A written syllabus (paper or electronic) must be provided to students in each course within the drop/add period for that course. If there are changes to the information provided in the syllabus during the semester, they must be given to students in written form (paper or electronic).
Elements of a Syllabus
- Information on the course content and expectations (e.g., class attendance)
- Details on the basis for grades: including the course's examination policy, the number and types of exams, as well as a list of graded assignments with their approximate due dates and their weight in the final grade.
- Instructor's course policy for academic integrity
- Procedures for adjustments identified by the Office of Disability Services
In addition, it is recommended that a syllabus include information for students about the principles for "Promoting a Vibrant Learning Culture."
The Faculty Handbook provides guidelines on what to include in a syllabus.
Students are responsible for knowing the information provided on a syllabus. In essence, it is a contract between the instructor and the student.
Using Syllabi for Course Selection
As students select courses for upcoming semesters, course syllabi can serve as guides to help them make informed decisions. Some colleges and departments maintain copies of syllabi online so students can use them to learn about the courses they offer. For example, Health and Human Development syllabi are posted by academic unit within undergraduate programs; the math department syllabi are on the department's site. To learn where you can access syllabi, contact the instructor or the department offering the course.
Evaluate courses and semester plans using the syllabus checklist.
The syllabus checklist is designed to help students evaluate courses and determine if their semester plan is realistic. In addition to assessing each course, students are encouraged to record all course assignments in an academic planner to evaluate their semester work load. If students are concerned the semester plan is not realistic, they should consult with an academic adviser to consider alternatives.
Reviewed: August 2013
Last Update: April 2012
Reference(s): Senate Policy 43-00