General Information

A PDF Download/Printable version of this information including screenshots is available.

  • General Catalog is Mobile Friendly! It provides one site that works for computer and mobile platforms. Words and graphics wrap correctly and display on smaller screens without having to use an additional site.
  • Offers Print Options. You can download a PDF to print by page or by tab.
  • Course Bubbles. Click on a course number and have access to the description, semester hours, offerings, and more.

How to Access the General Catalog

  • The online public view site (published version):
  • The NEXT catalog site (editing site, for first in workflow only): You will only be able to log in after the catalog has opened for editing.
  • It is strongly recommended to use Firefox, Chrome, Edge, or Safari for editing in NEXT catalog. Please do not use Internet Explorer (IE) for editing pages; it is no longer supported at this time. Be aware that Chrome may have some display issues with course lists and cursor movements; saving some types of changes will take longer to show on screen as changed.

Catalog Resources

NavigationCatalog AreasAccessing and Editing CatalogEditing TipsApprove Pages and Forwarding in WorkflowPages Pending Approval SiteUpdating ImagesQuestions


  • Nav Box/Bar: Shows a list of colleges/departments/programs or relationship to other areas in the catalog, located on the right side of the catalog page; can be used to jump within the catalog from one page to another. Reduces to a nav bar on mobile devices. 
  • URL (breadcrumb trail): Think Hansel and Gretel; breadcrumbs are another way to show relationship to rest of catalog by showing the path taken to get there. The URL path is listed under the General Catalog banner and menu bar for each page, click on any part of the URL to go back to that page.
  • Search Box (search catalog): Click on “search” and type in a word, phrase, or keyword(s) to search. The search button is located in upper right corner of catalog page. 
    • The search field directs users to preferred pages by typing in words or phrases that are listed in a catalog page, or by specific keywords set up for that page.
    • The search field will be able to search for similar root words; for instance, searching for “Sociology” will also find “sociological”.
  • Find Your Program: View a picture grid that shows degree and program options; can search and select by using “Filter Option” or “Search Programs”. Filter Option includes check boxes for graduate and undergraduate, program of study, and more. Search Programs works by typing in keywords relevant to what you are looking for. 

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Catalog Areas

  • A-Z Directory: Alphabetical list of all pages in the catalog by title.
  • Catalog Contents: Listing of all pages in catalog in order of content; departments listed by college, programs listed by department.
  • UI Courses: Contains a full listing of all University of Iowa courses by subject code (nav box) and department/program.
  • PDF: Opens view or print options for a PDF of the catalog page or a selected tab on that page. Note that if you use the last option ”2022–2023 Catalog,” it will download the entire General Catalog and take a while to download.
  • Archive: Where to find previous and archived versions of the General Catalog.

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Accessing and Editing Catalog

Initiator | Second or Later in Workflow | Bottom Toolbar | Top Toolbar

FIRST Person in the Workflow (Initiator)

Access the General Catalog home page. Enter your HawkID and password. Scroll down to see the colleges listed on the right side of the screen inside the gray navigation box. Click on the link for your college. At the college’s home page, click on the link for your department/program from the list inside the gray navigation box.

You also can find your department/program by using the A-Z Directory or Catalog Contents listed in the menu bar at the top of the catalog page or use the search field in the upper right corner of the page.

Once you have clicked on your catalog document, click on the EDIT PAGE icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. You have the option of using the Edit pencil icon that displays to the right of the first sentence in the catalog page.

Review each of the catalog pages listed in the gray box on the right side of the screen that correspond to your department/program and click on the green Start Workflow button for each of these pages when you have completed your review (even if you did not make any changes to the page). Each page is forwarded to the next person in workflow once you click on that button.

SECOND OR LATER Person in the Workflow

You will receive a separate email for each catalog page you need to review. Use the link provided in the email when it is your turn to edit a catalog page. The link takes you to the Pages Pending Approval site where you will see one or more pages listed in the Page box at the upper-left hand side of the screen. When you click on a URL in that box, the catalog page to be edited appears in the large box under the PAGE REVIEW menu bar. Scroll down to see the content of the page.

If you want to make changes, click on the blue Edit button on the right side of the menu bar above your document. Choose from the buttons that display on the top toolbar to open a new window where you can make changes to the document.

Bottom Toolbar

  • Logging in and out: In the NEXT catalog environment, click on the Edit Page icon on the upper left corner of the catalog page; this opens a window that prompts you for a HawkID and password. This Edit Page icon also opens the bottom menu bar. In the left corner of the bottom toolbar, click on the Log Out icon when you want to log out.
  • Owners, editors, and workflow: The center of the bottom menu bar shows the Page Owner (initiator) and the Workflow group (editors and approvers). If you click on the Workflow link, it opens a Preview Workflow window listing all stops in the workflow path for that page.
  • Page Status and Last Edited: Includes the current status of the page (not started, editing, done). The date and who last edited the page is listed here. Note the clock icon to the left of this area is a historical listing of changes by a person editing the page in the NEXT catalog site only and does not include changes made via the Approve Page site.
  • Start workflow button: When the green workflow button is clicked, the page moves on to the next person in workflow. If someone clicks Start Workflow, it should not be edited by anyone else until action is taken by the individual/role listed as the next step in workflow. Contact that person to have it rolled back to the beginning or have that person do the edits needed. In workflow, pages can be rolled back to the previous person, approved, or edited. Rolling back a page doesn’t mean you’re removing the edits, you’re just sending it back to the person before with some notes for things to try again.

Top Toolbar

  • Edit Page Toolbar: When you open this toolbar, you can choose from the buttons showing on the top toolbar to open a new window to make changes to your document, or you can click on the Edit pencil icon, such as that shows just above the first sentence of your content, which also opens a new editing window for the content on that page.
  • Set Up: Contains fields to edit your department and faculty website URLs. Remember to click the OK tab if you make a change. You can edit or add search features (keywords). The title is the title of the page and may affect catalog navigation. Please do not update the title or degree fields.
    • Department website: External site, use full path.
    • Faculty website: External site, use full path.
    • Page Description: This information will not appear on the page, but will be used in search. When blank, some text from the page will appear in search results.
    • Keywords: Help people find your page when certain words don’t show on your page; keywords should be unique words and separated with commas; if more than one word is used as a keyword, use quotation marks. For example, to search for spotted or frog, list as spotted, frog. To limit the search (must enter both words to obtain results), list as “spotted frog.”
  • Administrators List: Update this list with departmental administrators in your department/office such as chair, director, etc.
  • Related Programs: Use relative path link (/liberal-arts-sciences/classics/) in the column for URLs. When the URL is entered, the title of the page will automatically populate the Title column. Note that related programs must be within the General Catalog.
  • Verify Courses: Selecting this runs a quick check of your document and lets you know if you have courses in your catalog page that are no longer approved, if there are approved courses that need to be added to your copy, or if incorrect semester hours for a course are listed (you may intentionally want the semester hour field to be listed as it is; for example, you want students to take a course twice and so have doubled the semester hours).
  • Show Differences: Provides a pop-up window with the red/green markup on a page. Additions to the page are in green. Text that was removed from a page will show in red with a strike-through. View as PDF: Creates a quick PDF, not the final one, in a two-column format, that you can view and/or print.
  • Help: Has step-by-step instructions from CourseLeaf and provides video tutorials as well as written instruction.
  • Page Body: This is where content is edited for a document (when it does not include any tab options) or is where text in the Overview tab is edited when tabs are present in the document. Other tab options that may show on the Edit Page toolbar include Programs, Facilities, Courses, Requirements, Academic Plans, Career Advancement, etc. which function the same as Page Body for editing content (each page tab also shows a pencil icon at the top of the page on the right side of the first paragraph to indicate an editing window will open). Page Body is where you make text or course changes in your document. It functions much like Microsoft Word. When you open this option, you will see the choices you can use with text on the toolbar near the top of the window. By placing your cursor over each icon on the toolbar, you can determine the functions. See “Editing Tips” below for the most commonly used options when Page Body (or another editing window) is open.
  • Courses tab: Departmental courses approved through the course approval process in MAUI Course Library are listed by subject code under this tab. Course titles, semester hours, descriptions, prerequisites, requirements, recommendations, cross-references, and general education come from the course approval forms that you submit to the Registrar’s Office. You cannot enter or change this information directly in your catalog copy, but you can change the information showing by completing a revise, drop, or add course form via MAUI Course Library and submitting your changes in workflow.
    • You cannot edit the GE CLAS Core content visible for CLAS academic units, sample plans of study that show under the Academic Plans tab, or the courses listed under the Courses tab if they appear in your copy.

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Editing Tips

The Save icon on the editing window toolbar and the OK button at the bottom of the editing window both save, using the Save icon keeps the editing window open, OK closes the editing window. Must click OK to save and exit.

When copying and pasting, please copy plain text only. You can do this by pasting text into Notepad on Windows and then copying and pasting this to the catalog page or by pasting using Ctrl V into the catalog page directly.

  • Insert/Remove Bulleted List: When copying lists that are already bulleted, best practice is to use this toolbar icon to delete bullets and reinsert them. Allows for PDF to produce correctly and show up on various platforms correctly.
  • Format: Use headings to break up content; you should not use h1 since that is the title (tab) heading, start with the h2 heading and add headings as needed.
  • Link: When inserting a link, you need relative paths for catalog links (/liberal-arts-sciences/classics/), and full paths for external links (start with http:// or https://). All links should open in the same browser window.
  • Sample Plans may be showing under the Academic Plans tab; this is a snapshot of a sample plan that automatically pulls from MAUI. You cannot enter or change sample plan information directly in your catalog copy; the designated person for your unit can create or update your sample plan information via MAUI Sample Plans. Refer questions about sample plans to
  • Inline Course/ Insert/Edit Database Field icon (shows an arrow in a box): This is used when a course is included in a sentence. If you want to make a change to a course, double click on the blue box surrounding it and a pop-up box with possible choices appears. To insert a new course in a paragraph, place your cursor where you want the course to appear and then click on the icon with the arrow. Select your course. If you prefer, type the course number (SUBJ:CRSE), then highlight this number and click on the icon. Remember to press the OK button at the bottom of the screen to save your changes. You can choose formatting to include title, number, etc. from drop-down at bottom. Courses auto-update whenever things change. To delete, place cursor after and backspace.
  • Insert/Edit Formatted Table icon (appears as a table in a box). When you select this icon, you will need to select a type (i.e., Course List).
  • A Course List is a table display of selected courses or text statements along with semester hours.
    • Courses showing in green are the courses that have been added to the list.
    • Courses showing in red with an error message in your course list are not valid courses. You may want to substitute other courses, but you also need to remove the red course text from your list.
      To change a course list, double click in the blue box surrounding the course list. A new window opens. Note that courses showing in the left box contain all University-approved courses you can select by college and by department. The box on the right shows your selected courses. To move a course into your list, click on the course in the left box to highlight it and use the arrow pointing toward the selected-courses box on the right side. To move a course out of your selected-courses box, click on the course to highlight it and use the arrow that faces toward the box on the left showing all University courses.
      You can use the Quick Add box at the bottom of the screen if you know the specific course number to add. Type in the subject code (uppercase) and course number (SUBJ:CRSE) and click on Add Course button; the course populates into the box on the right side that contains the courses you have selected to appear in your course list.
    • Comment field: Text entered here appears in parenthesis next to the course title. 
    • Sequence field: Shows “–“ between courses as default when a course number is included in this field, if more than one course is needed, use a comma (no space) between course numbers. Note that course numbers must be in direct number sequence of each other or you should type an “&” before each course number in this field, the “&” will show in the course list between the two courses in place of the “-“. 
    • Cross-reference field: Use a comma (no space) between course numbers if more than one is listed; include if all course numbers for this course count toward degree requirements. 
    • Or Class field: Lists the “or” option (take this or this) with second option indented, but with only one semester hour showing. Use commas (no space) when entering more than one course in this field. Only use this option if the “or” courses have the same semester hours. 
    • Hours field: Enter semester hours if you need to override approved hours; this field should not be blank.
    • Sum Hours button: If checked, totals up all of the hours for the list or grid. Indents courses to keep them from summing total hours (semester hours will not show in course list).
  • Courses tab: Your departmental courses that are approved through the MAUI Course Library course approval process are listed by subject code in numerical order on the departmental Courses page. Course titles, semester hours, descriptions, prerequisites, requirements, recommendations, and cross-listings come from the course approval forms that you submit to the Office of the Registrar. You cannot alter this course information in your catalog copy, but you can change the information that displays in the catalog by completing a course approval form through MAUI Course Library and submitting those changes in workflow. GE CLAS Core or Be Creative designations appear under the respective course descriptions if the college has approved them for that status. You also can create a new course you want to appear in the catalog through the MAUI Course Library

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Approve Pages and Forwarding in Workflow

Start Workflow (for those first in workflow) or Approve (for those second or later in workflow) button: Click on the green button to send your document on in the workflow when you have completed all of your changes. The first person in the workflow will see a green Start Workflow button at the bottom right of the screen in NEXT catalog when they have the Edit Page toolbar open. You will know your document has been sent on when the tab turns gray.

Those second or later in the workflow will receive an email notification with a link to “Pages Pending Approval” when it is their turn to work on the catalog page(s). On this screen there is a green Approve button in the upper-right hand corner of the Page Review menu bar above the document, as well as Edit and Rollback buttons.

Pages Pending Approval Site

  • Your Role: List of everyone who is currently working on catalog page(s) in workflow; this should be your name if you are linking to this page via email notification. 
  • Page: One or more documents are listed in the upper left corner Page workflow box; these are documents that are pending action from you; select the document and the contents will show in the document window below.
  • Page Review with printer icon: To print or save document as PDF; you can include edit markups in the PDF or print version if View Changes is active, or without if Hide Changes is active.
  • View/Hide Changes: Can see edits (red and green marks) by who made them. Hide the red-green markup if desired. View Changes By: Default is “All Changes”, but you may select someone from the list to view just their changes.
  • Edit: The edit toolbar appears, can make changes. Rollback: This allows you to roll back the page to anyone in the workflow list and it will maintain all of the edits. Add a comment as to why it is being rolled back. If you roll back the page, it must go through each workflow stop from that point forward again.
  • Approve: Sends to next person in workflow. Help: When you access your document, either in an editing window or on “Pages Pending Approval”, there is a Help icon in the menu bar or at the top right side of the screen that opens to CourseLeaf where you can search for specific answers to your editing questions and review how to use the many features of the catalog Content Management System (CMS).

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Updating Images

Departments can request images on their pages to be updated at any time. Departments are encouraged to use photos from the UIowa Photoshelter or from the department’s photo archives. When a department submits a new photo for consideration, please request the source of the photo to ensure we will not be violating copyright by using this photo on our General Catalog website. If you have questions about this process, please email

Images must be at least 900 x 500 pixels; we will accept larger photos than this but cannot accept photos that are smaller. They must be submitted as .png or .jpeg files. Please email these to and note on which pages you would like the images and whether they should go on the current (live) catalog site and/or the next year’s catalog site.

All photos are required to include alternative text or “alt text.” Please include alt text when you submit photos to the catalog team. The catalog team may edit this text for clarity. Additional instructions for writing alt text are below.

Alt Text Guidance (from CLAS web services)

Alternative text or alt text provides a textual alternative to non-text content in web pages, particularly images. Adding alt text to images is the first principle of web accessibility, as it makes websites accessible to visually impaired people (whose screen readers read the text of web pages aloud [but cannot analyze images]), as well as to those whose browsers do not support the display of images (alternative text displays in place of images). Think of alt text as a hidden caption that describes the image in a clear, very brief way.

When adding alt text to an image, keep the following in mind:

  • Alt text should be accurate and equivalent in presenting the image's content (e.g., "Buckingham Fountain").
  • It should be succinct; a few words usually suffice.
  • Do not preface your description with the phrase "image of" or "picture of," etc. Just describe the content.
  • Read the text that accompanies the image on the web page. Try not to be too redundant in your alt text.
  • If the image is also a link, you must describe the image as well as the linked-to page (e.g., "Buckingham Fountain; Wikipedia entry for Chicago").
  • Additional Resources for Alt Text: Alt Text and Multimedia from Siteimprove

Using Images to Create a Welcoming and Inclusive Environment

The University of Iowa does not offer any specific guidance related to the use of photos to create a welcoming and inclusive environment. However, the following resource may be useful.

University Photographers’ Association of American Inclusive and Diverse Photography. Key notes from this resource:

  • Authenticity is paramount when representing inclusion and diversity in photography
  • Represent diversity beyond skin color
  • Avoid stereotyping and misidentification
  • Broaden diverse representations beyond students
  • Services and spaces can demonstrate inclusion
  • Photography that is representative without over-selling is a key component in inclusion and diversity
  • Images used in context and in a timely manner signal ongoing attention to inclusion and diversity

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When you are working on a page in Edit mode, there is a Help icon in the beige bar next to the View as PDF icon that opens a document where you can search for specific answers to your editing questions and review how to use the catalog Content Management System (CMS) features.

Please contact the catalog team at if you have questions related to editing content or using the CMS system; phone calls can be directed to Chelsea Burk-Betts (319-467-1013; on leave Oct.–Dec. 2023) or Emily M. Johnson (319-335-1933).