Course Syllabus

The course syllabus includes elements that are specific to the course. The instructor(s) of each course shall make available to enrolled students a course syllabus which should (a) be presented during the first week of class, (b) contain the expected student learning outcomes, and (c) include information about the method(s) to be used for evaluation of student progress and determination of grades.

Faculty, please use the following dropdown menus for what to include in the course syllabus, and consider utilizing our resources for designing syllabi for student success and accessibility.


A description of course logistics is required to convey specific identifying information about the course. What to include:

  • Semester and Year
  • Course Prefix and Number
  • Course Title
  • Catalog Description
  • Number of Credit Hours
  • Prerequisites (indicate “none” if none)
  • UCORE designation statement (if applicable)
  • Meeting Location (building and room, if applicable)
  • Meeting Days and Times
  • Policies for Interacting with Remote Campus Students (if applicable)

Instructor contact information is required to convey specific identifying and contact information about the instructor(s) and/or teaching assistant(s). What to include:

Course instructor(s):

  • Name
  • Office Location
  • Contact Information (phone and email)
  • Office/Student Hours (click here for best practices)

Teaching Assistant(s) (if applicable)

  • Name
  • Office Location
  • Contact Information (phone and e-mail)
  • Office/Student Hours (click here for best practices)

A list of required and/or recommended materials and course fees is required to lay out clear expectations for procurement of all texts and/or materials needed or recommended for the course. To satisfy this requirement, include the following components (where applicable):


Whether required or recommended
Edition (if applicable)
Where available
Estimated Cost

Other Materials

Whether required or recommended
Type of Materials
Where Available
Estimated Cost


Type of fee (course, lab, field trip…)

Required because NWCCU Accreditation Standards include an institution-wide obligation to identify and publish expected course, program, and degree learning outcomes.

To satisfy this requirement, include following components:

  • An overview of course-level student learning outcomes and means of assessment.
  • Identification of how assignments and activities advance learning outcomes, including in-class, online, and/or out-of-class components.
  • If applicable, an overview of how course-level outcomes support UCORE learning outcomes.

Expectations for student effort are required because NWCCU Accreditation Standards and Federal Policy (which WSU has incorporated into Academic Regulation 27) include an institution-wide obligation to identify and publish policies aligning student effort with credit hours earned. To satisfy this requirement, the following components should appear in the course syllabus:

  • Clear guidance for how much time and effort students should expect to invest in the course.
  • Graduate Courses should include the statement, “For each hour of lecture equivalent, students should expect to have a minimum of two hours of work outside class.”
  • Global Campus Courses automatically include credit hour equivalents in the syllabus.

Provision of a course timeline is required because NWCCU Accreditation Standards and Federal Policy (which WSU has incorporated into Academic Regulation 27) include an institution-wide obligation to identify and publish policies aligning student effort with credit hours earned.

To satisfy this requirement, include a timeline for expected organizing questions/topics, assignments, exams, and other course activities. Include dates of additional activities such as field trips or competitions. Ideally, this will show details week-by-week. In LMS spaces, this can be offered as a separate page clearly linked to the course syllabus.

Descriptions of assignments, assessments, and grading policies are required in order to comply with NWCCU standard 2.C.3 and WSU Academic Regulation #90. To satisfy this requirement, do the following:

  • Describe all types of assignments used for assessing student learning outcomes.
  • Provide relative weighting (points or percentages) of assignments in determining final course grades.
  • Provide details for requirements to earn specific grades.
    • Indicate letter-grade equivalencies (such as numerical ranges for each potential grade) or other grading criteria to determine student progress and grades. Consult Academic Regulation 100 for allowable final grades.
    • Provide information about how grades will be rounded and avoid non-specified ranges (e.g., if 89% earns a B+ and 90% earns an A-, what grade is given to a student with an 89.5%?)

Provision of an attendance and make-up policy complies with NWCCU standard 2.C.3 and WSU Academic Regulation 72.


Provide details on how attendance influences final course grades. Seek a balance between grading and attendance policies so that penalties for excessive absences are clear, but that attendance in of itself is not over-represented in the grading scheme.

Make-up exams

Indicate whether and how missed exams can be made up.

Make-up laboratories

Indicate whether and how missed laboratory sessions can be made up.

Sample attendance statement: “Students should make all reasonable efforts to attend all class meetings. However, in the event a student is unable to attend a class, it is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor as soon as possible, explain the reason for the absence (and provide documentation, if appropriate), and make up class work missed within a reasonable amount of time, if allowed. Missing class meetings may result in reducing the overall grade in the class.” 

Provision of an academic integrity statement complies with WAC 504-26-010(3) and WAC 504-26-404. Course-specific sanctions for violating WSU’s Academic Integrity Policy must be included in the bolded italicized portion of the statement below. Include the following statement in your syllabus:

“You are responsible for reading WSU’s Academic Integrity Policy, which is based on Washington State law. If you cheat in your work in this class you will: 

  • [insert academic sanction (e.g., fail the course, fail the assignment, etc.)].
  • Be reported to the Center for Community Standards.
  • Have the right to appeal my decision.
  • Not be able to drop the course or withdraw from the course until the appeals process is finished.  

If you have any questions about what you can and cannot do in this course, ask me.

If you want to ask for a change in my decision about academic integrity, use the form at the Center for Community Standards website. You must submit this request within 21 calendar days of the decision.”

Faculty may also use/adapt the statement available on the Graduate School policies and procedures website under Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Effective Fall 2023, faculty must include the following statement and link to the University syllabus:

“Students are responsible for reading and understanding all university-wide policies and resources pertaining to all courses (for instance: accommodations, care resources, policies on discrimination or harassment), which can be found in the university syllabus.”

This statement replaces the need to include the full text of the statements provided in the university syllabus in your course syllabus.

It is recommended that the course syllabus include policies concerning the following (these lists are not exhaustive):

Classroom expectations

  • Classroom decorum
  • Cell phones and text messaging
  • Late arrivals to or early departures from class

Instructional Methods

  • Will you use group work or peer review?
  • Will students collaborate, work independently, or both?
  • Are there hands-on projects and opportunities for critical inquiry?
  • What are your expectations for groups vs. individual work?
  • How will group work be evaluated?
  • What are the policies concerning assignment revisions or late submissions?

In support of fruitful and open academic discourse, we are all are expected to engage in courteous, civil, and mutually respectful exchanges focused on and relevant to the course materials. Students should not engage in disruptive behavior which obstructs or disrupts the learning environment, including, but not limited to, dominating the classroom or online discussion, behavior that disrupts the flow of instruction, or failure to cooperate in maintaining classroom decorum. Students engaging in behavior that is disruptive to the course objectives may be asked to leave or be referred to the appropriate disciplinary process. I am similarly committed to creating a civil and productive environment for the free exchange of ideas; students who have concerns about this should contact the department chair or director for [that course] (department chairs and directors are available in the academic catalog: 

It is recommended that the course syllabus direct students to information regarding final exams, through a statement such as: “Final exams are scheduled for last week of the semester; the Final Exam Schedule is posted on the Registrar’s website (” It is recommended that if the course does not require a final exam that that be communicated in the course syllabus.

Academic Regulation 90 states that a grade of Incomplete (I) may be entered only if “the student is unable to complete their work on time due to circumstances beyond their control.” It is recommended that instructors clearly articulate a policy concerning incomplete grades in the course syllabus.

It is recommended that all instructors utilize the university’s Learning Management System (LMS) to provide course materials and communicate with students instead of through a personal webpage. See for details about using Canvas, the current LMS used across WSU since Fall 2021. It is recommended that instructors convey in the syllabus any information concerning your course’s LMS resources or other course websites. The LMS can provide a forum to start or continue a course if there is a weather-related or other disruption of campus activities.