Course Syllabi Policy

Reference Number: F10-257
Senate Approval Date: Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Academic Senate Policy #F10 - 257





This policy updates Academic Senate Policy #S08-90 (Policy on Course Syllabi) and Academic Senate Policy #F07-244 (Syllabus Disability Statement Policy), which established requirements for course syllabi.


The guiding logic behind this revision is to balance individual faculty workloads and freedom, on the one hand, with the identified needs of the students, the university, and the faculty as a whole on the other.  This policy does so by:


·      empowering students to take responsibility for their own educational attainments.  By making syllabi explicit and intentional about campus values and expectations for learning, it links instructors and students in advancing students’ knowledge and thinking;


·      emphasizing coherence across the key curricular levels of courses and programs, and thus diminishing the potential disconnect between department, college, and university missions and goals course objectives;


·      addressing the requirements of  accrediting bodies that expect coherent and explicit learning expectations for students.


These three broad goals were endorsed by faculty participants in the 2009-2010 WASC Capacity and Preparatory Report and by the Academic Senate in a March 11, 2008 resolution endorsing the Educational Goals for the Baccalaureate.


I.      Guidelines covering syllabus use in courses 


Students shall receive a written syllabus (digitally or in hard copy) by the first course meeting or, in the case of courses taught online, it will be available to them when the course opens.


During the semester, students shall be notified in writing (digitally or in hard copy) of any substantive changes in the course syllabus. Colleges, schools, departments, or programs may specify additional syllabus requirements for their courses.


II.    Basic information  for all course syllabi


All course syllabi shall include:


  1. the instructor’s name, office location, office phone number, office hours,  and contact information;


  2. the course title and number;


  3. a statement of scope, content, course objectives and student learning outcomes (SLOs) for the course;


  4. a list of texts and materials to be used throughout the course, including any additional fees or costs;


  5. a description of the grading policy;


  6. a description of the  teaching methods to be employed; and


  7. any additional statements required by Academic Senate Policy.


III.  Courses within the University-wide requirements (i.e., General Education and overlay requirements)


In support of the university baccalaureate degree requirements policy and undergraduate baccalaureate goals, additional information will be required on all undergraduate course syllabi proposed for inclusion in the GE program, including:


1.     the student learning outcomes [SLOs] for the GE area (and/or overlay{s}) for which the course is seeking certification;


2.     any course-specific student learning outcomes; and;


3.     linkage of all SLOs (GE area, overlay, and course-specific) to the activities and/or assignments students will complete to demonstrate they have met those SLOs.


IV.  Courses within the major


All new undergraduate and graduate course syllabi submitted for inclusion within a major program shall align course objectives and outcomes to the mission statement or objectives of the major.


V.    Statements required by Academic Senate Policy


All syllabi shall include statements required by Academic Senate Policy, including the university’s statement regarding disability access:


 â€˜Students with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations are encouraged to contact the instructor.  The Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC) is available to facilitate the reasonable accommodations process. The DPRC is located in the Student Service Building and can be reached by telephone (voice/TTY 415-338-2472) or by email (” (  ( seems like a better reference)


This policy replaces Academic Senate Policy #S08-90 (Policy on Course Syllabi) and Academic Senate Policy #F07-244 (Syllabus Disability Statement Policy)




***Approved by the Academic Senate at its meeting on November 2, 2010***


Endorsed by SF State President Robert A. Corrigan on November 24, 2010