dictionary and thesaurus

Today's addition to the Glossary of Confusing Words: curriculum

This is a particularly great word, because explaining it will invoke many other words that we've already put into our Glossary! So thanks to whoever submitted it (you didn't say your name, but hopefully you know who you are).

A curriculum is the set of courses [definition] offered by a university or program.  It's essentially the word to describe the listings in a university catalog [definition].

You'll most often hear it used in describing a school or program's educational philosophy; for example, "this school teaches a liberal arts [definition] curriculum," or "the curriculum mixes theory and practice."

Many schools also use a "core curriculum," which is a set of subjects you must study in order to graduate.  Schools that have a core curriculum don't always require students to take specific courses; often they are required to study specific subjects but can choose from several courses within that subject.

Do you have a word to contribute to our Glossary of Confusing Words? Share words that have confused you or that might confuse others about studying in the U.S. Leave your suggestions in the comments, or use the form below.