Example of a Course Syllabus
Information to be Included in a Course Syllabus
(Center for Instructional Excellence, Purdue University)
- Instructor Information
- Your name and title
- Your office location, office hours, office phone number, your home phone number (if you wish to share it), and any restrictions that you would like to observe
- Your e-mail address and fax number
- Names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of your teaching assistants
- Course Information
- Course title and number
- Number of credit hours
- Course description
- Course prerequisites
- Description of students for whom the course was designed
- Course text, related materials, bibliography
- Goals and Objectives
- A rationale for the course
- Course goals (See Appendix C in the CIE College Teaching Workshops II Expanding Your Teaching Toolkit Study Guide, “Writing Effective Syllabi,” for examples of different course goals.)
- Specific objectives (either a comprehensive list or chapter by chapter)
- A statement of how the course relates to students’ development toward their major and toward their career goals
- Course Policies
- Attendance (University Regulations Handbook, 2006-07, Part 2, Section VI.A.
- Grading criteria –What are the penalties for turning work in late? (Include a statement describing how you plan to assess students, the criteria you will use, and how you will determine their final grade.)
Exams and Quizzes
Papers and Projects
Attendance and Class Participation
Extra Credit Policies
- If this is a laboratory course. Include information about dress regulations and safety requirements for working in the laboratory, as well as policies on allowing food, drink, or electronic devices in the lab.
- Students with disabilities. Include a statement like the following in your syllabus: “If you have a disability which requires some special accommodation, please let me know within the first two weeks of the semester to discuss the appropriateness of the instructor’s methods in this class or any other accommodation you may need.”
- Academic Honesty/Plagiarism (University Regulations Handbook, 2006-07, Part 5, Section III.B.2).
- Class Schedule/Course Calendar
Assignments (Two complaints students often make is that their instructors don’t sufficiently explain exactly what they expect on assignments or why the assignments are being made.)
- Dates for all assignments and exams
- Holidays and special events
- Include the following statement in the course syllabus, “In the event of a major campus emergency, course requirements, deadlines and grading percentages are subject to changes that may be necessitated by a revised semester calendar or other circumstances. Here are ways to get information about changes in this course. Blackboard Vista Web page, my e-mail address: email@example.com, and my office phone: 49-XXXX.”
- Other Information Relevant to the Course
Examples of Course Goals
From a biology course:
- To begin to speak more effectively in front of a group - not just feel more at ease but effectively make your case.
- To write clearer summaries of material.
- To develop and test your own hypotheses.
From a history course:
- To recognize that history is not just names, dates, and places; but, more importantly, it is arguments and guesses over where a society was/is going and why. How did definitions of success and failure and vice and virtue change from 1600 to 1865? How did relationships between husband and wife; parent and child; politician and voter; manager and worker; government and citizen; etc. change and why?
- To understand how historians use evidence and to practice using it yourself.
- To understand the concept of alternative views.
- To understand the difference between facts and interpretations.
From a study skills course:
- Develop a positive attitude toward learning, your courses, and your instructors.
- Become aware of your responsibilities as a student and learn how to deal with a university environment (including understanding university policies and procedures and how to get along with your professors).
- Establish good study habits and time management skills so that you can work effectively and efficiently.
- Improve your listening, note-taking, reading, and test-taking skills.