Canvas Guides (English)CatalogCatalog GuideAdmins - CanvasHow does Canvas Catalog interact with my institution's Canvas account?

How does Canvas Catalog interact with my institution's Canvas account?

Your Canvas Account is the foundation for your Canvas Catalog account, and it houses all the courses that you can create and manage as part of your course or program listings in Canvas Catalog. As an admin, when you sign up for Canvas Catalog, you must also have a Canvas Account.

Canvas Catalog uses the data from Canvas courses to determine the completion state for each Catalog course or listing, and allows you to enroll students in specific sections that are set in Canvas.

Registration User Defined Fields

Registration User Defined Fields

In Canvas Catalog, when you add or manage user defined fields, the custom user information is stored in Canvas.

Note: Custom field information cannot currently be viewed in Canvas itself and can only be retrieved through the Canvas Users API. Requests should be used with the parent catalog account.

Catalog Listings

Catalog Listings

When you add a Catalog course listing, Catalog references the list of existing courses in your Canvas account and provides a location for you to create details about the course to allow students to enroll.

If you do not have any existing courses in Canvas, you cannot add a Catalog course listing.

Note: To create a program listing in Catalog, you must first create the course listings.

Catalog Course Status

Catalog Course Status

In the Catalog Student Dashboard, completed courses and programs display in the Completed tab.

To measure activity in the Course Progress indicator, Catalog uses Canvas course modules to generate progress data. If a course is not set up with modules, Catalog cannot identify the status of the course.

Learn more about Canvas course modules.

Set Catalog Course Listing Dates

Canvas Course Dates

Catalog listing dates are based on Canvas course participation dates. Listings are considered active as long as the course falls within the participation dates specified in the Canvas course settings.

To set specific participation dates for a Catalog course, the Course option must be selected in the Participation drop-down menu of the Canvas course settings menu. If the Term option is selected, Catalog sets the course to be permanently self-paced with no start or end dates.

Learn more about changing the start and end dates for a course.

Note: Participation dates also affect the wait list for a course.

Restrict Course Access in Canvas Settings

Canvas Course Dates

By default, when a student enrolls in a Catalog course the course information appears in the Not Completed tab, and after the course ends it displays in the Completed tab of the Catalog Student Dashboard.

You can restrict student access in Catalog before the course starts or after it ends in the Canvas course settings menu.

To restrict students from viewing the course before the start date, click the Restrict students from viewing course before [participation] start date checkbox [1].

To prevent a course from appearing in the Completed tab of the Student Dashboard, click the Restrict students from viewing course after [participation] end date checkbox [2].

Note: When students enroll in a Catalog course that has viewing restricted, they receive a email confirming registration, but the course will not display in the dashboard until the start date of the course.

Select Sections for New Enrollments in Catalog Settings

Catalog Option for New Enrollments

When you add a listing in Canvas Catalog, if the Canvas course has multiple sections, Catalog displays the course's default section in Canvas along with the course dates. To select a different section, click the Section drop-down menu.

By selecting a section for a Catalog listing, you determine the section that any newly enrolled students will be placed in. Learn more about adding sections in Canvas. Section dates will also affect the wait list for a course.

If you make any changes to dates in Canvas, you must sync the changes in Catalog. To sync changes, open the listing and re-save.


  • Changing the section setting does not affect past or current enrollments.
  • Sections that do not have set start and end dates are set as self-paced with no start or end dates.