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The Syllabus and How to Interpret its Information

Most college courses come with a syllabus distributed by the professor on the first day of class. That syllabus is a contract between the student taking the class and the professor teaching the class, and there is no doubt that it can be intimidating at first glance. So, we are dissecting a sample syllabus here, breaking it down into simple terms:

Course title: self explanatory

Course number: consists of 3 letters and 4 digits to identify the course such as PSY 1012

Call number: 5 digit number used to enroll in or drop the course

Term: fall, spring or summer

Course format: lecture, discussion or lab

Day/Date/Time course meets each week: self explanatory

Professor’s office location and office hours: location usually consists of building and room number

Professor’s telephone number (if given): self explanatory

Professor's website and/or email address: use the professor’s preferred method of contact for best success in professor responding

Blackboard website (if one is used for the course): website to post assignments, emails, and grades

Course description: list of assignments with corresponding due dates, course grading system with points earned through examinations, class participation, and assignments

Course objectives: description of what material will be covered in the class, and what students are expected to learn from taking the class

Textbook: required for the class is listed in the syllabus, along with supplemental recommended reads, and bibliography

Class by Class outline: description of material to be covered on a class-by-class basis, subject to change at the professor’s discretion

Student behavior: section that describes expectations of acceptable student behavior, and consequences of unacceptable behavior

Additional university-wise policies and regulations are listed in the FAU catalog at /registrar/universitycatalog/welcome.php

 Last Modified 3/15/14