Syllabus Elements

This page, as well as the syllabus element details page and COVID-19 statements page, outlines all required and recommended elements of a standard syllabus. Their purpose is to give all instructors the necessary components to provide timely, up-to-date, empathetic, and fair information to their students, in order to improve communication, and therefore student success.

These resources are based partly on the work of O’Brien, Mills, & Cohen (2008) who recommend a learning-centered approach to composing a course syllabus. We recommend you review the information in these pages, and choose elements that are suitable for your course. As policies change or best practice suggests improvement, these pages will be updated.

Please note that the table on this page is meant to provide an at-a-glance view of the many syllabus elements to consider. Details about these elements appear on the following syllabus element details page. You can also download an editable copy of this page.

Required and Recommended Elements of Syllabi at Memorial University
Element Required by University Regulations 6.7.2 Recommended for all Syllabi
1. Instructor Information
  • Information about your availability for consultation outside of class
  • Pronouns and Means of Address.
  • Office hours.
  • A statement regarding response times for inquiries.
  • Short biography.
2. Land Acknowledgement
  • Memorial’s Land Acknowledgement. If used in syllabus, it is recommended to deliver the acknowledgement verbally during the first synchronous or face-to-face class.
3. Course Information
  • Required prerequisites or corequisites
  • Course description.
  • Course expectations.
  • Statement of fair warning regarding course content.
4. Course Format
  • Course delivery format.
  • An in-person course welcome with safety message.
  • A statement regarding transition to remote learning.
5. Goals and Outcomes
  • Clearly outline what you want students to be able to demonstrate at the end of your course.
6. Required Text and Resources
  • Required textbooks, materials, or other resources that must be purchased by students
  • Any additional required resources.
  • Any additional recommended resources.
  • A statement regarding how resources should be used.
7. Method of Evaluation
  • The allocation of marks for all parts of the evaluation including assignments, laboratory projects, presentations, tests, mid-term examinations, and/or final examinations.
  • Wherever possible, an explanation of the alternate evaluation which will be offered to students who are unable to complete a part of the evaluation due to acceptable cause, as described under Exemptions from Parts of the Evaluation (University Regulation 6.7.5).
  • With the exception of final examinations, and in accordance with Scheduling of Parts of the Evaluation (University Regulation 6.7.3), the probable dates of all in-class parts of the evaluation, and the probable dates on which all take-home parts of the evaluation are due.
  • Statements regarding any COVID-19 related assessment changes.
  • Participation expectations.
  • Submission policies.
  • Information regarding any final examinations including reference to University Regulations 6.8.
  • Information regarding any supplementary exams if offered by the faculty, department, or school.
8. Additional Policies
  • A statement of Memorial University of Newfoundland’s commitment to accommodation of students with disabilities.
  • A statement regarding academic integrity, including a reference to the entry on Academic Misconduct (University Regulation 6.12).
  • Information regarding any restrictions around the use of visual recordings, audio recordings, or personal electronic devices during classes, excluding any provisions made for students with special needs.
  • In line with the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Act, a statement regarding student equity and the provision of a safe learning environment regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, social origin, religious creed, religion, age, disability, disfigurement, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family status, source of income or political opinion.
9. COVID-19 Supports
  • A statement regarding general COVID-19 supports.
  • A statement regarding vaccinations and masks.
  • A statement regarding the COVID Alert app.
10. Your Health
  • A statement regarding student health needs and doctor’s notes.
  • A statement regarding staying home when you are unwell.
11. Additional Supports
  • A list, statement, or link, outlining available academic supports.
  • A list, statement, or link, outlining available student life supports.
12. Instructor Feedback A brief statement regarding:
  • the use of any student feedback mechanisms,
  • the timing of feedback,
  • how feedback is used, and
  • its value.
13. Tentative Course Schedule
  • A tentative timeline (e.g., a table) of topics broken down by week, including any tutorials, online meetings, assignments, tests, or assigned readings.
  • An indication of alignment with any required resources (e.g., what sections of the text correspond with scheduled topics or lectures).
  • A statement regarding the procedure for lecture or laboratory cancellations.
  • An intellectual property statement regarding lecture and course material (e.g., permissions required for the reproduction of material).
14. Specific Requirements for Your Discipline
  • Instructors should consult with their respective departments, schools, or faculties, to determine if there are additional discipline-based regulations or standard syllabi formats required.
15. Asking for a Reference After the Course
  • Your instructors are a resource for you both during this class, and beyond its completion, most often as possible sources for reference letters for employment. Building relationships with your instructors through asking questions, attending office hours, etc., not only supports positive outcomes for you as a student; it also helps your instructors become better able to assist you in the future, as possible references for further education or employment.