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Syllabus Templates

A syllabus is an agreement between the 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 throughout the semester, 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

The guidance in this document is provided to assist you in developing language for your syllabus that explains to students what will happen in the event that regular operations are interrupted. Please adjust the statements to fit your particular context and modality. 

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The guidance in this document is provided to assist you in developing clear and transparent policies on the use of generative AI tools in your course(s). Please adjust the statements to fit your particular context. Remember also to note in specific assignment descriptions where AI use is allowed or not allowed as a reminder to students as they complete coursework.

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This resource explains to students how you intend to use the web-based remote proctoring system, Honorlock, along with instructions about preparing their computer and practicing ahead of time.

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This resource explains the HyFlex modality to students as well as clarifies expectations about attendance, participation, and engagement in a HyFlex course. 

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We recommend adding the following language to your syllabus to communicate clarity about student absences relating to religious observances. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion maintains the list of religious holy days. Contact odei@umsl.edu with questions about reasonable accommodations for religious holy days.

“If you expect to miss class due to a religious observance, let me know early in the semester so that we can discuss your responsibilities and plan so that you meet course obligations and requirements.”

Syllabus Templates

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
  • Disability Access Services information
  • 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. 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.