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There is no one-size-fits-all approach to designing a syllabus. The structure of a course syllabus will differ depending on instructor, course topic, method of instruction, departmental policies and practices, and institutional guidelines. However, there are ways to structure a syllabus that are more effective than others.  In this syllabus toolkit we provide syllabus templates and additional resources to help you create an inclusive and welcoming syllabus.

Purpose of the Syllabus Heading link

A syllabus serves many purposes and is more than a simple contract or informational document for your students. Your syllabus should:

  • Welcome students to your course
  • Provide essential information (such as the learning objectives, required prerequisites, required course materials, and relevant course/departmental/college policies) to help students self-assess their readiness for the course and decide if the course is a good fit for their educational goals
  • Outline the students’ responsibilities for successful coursework and describe the methods of assessment, which are the strategies by which student progress towards proficiency with the learning objectives will be evaluated and how/when the information will be provided to students
  • Serve as a resource for students throughout the course to keep track of due dates, assignments, expectations, and available resources outside the classroom to support their well-being and academic success
  • Set the broader context for learning while helping your colleagues understand how your course aligns with the curriculum for impacted majors; for example, this information might be used for departmental curriculum mapping and accreditation purposes

Templates Heading link

The following are UIC-specific syllabus templates that you can use as a starting point as you create a syllabus for a course you are teaching. They are organized into sections you might consider including in your syllabus. Attention was paid to suggesting language for each section that conveys a welcoming tone and helps to create an ethos of inclusion, academic integrity, and community in your class. Please select the syllabus template below based on the modality of the course you are teaching (on campus or hybrid, synchronous online, or asynchronous online).