Syllabus Samples

Syllabi inform students about what is expected of them to meet course requirements and must be disseminated to students in all courses in an appropriate written form, e.g., hard copy, Web version. Syllabi may be among the materials used to evaluate a faculty member’s teaching effectiveness. In addition, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Criteria for Accreditation require that a syllabus be placed on file in the department for each course taught and that “(s)tudents must be provided written information about the goals and requirements of each course, the nature of the course content, and the methods of evaluation to be employed.” Colleges and departments may have more specific requirements.

Required Components

Regardless of course type—e.g., traditional, media-enhanced, or Web—syllabi are required to include:

  • Course title and number
  • Credit hours
  • Name(s) of instructor(s)
  • Office location
  • Office or Web hours
  • Course goals
  • Course description
  • Course requirements
  • Methods of evaluation; grading system, including plus and minus grade policy, how grades will be posted
  • Makeup exam policy
  • Required and optional texts
  • Final exam date and time
  • Other required course material

Addressing the Learner

As suggested in O'Brien, J. G., Millis, B. J., & Cohen, M. W. (2008). The course syllabus: A learning-centered approach. The Jossey-Bass higher and adult education series. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Here are additional ideas you may wish to include in your syllabus:

  1. How to Use the Syllabus
    Help portray your expectations of how the syllabus would be used. You may emphasize that students use this as the first reference in relation to the course before asking class related questions to you. You may elaborate here on expectations on how students should use the manual. You may go over the sections in this syllabus, a description of each, how often and when you expect students to use it the most, and other aspects on the syllabus.
  2. How to Study for this Course
    List observations that you found helped students succeed in your course in terms of studying. Whether it involves a how-to approach reading the text, or whether to do practice problems then reread chapters, you can give your advice to students here. We have a similar statement on the Statements page.
  3. Learning Tools
    The Learning Tools is a way to provide strategies that can help students succeed. This section covers other success strategies not covered in the How to Study for this Course and How to Use the Syllabus section. In particular, the following 5 subsections can be combined, elaborated upon, or briefly covered:
    • Self-Management
    • Making Notes
    • Reading to Learn
    • Studying with Others
    • Taking Tests

Convert Your Syllabus into HTML

If you would like to turn your Syllabus document (.doc) into a syllabus webpage (.html), this tutorial will guide you in all the steps to do so.


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