Information on New Course Syllabuses
Centre for Teaching & Learning
It is recommended that instructors consult with the Centre for Teaching & Learning as they develop new courses. CTL Education Developers can support faculty with pedagogical concerns including developing and mapping learning outcomes onto UDLEs, considering diverse instructional strategies, and creating cohesive assessment plans. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a consultation.
Course syllabuses must conform to the following university regulations to be reviewed by USC:
The final grade in a course is based on at least some of the following criteria: in-term oral and written work, in-term or mid-year tests or examinations, final examinations, practica, and community-based projects.
Normally, at least 25% of the grade in an undergraduate half-credit course offered in the Fall/Winter academic session must be determined and made available by the final date for withdrawal. For full-year undergraduate courses, at least 25% of the grade must normally be determined and made available before the mid-year review in January.
No final examination is worth more than 50% of the final grade. Instructors are encouraged not to base final grades entirely on tests and examinations.
With the exception of laboratory examinations in the sciences, no in-class tests or final examinations which are worth more than 10% of the final grade may be held during the last two weeks of classes in the Fall or Winter term. In the Summer session the period during which in-class tests and examinations may not be held is the last two weeks for twelve-week courses and the last week for six-week courses.
The Fall and Winter terms last for 12 weeks each, and contain a one-week reading break per term. The Summer session comprises one twelve-week term or two six-week terms.
Student Contact Hours
A classroom course normally consists of three class contact hours each week (36 hours for half-credit courses, 72 hours for full-credit courses). Courses with a laboratory component will normally exceed three class contact hours per week. Summer session full- and half-credit courses represent the equivalent number of class contact hours within a shorter period of time.
Using the Syllabus Template
Note on syllabus format: For submission to USC, the Course Syllabus Template (.docx), a PDF of the syllabus created in Syllabus Builder on myTrent, or an approved departmental syllabus template are accepted.
Fill in the syllabus content fields as best reflects the course – you may not need to use each section. For example, you may wish to include readings in the Schedule section, in which case you could leave the Readings field blank.
- Meeting times: Include the instructional format and frequency/length of offering (e.g., weekly 2h lecture and 1h tutorial).
- Course Description: The description may duplicate or expand on the description as found in the Academic Calendar.
- Learning Outcomes: These are statements outlining what successful students will be expected to have learned by the end of the course; things that students will know or be able to do.
- Course Fees: If there are any additional course fees, please include these here. Note: Courses required for the completion of a degree may not have additional fees for field trips or course material.
- Texts: Any required or recommended texts associated with the course.
- Readings: A schedule or list of any course readings.
- Assessments, Assignments and Tests: An explanation of all assessments, assignments and tests that must be completed as part of the course. Provide details on assessment methods as appropriate. Examples include but are not limited to: How are marks for participation or presentations earned? What are the expectations? If a group project is assigned, how will grades be determined for each student?
- Grading: A breakdown of the grading components for the course. List assignments with the weighting in % and week due for each.
- Course Guidelines: Any additional guidelines that are specific to this course.
- Schedule: An outline of the course schedule.