Essential Elements in Syllabus

A syllabus is an agreement between instructor and students. A well constructed syllabus conveys instructor expectations and course requirements to students, stimulates student interest in the course, and clearly outlines student responsibilities during the semester. When these details are included in writing in the syllabus and attention is called to them as the semester begins, faculty are likely to avoid problems later in the semester. When questions arise about the course or syllabus, the department chair, course coordinator, and others who regularly teach the course are available as consultants.

Sample Syllabus Statements: Course Plan for the Unexpected

Sample Instructions for SmartProctoring for Students

Syllabus Template for F2F Courses

Syllabus Template for Online Courses

Blended Syllabus Template for Courses Meeting 1x/Week

Blended Syllabus Template for Courses Meeting 2x/Month

Blended Syllabus Template for Courses Meeting 1x/Month


These templates are offered as an aid to faculty. The basic elements may be expanded. Essential elements include:

  • Recording statement
  • Grading criteria
  • Web-based proctoring if using
  • Gen-Ed statement
  • Course Description from bulletin
  • Required and recommended materials
  • Grading Scale
  • Title IX
  • DAS
  • Faculty name and contact
  • Office Hours
  • Goals and Learning Outcomes (assists with ease of transfer)
  • Academic Integrity
  • Plan for the Unexpected
  • Time Requirements
  • Technology Requirements
  • Attendance Policy

Other suggested elements include:

  • Rationale for using web-based proctoring
  • Academic Support (tutoring etc.)
  • Description of Teaching Style/Approach
  • Course Schedule
  • Feedback/Grading Timeline
  • Rubrics
  • Participation Policy
  • Behavior Expectations
  • Content Advisory
  • Pronouns

Submit a copy of the syllabus for each course to the department office each semester.

The Center for Teaching and Learning's website includes sample statements of civility, academic honesty, and disability access. These are available for faculty to adapt at the following link: Resources for Teaching

Some departments expect all syllabi to include standard statements of these policies in each course syllabus. Be certain to check whether this is the case in your program.