College of Arts & Sciences

Syllabus Information

Syllabus Information for CAS Faculty

Each section of each course must have a syllabus containing information that describes the content of the course, the way the course will be conducted, and how grades will be determined. Difficulties have arisen when there is no syllabus to describe class policies and procedures or when the syllabus contains inadequate information to explain how a grade is determined. The Undergraduate Bulletin describes academic policies and procedures that pertain to these issues. The Center for Teaching and Learning has resources for writing a syllabus. The College of Arts & Sciences also has a model syllabus for you to use as a guide.

A syllabus is required for every course section. This includes graded, pass/fail, independent study, and practica classes.

As you prepare your course syllabi, please include the following items in any format that is appropriate for your course. The CAS model syllabus has a basic structure that encompasses all of these items.

  1. Course details: at the beginning or top of the syllabus, place the course number, the semester in which the course is being taught, the instructor’s name and office location. If the course satisfies a core requirement, please make note of that as well.
  2. Office hours: Include a minimum of six office hours per week for full-time faculty. A written statement from part-time faculty indicating how they will make themselves available should also be included.
  3. Course materials: List the text(s) and materials for the course in complete detail (so that the student is sure that he or she has the correct editions, etc.) Include supplementary references required for the course. The syllabus should indicate whether readings are on reserve in the library, are general library items, or are available electronically.
  4. Learning goals: your syllabus must contain learning goals for the course and an explanation of how those goals connect to major/minor goals and to the university’s learning goals. Formats to enter this information are described on the Assessment Learning Goals page.
  5. Assessment: your syllabus must contain information on the assessment of the goals for the course.
  6. Due dates: give the dates on which assignments (papers, problems, etc.) are due and describe the content of these assignments. The syllabus should also explain the course policy on assignments submitted late, including whether a penalty will be imposed because work is late.
  7. Tests: List the number of tests or quizzes to be given and when they are to be given. Include a statement as to the types of tests or quizzes will be given, and whether a makeup test is permitted if a student misses a scheduled test.
  8. Final exam: the nature of the final exam should be spelled out: comprehensive, over the last portion of the course, etc. List the day and time assigned for the final (found with the schedule of classes on Banner web). A final exam of some type is required for each section unless approval from the dean is granted for an exemption.
  9. Grading: Please note that students need to have sufficient information of their performance BEFORE the withdrawal dateline, therefore more than 50% of the grade should be determined (and students notified) before that date. In your syllabus describe the grading or weighting of the various components of the course in determining a final grade, including the weighting of tests, papers, final exams, etc. The method of evaluation is determined by each instructor, but students need to know the way various components are weighted, including class participation.  Include an explanation of your grading scale (A, A-, etc.).
  10. Attendance: as explained in the Undergraduate Bulletin, a written statement of the attendance policy for each class is expected as part of the class syllabus. You need to be consistent in applying this policy. Please do not lessen your policy for students who claim to have a disability. Instead, direct them to the Director of the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities.
  11. Academic honesty: a statement regarding academic honesty, its definition and the penalty it carries, should also be included. Be as specific as you can and refer to the University policy published in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
  12. Disabilities: a statement about students with disabilities must be included. The statement serves as notification of the procedures students should follow if they have a disability. Some students may choose to disclose a disability directly to the professor without following protocol; in such cases, please re-direct the student to the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) in order to ensure legal compliance with federal law. We request all faculty to include the Services for Students with Disabilities’ Syllabus Disability Statement to ensure campus-wide consistency.
  13. Bias reporting: at John Carroll University we are committed to fostering a respectful and inclusive campus community.  Incidents of bias which are intentional or unintentional actions against someone on the basis of an actual or perceived aspect of their identity, including actions that occur in classrooms, can and should be reported on the Bias Incident Reporting Form, accessible at . The Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion’s Syllabus Statement on Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Bias should be included on your syllabus.
  14. Course outline: the final item should be a topic outline so that the students know approximately the course topics and assignments at each given point in the semester. Faculty may prefer to list topics for each class meeting or for each week.

Archiving: An electronic copy of each syllabus must be sent to your department administrative assistant to be shared with the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office for archiving. Please save and submit syllabi as .pdf documents, and be sure the file name includes the course abbreviation, course number, section number and instructor last name.