulletin opening email:
- Follow the links for your pages from the "Contacts" document for your school. The links in those files go directly to the "nextbulletin" environment.
- Click the "EDIT PAGE" icon in the top left corner of the screen.
- You can then log in using your WUSTL Key.
Go to the "nextbulletin" site:
Alternatively, you can go to the "nextbulletin" site and navigate to the page you want to edit. You will then be able to log in with your WUSTL Key.
After logging in, you will see the Editor Toolbar at the top of the page. You will also see page owner and workflow information at the bottom of the page. If there are any changes needed there, please contact the Bulletin editor.
Your page will likely have several different sections. Most often, these are divided by tabs labeled things like "Overview," "Faculty," "Majors," "Minors," and "Courses"; also common are "Curriculum" and "Degree Requirements." Some pages may just involve one section of content that's not broken up by tabs.
In the Editor Toolbar, there are yellow "Edit Pencil" icons next to the names of these sections of the page to indicate that you can edit them. You can choose a section from the toolbar, or you can choose one by clicking the pencil icon and text link in the top right corner of the section to be edited.
If you are the owner of shared content -- which is indicated by a link that begins with "/shared/" and that is shown in red type in the Contact list -- navigate to the page on which that content resides; this is the blue link just above the shared content URL. The shared content will appear with a gray background, and you'll be able to click on the link that starts with "Edit Content from…" in the top right corner to open that content for editing.
The Page Body Editor opens in a new window when you click one of the "Edit" links. This window contains the page content as well as two rows of editing tools at the top and "OK" and "Cancel" buttons at the bottom. The first row of tools are very similar to those found in Word, and they allow you to edit and format your content. The second row contains more interactive tools for things like linking, anchors, tables, and using imported WUCRSL data.
Detailed information about working with the two rows of editing tools can be found in the "Page Editor Manual" section of the Bulletin User Manual (PDF).
Tables and Charts
There are many different types of tables that can be used to present information on a Bulletin page. See the "Working With Tables & Charts" section of the Bulletin User Manual (PDF).
When you feel that your edits are complete, click "OK" to exit the Page Body Editor. Your browser will automatically refresh, and you'll see the changes that you made on the page. This is a good time to click the gold "DOWNLOAD THIS PAGE AS A PDF" bar at the top of the page to be sure your formatting looks right in the PDF version. (The PDF will open in a new browser window; you won't have to download anything.)
If everything looks good, click on the green "Start Workflow" button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
Every page of the Bulletin moves through a workflow of editors and approvers before it is considered final and ready for publication. Each page starts with the page owner, who makes the initial content changes for the year. It then comes back to the Bulletin editor for style and formatting changes before moving onward.
Once the page moves on to the next person in the workflow, that person can roll it back to a previous editor, make their own edits, or approve the page so that it moves forward in the workflow or is considered complete.
If a page is rolled back to you, you’ll receive an automated email from CourseLeaf with a link to the page that needs your review. You can then edit the page as before and click the “Start Workflow” button when you’re done.
If you need to approve a page, the email will contain a link that will take you to the Page Approval Dashboard of CourseLeaf. The dashboard will include a list of pages pending your approval. When you select a page, it will appear in the "Page Review" panel in the lower half of the screen, and then you can edit, rollback, or approve the page as appropriate.
The Bulletin editor is your help desk for working with CourseLeaf and any other Bulletin-related questions:
When you're logged into CourseLeaf, there will also be a "Help" button in the Editor Toolbar (indicated by a white question mark in a blue circle) that will take you to the software developer's CourseLeaf Help pages. You will want to choose "CourseLeaf Catalog (CAT)" from the navigation pane on the right side of the page. Below that, the most useful information will likely be found by clicking the "Page Body Editor" link or the "Tables" link and then finding your topic among the new options that appear.
The following paragraphs provide an overview of the types of Bulletin content generally used for the programs offered here at WashU. The headings listed are usually found on the tabs of a program's Bulletin page. Please note that not all programs make use of all tabs and that some have slightly different formatting. Consult your departmental contact regarding details and procedures that may be specific to your program or school. If you feel that this page is missing any important information, please contact the Bulletin editor with your suggestions.
The Overview section should be about two or three paragraphs long. It should provide a brief summary of the focus of the program as well as its overarching missions, goals and strengths. Contact information – including the departmental website and the appropriate contact's name, phone number and email address – may be provided using the "Set Up" feature of CourseLeaf so that this appears at the bottom of the page.
The Overview section is a good place to explain the goals of the program. Why should students choose this course of study? What will it enable them to do? Briefly cover, if applicable, specializations available within the program and unique opportunities afforded by the department. What sets this department and program apart from those available at other universities? What is this department’s passion or purpose?
This section presents a listing of all current faculty. The chair of the department is listed at the top, and the remaining names are divided into categories such as Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, Lecturers and Professors Emeriti. In most cases, each faculty member's name is linked to their personal departmental web page, and often a line with their terminal degree and alma mater appears below their name. Some programs also list the research interests of their faculty members.
These two tabs provide information about the different degrees offered by the department and include specific curriculum information and requirements. Common information found here includes the total number of units required to graduate, any prerequisites, required and elective course options, and other details specific to the department or program. See the Graduate & Professional Degree Requirements section below for additional ideas about the types of information that may be included here.
The course listings in the Bulletin appear after an import of the WUCRSL Curriculum file that includes the fall courses of the upcoming academic year. Each year, the Bulletin imports the WUCRSL file twice in the spring, first around the middle of February and again at the beginning of April. (Specific dates will be sent out each year when the Bulletin opens for editing.)
The courses for each program are listed in course number order (and in department number order, if applicable). If an alternative order is desired, please contact the Bulletin editor to discuss.
See the Undergraduate Overview section above.
See the Undergraduate Faculty section above.
If the department offers multiple degrees or programs, it might be helpful to break this section down into subsections, with headings for each entry and a couple of paragraphs under each heading detailing what the student will need to accomplish to earn the degree. It might be useful to provide an outline of what students' time at WashU will look like, perhaps by including a brief explanation of what each year of the program will entail. You could use the names of the degree programs as the headings for the subsections and then the chronology of the student’s progression through each degree as the organizing principle of this section.
Tables can be useful for helping students to visualize program requirements. If you need help formatting an informational degree requirement table, please discuss this with the Bulletin editor, Jennifer Gann, or your Registrar’s Office.
Include the number of units students will be required to take and any other major milestones (e.g., language proficiency, exams passed, specific classes or types of seminars taken, theses/dissertations defended) that need to be completed before the student achieves their degree. This can be put into either paragraph or bullet-point format, but remember that it shouldn’t be exhaustive; the point is to give a general idea of what’s involved. The full precision and nuance of requirement details and exceptions will remain on the department’s individual web site. At the same time, be informative about what the requirements are and try to avoid overly vague, generalized statements.
Too vague: “The student must pass exams.”
Too detailed: “The student must spend X amount of time studying for the oral exam, which will last Y hours, be administered by Z number of faculty, and include questions on topics A, B and C. The student must demonstrate mastery over the central discourses/theories of the field, including D, E and F, which they will have learned by taking classes G, H and I. If the student fails the exam, then they will have # days to make it up. If they fail again, they will be dismissed from the program. For the written exam…”
Just right: “In the third year, the student will need to pass two comprehensive exams: one written and one oral.”
See the Undergraduate Overview section above.
Degrees & Requirements
See the Graduate & Professional Degree Requirements section above.
The Research section should include an introductory paragraph explaining the type of research done within the department in a broad, generalized way. This page may be used to explain how people can become involved in the research as well as the general procedure that should be followed to learn about related courses and registration. After this summary information, the names of the research faculty should be listed, with a description of their research included as well.
FOR THE MED SCHOOL ONLY: At the top of the page, the department head, directors, chairs, and so on should be listed. A short paragraph of text can also be added here to provide an overview of the faculty, if desired. The rest of the faculty within the department will be automatically populated using a feed from the human resources department.
See the Undergraduate Courses section above.
The Bulletin contact lists are Word documents with links that show the structure of each school's section of the Bulletin. These files also include the names and email addresses of page owners and approvers as well as workflow information. These documents are sent out with the Bulletin opening emails in November or December of each year, but they are constantly updated when new contact information is sent to the Bulletin editor.
The links below will take you to the files on Box, where you can view or download them for your reference. If you see anything that needs to be updated or if you have any questions or concerns, please email the Bulletin editor.
- 2019-20 About WashU, Undergrad Admin, and Interdisciplinary Contacts
- 2019-20 Brown School Contacts
- 2019-20 Business School Contacts - Grad
- 2019-20 Business School Contacts - Undergrad
- 2019-20 Engineering School Contacts
- 2019-20 Graduate School Contacts
- 2019-20 Law School Contacts
- 2019-20 Sam Fox Contacts
- 2019-20 UCollege Contacts
- 2019-20 Undergrad ArtSci Contacts
- 2019-20 WUSM Contacts