Syllabus Policy

Syllabus Policy

Effective: January 3, 2011

Version History: Approved by EPC April 28, 2010; amended and approved by Campus Assembly November 9, 2010, updated & approved by EVCAA April 28, 2017; revised by TLC 10-31-18; approved by EVCAA 1-10-19; approved by TLC 4-20-22, approved by EVCAA 7-13-2022; policy revision and review confirmed by UCC April 23, 2024, approved by EVCAA June 26, 2024

Policy Owner: Academic Affairs

Policy Contacts: Jennifer Mencl (undergraduate), Erik Brown (graduate)

 

Each academic department is responsible for creating and maintaining a digital archive of its syllabi for accreditation purposes and for historical records of classes taught; these archives are not publicly accessible. All faculty teaching UMD classes are responsible for providing an electronic version of their syllabi each term by the end of the second week to their department for its digital archive1. Current and former UMD students requesting syllabi from their previous classes are directed to the departments offering the classes.

During the first week of class, regardless of instruction mode, each instructor is required to provide a typed course syllabus in printed or electronic form to every student in each section of each course taught (including individualized courses). In order to help students complete the course to the best of their abilities, the syllabus must contain:

1. Course subject designator, number, name, section (if applicable), credit hours, current semester or term, and catalog description.

2. Class meeting times and location(s), if applicable.

3. Instructional staff (including TAs) names and contact information: office/drop-in hours, office location, e-mail address, and other relevant details for student meetings.

4. Course prerequisites and/or co-requisites, if applicable.

5. Required and supplemental/recommended course materials such as textbook(s), online readings, Canvas course website, software, and computer use. If necessary, also provide the material location(s).

6. If the course is in the Liberal Education Program, a statement of the category (or categories) that the course fulfills.

7. Student learning outcomes for the course, which include Liberal Education Program category student learning outcomes if applicable. Refer to the Course Numbering Definitions and Requirements policy regarding the distinction of undergraduate and graduate learning outcomes for dual-listed classes.

8. The class’s grading scale and definitions from UMD Policy: Grading & Transcripts.

9. Type and general description of each graded course component (e.g. exams, quizzes, homework, papers, presentations, participation in discussion, blogs, attendance) with the relative weight of each contributing to the final course grade and the identification of student learning outcomes measured by each component. 

10. An approximate timeline and/or topic outline should be included along with a statement recognizing that revisions may occur if necessary. Instructors are encouraged to notify students of the expected timeframe to receive feedback or grades on assigned coursework.

11. Final exam date and time; final exam location (when available). If a “common” final exam will be given, then the date, time, and location should be announced to students in writing as soon as the common exam is officially scheduled.

12. Special outside-of-class requirements as applicable (e.g. field trips, performances, service learning, exams outside of regular class time), including specific dates, times, locations, and whether attendance at the additional activities will be reflected in the course grade.

13. Attendance requirements and penalties for non-attendance. 

14. Statement on participation by students needing academic accommodations, and availability of disability support services. (Note: Services for College in the Schools classes will differ from UMD on-campus services.)

15. Statement about the availability of mental health and stress management support at UMD Health Services. (Note: Services for College in the Schools classes will differ from UMD on-campus services.)

16. Instructor’s class expectations and policies, e.g., late and make-up work, extra credit, appropriate and inappropriate use of technology in the classroom, allowed use of generative artificial intelligence tools, information about what scholastic dishonesty may mean in the context of the class, information about estimated student academic work time for the class (or a reference to the Credit Standards for Instruction and Student Work policy).

17. Discernible information about regular and substantive interaction in the class (UMD policy: Course and Class Section Requirements). (Note: Explicit use of “regular and substantive” phrasing is optional.)

18. Information for IT resources for students who experience IT problems with Canvas and other technologies if applicable.

19. University policy statements or the link to the Recommended Policy Statements for Syllabi website for the following policies, and instructors are encouraged to discuss policy elements particularly applicable to their classes. 

     A. Board of Regents Student Conduct Code and UMD Student Academic Integrity Policy 

     B. Appropriate Use of Class Notes & Course Materials Policy

     C. Excused Absences and Makeup Work Policy

     D. Final Exam Policy

     E. Teaching and Learning: Instructor Responsibilities and Teaching and Learning: Student Responsibilities

     F. Grading and Transcripts Policy 

     G. Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence Policy

     H. Equity, Diversity, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Affirmative Action Policy

     I. Academic Freedom and Responsibility Policy

     J. Board of Regents Disability Services Policy (related to #14) 

20. Recommended: What the instructor intends to do for an in-person class if campus is closed for inclement weather, including finals week when the class’s exam is scheduled.

In addition to these items, syllabi for courses in accredited or licensure programs must be in compliance with the syllabus requirements of the accrediting body. 

 

FAQ:

1. What information about regular and substantive interaction is recommended to include on a syllabus?

The Course and Class Section Requirements policy includes the federal requirements for regular and substantive interaction (RSI). One example of RSI in a syllabus is a statement describing the instructor’s regular communication and/or feedback schedule for students. An example of RSI for in-person, blended, and remote (synchronous, online) classes is scheduled class meeting times. Effective fall 2025, instructors teaching asynchronous online classes will need to determine their regular and substantive interaction with students and then integrate the information into their syllabi. For example, even though a course is asynchronous, an instructor can hold scheduled remote group meeting times on a regular basis throughout the term. Please refer to the Regular and Substantive Interaction Resource Guide [will insert link] for additional information. 

 

1UMD’s syllabus management tool is available for faculty to create syllabi electronically and automatically store them within the tool as PDFs for departments to download for their archives.