Crafting a Course Syllabus: Building the Blueprint for your Course

Syllabi provide students with a written overview of the course. The clearer you are in constructing your syllabus, the more pro-active you can be in addressing student expectations and questions. Viewing a syllabus as a blueprint can add coherence to the course and help students view their work in a broader, more meaningful manner.

The average AU undergraduate student takes five courses per semester, with the full-time graduate student taking three courses a semester. That means five (three for graduate students) differently constructed syllabi to interpret and follow, with each syllabus containing different due dates and course policies. The more transparent you are about your expectations for your students’ performance, weekly schedule, and assignment due dates, the more strategic your students can be in their responses and the organization of their time.

Syllabus Elements

This guide includes items commonly included in course syllabi. Each button represents a section of a syllabus: think of each of these sections as the guiding structure for constructing your syllabus. In each section, there are guidelines, things to think about, and additional resources to help you think through your course’s blueprint.

AU Core Courses

Courses in the AU Core need to include additional information in their syllabi. The AU Core team has compiled checklists of the required elements, and has provided other resources to support your syllabus construction process.

General Education Courses

General Education courses need to include additional information in your syllabus.

Specific School/Department Information

Individual schools, departments or programs may have items that they would like you to include in your course syllabus. Please contact your department chair, division director, or dean for more information.