Note: This template is intended as a guide to the information instructors must include in their syllabus, and it offers supportive suggestions where appropriate.

  • Instructors are free to add graphics, revise phrasing, use second person, etc., as they see necessary to create an inclusive and engaging syllabus.
  • All text in italics (and highlighted on the downloadable Word document) should be reviewed by instructors as they use this template and removed/adjusted as appropriate.

Syllabus template

The University of Iowa
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Semester, Year

Title of Course: Number and Section
Also provide course number and section and, if cross-listed, other numbers of courses on MyUI.

Course meeting time and place: Class times and classroom and/or information on online modality
Department of XX: [instructors: provide link to departmental website]

Course ICON site: To access the course site, log into Iowa Courses Online (ICON) using your Hawk ID and password.

Course Home
For Undergraduate Courses: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is the home of this course, and CLAS governs the add and drop deadlines, the “second-grade only” option (SGO), academic misconduct policies, and other undergraduate policies and procedures. Other UI colleges may have different policies.

For Graduate Courses: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is the home of this course, and CLAS governs the policies and procedures for its courses. Graduate students, however, must adhere to the academic deadlines set by the Graduate College.

Office location:
Student drop-in hours: [Instructors: Select a minimum of 3 hours/week. Define these hours in a way that helps students to understand their purpose (e.g., Students are invited to drop by during these hours to discuss questions about the course material or concerns. I am also available by appointment if you are unable to attend my drop-in hours.) Note: instructors may choose the modality of student drop-in hours, keeping in mind that in-person courses should have some in-person hours.]
DEO: name, office location, and email address

Course Supervisor [only for classes that have a course supervisor]:
Office and hours:
Phone and e-mail:

Description of Course
Instructors: Give a description of the course subject matter and some of the reasons for its importance or other contextual material. This description should align with the General Catalog and MyUI descriptions.

Learning Objectives 
Instructors: List the learning outcomes of the courses, including the skills practiced and the knowledge gained of particular subject matter and/or of an approach to learning. Learning objectives should align with class activities and assessments and with the program learning outcomes listed in the General Catalog. Note: If the course is a GE CLAS Core course, please include this fact in the description, noting its area within the program and the goals or objectives of the course in terms of the GE area outcomes. Visit this link to review the goals of each area within the GE CLAS Core.

Instructors: If no textbook is required, please list appropriate content sources and where students can find them. You are responsible for placing book orders with the Hawk Shop and University Bookstore in the Iowa Memorial Union before early registration begins.

The required textbook(s) for this course are:

  • Title
  • ISBN
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • Copyright Year

Academic Honesty and Misconduct
All students in CLAS courses are expected to abide by the CLAS Code of Academic Honesty. Undergraduate academic misconduct must be reported by instructors to CLAS according to these procedures. Graduate academic misconduct must be reported to the Graduate College according to Section F of the Graduate College Manual.

Instructors: please provide guidance on particular academic honesty policies in your course, such as the role of collaboration with other classmates on homework assignments and exams, using internet study services and exam review tools, use and misuse of AI tools, etc.

Student Complaints
Students with a complaint about a grade or a related matter should first discuss the situation with the instructor and/or the course supervisor (if applicable), and finally with the Director or Chair of the school, department, or program offering the course.

Undergraduate students should contact CLAS Undergraduate Programs for support when the matter is not resolved at the previous level. Graduate students should contact the CLAS Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Outreach and Engagement when additional support is needed.

Drop Deadline for this Course
You may drop an individual course before the deadline; after this deadline you will need collegiate approval. You can look up the drop deadline for this course here. When you drop a course, a “W” will appear on your transcript. The mark of “W” is a neutral mark that does not affect your GPA. Directions for adding or dropping a course and other registration changes can be found on the Registrar’s website. Undergraduate students can find policies on dropping CLAS courses here. Graduate students should adhere to the academic deadlines and policies set by the Graduate College.

Grading System and the Use of +/-
Instructors: Almost all instructors use the plus/minus for grades. You must let students know whether the course uses the plus or minus grading system, including whether A+ is given and the criteria for earning it. For CLAS undergraduate grading guidelines and best practices, see this page. For graduate grading guidelines see this page.

Final grades will be awarded based on the following ranges: Instructors, please add percentages for how each grade below will be assigned.

A                     B                     C                     D                     F

A+                   B+                   C+                  D+                    F 

A                     B                     C                     D 

A-                   B-                    C-                    D- 

Course Grades
Final course grades will be assessed based on your performance in the following activities:

Instructors: Examples for different types of assignments are below; replace with your own content, including as much detail as possible about the number and type of assignments and late work policies, or remove if not appropriate. Outline the percentage that each assignment, project, quiz, exam, etc., is worth.

Example language for quizzes: To ensure that students are completing the course readings and understanding the material, regular quizzes, covering assigned readings and administered on ICON Quizzes, will be given. The reading quizzes will be worth 10 points each. Starting in week two, the quizzes will be offered at roughly two to three-week intervals. They will evaluate key information presented in the course readings for the time covered by the quiz.

Example language for class participation: [note: including a basic rubric for class participation grading is really helpful to students.] Regular and prompt attendance is mandatory for this course. Since a substantial percentage of your grade will be based on class attendance and participation (15%), it is in your interest to attend every class and to arrive with significant contributions to make to discussions. Participation in this class includes making lists of issues for class discussion and giving prepared, oral responses to questions on textual and visual materials.

Example language for papers: Each student will prepare two short (about 3 pages) essays. Students will discuss and work on these essays during discussion section, and several of the assignments will involve preparation of some aspect of these essays, such as a draft thesis statement, introduction, and conclusion. You will receive feedback from the instructor or students on these components so you can revise and improve your final submission. Each assignment is posted on ICON. Essays are to be submitted electronically via ICON by the due dates posted in the “Course Calendar” below. Each assignment will be worth 50 points toward the final grade. Work submitted late will be subject to a 5% penalty for each day/portion of day submitted after the date due deadline.

Example language for case studies: At the end of each unit, we will have a case study assignment. Students will read an assigned set of articles related to the unit. After reading the articles, students will complete a series of assignments, including solving questions from the articles, posting on course discussion boards to comment on key aspects of the articles, and submitting written reflections that respond to prompts about the articles. Detailed instructions and rubrics will be provided for each case study as we complete each unit.

Example language for exams: Two exams of equal weight will be given. Each exam will cover material from approximately half of the course, including information presented in lecture, discussion section, and the assigned readings. The exams will test student’s knowledge of basic concepts, terms, and general trends discussed in the course. Study guides will be posted on ICON at least a week before the exam. Suggested study techniques for the exam are for the student to complete all the assigned readings for the exam and then to use course notes, readings, and PowerPoint slides to be sure that they are familiar with all the terms and concepts outlined on the study guide. These exams will consist of a mix of short answer, multiple choice, and true/false questions.

Date and Time of the Final Exam
The final examination date and time will be announced by the Registrar generally by the fifth week of classes and it will be announced on the course ICON site once it is known. Do not plan your end of the semester travel plans until the final exam schedule is made public. It is your responsibility to know the date, time, and place of the final exam. According to Registrar's final exam policy, students have a maximum of two weeks after the announced final exam schedule to request a change if an exam conflict exists or if a student has more than two exams in one day (see the policy here).

Calendar of Course Assignments and Exams
Instructors: Detailed reading assignments, other assignments, and exams should be noted on a calendar of assignments. If this calendar is in ICON, direct students how to find it. Calendar headings highlighting topics or ideas studied each week can be very helpful to students. It is also helpful for students to have an evaluated assignment before the third week of the class in order to provide explicit course expectations. Also, students are more likely to participate and attend a class when graded assignments occur throughout the semester on a regular basis. Please remember that final exams may be given only during finals week according to CLAS policy (unless the course is off-cycle). Likewise, no major exams may be given the week before finals week (unless CLAS has made a rare exception for the course).

Attendance and Absences
Instructors: Describe all attendance, absence, and late work policies in detail. Be as clear as possible about the absence policy for the course and consider asking students to use the absence form on ICON under Student Tools.CLAS recommends that departments regularly discuss and agree upon, when appropriate, reasonable attendance guidelines for courses depending on the level, scope, and role of course in departmental curriculum. CLAS also encourages instructors to consider flexible absence policies. You can find CLAS guidance on absences here.

University regulations require that students be allowed to make up examinations that have been missed due to illness, religious holy days, military service obligations (including service-related medical appointments), or other unavoidable circumstances or University-sponsored activities. Students with UI-authorized activities must discuss their absences with the instructor as soon as possible. Religious obligations must be communicated within the first three weeks of classes.

Other Expectations of Student Performance [optional]
Some instructors include expectations for civil behavior and consequences for any disturbances of the class, especially for those involving technology, which can distract those students sitting by the user. Students have the right to a distraction-free learning environment. Please also stress that students are expected to help each other learn and to contribute overall to the learning environment of the course. Arriving prepared for class is part of this expectation.

Communication: UI Email
Students are responsible for all official correspondences sent to their UI email address ( and must use this address for any communication with instructors or staff in the UI community. For the privacy and the protection of student records, UI faculty and staff can only correspond with UI email addresses.

Where to Get Academic Support for This Course
Instructors: Remind students here about your drop-in student hours and also provide information on departmental, collegiate, or university resources helpful for this course, such as the Writing Center or the Tutor Iowa central academic support site

Mental Health Resources and Student Support
CLAS encourages instructors to draw students’ attention to the expanded language on mental health resources in this template at the beginning of the course and frequently throughout the semester.

Students are encouraged to be mindful of their mental health and seek help as a preventive measure or if feeling overwhelmed and/or struggling to meet course expectations. Students are encouraged to talk to their instructor for assistance with specific class-related concerns. For additional support and counseling, students are encouraged to contact University Counseling Service (UCS). Information about UCS, including resources and how to schedule an appointment, can be found at Find out more about UI mental health services at

Student Care and Assistance provides assistance to University of Iowa students who are experiencing a variety of crisis and emergency situations, including but not limited to medical issues, family emergencies, unexpected challenges, and sourcing basic needs such as food and shelter. More information on the resources related to basic needs can be found at Students are encouraged to contact Student Care & Assistance in the Office of the Dean of Students (Room 135 IMU,, or 319-335-1162) for support and assistance with resources.

University Policies
The following links are a series of important university policies that must be included in your syllabus. Please make sure that the links work in the format you provide to your students (i.e., they must work in a PDF copy of the syllabus). 

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
The University is committed to providing an educational experience that is accessible to all. If a student has a diagnosed disability or other disabling condition that may impact the student’s ability to complete the course requirements as stated in the syllabus, the student may seek accommodations through Student Disability Services (SDS). SDS is responsible for making Letters of Accommodation (LOA) available. The student must provide an LOA to the instructor as early in the semester as possible, but requests not made at least two weeks prior to the scheduled activity for which an accommodation is sought may not be accommodated. The LOA will specify what reasonable course accommodations the student is eligible for and those the instructor should provide. Additional information can be found on the SDS website.