Please note: The MSMC Faculty Assembly approved the following syllabus template at the March 2009 meeting.
Faculty members on both campuses and in all programs are required to use this template.
Specific departments or programs may have additional elements/requirements (e.g., assessment guidelines, lab
protocols, clinical requirements, etc.). Faculty can check with their Chair/Program Director to see if there are
additional sections to include—preferably, Chairs and Directors will notify their faculty should that be the case.
The course syllabus is one aspect of good pedagogy: It sets out information about the course as
well as course expectations. From the faculty member’s standpoint, it provides an easy-to-use
form setting out the components and requirements so there is clear communication with the
students. From the students’ point of view, the syllabus gives an overview of the coverage as well
as the requirements, so they have a good sense of what the course entails from the beginning of
the semester. Any surprises should be in the satisfaction of learning and the joys of being in an
educational environment that values all the participants—students and faculty. At Mount St.
Mary’s College, we are guided by the Mount Mission to further the development of the whole
person. The syllabus helps make that evident.
The syllabus has two major functions:
1. THE SYLLABUS IS A STATEMENT OF COURSE EXPECTATIONS
The syllabus sets out the course requirements, the grading scale, and the methods of assessment. It is
intended to provide the students with sufficient information about the course expectations, along with due
dates, and a class schedule. After the add/drop period, instructors should not redistribute points unless it is
to the advantage of the student (e.g., reducing the homework/reading, removing a specific requirement,
such as a quiz). The syllabus should be consistent with the catalog description.
2. THE SYLLABUS IS A PERMANENT RECORD
The syllabus is a permanent record for the student, instructor, the department, and the institution. As such,
it is both a professional and personal document. The syllabus provides a record of course content, grading
methods, and information vital for equivalency transfers, as well as for the evaluation of a course or
instructor. Subsequently, both faculty and students should retain course syllabi for future reference.
MSMC SYLLABUS TEMPLATE
Required Components and Recommended components
1. Instructor/Course Identification.
Instructor’s name, course number, course title, semester, and year.
Course Prerequisite(s) —see department chair/program director or college catalog
2. Instructor information
Mount email address, contact phone number, office hours (optional for adjuncts), virtual office
hours (if any), office location (building/room)
3. Course Materials
Required texts and edition (ISBN recommended), course packs, and other course materials (e.g.,
electronic readings, if any are required reading)
4. Course Overview
Course description (compatible with catalog description)]
5. Student Learning Outcomes
List or state learning outcomes (course objectives) and college assessment statement, such as :
Student Outcomes/Course Objectives:
[LIST or discuss]
FYI: Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes:
Student learning is at the core of the MSMC mission. MSMC faculty developed a plan to assess
the student-learning outcomes that represent the knowledge, skills and attitudes expected of
(someone in our major/a college student). In this class one or more student learning outcomes
will be assessed. Some of our class assignments may be used to evaluate overall student learning
and to improve teaching and learning in this class, this department, and throughout the College.
6. Course Requirements
List exams, presentations, essays, etc. including relative weight of components in points and/or
7. Grading Scale
The college uses a plus/minus grading scale. See department chair/program director for any
department grading scale.
8. Course Schedule
Calendar the class: Daily and/or weekly focus or topics, deadlines/due dates, exam dates, and
reading or other homework assignments —the required assignments for each class meeting
should be discernable from the syllabus.
a. Instructor and/or Department Policies
i. Attendance Policy:
Individual instructor’s attendance policy, noting any consequences for absences and
being late or leaving early.
ii. Policy on makeup exams and late assignments, noting any consequences
iii. Policy on incompletes—- (see department chair/program director for any
iv. Specific department policies (e.g., on assessment rubrics, internships, etc.)—see
department or program chair to determine if they are required or recommended
v. Specific course policies (e.g., labs, service learning, e-portfolio, etc.)
b. College Policies
i. College attendance policy (Recommended). State or reference page in college catalog.
ii. Academic integrity policy
iii. Academic freedom statement, such as:
Students and faculty’s freedom of speech is constitutionally protected, so they are free to take
reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve
judgment about matters of opinion—and allow the same freedom for others. See Student
Handbook(s) for further discussion.
iv. Accommodation policy regarding special needs, such as:
MSMC, in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on
the basis of disability. If you are a student with a documented disability or special need,
please see the Director of Learning Assistance Programs at the campus in question to make
arrangements for classroom accommodations. Additional disability related information and
policies are stated in the Student Handbook.
B. Optional Components—See Department/Program Chair to determine if they are required
a. Grading Rubrics (See department chair/program director)
b. Contacts in Department or College (e.g., Department chair/program director, major/minor
advisor, Learning Center)
c. Statement on estimated response time to email (e.g., 24 hours) or phone (e.g., 48 hours)
d. Contact information for canceled classes (e.g., phone contact and MSMC web)
e. Campus resources (e.g., libraries, learning center, tutoring, workshops, computer labs, help
desk, cultural fluency center, security, advisement center, health center,
psychologist/counseling center, other offices)
C. E-Learning (If Applicable)
a. Syllabus posted on E-Learning site and other class materials (e.g., lessons, articles) in
accordance with department/program guidelines
b. Discussion Board Policy
c. General Guidelines (e.g., Wiki, Blogging, etc.)
d. Participation Requirements (e.g., on Chat Rooms)
e. Statement on Instructor Availability