Getting The Most From Your Course Syllabus

A course syllabus is a document provided by your instructor that contains important information about and policies concerning the class.

The following items are considered essential parts of the syllabus. If this information is not included in the syllabus, ask the instructor about what is missing.

  1. The instructor’s name, contact information for the instructor, and appointment or office hours
  2. The objectives for the class
  3. The attendance policy for the course
  4. The method the instructor employs to calculate the grades in the class
  5. The instructor’s policy about late work

Usually the syllabus includes, or is accompanied by, a course calendar. This part of the course information material will contain a list of topics, chapters, reading assignments, tests, essays, and projects along with their due dates. NOTE: Some instructors do not tell you in person all your reading assignments, test dates, etc., but you are still expected to comply with everything that is stated in the syllabus.

It is your responsibility to know how to contact and set up an appointment to meet with your instructor, to make your best effort to follow the instructor’s policies, and to be prepared for class.

If you have questions or need more clarification about information in the syllabus, you should ask your instructor. Most instructors are willing to clarify their expectations for you.