In the Know: What is a Syllabus?

In college, syllabi are very important tools for professors to communicate their expectations to students.  It is your responsibility as a student to carefully review the syllabus and ask your instructor questions if you do not understand something.

A syllabus is a document that outlines how a course is structured.  A well-developed syllabus contains all of the information a student needs to understand what being a member of the class entails.  This usually includes:

  • Instructor’s policies on attendance and grading
  • Course number and description
  • Required textbooks and other materials
  • Weekly schedule listing due dates for assignments and tests
  • Instructor’s name, email address, office location, and office hours

Some instructors distribute a paper copy of the syllabus during the first week of class, while others email it to the class or post it online. If you do not receive a syllabus, be sure to ask for one.