Syllabus Success Tips – What you Need to Know! 

A course syllabus is the most important resource you will receive from your professor. The course syllabus will play a critical role in your course’s overall success because it details everything you need to know about the course.  

What is a course syllabus?  

On the first day of class, your professor will distribute the course syllabus and explain its contents. The syllabus serves as a contract for the class.   The syllabus details everything you need to know about the course. From your professor’s general information to the professor’s office hours and contact information; course description, objectives and learning outcomes; the class schedule; attendance requirements; required textbooks and suggested readings; course assignments and deadlines; exam dates; and the grading schedule.  

TIP #1: The first step you should take in preparing to excel in any course is to read the syllabus in its entirety and obtain clarity about its expectations from the professor.   

Why is a course syllabus important?  

If appropriately used, a course syllabus will help you plan your semester efficiently and eliminate any confusion. A course syllabus outlines the professor’s expectations of you and how your performance will be evaluated and graded throughout the course. 

TIP #2: Common questions answered in the syllabus:  

  • What will I be learning in this course?  
  • What are the required textbooks?  
  • What happens if I miss an exam?  
  • What is the policy on late work?  
  • How will I be graded on my work?  
  • What are the due dates for my assignments?  
  • How can I contact my professor? 

Why should you NOT SKIM or PERUSE the syllabus? 

At the beginning of the semester, you must emphatically know what it will take for you to excel in the course and ultimately make an ‘A’! How are you going to accomplish this goal if you do not read the syllabus? 

TIP #3: Read your course syllabus, set your mind on executing its requirements, and exceed its expectations throughout the semester!