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.



Walk-in hours

During the first week of classes, the University Studies Program provides walk-in hours for students from 9:30 am—3:30 pm, Monday through Friday. UST students and students in transition are seen on a first-come, first-served basis by an available advisor at 148-150 South College Ave.

Beginning September 8, students may make a 30 minute appointment using the online scheduler.

Three Habits of Successful Students:

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  1. Be proactive. They ask questions, tell someone (teacher, RA, advisor, peer mentor) if they notice a problem developing, and accept help if they need assistance.
  2. Be informed. They read course syllabi carefully and they regularly check e-mail and Sakai or Canvas for announcements.
  3. Be organized. They write things down in a planner and review it      frequently. They keep class materials together in a binder that is easily accessible.

Registration Tips

For some new college students, course selection and registration is a positive experience. After having limited choices in high school, you left your NSO appointment feeling excited by the opportunity to take a class in a subject you’ve never been exposed to, relieved to be able to complete your first semester without being stressed about a math class, and grateful that you could develop a schedule that is consistent with your preferred sleep habits.

Other students left NSO feeling overwhelmed by the wide range of classes available, disappointed that you have to still take courses in general education subjects even though you are in college, or anxious about being placed in an evening lab section.

Although there are some limits on how much choice you have in course selection, students do have the option of making changes to their schedules through Tuesday, September 13 when the free drop/add period ends. If you drop a class after this date, you will be charged a processing fee and a “W” will appear on your transcript.

Advisors strongly recommend that you make any changes to your schedule by the end of the first week of classes. If you add a class after that, you may have difficulty catching up in the course, which could continue to affect your performance throughout the entire semester.


Academic Orientation

All new students are required to attend an academic orientation on Monday, August 29. This is an opportunity for you to meet your academic advisor and learn about navigating the UD campus.


Time Academic Advisor Academic Orientation
10-11 Margie Kiter Edwards – Honors Students only 107 Sharp
11-12 Adrian McCleary 004 Kirkbride
11-12 Sharon Grayson 131 Sharp
11-12 Kathryn Goldman 007 Willard
11-12 Michael McClay 123 Memorial
11-12 Lysbet Murray 217 Gore
11-12 Courtney McGinnis 100 Kirkbride
11-12 Margie Kiter Edwards 130 Sharp