Instructors are required to develop a course syllabus for each offering of a course and communicate the syllabus to students unless the course is offered to an individual student (e.g. directed study, readings or research courses that require contracts between the student and instructor). For the purposes of this policy, a syllabus is a written or electronic document that contains information students need to know in order successfully to complete the work of the course.
Each syllabus includes two types of information. First is information specific to the course such as its title, goals, readings, assignments and instructor. Second is information informing students of University policies that may have an impact on their participation in the course. This information includes, for example, the University grading system, a disabilities statement, and how to resolve problems between students and instructor.
A. Syllabus Requirements: Information Specific to the Course
The elements listed in this section of the policy are required. This information may also be distributed or provided by the department or college if done so routinely and explicitly. (For additional recommendations for good practice in teaching, see Administrative Policy: Teaching and Learning: Instructor and Unit Responsibilities: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester).
- Catalog information such as the course name, department, number, meeting time, meeting place, and credits.
- Instructor’s name and contact information.
- Course pre-requisites if any exist.
- Course goals and objectives. (For undergraduate courses on the Twin Cities campus, instructors are encouraged to identify learning and development outcomes addressed by the course. See Administrative Policy: Undergraduate Student Learning and Development Outcomes: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester).
- Required and recommended materials and, if necessary, the location of materials. After the second week of the term, minor, but not major, changes in the assigned readings may be made (see Administrative Policy: Teaching and Learning: Instructor and Unit Responsibilities: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester).
- General description of assignments, papers, projects, exams and other student work with a schedule of approximate due dates and relative weight in the grade. Minor but not major changes may be made to assignments after the second week of the term.
- Description of any course meetings that occur outside of the regularly scheduled class time (see Administrative Policy: Teaching and Learning: Instructor and Unit Responsibilities: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester).
- Attendance requirements and penalties if any (see Administrative Policy: Enrolling in Overlapping or Back-to-back Classes: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester).
- Statement on extra credit. If an instructor wishes to offer what is commonly known as extra credit opportunities for students in a class to allow them to improve their grade, those opportunities must be announced and made available to all students. (This provision does not address the option of increasing the number of credits a student may earn for the course.)
- Policy for making up missed exams and grading late work.
- The date, time and place of the final examination if one is scheduled. Instructors who schedule final exams that are longer than two hours must provide alternative testing times for students who have other final exams scheduled during that time (see Administrative Policy: Scheduling Examinations, Final Examinations, and Study Days: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester).
B. Syllabus Requirements – Policy Statements
Instructors must have as part of the syllabus copies of, references to, or statements on the following and are encouraged to discuss elements of the policies particularly applicable to their course (see Appendix - Recommended Policy Statements for Syllabi):
- Grade definitions from Administrative Policy: Grading and Transcripts: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester.
- Scholastic Dishonesty (see Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code and Administrative Policy: Teaching and Learning: Instructor and Unit Responsibilities: Twin Cities, Morris, Rochester).
- Administrative Policy: Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester
- Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code; Administrative Policy: Teaching and Learning: Student Responsibilities (Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester)
- Board of Regents Policy: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence
- Board of Regents Policy: Equity, Diversity, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Affirmative Action
- Board of Regents Policy: Disability Services
- Statement about the availability of mental health and stress management services.
- Board of Regents Policy: Academic Freedom and Responsibility
The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost will prepare electronic copies of these policy statements for instructors to incorporate into syllabi. Instructors are encouraged to provide paper copies of these policies to classes with first-year students.
This policy is not applicable to the Duluth campus.
Reason for Policy
Students need a consistent level of basic information about the content and expectations for each course in which they are enrolled. This policy outlines the minimum components of a syllabus and notes recommended policy statements for inclusion, to ensure that instructors communicate course requirements to students in writing and in a timely manner. This policy implements criteria and requirements for accreditation established by the Higher Learning Commission.