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What’s in a syllabus?

Your course syllabus can be organized and formatted however you wish.  Some guidelines endorsed by the QC Academic Senate (back in 2009) are provided here, by the Office of the Provost.

Consider including all of the following on your syllabus:

  • Course information

    Course title, department and number, number of credits and number of hours

  • Catalog description

    You should be able to find this in the QC bulletin.
  • Pre-requisites

    Pre-requisites for the course and requirement the course fulfills (if you are unsure about these, ask your chair or look up the course in the QC bulletin).

  • Learning outcomes

    Learning outcomes for the course and how these outcomes map onto assignments or activities.

  • Required and recommended texts and materials

    Include information on how to acquire or access these. Include in this section information about what online resources students will need to access, and with what frequency; provide information about how to access these resources (where to get an account, where to login).

  • Schedule

    A tentative schedule, or at least information on assignment due dates and in-class exam dates. Make it very clear when your class meets in person and what is expected of students for sessions during which you will not meet.

  • Mode of instruction

    Description of the mode of instruction: if the course is completely face-to-face, description of class format and explanation of attendance and participation expectations; if the course is partially or fully online, description of expectations and procedures for online work.  The CUNY-wide definitions of mode of instruction are here:

    • In Person: No course assignments and no required activities are delivered online.
    • Web-enhanced: No scheduled class meetings are replaced, but some of the course content and assignments, as well as required or optional activities, are online.
    • Partially online: Up to 32% of scheduled class meetings are replaced with online activities or virtual meetings.
    • Hybrid (blended): Between 33% and 80% of the scheduled class meetings are replaced with online activities or virtual meetings.
    • Online: More than 80% but less than 100% of scheduled class meetings are replaced with online activities or virtual meetings.
    • Fully online: 100% of scheduled class meetings are replaced with online activities or virtual meetings. All of the class work, including exams, is online.

  • Assessment

    Include a description of how student grades will be determined, including all components that contribute to the final grade and their relative weight.

  • CUNY Policies/Student services

    Information about any relevant policies or available services, including:

    • CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity
    • Course policy on use of student work
    • Course evaluations
    • Services for students with disabilities
    • Tutoring or other support services
    • Tech support
  • Pathways

    If your course meets the Pathways requirements, include a statement to that effect and list the discipline-specific learning outcomes.


Here is some suggested language for university- and college-wide policies and services.  (If you will be using both an electronic and a paper syllabus, it is good to include URLs spelled out in parentheses.)

  • CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity

    The CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity, as adopted by the Board, is available to all students. Academic dishonesty is prohibited in the City University of New York and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion.

  • Use of Student Work

    All programs in New York State undergo periodic reviews by accreditation agencies. For these purposes, samples of student work are occasionally made available to those professionals conducting the review. Anonymity is assured under these circumstances. If you do not wish to have your work made available for these purposes, please let the professor know before the start of the second class. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

  • Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

    Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should register with and provide documentation to the Special Services Office, Frese Hall, Room 111. The Special Services Office will provide a letter for you to bring to your instructor indicating the need for accommodation and the nature of it. This should be done during the first week of class. For more information about services available to Queens College students, contact the Special Services Office (718-997-5870) or visit their website: https://www.qc.cuny.edu/StudentLife/services/specialserv/Pages/default.aspx.

  • Course Evaluations

    During the final four weeks of the semester, you will be asked to complete an evaluation for this course by filling out an online questionnaire. Please remember to participate in these course evaluations. Your comments are highly valued, and these evaluations are an important service to fellow students and to the institution, since your responses will be pooled with those of other students and made available online, in the Course Evaluations site. Please also note that all responses are completely anonymous; no identifying information is retained once the evaluation has been submitted.

  • Technical Support

    The Queens College Helpdesk, (718) 997-4444, helpdesk@qc.cuny.edu) is located in the I-Building, Room 151 and provides technical support for students who need help with Queens College email, CUNY portal, Blackboard, and CUNYfirst.


Finally, to make creating a syllabus easier, download and customize this template: http://bit.ly/ctl-syllabus-template

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