Guidelines for Course Syllabi

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]
    • Writing is an important transferable skill for all career pathways. Establishing a strong foundation in writing skills will help you be successful throughout your future course work and career. Therefore, this course includes written assignments with the goal to help you identify areas of strength and improvement in your writing. However, if you feel that you could benefit from additional opportunities to improve your writing skills, a list of resources at the UW and others accessible online can be found on the SPH website at https://sph.washington.edu/sites/default/files/inline-files/Writing-Resources-4.3.19.pdf.

SYLLABI MUST INCLUDE THE UW DISABILITY STATEMENT, ACADEMIC INTEGRITY STATEMENT AND RELIGIOUS ACCOMMODATIONS STATEMENT:

  • 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.
  • Religious Accommodations Statement:
    “Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy (https://registrar.washington.edu/staffandfaculty/religious-accommodations-policy/). Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (https://registrar.washington.edu/students/religious-accommodations-request/).”

 

THESE ADDITIONAL PARAGRAPHS ON EQUITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED BY THE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND MAY BE REQUIRED BY YOUR DEPARTMENT OR PROGRAM:

 

HELPFUL LINK FOR DEVELOPING COURSE SYLLABI