University of Washington School of Public Health

Guidelines for Course Syllabi and Course Learning Objectives

A good course syllabus – together with well-conceived and well-written learning objectives -- can benefit both teaching and learning.

For the instructor, the syllabus and learning objectives:

  • provide a comprehensive and clear description of the course;
  • help organize and integrate the development of class sessions, exercises, and exams;
  • anticipate and address common questions that students may have about the course; and
  • articulate expectations for learning.

For students, the syllabus and course learning objectives:

  • assist in choosing courses,
  • provide a framework for organizing time and effort toward learning,
  • provide a resource for identifying supplementary learning materials, and
  • assist in self-monitoring of attainment of course learning objectives.

Syllabi for courses taught in the School of Public Health should include the following information:

  1. Course number(s) and title [Note: list all numbers if course is jointly listed]
  2. Instructors names, titles, and affiliations
  3. Contact information and office hours
  4. Course times and locations
  5. Brief – one paragraph – description of course
  6. Course learning objectives [see How to write course learning objectives]
  7. Course Session Schedule – e.g. a listing giving a brief description of each class session, participating faculty, reading assignment. If detailed session descriptions are provided (see #12 below)
  8. Required readings and/or textbooks
  9. Recommended, optional , or supplementary readings [if this is a long list, it may be good to place at the end of the syllabus]
  10. Grading - a) how will grades be determined (homework, exams, papers, classroom participation); b) criteria for grades [for examples, see Sample UW Grading Guideline]
  11. (Optional) - Student responsibilities. What you expect from the students [e.g., attendance, plagiarism, preparation for, and participation in, class discussions, presentations, class conduct, holidays, etc.]
  12. (Optional) – Session Descriptions: may include, for example,
    1. Date and Subject
    2. Speaker information
    3. Session learning objectives
    4. Readings for session
    5. Assignments
    6. Other
  13. Supplementary materials [Bibliographies and other course resources]

Syllabi must include the headings for UW Disability Statement and Academic Integrity Statement along with the full text of these statements

  • UW Disability Statement
  • Academic Integrity Statement - Students at the University of Washington (UW) are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic conduct, professional honesty, and personal integrity.
    The UW School of Public Health (SPH) is committed to upholding standards of academic integrity consistent with the academic and professional communities of which it is a part. Plagiarism, cheating, and other misconduct are serious violations of the University of Washington Student Conduct Code (WAC 478-120). We expect you to know and follow the university's policies on cheating and plagiarism, and the SPH Academic Integrity Policy. Any suspected cases of academic misconduct will be handled according to University of Washington regulations. For more information, see the University of Washington Community Standards and Student Conduct website.


Helpful Links for developing course syllabi