What Is a Syllabus?
A syllabus is a document that outlines all the essential information about a school or college course.
It lists the topics you will study, as well as the due dates of any coursework including tests, quizzes, or exams.
Your professors will give you a syllabus for each of your college classes. Read each one carefully to learn about grading policies, professor office hours, and everything else you need to know.
The four basic parts of a syllabus are:
Near the top of the syllabus you will find the name of your instructor, their contact information, and office hours.
Reading materials and supplies
This syllabus section lists books, online resources, and other content you will need for class. Additional tools, like a calculator or specific software, will be listed here, too. Typically, there is a note about which materials are required and which are recommended.
A syllabus will outline how you will be graded, attendance requirements, and how the professor expects students to behave. This section may also include university-wide policies on academic honesty and respect, or how students with disabilities can request support.
The syllabus will include when assignments are due and when tests will be given. This section contains all coursework for the class, including in-class assignments, homework, essays, labs, and assessments.
Why Your Syllabus Is Important
Your syllabus gathers all the vital information about your class in one place.
If you have questions about class schedules, due dates, or office hours, your professor will probably say “it’s on the syllabus.” When you have a question about how your class works, check your syllabus first.
Taking time to read and understand the syllabus might not sound like fun, but it can be really useful.
Your syllabus will help you:
- Meet deadlines
- Be prepared for class
- Understand assignments
- Know how you will grade
- Manage your time
- Stay organized
- Connect with students/Learners