syllabus checklist

According to the Senate Policy File, all SDSU syllabi must have nine features:

  1. Course description
  2. Instructor contact information and office hours
  3. Student learning outcomes
  4. Student accommodations
  5. Course design [including assessments and activities, and how they align to outcomes]
  6. Required materials
  7. Schedule
  8. Grading policies
  9. Student privacy and intellectual property (if applicable)

A traditional approach to syllabi is to think about them as a “contract” with our students, so you could just list these nine items on your syllabus, post it in the Learning Management System, and talk about it on the first day of class.

But – you’d be missing a major opportunity! Our syllabi can be so much more than a “contract.” They are important pieces of a well-designed course.

This checklist lists the required components in each area, as well as best practices. All of this information should be clearly presented and easy to find. This site provides more explanation of the required components, suggestions for how to make your syllabus more learner-centered and (coming soon!) examples of well-designed syllabi from some of your SDSU colleagues. Each of the nine features above has a corresponding link to take you directly to that page. 

Note: while this transparency is always important, it is absolutely critical if you are submitting a syllabus with a proposal for a new or substantially revised course; if reviewers cannot easily find the required information, it may delay approval of your proposal.

Have other syllabus-related questions? Check out the FAQ page!

From the Policy File (2018-19, p.133): 
“Course Syllabi: The syllabus for each course shall describe the course’s purpose, scope and student learning outcomes. In addition, each syllabus shall include office hours and contact information for the instructor, refer to the current procedure for accommodating students with disabilities (refer to Student Ability Success Center), and describe the course design, required materials, schedule, and grading policies, which may vary by section. A syllabus shall not bind the instructor to specific details, and the instructor shall retain the right to adjust the course design. Major departures from the syllabus, however, especially with regard to student learning outcomes, major assignment due dates and exam dates, and grading policies, shall be made only for compelling reasons.”