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A syllabus defines the goals of a course and describes the classroom activities, readings, assignments, policies, schedule, and other important information. It’s often the first contact that students have with you (the instructor) of 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.
Items to Include on Your Syllabus
- Course information
Course number, title, credit hours, meeting pattern, instructional format, and classroom location (if applicable).
- Provide information on how class/synchronous time will be used (lecture, group work, discussion, active learning, etc.)
- For remote classes, will it involve synchronous or asynchronous delivery (or a mix of the two)?
- Target audience
- e.g., first-year students; majors only
- Instructor information
Name, office location, office hours (in-person or virtual), email address, preferred method of contact.
- Some instructors like to provide specific information about how students should address them (Dr., Prof., etc. as well as pronouns used), how to use office hours, their teaching philosophy, and a diversity statement.
- Instructors should hold a total of 3 office hours per week for a standard 3-credit hour course.
- Requisites (if any)
- Confirm course information in the Catalog and Connect Carolina.
- Course description
- Enter your course description, which can be an expanded version of the official description provided in the Catalog.
- Goals/student learning outcomes (SLO)
- It is important for students to understand what they will accomplish by taking this course. Course goals are not simply statements about course topics; they are descriptions of competencies that students should expect to develop in this course. For instructors, goals/outcomes help determine what to assess. For students, they provide a framework for organizing and synthesizing the course material.
Tips for writing SLOs
- IDEAs in Action Student Learning Outcomes
- Each requirement in the IDEAs in Action curriculum has a set of standard Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). Use these instructions for adding SLOs to your syllabus for approved Gen Ed requirements.
- Search for your course in the Catalog or check Faculty Center in ConnectCarolina. Approved IDEAs in Action attribute codes & descriptions will be listed on your course.
- For each approved Gen Ed attribute, add the Student Learning Outcomes from the Catalog to your syllabus.
- Course materials
- List required or recommended texts and materials. Provide information about how students should access them and the estimated cost.
- Assignment list with due dates
- Describe each assignment/assessment and provide due dates. Also describe the typical amount of time required to complete work for the course (e.g., 9-12 hours weekly including class/synchronous activities)
- Grading schema and scale
- The rules that you will use to assign grades. If applicable, provide how student participation will be assessed and how late or missed work/exams will be handled.
- Policies and resources
- The university has several required policies and student support statements that must be included on all syllabi. Use the Syllabus Insert for the upcoming semester to append all required statements to your syllabus. You may also use the recommended statements listed below when developing your syllabus.
- Include a weekly schedule and a statement about potential changes to the schedule. See Registrar Calendar for holidays and breaks.
- Final exam/assessment
- Include the official final exam date and time (as published by the https://registrar.unc.edu/academic-calendar/). The use of the final exam period is required as instructional hours.
By the first day of the semester, all instructors must…
- Provide students with a complete syllabus (e.g., post on Sakai or Canvas).
- Upload a copy to the Online Syllabus Manager (OSM) for archiving purposes (College of Arts and Sciences only). Professional school instructors should check with their chair/dean to determine how syllabi are collected and archived.
During the registration period, all instructors are encouraged to…
- Upload a draft syllabus to Class Features.
Academic and Policy Syllabi Statements
The content below provides sample statements for a variety of required and recommended policies. Instructors are encouraged to use these statements when creating a syllabus.
No right or privilege exists that permits a student to be absent from any class meetings, except for these University Approved Absences:
- 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).
Additional information is available at the University Approved Absence Office.
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 provide your approach on the course syllabus.
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.
An Honor Code statement is required on all syllabi. You may select from one of the following examples or create your own. More information about Honor Code statements can be found at https://studentconduct.unc.edu/instructors/honor-syllabus/.
- AY 22-23 Suggestion: I expect all students 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. You can read more about the honor code at studentconduct.unc.edu. In any course, including mine, what constitutes cheating can change from one activity to another. For example, collaboration may be encouraged for an assignment but qualify as cheating during an exam. Please see my guidelines for each activity, and if you are unsure, please ask me to clarify.In remote classes, there may be many temptations for using online exchange sites, such as Chegg. Note that these sites provide names of students who have used their materials, and they routinely cooperate with institutions around academic integrity issues. Please don’t get caught up with honor code issues just because it appears to be simple and untraceable. It is not!
- 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)
- As a condition of joining the Carolina community, Carolina students pledge “not to lie, cheat, or steal” and to hold themselves, as members of the Carolina community, to a high standard of academic and non-academic conduct while both on and off Carolina’s campus. This commitment to academic integrity, ethical behavior, personal responsibility and civil discourse exemplifies the “Carolina Way,” and this commitment is codified in both the University’s Honor Code and in other University student conduct-related policies.
By enrolling as a student in this course, you agree to abide by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill policies related to the acceptable use of IT systems and services. You may be asked to participate in online discussions or other online activities that may include personal information about you or other students in the course. The rights and protection of other participants are protected under the UNC-Chapel Hill Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy, which covers topics related to using digital resources, such as privacy, confidentiality, and intellectual property.
Consult the University website “Safe Computing at UNC” for information about the data security policies, updates, and tips on keeping your identity, information, and devices safe.
Describe when submissions will be considered late, how many points will be deducted, etc.
- UNC-Chapel Hill Privacy Statement
- Sakai’s Discussion Forum, Assignments, DropBox, Gradebook, and Tests & Quizzes tools are designed to share FERPA-protected information privately between instructors and individual students.
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: Faculty Council Resolution 2020-6)
Community Standards in Our Course and Optional Mask Use
UNC-Chapel Hill is committed to the well-being of our community – not just physically, but emotionally. The indoor mask requirement was lifted for most of campus on March 7, 2022. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, you are free to do so. There are many reasons why a person may decide to continue to wear a mask, and we respect that choice.
Last updated 3/31/2022
A Grade Appeal Process statement is recommended on all syllabi. You may use the following example or create your own.
If you feel you have been awarded an incorrect grade, please discuss with me. If we cannot resolve the issue, you may talk to our departmental director of undergraduate studies or appeal the grade through a formal university process based on arithmetic/clerical error, arbitrariness, discrimination, harassment, or personal malice. To learn more, go to the Academic Advising Program website.
Services and Student Support Syllabi Statements
The content below provides sample statements for a variety of services. Some statements are required. Instructors are encouraged to use these statements when creating a 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 barriers to fully accessing University courses, programs and activities.
Accommodations are determined through the Office of Accessibility Resources and Service (ARS) for individuals with documented qualifying disabilities in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. See the ARS Website for contact information: https://ars.unc.edu or email email@example.com.
UNC-Chapel Hill is strongly committed to addressing the mental health needs of a diverse student body. The Heels Care Network website (https://care.unc.edu) is a place to access the many mental resources at Carolina. CAPS is the primary mental health provider for students, offering timely access to consultation and connection to clinically appropriate services. Go to their website https://caps.unc.edu/ or visit their facilities on the third floor of the Campus Health building for an initial evaluation to learn more. (source: Student Safety and Wellness Proposal for EPC, Sep 2018; updated March 2022)
Any student who is impacted by discrimination, harassment, interpersonal (relationship) violence, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, or stalking is encouraged to seek resources on campus or in the community. Reports can be made online to the EOC at https://eoc.unc.edu/report-an-incident/. Please contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator (Elizabeth Hall, interim – firstname.lastname@example.org), Report and Response Coordinators in the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (email@example.com), Counseling and Psychological Services (confidential), or the Gender Violence Services Coordinators (firstname.lastname@example.org; confidential) to discuss your specific needs. Additional resources are available at safe.unc.edu.
If you are experiencing harassment or discrimination, you can seek assistance and file a report through the Report and Response Coordinators (see contact info at safe.unc.edu) or the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office, or online to the EOC at https://eoc.unc.edu/report-an-incident/.
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.
- Center for Faculty Excellence
- Keep Teaching
- Office of Instructional Innovation
- UNC Faculty Council Resolution 2012-11: On Guidelines for Course Syllabi.