Course Syllabus Requirements

Download a sample syllabus template (pdf) that is a fillable form including all required and recommended text.  While the course proposal form does require a syllabus file, it is not a requirement that this template be used.  

The syllabus must include: 
* Indicates information that can be copied and pasted from course proposal form responses.
# Indicates information that may not apply to all courses
%  Include a placeholder where this information would appear if this was the syllabus for the course taught in a specific term.


Institution Name if letter head is not used: University of Wisconsin-Madison

Proposed subject and course number *
Proposed course title  *
Credits *
Instructional mode (face-to-face, online, some online) 

Course designations and attributes * #
Meeting times and location  %

Instructor name, title and contact information %
TA name and contact information (if applicable)  #

Course description and requisites *

Learning outcomes  * -  If the course is numbered between 300-699 and is intended for undergraduate and graduate students, learning outcomes for each must be included.

An indication of the time devoted to individual topics together with the hours of instructor-student instruction and/or discussion 

Required textbook, software and other course materials
- List any required materials such as text books, open educational resources and eTexts
- List any required course or eText fees
- List required software tools even if available as part of UW-Madison licensing.

Representative list of readings 

Exams, Quizzes, Papers & Other Major Graded Work
- List the summary period and the expectations associated with it 
- List relevant details about the exams (dates, in-class or take home, cumulative or not, open-book or open-note, access to electronic devices, policies for make-up dates)

Homework and other Assignments
- Provide rules and expectations concerning homework
- How are assignments to be submitted (online, Dropbox, hand in during class, instructor mailbox, other)

Other Course Information    #
- Provide any additional info (identify honors, field trips, other special attributes or activities)

How students will be evaluated:
  • Assignments, papers, exams, etc. and the nature of and weight assigned to these requirements
  • How the letter grades of A, AB, B, BC, C, D and F will be assigned to final grade calculations.   If some of the valid letter grades will not be used by the instructor (e.g., AB or BC), this should  be noted on the syllabus.
  • Indicate whether the final grades are curved or not (include the standards upon which a curve is set if applicable)
  • Indicate whether attendance and/or participation is part of the grading When a significant percentage (10% or more) of the grade is tied to participation, attendance, and/or discussion, how this percentage is assessed must be clearly defined. Here is an example of guidelines for evaluating participation.
  • Separate grading requirements for graduate students if appropriate

  • - Rules, Rights and Responsibilities
    - Academic Integrity
    - Accomodations for Students with Disabilities

    Department Responsibility for Maintaining Course Syllabus Files 
    The Higher Learning Commission’s assumed practice states that instructors communicate course requirements to students through syllabi. In addition the Higher Learning Commission’s Credit Hour Policies, developed to enforce the U.S. Department of Education’s requirement related to credit hour definition, necessitates that a syllabus be available for review for each course taught. Criterion 2B in the HLC Criteria for Accreditation requires that clear and complete information be provided to students including the details of their academic programs.

    To meet these accreditation requirements, instructors of record are required to develop a course syllabus for each offering of a course and communicate the syllabus to students. 

    Departments must also keep syllabus records of courses taught in their department. FPP 5.31(D) Departmental Chair: Duties states “The chair of the department has the following duties: ... Determines that all necessary records of teaching, research, and public service of the department are properly kept and are always accessible to the proper authorities.” Given that access to syllabi is a requirement for the university’s accreditation, departments are responsible for keeping syllabi on file. 




    Keywords:course proposal   Doc ID:77498
    Owner:Michelle Y.Group:Courses and Academic Programs
    Created:2017-10-20 08:56 CSTUpdated:2017-11-17 14:14 CST
    Sites:Courses and Academic Programs
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