Syllabus Policy and Templates

A.  Introduction

While a syllabus is an essential component of good teaching, student learning, and outcomes assessment, it is also a guide used in the resolution of conflicts that may arise between students and their instructors. While a faculty member has great flexibility in the design and content of a syllabus for a course, core information should be found in every syllabus for courses offered at CU Denver.

B.  Policy Statement

  1. All faculty members must have a current syllabus for each course and must provide a syllabus to students at the first class meeting of every course. For details (including recommended boilerplate statements), please see the appended CU Denver Syllabus Template.
  2. By census date of each term, all faculty members must provide their Dean’s office with updated electronic copies of the syllabi for all courses they are teaching that term. The campus record retention schedule requires syllabi to be retained by the instructor until no longer needed for reference.

CU Denver Syllabus Requirements

  1. Course Overview and Course Information
    1. Campus location (Denver or Anschutz Medical Campus) Academic School/College
    2. Course title (official ISIS title), number, prefix, and section designation. Indicate if the course is part of the undergraduate core. Here is a listing of all core courses.
    3. Semester/term and year
    4. Class meeting day(s) and time(s)
    5. Catalog description and any additional information including requisites.
  2. Basic Instructor Information
    1. Instructor’s name (including co-instructors and/or teaching assistants)
    2. Instructor’s office location (building and room #)
    3. Instructor’s contact Information (phone number(s) and email address(es))
    4. Instructor’s office hours and statement of availability (for face-to-face, hybrid and online courses)
  3. Course Goals/Outcomes
    1. Overall learning objectives
    2. Major topics
    3. Rationale (instructor’s statement relating course content to student’s academic or professional growth, etc.)
  4. Evaluation
    1. Requirements (papers, oral reports, projects, quizzes, tests, final exams, etc.), including points, deliverables, and due dates
    2. Instructor’s grading policy
    3. Instructor’s attendance, participation, and late-work policies. If attendance is part of a student’s grade, details in writing are mandatory as lack of information may become the source of student complaints and appeals.
    4. If the course is a “slash” undergraduate/graduate course, differing outcomes, assignments requirements, and evaluation metrics for graduate students must be articulated to distinguish them from undergraduate outcomes, assignments, requirements, and metrics.
  5. Syllabus Revisions
    1. In general, syllabi should not be changed once the semester begins, though unforeseen circumstances may lead to changes. Students should be notified in a timely manner in writing (via email/Canvas, etc.) of any changes to the syllabus.
  6. Course Procedures
    1. Materials (required as well as recommended texts, equipment, software, and supplies)
    2. Course calendar/schedule (may include appropriate links to CU Denver academic calendar)
    3. Course-related (and/or School/College-related) policies and procedures, (with appropriate links) such as attendance, late work, incompletes, communication, participation, notification of changes
    4. Research/library-related skills needed for successful completion of course.
    5. University wide policies that are relevant to the syllabus:

C. Appendix: Syllabus Template

Note: This syllabus template is provided as a model for providing clear expectations for student academic success. This template is designed to help instructors offer students the essential information they need at the onset of the course. A complete and professional syllabus helps to establish a relationship between faculty and students as it sets the tone for the course: communicates when, when and how students will learn; makes clear to students what they need to do in order to be successful; communicates expectations in terms of student responsibilities; and deters misunderstanding about course policies. In addition to the categories provided here, instructors at other institutions have included other optional information (e.g. Educational Opportunity Programs; Title IX/Sexual Harassment; Ombuds Office, etc.).