Skip to main content
New Faculty Orientation - Online Pre-Orientation

Course Syllabus Overview for New Faculty

Each course has a master course syllabus (MCS) approved through the university curricular process. The master course syllabus follows a standard format that gives the description of the course, prerequisites and co-requisites, rationale for the course level, materials and other requirements for students, typical instructional formats, course objectives, outline of topics, and typical methods for student evaluation. The master course syllabus, as approved through the curricular process, is filed in the Academic Senate office and available on their website. Changes in the MCS must be made through the curricular processes described in the Curriculum Authority Document.

A teaching syllabus, often referred to as the “class” or “course” syllabus, is not the same as the MCS. Individual faculty members develop a teaching syllabus to provide students with greater specificity about how a given course section will be conducted in order to accomplish the intended goals and learning objectives. The course syllabus must reflect the same course objectives and general content as the MCS. However, a faculty member may alter the sequence of topics, select appropriate instructional materials, use a variety of instructional methods, and design evaluation measures. The course syllabus for a UP (University Program) course should list the UP subgroup and indicate how the content meets the specific student learning outcomes of that UP subgroup. WI and QR sections of courses must also include the required student learning outcomes to meet those standards. Some departments use one-course syllabus for multiple sections of the same course.

In addition to the course number, title, credit hours, and meeting times, the course syllabus should include the instructor contact information and office hours followed by the course objectives, schedule (including dates of major assignments and exams), required and recommended materials, and evaluation standards/course grading. It is helpful when developing the course syllabus if you include a checklist with examples of templates. Consult the Syllabus Design and Creation page on the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Support website for additional guidance.  

Sample Statements for Syllabi are available on the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Support website.

NOTE: Check with your department for departmental, programmatic, college or specialized accreditation requirements that must be included in your teaching syllabus.