Guideline for Syllabus Development


  • The syllabus is a legal document regarding the instructor's course requirements and the students' responsibilities relative to the course.
  • The syllabus must be distributed on the first night of class (Article VIII, A, iv).
  • Give a copy of the syllabus to your Dean and DGCE Chair before the second week of class (Article VIII, A, 1, iv).
  • If you need to change your course requirements, tell your students in writing by the 12th week of class.

Recommended Course Syllabus Format

  • Basic Course Information
  • Course title
  • Course Number
  • Instructor's Name
  • Office Hours
  • How to reach the instructor

          Optional, but suggested

  • Semester hours- credit
  • Prerequisites, if any

Course Structure

  • Note format: lecture, discussion, projects, reports, etc.

Course Description

  • Transcribe the course description from the college catalog [link to catalog pdf]

Course Rationale

  • Why students should take the course and what they will accomplish

Instruction Materials

  • Faculty prepared materials to be distributed
  • Required textbooks
  • Supplementary required readings
  • Audio-visual materials

Course Outline

  • Unit titles and dates
  • Calendar of expected reading assignments or outside preparation

Course Requirements (including dates, if possible)

  • Papers
  • Projects
  • Examinations (including finals, noting if optional, and whether aids may be used)

Evaluation Procedures (including description of how the final grade is determined)

  • Grading procedure
  • Policy on work handed in late, make-up exams, etc.

Student Attendance Policy

  • Whether attendance will be taken
  • Number of absences allowed
  • Any penalties for excessive absences

Other Information

  • Any special rules, regulations, or procedures for the course
  • A statement noting that each student is responsible for all material covered in class and completing all requirements whether the student is present in class or not

Disabilities Act Statement

Salem State University is committed to providing equal access to the educational experience for all students in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and to providing all reasonable academic accommodations, aids, and adjustments. Any student who has a documented disability requiring an accommodation, aid, or adjustment should speak with the instructor immediately so that appropriate provisions can be made. Students with disabilities should provide documentation to and schedule an appointment with the Disability Services, 978.542.6217. All accommodations, aids and adjustments must be consistent with documentation, and must be approved by that office.