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.

Creating a Syllabus at Carolina (pdf)

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.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill facilitates the implementation of reasonable accommodations, including resources and services, for students with disabilities, chronic medical conditions, a temporary disability or pregnancy complications resulting in difficulties with accessing learning opportunities.

All accommodations are coordinated through the Accessibility Resources and Service Office. See the ARS Website for contact information: https://ars.unc.edu or email ars@unc.edu.

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.

(source: https://ars.unc.edu/faculty-staff/syllabus-statement

No right or privilege exists that permits a student to be absent from any class meetings, except for these University Approved Absences:

  1. Authorized University activities
  2. Disability/religious observance/pregnancy, as required by law and approved by Accessibility Resources and Service and/or the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC)
  3. 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.

(source: http://catalog.unc.edu/policies-procedures/attendance-grading-examination/)

CAPS is strongly committed to addressing the mental health needs of a diverse student body through timely access to consultation and connection to clinically appropriate services, whether for short or long-term needs. Go to their website: https://caps.unc.edu/ or visit their facilities on the third floor of the Campus Health Services building for a walk-in evaluation to learn more. (source: Student Safety and Wellness Proposal for EPC, Sep 2018)
I value the perspectives of individuals from all backgrounds reflecting the diversity of our students. I broadly define diversity to include race, gender identity, national origin, ethnicity, religion, social class, age, sexual orientation, political background, and physical and learning ability. I strive to make this classroom an inclusive space for all students. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to improve, I appreciate suggestions.
  1. 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)
  2. 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)
  3. 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)
The professor reserves the right to make changes to the syllabus, including project due dates and test dates. These changes will be announced as early as possible. (source: http://faccoun.unc.edu/files/2011/03/Res-2012-11OnSyllabusGuidelines_v4FinalAsApproved.pdf)
  1. 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)
  2. 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)
  3. 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)
  4. 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)
Acts of discrimination, harassment, interpersonal (relationship) violence, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, stalking, and related retaliation are prohibited at UNC-Chapel Hill. If you have experienced these types of conduct, you are encouraged to report the incident and seek resources on campus or in the community. Please contact the Director of Title IX Compliance/Title IX Coordinator (Adrienne Allison, adrienne.allison@unc.edu), Report and Response Coordinators (Ew Quimbaya-Winship, eqw@unc.edu; Rebecca Gibson, rmgibson@unc.edu; Kathryn Winn kmwinn@unc.edu), Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPs) (confidential) in Campus Health Services at (919) 966-3658, or the Gender Violence Services Coordinators (confidential) (Cassidy Johnson, cassidyjohnson@unc.edu; Holly Lovern, holly.lovern@unc.edu) to discuss your specific needs. Additional resources are available at safe.unc.edu.
The College of Arts and Sciences provides a secure, proctored environment in which exams can be taken. The center works with instructors to proctor exams for their undergraduate students who are not registered with ARS and who do not need testing accommodations as provided by ARS. In other words, the Center provides a proctored testing environment for students who are unable to take an exam at the normally scheduled time (with pre-arrangement by your instructor). For more information, visit http://testingcenter.web.unc.edu/. (source: http://testingcenter.web.unc.edu/)
  • 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)

Sample Syllabi

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.

Additional Resources

Campus Resources:

Tech Tools:

  • PollEverywhere (free classroom response system for participation)
  • Gradescope (free grading tool to improve efficiency and allow for collaborative scoring)
  • Sakai Sign-up (or other scheduling software to arrange student meetings)
  • Zoom (for virtual meetings, office hours, or lecture recording)