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Syllabus Requirements

Requirements for a Course Syllabus

James Madison University and its regional accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), require that instructors provide specific information to their students through a written syllabus.

SACSCOC Requirements

The four bullets below are minimum requirements; how they are interpreted is determined by the academic unit. All JMU instructors must comply with these requirements for undergraduate and graduate courses.

  • Goals of the course

Examples: Course objectives, learning outcomes

  • Nature of the course content

Examples: Catalog description, prerequisites, corequisites, schedule, method of instruction

  • Requirements of the course

Examples: Course texts, assignments and due dates, contact information, policies on academic honesty, accommodations, attendance, classroom etiquette, make-ups, participation, professional behavior , etc.

  • Methods of evaluation

Examples: Assignments (quizzes, tests, papers, projects, etc.) and their weighting/percentage, homework, how final grades are calculated, etc. 

JMU Requirements

The Division of Academic Affairs requires that the following information be included as part of each course syllabus:

  • Course Information (Course number, title, section number and credit hours)
  • Instructor Contact Information
  • Attendance Policy
  • Academic Honesty/Honor Council Statement
  • Adding/Dropping Courses Policy
  • Disability Accommodations
  • Inclement Weather Policy
  • Religious Observation Accommodations

The general syllabus template below includes suggested language for these topics. You may also choose to link to the Student Syllabi Resource Web site (www.jmu.edu/syllabus) as part of your syllabus.

Dual-level Courses

Dual-level courses (a course taught jointly at the undergraduate and graduate level) must have a different syllabus for both levels of the course that specify the additional requirements for graduate students along with a detailed syllabus explaining course requirements for each level.

Additional Syllabi Requirements

  • Colleges and academic units may have additional requirements for syllabus content. Contact your unit coordinator or the chair of your C&I committee for specific details.
  • All courses, including dissertations, independent studies, practica, research and readings, special topics, thesis courses, etc., must have a written syllabus.

Example Templates

Here are several sample syllabi that you may use as a guide in developing your own syllabus. The examples have information that is not required for all courses, but it may contain helpful ideas for the creation of a course syllabus for your courses.

For a general syllabus template, click Syllabus TemplateWORD

For thesis syllabus templates (provided by Graduate Psychology), click Recommendations for a Thesis Course (First) and Recommendations for a Thesis Course (Second)WORD




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