Syllabus Language and Policies

A well thought out syllabus can help students decide which courses are best for them and plan for the semester.  

Penn has no official set of statements that an instructor must include on their syllabus. The following is a list of policies and statements that instructors might consider. Some instructors include them in a traditional paper syllabus, others post policies and expectations in Canvas and some just discuss them in class.  In some places, CTL has linked out to samples from other instructors but in some places (like the basic information about the course) each instructor will have to create unique language.  

Basic Information About the Course

  • Contact information for the instructor(s) and TA(s), including email, offices and their location.
  • Course description that explains the course’s scope and purpose as well as the format of the course.
  • List of readings or other resources students may need.
  • List of what students should be able to do by the end of the course.
  • Percentage breakdown of how different assignments will contribute to the final grade.
  • Description of major assignments.

Setting Expectations

Course Policies

Information about Campus Resources


Instructors may be interested in addressing other issues in their syllabus as well.  The blocks below outline some ideas for creating some syllabi that address specific concerns.