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University Syllabus Template

University Syllabus Template

Academic and Student Affairs
Date enacted or revised: 
October 3, 2013
In F/S Handbook: 

Required Syllabi Components

(revised August 2013)


Each instructor must distribute a course syllabus to his/her classes that includes, but is not limited to, the following items:

  1. a syllabus providing course objectives or learning outcomes
  2. grading scale
  3. how the student's grade will be determined
  4. attendance policy, and make-up policy
  5. offices hours and contact information for the instructor
  6. applicable university policies including ADA Statement (as recommended by the Faculty Senate and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)

Each course syllabus must be posted electronically on Moodle.

The syllabus should be given to the department head/dean by the tenth (10) day of class and should be reviewed and updated each semester. The department head/dean should maintain a file of all course syllabi for a five-year period.

General Course Information

  1. Course number and title
  2. Instructor Name
  3. Office location and hours ("office hours" means on-campus, not remote or virtual)
  4. E-mail address provided by McNeese
  5. Course Description as stated in the current Catalog
  6. Prerequisite Requirements (courses, experience, skills, permission, student classification, etc. as stated in the current Catalog)
  7. Textbooks/Required Materials

Course Content Information

  1. Course goals/Objectives/Student Learning Outcome (SLO's): Goals, objectives, and student learning outcomes are often used interchangeably.  For the purpose of McNeese State University assessment, goals are generally broad statements about what the student will learn; objectives and student learning outcomes are more specific statements about what the student will learn.  For Examples and more information about Student Learning Outcomes see below.
  2. Course Requirements and Evaluation: Students should know what is required of them such as readings, papers, projects, lab work, participation in class discussions, etc., and how they are going to be evaluated. Frequency and types of examinations and/or other elements that will form the basis of their course grade must be included in the syllabus. The weight given to each element in calculating the course mark should be included.  (This information should relate directly to the student learning outcomes.)
  3. Assessment: Syllabi should include information about how the student's learning will be assessed in the course. Because SLO's must be measurable, methods of assessment will explain to the student how his or her learning will be determined. Assessment methods vary according to course content and may include a clinical evaluation tool, a critical thinking rubric, embedded test questions, a course evaluation summary, etc.
  4. Methods of Instruction: Students should know what they will be doing in order to attain the objectives/outcomes listed above, i.e. listening to lectures, participating in discussions both in class and on-line, discussing cases, doing research, reading assignments, writing assignments, completing laboratory work, field work, receiving critiques of individual and/or group projects, and so on.

Course-specific Policies

Instructors may include optional classroom policies pertaining, but not limited, to the following:
  1. Class attendance is regarded as an obligation as well as a privilege, and students are expected to attend regularly and punctually all classes in which they are enrolled. Failure to do so may jeopardize a student's scholastic standing and may lead to suspension from the University.
    • Each instructor will keep a permanent record for each class. These records are subject to inspection by appropriate University officials.
    • Instructors are required to state in their syllabi their expectations regarding class attendance and make-up policies; instructors using the university attendance policy must clearly state so in their syllabi and must either supply students with a copy of the policy or provide the web link through which students can access the policy online. Syllabi must be distributed during the first week of the semester.
    • A student must submit excuses for all class absences within the time frame specified by the instructor. The instructor will accept an official University excuse. Students must present proof of participation in University-sponsored events which constitute an official excuse for absence from class (band trips, special field trips, athletic team trips, etc.). Each instructor is to determine whether any other absence is excused or unexcused; medical excuses may be subject to verification.
    • If a student misses an examination, it is the student's responsibility to present an excuse to the instructor within the time frame specified by the instructor and to arrange a date and place for the examination.
    • If a student receives unexcused absences in excess of ten percent of total classes, an instructor may assign a 'WN' (withdrawal for non-attendance) as a final grade. Because individual instructors may or may not choose to implement this policy, a student who stops attending classes should not assume that a 'WN' will automatically be assigned. Students are responsible for understanding attendance policies as noted in the syllabus for each class in which they are enrolled; they are responsible for monitoring their own status with regard to absences and should communicate with their instructors as to whether specific absences are excused or unexcused. Students who do not comply with the attendance policy in a class in which the instructor has opted to implement it may receive a grade of 'WN' despite any other grades earned in that class.
    • If a student's excused and unexcused absences exceed forty percent of the total classes, an instructor may assign a 'WN' for a final grade if the student does not withdraw from the course following established University procedures.
    • Effective Fall 2013, a course withdrawal fee of $50 will be assessed for every 'WN' grade assigned. This per course fee will automatically be charged to the student's account when the 'WN' grade is assigned.
    • NOTE: All recipients of federal financial aid should contact the Office of Financial Aid and consult the section of the catalog concerning financial aid to understand the implications of these attendance regulations on funding and the repayment of funding received. Students should also understand that failure to comply with these regulations may have an impact on TOPS eligibility, private insurance coverage, tax status, etc.
  2. Tardiness
  3. Late Work
  4. Make-up Examinations and Required Class Assignments
The course syllabus provides expectations for class attendance and procedures for make-up exams or course work missed due to excused absences. Students who miss exams or required assignments due to a planned absence for University-approved events must present the approved University excused absence to the instructor prior to missing class. The instructor may allow the student to take an exam or submit assignments prior to the planned absence or may allow the student to arrange to make up exams or assignments within two weeks after the absence. Lab assignments, oral presentations, artistic performances or similar assignments may require special consideration and extended time to arrange completion. In cases of excused absences for illness or other circumstances deemed appropriate as an excused absence, faculty are encouraged to provide make-up exams soon after the student returns to class. Make-up exams must be completed prior to the beginning of the University final exam period. Faculty may not create make-up policies which result in punitive actions against students who miss exams or are absent due to University-excused absences or other excused absences.  See the "Exams, or Student Learning Assessment Policy."

University Policies

The following policies should be included in all syllabi:
  1. Americans with Disabilities Act: The following ADA Accommodation statement may be copied as is:

It is the student's responsibility to register with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities when requesting an academic adjustment in accordance with ADA.  Any student with a disability is encouraged to contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities, Drew Hall, Room 200, (337) 475-5916 Voice, (337) 475-5878 FAX, (337) 562-4227 TDD/TTY, Hearing Impaired.  Dr. Michael T. Snowden serves as ADA Coordinator, Burton Business Center, Room 404, VOICE (337) 475-5428; FAX (337) 475-5960; TDD/TTY, Hearing Impaired (337) 562-4227; or McNeese ensures compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, other federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to persons with disabilities, and receives complaints regarding ADA access issues. All students, including students with disabilities, are responsible for locating the designated emergency exits and the areas of refuge in a classroom building and are encouraged to develop and discuss an evacuation plan with the class instructor.

  1. Fire Drill Policy. Faculty should make themselves aware of the emergency exits and areas of refuge in buildings where they teach or perform other work responsibilities. Faculty members must inform students they teach of the exits and refuge areas. The following Fire Drill Policy may be copied as is:

In compliance with federal regulation 29CFR1910.3, the National Fire Protection Association Standard NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, Section 4.7, and the State of Louisiana Office of Risk Management, McNeese State University will periodically conduct fire drills.  In the event of a fire drill or a related building emergency, all persons in a classroom are required to exit the building using posted escape routes or the Area of Refuge for individuals with disabilities.  All persons in class are required to follow the faculty member outside of the building to safety and are required to check in with the faculty member to ensure that everyone has safely exited the building.  The official "all clear" must be given by emergency responders before anyone is allowed to re-enter the building.

  1. Diversity Awareness Policy:
  2. Academic Integrity Policy:

Calendar of Events

A calendar is optional, but strongly encouraged, for student version. Typically, this is organized by class session or course progression and includes appropriate correlation to text chapters, journal articles, case studies, and so on.

Notes for General Education Courses

Syllabi must also include the following even if the course is not tagged for data collection:
  1. Course Identity as a general education course under course description;
  2. Identity of the general education competency addressed in course goals/objectives;
  3. Identity of the assessment tools used to measure student performance in assessment.

Notes for Graduate Course Syllabi

Minimum Elements that a Graduate School Course Syllabus Should Contain:

  1. Course Number and Title.
  2. Instructor (Who as well as where, when and how to contact. Office hours should be convenient for students enrolled in the course.  Electronic mail addresses should be included whenever possible.)
  3. Prerequisite Requirements (List courses, experience, skills, permission, level, etc.)
  4. Course Description (at least a copy from the current Graduate Catalog or the course approval form if it is a new course.)
  5. Course Objectives/Learner Outcomes and Assessment.  (This section should indicate to students what they can expect to know and/or be able to do as a result of successfully completing the course requirements. Outcomes should be written in terms of the knowledge or skills students will attain rather than material covered in the course.  Methods for the assessment and/or evaluation of the completion of learner outcomes should be included.  Outcomes where appropriate should be correlated with the program outcomes as described in the program progress report.)
  6. Modes of Instruction (Students should know what they will be doing in order to attain the objectives/outcomes listed above, i.e. listening to lectures, participating in discussions, discussing cases, doing research, reading assignments, completing laboratory work, field work, receiving critiques of individual and/or group projects, etc.)
  7. Calendar of Events:  Typically by class session (optional) including appropriate correlation to text chapters, journal articles, case studies, etc.
  8. Course Content Outline.
  9. Course Requirements (Students should know what is required of them including: text, attendance, class participation, readings, papers, projects, reports, lab work, technological competencies, and any other performance expectations. Information presented here should relate directly to the achievement of the objectives/learner outcomes described in item 5.)
  10. Evaluation (Students should know how they are going to be evaluated including the frequency and types of examinations and other elements that will form the basis of their course mark. The weight given to each element in calculating the course mark should be included.)
  11. Current Bibliography.
  12. Required University Policies-See above in Required Components for Undergraduate Syllabi.
If you have an undergraduate course that is cross listed with a graduate course and you will be doing a Course Addition you will need to indicate on the graduate course syllabus the additional work that is expected of the graduate student.

Course Goals/Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Goal - The student will be able to explain the nursing process.
Objective or Student Learning Outcome - The student will:
  • be able to explain assessment.
  • be able to identify a nursing diagnosis based on the assessment.
  • be able to identify a patient-oriented goal.
SLOs are referenced frequently in assessment procedures for SACSCOC. SLO's are specific statements that describe the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes students will develop from the course; in other words, a SLO is what students are expected to know and be able to do upon successful completion of the course.
Demonstrating that students achieve these three learning outcomes is accomplished through course assessment which then feeds into program assessment.  If a course you teach is designated as a point of assessment, the syllabus must contain the appropriate SLO and measurement. Courses within a program may designate progressive levels of learning.