What’s in YOUR Syllabus?


A course syllabus introduces both you and the subject to your students; communicates your goals and expectations; serves as official notice to students about course policies and requirements; and functions as a good learning tool. A gold mine of resources on how to develop a good syllabus is available to TAs – on the UNL Graduate Studies webpage, or simply by googling “writing a course syllabus” and getting instant access to similar tools from universities across the country. Also get a copy of The Course Syllabus: A Learning-Centered Approach by Judith Grunert (Bolton, MA: Anker Press, 1997). Most educators agree that a complete syllabus should include these elements (but not all will be relevant to every course):
• Title page & table of contents
• Your name, title, office location, phone, e-mail, office hours
• Course by name, number, section, title, meeting days and times, room and building
• Pre-requisite(s) for the course
• Course purpose & description
• Course goals or objectives
• Required purchases (texts, etc.)
• Resources available to students
• Reading list
• Course calendar including topics to be covered, due dates for major assignments, (including readings); place, date, time of final exam
• Course requirements – types of assignments including papers, quizzes, projects, exams, etc.
• Grading/evaluation standards and criteria
• Policy regarding P/NP, I, W grades
• Policy regarding academic integrity (see related article)
• Policy regarding attendance
• Policy regarding late assignments