University of Minnesota  Administrative Policy

Syllabus Requirements: Crookston, Morris, Rochester, Twin Cities

Policy Statement

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 to successfully 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.

A. Syllabus Requirements: Information Specific to the Course

The elements listed in this section of the policy are required. (For additional recommendations for good practice in teaching, see Administrative Policy: Teaching and Learning: Instructor and Unit Responsibilities).

  1. Catalog information including the course name, department, number, meeting time, meeting place, credits, and modality.
  2. Instructor(s) name and preferred contact information. (All individuals responsible for grading should be affiliated with the course and listed in the course syllabus. See Administrative Policy: Grade Accountability.)
  3. Course prerequisites if any exist.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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).
  6. General description of assignments, papers, projects, exams and other student work; a schedule of approximate due dates and relative weight of each toward the grade; and a description of how the overall course grade will be determined (e.g., total points or percentage of points equivalent to a particular letter grade and whether a “curve” will be applied). Minor but not major changes may be made to assignments after the second week of the term.
  7. Description of any course meetings that occur outside of the regularly scheduled class time (see Administrative Policy: Teaching and Learning: Instructor and Unit Responsibilities).
  8. Attendance requirements and penalties, if any (see Administrative Policy: Enrolling in Overlapping or Back-to-back Classes).
  9. 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.)
  10. Policy for making up missed exams and grading late work, consistent with Administrative Policy: Excused Absences and Makeup Work.
  11. 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).
  12. As required by the Appendix: Equal Opportunity and Disability Accommodations to Administrative Policy: Hiring Faculty and Staff, instructors must include the following statement in their syllabus with the appropriate department contact information: "This publication/material is available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact (name, department, address, phone number)."

B. Syllabus Requirements: Policy Statements

Instructors must have as part of the syllabus references to, or statements on the following policies and resources and are encouraged to discuss elements particularly applicable to their course (see Appendix: Recommended Policy Statements for Syllabi):

  1. Grade definitions from Administrative Policy: Grading and Transcripts.
  2. Scholastic Dishonesty (see Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code and Administrative Policy: Teaching and Learning: Instructor and Unit Responsibilities).
  3. Administrative Policy: Excused Absences and Makeup Work.
  4. Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code; Administrative Policy: Teaching and Learning: Student Responsibilities.
  5. Board of Regents Policy: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence
  6. Board of Regents Policy: Diversity, Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action.
  7. Administrative Policy: Discrimination.
  8. Board of Regents Policy: Disability Resources.
  9. Statement about the availability of mental health and stress management services.
  10. Board of Regents Policy: Academic Freedom and Responsibility.
  11. If applicable, Administrative Policy: Student Travel and Education Abroad: Health and Safety.

Instructors must include references to the above policies and may use the Appendix: Recommended Policy Statements for Syllabi to incorporate this information into syllabi by copying and pasting the statements or adapting the language to their specific teaching and course context.


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.




Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What resources are available for instructors in developing syllabi?

    The Center for Educational Innovation is a systemwide center whose staff have pedagogical and curricular expertise.

  2. What are the University guidelines for using or prohibiting the use of AI?

    The Senate Committee on Educational Policy developed syllabus statements for faculty and instructors: ChatGPT Syllabus Statements. These statements may be adopted or adapted to reflect a given instructor's course learning objectives and instructional/assessment style.


Primary Contact(s)Jessica Kuecker Grotjohn (undergraduate)
Toni Abts (graduate)
[email protected]  
[email protected]
Twin Cities CampusJessica Kuecker Grotjohn (undergraduate)
Toni Abts (graduate)
[email protected]  
[email protected]
Crookston CampusJason Tangquist218-281-8424[email protected]
Morris CampusPeh Ng320-589-6015[email protected]
Rochester CampusPaul Hanstedt507-258-8006[email protected]
Responsible Individuals
Responsible Officer Policy Owner Primary Contact
  • Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education
  • Jessica Kuecker Grotjohn
    Assistant Director for Undergraduate Education
  • Toni Abts



A document which contains required and relevant information about a specific course offering and applicable university policies.


Instructor of Record

  • Develop and distribute course syllabi to students.


  • Ensure that the instructor of record is following University policies regarding instruction.
  • Ensure that current syllabi for its courses are updated in the curricular management system.



November 2023 - Comprehensive Review, Minor revisions:

  • Provided additional language to the descriptions of grades requirement
  • Reference to alternative formats is now listed as a requirement in the policy rather than the appendix.
  • Added an “If applicable” reference to the Student Travel and Education Abroad policy
  • Added an FAQ about a resource for developing syllabi.


October 2014 - Clarifications related to Higher Learning Commission accreditation requirements.


December 2009 - Policy now applies to Crookston.


April 2009