A syllabus defines the goals of a course and describes classroom activities, readings and other assignments, and course policies. It’s often the first contact that students have with you (the instructor) and the course, so it’s important to set the right tone. Instructors at Carolina should strive to develop syllabi that are both an effective map of the course’s logistics and an invitation for students to actively engage in the learning process.
Instructors should distribute syllabi to students (paper or electronic) by the first day of class. In addition, instructors in the College of Arts and Sciences should upload their syllabi to the College’s Online Syllabus Management (OSM) system for archiving purposes. (Instructors in Professional Schools should check with their chair/dean to determine how syllabi are collected and archived.)
Sample Policy Statements to Include in Syllabus
The Faculty Council and the Administrative Boards of the College also recommend that instructors include statements in their syllabi that address course policies. Click on the tabs below to see syllabus sample policy statements. Feel free to use these when creating your syllabus.
Relevant policy documents as they relate to registration and accommodations determinations and the student registration form are available on the ARS website under the About ARS tab.
- Authorized University activities
- Disability/religious observance/pregnancy, as required by law and approved by Accessibility Resources and Service and/or the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC)
- Significant health condition and/or personal/family emergency as approved by the Office of the Dean of Students, Gender Violence Service Coordinators, and/or the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC).
[Insert your process here.] Instructors may work with students to meet attendance needs that do not fall within University approved absences. For situations when an absence is not University approved (e.g., a job interview or club activity), instructors determine their own approach to missed classes and make-up assessments and assignments.
Please communicate with me early about potential absences. Please be aware that you are bound by the Honor Code when making a request for a University approved absence.
- All students are expected to follow the guidelines of the UNC honor code. In particular, students are expected to refrain from “lying, cheating, or stealing” in the academic context. If you are unsure about which actions violate that honor code, please see me or consult honor.unc.edu. (source: Department of Asian Studies)
- Students are bound by the Honor Code in taking exams and in written work. The Honor Code of the University is in effect at all times, and the submission of work signifies understanding and acceptance of those requirements. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Please consult with me if you have any questions about the Honor Code. (source: syllabus from section of HIST 486 offered in 2015)
- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has had a student-administered honor system and judicial system for over 100 years. The system is the responsibility of students and is regulated and governed by them, but faculty share the responsibility. If you have questions about your responsibility under the honor code, please bring them to your instructor or consult with the office of the Dean of Students or the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance. This document, adopted by the Chancellor, the Faculty Council, and the Student Congress, contains all policies and procedures pertaining to the student honor system. Your full participation and observance of the honor code is expected (honor.unc.edu). (source: syllabus from section of GEOG 67 offered in 2015)
- No laptops should be open and all cell phones must be either turned off or on silent during class time. (source: syllabus from section of PRSN 305 offered in 2015)
- Technology: Please bring your (charged) laptops to class every day. Your homework and writing projects do NOT have to be printed out (unless you are specifically directed to do so). Instead, you will be posting and sharing materials on Sakai. (source: syllabus from section of ENGL 283 offered in 2015)
- Technology in the classroom. I generally allow computers to be used in class, especially if an assigned reading was available electronically. I reserve the ability to disallow the use of computers when I feel doing so will enhance discussion. If you choose to use your laptop, I expect you to be 100% “with us,” which means no e-mail, no Facebook, no Twitter, no ESPN, and so on. (source: syllabus from section of POLI 417 offered in 2015)
- Cell phones should be silenced or turned off and stored out of sight during class. I reserve the right to confiscate any cell phones that I see out during class.You may use a computer or tablet during class if you feel this is the most effective way to take notes. However, I request that you sit in the last row of the classroom to avoid distracting your peers, and I reserve the right to confiscate your computer until the end of class if your computer use is causing any distraction or disruption to others or myself. (source: syllabus from section of ECON 486 offered in 2015)
- The Learning Center: The UNC Learning Center is a great resource both for students who are struggling in their courses and for those who want to be proactive and develop sound study practices to prevent falling behind. They offer individual consultations, peer tutoring, academic coaching, test prep programming, study skills workshops, and peer study groups. If you think you might benefit from their services, please visit them in SASB North or visit their website to set up an appointment: http://learningcenter.unc.edu. (source: syllabus from section of ECON 486 offered in 2015)
- The Writing Center: The Writing Center is located in the Student and Academic Services Building and offers personalized writing consultations as well as a variety of other resources. This could be a wonderful resource to help with your writing assignments in this course (and any assignments in your other courses). You do not need a complete draft of your assignment to visit; they can help you at any stage! You can chat with someone in the writing center or set up as appointment on their website: http://writingcenter.unc.edu. (source: syllabus from section of ECON 486 offered in 2015)
- Resources for Success in Writing: UNC has a Writing Center that provides one-on-one assistance to students free of charge. To make an appointment, browse the Writing Center’s online resources, or submit a draft online. They have additional useful information, such as handouts on how to cite online. (source: syllabus from section of PLCY 345 offered in 2015)
For an example of a syllabus from the humanities, click here.
For an example of a syllabus from the social sciences, click here.
For an example of a syllabus from the natural sciences, click here.
Click here for a copy of Viji Sathy’s PSYC 270 syllabus, winner of the Office of Instructional Innovation’s Most Creative Syllabus Award for 2016-2017.
- UNC Faculty Council Resolution 2012-11: On Guidelines for Course Syllabi.
- Center for Faculty Excellence
- Office of Instructional Innovation