What is a a course Syllabus

When you begin a college course you are typically given a course syllabus that outlines the expectations for the course throughout the semester.  The course syllabus serves as a guide outlining what the instructor expects from students as well as what students can expect from the class.  Many times students do not realize just how important the course syllabus is, and they will often not take the time to fully read over it. However, as this article will point out, the syllabus is a very important part of a course that she be fully understood.

A course syllabus typically gives important information regarding the instructor such as the instructor’s name, office number, email address, and office phone number.  In addition, many instructors will also list their office hours so students know when they will be available to meet outside of class.  The syllabus also includes the textbooks that are required for the course as well as supplemental readings throughout the semester.  Many syllabi will also include policies regarding grading, missed classes, and tardiness.  It is important to note these since each individual instructor will probably have a slightly different policy regarding these areas.

Many syllabi often include a schedule for the semester of what topics will be covered, when assignments are due and when tests will be taken.  This is helpful to students who are trying to plan ahead for many different courses.  It means that if they know they have three papers due around the same time they need to start well in advance so that they do not become overwhelmed.  The syllabus can also give a course description as well as what the student should expect to learn while enrolled in the course.  This is helpful in determining whether the course is a right fit to the student and what they are hoping to learn.

As you can see, the course syllabus is a contract of sorts for the student and instructor of the course.  It outlines what the instructor expects and provides the student with what they should expect while in the course.  As a result, it is an extremely important document that should be reviewed either before you begin a course or right after you begin. If you have questions regarding any part of the syllabus then you should consult the instructor immediately.  By reviewing the syllabus and what is expected, students can improve their chances of doing well in the course by knowing ahead of time all that is expected.