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Course Syllabus

Definition and Purpose

The course syllabus functions to communicate expectations to students. It serves to inform, guide and remind the student about the course expectations. The syllabus documents instructor intentions about course goals and organization and sets the tone for the course.

In addition, the requirement for students, the mission and standards of the department, University and accrediting agencies should be reflected in the syllabus. Departments are required to store a copy of each ADA compliant course syllabus every semester for national accreditation and program course reviews. Make sure to check with your mentor or Chair to ensure that college or program specific information. 

Accessible Electronic Syllabus

Faculty should ensure that electronic or digital syllabi adhere to accessible document guidelines. Distance Education and the Office of Disability Services provide training related to developing accessible course syllabi. 

Contents of Course Syllabus


  1. Course Designations
    • Numbers, Title, Credit Hours, Semester  and  Year,  Instructor’s Name, Office Hours, Office Number, Phone, and Email address.
  2. Course Description and Prerequisites (as indicated in the Bulletin)
  3. Course Objectives
  4. Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
  5. Content Outline
  6. Required Learning Resources or Textbook
  7. Course Requirements
    • Test(s), Reading Lists, Visual Aids, Computer Laboratories, Field Trips, etc.
  8. Basis and Methods for Grading
  9. Attendance Policy
    • Setting attendance requirements is the prerogative of the individual faculty However, you must state your attendance policy and related consequences of violating the attendance policy (e.g. its effect on the student’s grade) in the syllabus. See APSU Policy 2:041 University Excused Absences for Students.
  10. Disability Policy
    • Disability Services provides three example statements for faculty to include on course syllabi. Choose one of these statements to include on your syllabi.
  11. Policy on Minors (please include the following statement):
    • Minors accompanying staff, faculty, students, or visitors on campus are not permitted in classrooms.  However, affiliated minors may utilize classrooms designated for use by a program approved by the university in which they are a participant.  Service Animals in the Classroom
    • Consult APSU Policy 3:007 Animals on Campus for appropriate situations allowing service animals in the classroom.
  12. Academic and Classroom Misconduct:
    • Students are expected to conduct themselves appropriately at all times. Academic and classroom misconduct will not be tolerated. Students must read the “Code of Student Conduct” in the new Student Handbook for an understanding of what will be expected of them within the academic setting. APSU Policy 3:005 Student Academic and Classroom Misconduct will be followed in reporting any suspected cases of academic misconduct.
  13. Midterm Grades:
    • Syllabi for all courses numbered lower than 3000 must contain the following statement:
      • A midterm grade shall be awarded for all students in this course. The grade awarded may not necessarily be based on 50% of the course requirements and may or may not differ from the final grade. Your midterm grade will be posted on AP Self Service.
  14. Caveat
    • A statement clarifying that the syllabus is not a contract and that circumstances may require that the stated requirements could change
  15. Minimum Technology Requirements
    • Syllabus documents for courses should provide minimum technology requirements related to required hardware, software, online proctoring or instructional technology. In addition, the syllabus should provide clear instructions for students on how they may obtain, install or use instructional technology.
  • Educational Philosophy
  • Course Calendar
  • Methods of Instruction
  • Instructor's Biographical Data
  • Estimated or specific costs of learning materials, field trips,
  • Guidelines for class etiquette (eating/drinking, smoking, guests, etc.)