What Should I Include In My Course Syllabus?
There is no University rule or policy regarding the content of a course syllabus. It is within your discretion to design a syllabus that meets both your and the student's needs.
A well‑designed syllabus can eliminate many student misunderstandings about your expectations for performance in the course. Some or all of the following items may be adapted for inclusion in the syllabus appropriate for your learning environment (e.g., lecture, seminar, laboratory, clinic, studio, field, or independent study):
1. Assignment schedule including lecture topics, textbooks, reading and writing assignments, due dates, required out‑of‑class work (field trips, group projects, review sessions), and examination dates.
2. Evaluation criteria including the components of the final grade, weights of various grades, the relationship (if any) of class participation and attendance to the final grade, grading criteria, and other information relevant to the evaluation process.
3. Instructor policies including policies on attendance, excused absences, late work, group projects, requests for extensions, missed exams, make‑up exams, materials allowed at examinations, and retention of materials submitted to meet course requirements.
4. Academic misconduct statement including a definition of behavior that would constitute misconduct in your course, and an invitation to students to seek advice if they have any doubts about approaches or procedures which might constitute academic misconduct.
5. Course objectives including cognitive and/or behavioral outcomes and the relation of assignments to the proposed outcomes. These objectives should be consistent with objectives specified by the Department for the course in question.
6. Instructor information and resources including office address, phone number, office hours, research assistants, and tutoring availability.
7. Disability Statement. The following should appear in your syllabus:
“Any student who feels he or she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Office for Disability Services to discuss his or her specific needs. You can contact the office by calling 419.755.4304 or visit the coordinator at C100E Conard Learning Center in order to coordinate reasonable accommodations.”
Additional information on development of a course syllabus may be obtained from the Office of Faculty Development and TA Development. That office also produces a useful handbook entitled "Teaching at The Ohio State University." If you would like to have the current edition, please contact the Associate Dean’s office.