Writing a Syllabus

There are many examples of how to write a syllabus and what to include, some of which are provided below. The basics (core components) of a well-written syllabus differ little across universities and disciplines, so you may have at least one example in your current teaching toolkit that you can use as a starting point.

Core Components

In addition to policy-related syllabus statements (which may differ by college, university, or department), there is a generally-accepted set of syllabus components related to pedagogy and student learning. These include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Instructor information: office location, office hours, phone, and email
  • Course description
  • Course outcomes and learning objectives
  • Course format: lecture, lab, seminar, online, blended, etc.
  • Class schedule: topics , guest speakers, assignment due dates, exams, holidays
  • Required, recommended, and supplemental reading
  • Required assignments: when they are assigned, guidelines, resources, evaluation criteria, rubrics, due dates, templates, formats, citation requirements
  • How learning will be assessed: in what format(s), grading criteria, when in the semester, options for making up work missed
  • Course policies (those not covered by recommended University syllabus statements), such as restrictions related to electronic devices, late assignment policies, and guidelines for technology-enabled communication (discussion board guidelines for courteous interaction, for example)
  • Emergency Procedures

College Accreditation Information

Refer to your Dean’s office, program officer or department chair for any specific and/or required accreditation information.

Online or Blended Courses

*If you teach an online or blended course, there are additional core components of a well-written syllabus.

The Global Campus has resources specifically designed to assist with creating syllabi for online courses.