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Impact x2 Qais

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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?

Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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With your help, students like Qais gain the skills they need to tell their story and give us a broader understanding of the world.

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Bulletin Editing Instructions

  • Submit Bulletin edits to the appropriate email address:

    Edits to department and program pages:

    CAS Bulletin:
    GRS Bulletin:

    Course lists and updates to course descriptions:

    CAS and GRS Bulletins:

This site is intended for faculty and staff responsible for editing the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) Bulletins.

NOTE:  The 2015/2016 Boston University Bulletins have been published. Content is now frozen.

Included here are instructions and tools to guide and assist you. The text and content to be reviewed and edited for the 2015/2016 CAS & GRS Bulletins reside in a staging site that is not publicly viewable. The Staging Bulletins mimic the current online Bulletin webpage(s) associated with your department/ program/ center/ institute.  (See Resources, below.) The Academic Bulletins constitute the official record of degree requirements and academic policies in effect for an academic year. Because it is the document of authority for all students, the information it contains remains fixed as of the date of publication. The 2015/2016 Bulletins will be published June 1, 2015.  Note that this is one month earlier than last year. Hence, it is essential to comply with editing deadlines.

Submission Deadlines

Deadline Submission Deadline Documents to be Submitted
Program Page Deadline December 17, 2014
This deadline has passed.
Edits to program pages
Department Page Deadline February 20, 2015
This deadline has passed.
Edits to department pages
Course List Deadline April 10, 2015
This deadline has passed.
A list of course numbers of the courses you wish to appear in the 2015/2016 Bulletins. One list for the CAS Bulletin, another, separate, list for the GRS Bulletin (if applicable)
CAS Final Review Deadline April 29, 2015
This deadline has passed.
Minor edits/updates to CAS Program and/or Department Pages
Course Description Deadline May 1, 2015
This deadline has passed.
Edits received beyond this date will be processed and will appear on The Link only.
Any edits/updates to existing CAS and GRS course descriptions for the courses you wish to appear in the 2015/2016 CAS & GRS Bulletins

General Editing Instructions

The following is a summation of how to properly format and edit CAS and GRS Bulletin text.  Please read and follow instructions carefully. Carefully read and review the bulletin text for which you are responsible for editing in order to determine what changes/edits are necessary (if any). You may access the Staging Bulletin pages by using the links listed below in Resources. If your department/program offers both CAS & GRS degree programs, you will need to look at both Bulletins’ pages and any associated links. NOTE: Please read the Text Editing and Format General Instructions section and refer to the Resources section (if necessary) below before you begin to edit.

Text Editing and Format General Instructions

All text edits to the Staging Bulletins must be made and submitted in a Word document attachment (a separate Word document for each URL you are editing) in the manner outlined below. No other format will be accepted by Creative Services.

  • Go to the Staging Bulletin’s page you wish to edit. Copy the page’s URL and paste it at the top of a blank Word document, using Word’s “Print Layout” as your document view option. The CAS Staging Bulletin is here. The GRS Staging Bulletin is here.
  • Select the entire text of the webpage, copy it, and paste it into the main body of the Word document, directly below the page’s URL. If you have changes to make in the “Administration” blue box in the upper right-hand corner of a department page, please make sure to include that text as well.
  • Employing Word’s Track Changes feature, make your edits. Using Track Changes is required and is how Creative Services identifies changes you want to make, implements them, and finally verifies that they’ve been made. IMPORTANT: Do not turn on Track Changes until after you have cut and pasted the URL and the text of the page you wish to edit into your Word document.
  • General Editorial Guidelines (as suggested by Creative Services)
    • Be concise. Provide just the facts in simple, concrete terms.
    • Use bullets. Break up large blocks of text and all lists, especially lists of courses, with bullets.
    • Think “online.” Provide exact names of other sections/information you’d like to point to, along with their URLs.
    • Be consistent. Use the same style and tone across all sections of your bulletin sections.
  • Once your edits are complete and saved, attach your file in an email to the appropriate email address (see box, above) no later than the deadline requested of you.

A more visual representation of these instructions (with additional editing tips) is available for your reference here. If you still have difficulty making use of Track Changes, please contact or and you will be contacted by phone to guide you through this process.

Program Page Instructions, Content, and Tips

The first editing deadline is for revisions to the text of the CAS and GRS program pages only. Program pages list the specific academic requirements for majors, minors, and graduate degree and certificate programs. The edits we ask from you for this deadline are general text and/or format changes to your program pages. Department pages will be addressed in a later round of edits. During the 2014/2015 editing cycle, all GRS program pages went through a comprehensive formatting review. All GRS program pages currently adhere to formatting requirements and should not be changed. Please only edit program overviews and general text on GRS pages. NOTE: All formally submitted changes in degree requirements will be incorporated in the Bulletins automatically by Creative Services following approval of the changes through the usual academic approval process initiated by your chair/director.

  • Review all the program pages applicable to your particular department/program as published in the Staging Bulletin.
  • Following the editing instructions and format outlined above in “Text Editing and Format General Instructions,” edit as and if necessary. A list of all CAS program pages can be found here. A list of all GRS program pages can be found here.
  • If you have followed the editing instructions and format outlined above in “Text Editing and Format General Instructions” correctly, you should end up with a Word document that looks something like this before you start editing.

As a guide to editing and content of program pages, the Office of the Provost and the Arts & Sciences Office of the Dean offer the following guidelines and tips. Please take the time to read them and incorporate them if any of your existing program pages do not adhere to these guidelines:

Program Overview

A concerted and largely very successful effort was made during the editing of the 2014/2015 CAS & GRS Bulletins to ensure all degree, major, and minor program pages include a program overview. However, some program pages in the Bulletins are still missing important introductory information that helps students understand the programs’ objectives. Before defining specific degree requirements, each program page should begin with a clear and substantive description of what the program aims to do for its students. Please make certain all your program pages contain such an overview. The overview should range in length from several sentences to three short paragraphs outlining:

  • The intellectual content of this program
  • What students gain
  • What it prepares students for in life and work

Successful Program Overview Examples

Sample CAS program page Sample GRS program page

Program Requirements

Here are some tips on writing the program requirements section of an individual program page:

  • Think in terms of ease and clarity for the reader.  Arrange information, particularly requirements/courses, in bulleted lists when possible.
  • Arrange courses in bulleted lists in the order that they should be taken. Where order is not an issue, arrange alphabetically.
  • Be consistent in your terminology.
  • A good way to check if program requirements read clearly and concisely is to ask some students in the program to read your text.  If they understand it and have no questions, you’ve effectively reached your audience.

What information is appropriate to include on an individual program page?

Include Do NOT Include
A program overview, as outlined above Complete explanation of a program and its opportunities, attractions, relevance to the modern world, etc (These belong on your department/website).
The total number of courses and/or credits required for successful completion of the program “Marketing copy” (e.g., “Why study X?”) for the major/program (this belongs on your department/program website.
Specific course requirements for the program
Minimum grade requirements (if applicable)
Other requirements specific to the program (if applicable)
Special examinations relating to the program (if applicable)
Other academic information specific to the program (as necessary)

When finished, submit edited Word documents to the the appropriate Bulletin email address (see above.)

A properly formatted edited program page should look similar to this example.

Department Page Instructions, Content, and Tips

The second editing deadline is for edits to the text of the CAS and GRS department pages*. Department pages in the bulletin are intended to contain a brief overview of departments/programs and administrative faculty.

* Please note that in the context of bulletin editing, the phrases “department page” and “department” are generic and, in the case of CAS and GRS, inclusive of the departments and other administrative homes of academic majors, minors, courses, and degree programs offered within the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

  • Review the department page applicable to you as published in the Staging Bulletin.
  • Following the editing instructions and format outlined above in “Text Editing and Format General Instructions,” edit as and if necessary. A list of all CAS department pages can be found here. A list of all GRS department pages can be found here.

As a guide to editing and content of department pages, the Office of the Provost and the Arts & Sciences Office of the Dean offer the following guidelines and tips. Please take the time to read them and incorporate them if your existing department page does not already adhere to these guidelines:

Department Page: Overview

Think: Brief. Academics only. Bird’s-eye view. 

Remember, the Bulletin is a place for academic information; provide links for information contained elsewhere (e.g., on the Arts & Sciences website or on the department website).

What information is appropriate to include in the department overview on the department page?

Include Do NOT Include
High-level Department overview—break up with bullets and subheads as necessary—may include some or all of the elements below: Lengthy text that attempts to cover history, selling points, and details of the department
Overall focus/mission/objectives Detailed list of degrees, majors, and minors offered (these belong on program pages)
Range of degrees and programs (majors and minors): Brief, high-level look at range of undergraduate degrees (CAS Bulletin) or graduate degrees (GRS Bulletin) offered in the department and a brief note about the program(s) that the department houses General attractions of Boston or BU as a place to study or live (these belong on your school website)
Faculty research foci Information available on your own department website (e.g., “Why study at…?”)
Facilities/special research equipment List of programs (these belong in Programs section)
General note about faculty (e.g., size, areas of expertise, etc.) Full lists of faculty and faculty and non-faculty administration (these belong on your department website)
General note on special opportunities (study abroad, internships, and so on) Major/minor/degree requirements (these belong on program pages)
Student organizations/associations Application/admissions information (this information belongs on your department website)
Department affiliations Grade requirements (info specific to a particular program belongs on your program pages)
Any other details that belong or already exist in other Bulletin sections or on your department’s website

Department Page: Administration Sidebar (blue box in upper right-hand corner)

The information in this box should reflect the 2015/2016 academic year.

For CAS departments, this list should include:

  • department/program chair
  • director of undergraduate study (or equivalent)

Should you wish, the following titled positions may be listed on CAS department pages as well:

  • associate chair (if involved in undergraduate education)
  • other faculty and their titles, if directly involved in administration of undergraduate education (e.g., Director of Honors in Political Science)

CAS Administration example:

  • Jane Doe Chair
  • John Smith Associate Chair
  • Robert Johnson Director of Undergraduate Study

For GRS departments, this list should only include:

  • department/program chair
  • director of graduate study (or equivalent)
  • director of graduate admissions (if applicable)

GRS Administration example:

  • John Doe Chair
  • Jane Smith Director of Graduate Study
  • John Robertson Director of Graduate Admissions

When finished, submit edited Word documents to the appropriate Bulletin email address (see above).

A properly formatted edited department page should look similar to this example.

Submitting Course List Instructions

Edits should be made and returned in a Word document attachment. Please create a Word document for courses to appear in the CAS Bulletin (if applicable) and another, separate document for courses to appear in the GRS Bulletin (if applicable) in the manner outlined below:

Create a Word document listing the complete course number of all the courses whose number, title, and description you wish to appear in the 2015/2016 CAS and/or GRS Bulletins. Note that this does not mean only the courses you plan on offering during the 2015/2016 academic year. List courses in alphanumeric order. (GRS Course Lists may contain CAS 500-level courses that carry graduate credit and that are required or recommended for GRS degree programs, should you choose.)

Listed courses do not roll over from one year to the next.  Therefore, a course list is required yearly, even if there are no additions or deletions to the courses listed in the previous year’s bulletin.

  • Only complete course numbers are required. You need not state course titles, but may if you wish. Please do not include course descriptions. Please do not include the semester(s) the courses are to be offered or the instructors of the courses. Remember to include any new courses that have been officially approved during the 2014/2015 academic year that you intend to offer in 2015/2016.
  • Do not employ Track Changes when compiling your list(s).
  • Do not list courses offered only during Summer Term.
  • While compiling your Course List, please make certain that all of the courses intended to be offered during the 2015/2016 academic year are noted in your department/program’s Academic Planning Database (APD).
  • A complete course number includes the school of the course, the departmental/program two-letter rubric, and its 3-character number, e.g., CAS GT 132.
  • At the top of the Word document state your department/program and the Bulletin for which the list is intended.

As a reference and aid in compiling your course list, courses appearing in the current, 2014/2015 Bulletins are viewable at:

CAS Bulletin courses
GRS Bulletin courses

IMPORTANT: When compiling your list of courses please adhere to the following:

In accordance with New England Association of Schools and College (NEASC) accrediting guidelines, only courses offered within the three-year period prior to and including the bulletin year may be listed in a publication. Therefore, Course List(s) for the 2015/2016 Bulletins should only reflect courses that have been offered or will be offered during the following academic years:



BOTH CAS and GRS Course List Word documents must be submitted to the CAS Bulletin email address only ( no later than April 10, 2015.

NOTE: New CAS and GRS courses that receive official approval after the April 10 deadline will be added automatically to your course lists if the Course Proposal Form stated the course was to be first offered Fall 2015 or Spring 2016.

Submitting Course Description Edits and Updates Instructions

This is a separate task from the 4/10/2015 “Course List Deadline”

  1. Use the on-line “University Course Descriptions” function available on the Faculty/Staff Link (under “University’s Tools”) as a guide to your course descriptions (and any pre- and/or co-requisites). Please select “Year semester” 2015/2016 to view the current descriptions for courses. (You may have to go back to an earlier academic year to find the most recent description for a course if it was not offered during the 2014/2015 academic year.)
  2. If an update to an existing description and/or its pre- or co-requsites is necessary for any of the courses you wish to appear in the 2015/2016 CAS or GRS Bulletin, copy and paste the existing course number and its description into a Word document.
  3. With Track Changes turned on, update the Word document as needed. Remember that course descriptions must be 40 words or fewer and contain no statements in the future tense.

NOTES: The course descriptions you see in “University Course Descriptions” contain two dead fields. If a description you are reviewing states an instructor’s name or a semester offering pattern (i.e., “either sem”, “on demand”, “1st sem”, “2nd sem”), ignore that information; it is not published to the public, nor is it considered necessarily correct. An asterisk preceding a description indicates that the description for this course was last updated at some point prior to 2014/2015. The asterisk will not appear as part of the course description viewable to the public.

IMPORTANT: You do not need to indicate the instructor, credit hours, or semester(s) offered. That information will be automatically drawn from UIS’s scheduling functions for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016.

Please do not combine your Course List(s) (deadline 4/10/2015) with edits to course descriptions in one Word document.

BOTH CAS and GRS Course List Description Edits must be submitted to the CAS Bulletin email address only ( no later than May 1, 2015.

You need not submit all your description edits at once. You may submit them piecemeal up until the 5/1/2015 deadline.

Bulletin Resources

Staging Bulletins

Department Pages in Staging Bulletins (department/program overview pages)

Program Pages in Staging Bulletins (degree program/major/minor descriptions and requirements pages)

  • CAS
  • GRS (including Graduate Certificate Programs)

Style Guides

Templates and Examples