Developing a Course Syllabus

A well-designed syllabus is an essential teaching tool.  The course description and learning outcomes communicate to students what they can expect to learn.  Course policies and requirements help students understand their responsibilities for learning and what they need to do to be successful.  Finally, information about how the course will be graded lets students know how their learning will be assessed.  Students learn more effectively when they have a clear understanding of what they are learning, why, and how it fits in to the rest of their education. Syllabi help communicate this on the first day of class and serve as an ongoing reference for students.

Syllabus Content

The syllabus should be updated each semester the course is offered, and minimally contain the following information:

  • University, School, Program, Course Title and Number:  List the exact course title, course master number and section as they appear in the FIT Catalogue.
  • Instructor Information: Provide instructor’s first and last name, contact information, office hours and FIT email address (this is the only email address that should be used when communicating to students and programs).
  • Course Description:  The course description on the syllabus must match that provided in the course catalog.
  • Learning Outcomes:  All syllabi must list course-level learning outcomes—i.e., what students should know and be able to demonstrate upon completion of the course.
  • Student Assignments:  List all assignments and activities upon which students will be graded in order to demonstrate their achievement of the course learning outcomes.
  • Final Grade Calculation:  Detail how the final grade will be calculated (in percentages or points).
  • Course Readings and Materials:  All courses should provide a list of readings, required and recommended equipment, supplies and materials, including where students may purchase them, as well as an estimation of the cost.
  • Resources:  If relevant to the class, provide information and links regarding the library and other resources relevant to the course.
  • Disability Services:  Provide link to Student Disability Services:

  • University Policies:  At a minimum, provide links to the Academic Honesty and Integrity Policy at:

Other Policies

  • Attendance:  The course attendance policy should be included.  Any policy specific to your program or to an individual faculty member’s class can be written in the syllabus.  For examples, many instructors create their own policies to cover a variety of classroom situations, such as late assignments, rewrites and extra credit; the use of cellphones, laptops, and other technology in the classroom, or make-up exams/absence on exam days.
  • Course Calendar:  Outline the course topics, activities, assignments, readings, etc. to be covered during each of the semester’s meetings. Deadlines and/or due dates may be included.

In addition to the required items on the syllabus, faculty may want to include supplementary material to help students succeed in the course.  For example, faculty could provide one or more of the following:

  • Helpful hints on how to study, take notes or do well in class
  • Glossary of technical terms used in the course
  • Links to resources
  • References on specific topics for more in-depth exploration
  • Bibliography of supplemental readings
  • Calendar campus lectures, events, exhibits or other activities of relevance to your course.

For more information on creating a syllabus, please visit the ’CET syllabus page

For information on using The FIT Concourse Digital Syllabus, visit FIT Digital Syllabus.