The School of Education requires that all syllabi follow the approved template. See the Common Syllabus Checklist for general guidance and contact your Department Chair for the appropriate syllabus to be used for a given course. Updated syllabi should be sent to Ramona Valencia ( before the beginning of the semester along with a signed Teaching Contract. After signing the contract, updated syllabi can be sent electronically to the Dean’s Office.


Syllabus Format

In Fall 2021, the University adopted the use of Simple Syllabus, an online platform that enables instructors to create an easy-to-manage, interactive syllabi for their courses at USF.  It is integrated into your Canvas site.  Find out more about Simple Syllabus, how to use it and how to integrate it into your Canvas site at the Simple Syllabus Introduction site.


Here are other links to Simple Syllabus resources:


Syllabus Content

Please note that a course syllabus must include information and specific language on a number of items, including class meeting times and attendance requirements, disability accommodations, grading, writing support and Academic Integrity. This information is also addressed in this Faculty section in the appropriate subcategories.  Below, please find the Common Syllabus Content Checklist.  The checklist includes items that should appear on your syllabus.

Common Syllabus Content Checklist: Adopted by Curriculum Committee 10/2014, Updated 9/2016, Updated 3/2020

  • Center “Title”: USF School of Education, Department or Program, Course Number [CRN] Title, (Units), Semester Year
  • Course Schedule: (dates, times, classroom number)
  • Seat Hour/Out-of-class hour guidelines (see model below; pick one that applies to the course depending on the units)
  • NOTE: The [course title] meets the equivalent of [insert one of the following]:

1 unit for 1 semester. Per USF Credit Hour Policy 1 unit courses require 12.5 hours of seat time and 32.5 hours of out of class time for a total of 45 hours.

 2 units for 1 semester. Per USF Credit Hour Policy 2 unit courses require 25 hours of seat time and 65 hours of out of class time for a total of 90 hours.

3 units for 1 semester. Per USF Credit Hour Policy 3 unit courses require 37.5 hours of seat time and 97.5 hours of out of class time for a total of 135 hours.

4 units for 1 semester. Per USF Credit Hour Policy 4 unit courses require 50 hours of seat time and 130 hours of out of class time for a total of 180 hours.

  • Instructor Contact Information: name, title; including contact information e.g. phone number(s) with area code and email.  Please include your zoom room information for the class “location”.
  • Office Hours: When students can meet with you outside of the class.  Please include your zoom room information for the “location” of your office hours.
  • Course Description: Insert the description in the USF catalogue: Find on USF website at  Click on “program menu” on right side.
  • Course Overview: If instructors for a course want to provide a more detailed description beyond the Course Description, this is the place to do it. For credential programs, if this is included in the syllabi it should reflect the CTC Program Standards that apply to this course. It would be good to link, where possible and appropriate to the TPEs. For noncredential programs, the syllabi should reflect professional standards (licensing) and/or program learning outcomes.
  • Course Learning Outcomes: Learning Outcomes describe what knowledge, skills, or behaviors students are expected to be able to demonstrate by the end of the course. Include about three to seven course outcomes, articulated at the course level. These should be stated in measurable terms and should be directly measured by an appropriate course assignment. 
  • Cross Listed Course: If the course is cross-listed, include a brief description of how course requirements differ for M.A. and Ed.D students. These differences should be reflected in course requirements.  Crosslisted courses should differentiate between M.A. and Ed.D outcomes, either by including separate outcomes or indicating different levels of mastery.
  • Required Textbooks/Readings: All sections of a course should have at least 1-2 major readings/texts in common.
  • Course Requirements: This is a list of all expectations/requirements, assignments, and due dates. If there are additional instructions beyond what is in syllabus, explain how these will be provided. There should be a common requirement/assessment used across all sections of a course with a common evaluation.
  • Attendance: Provide details related to course attendance including how much time a student may miss and still pass the course, how missed time will be “made-up”, tardies or leaving class early. Make sure this is consistent with department/program policies.  Please note the section above on considerations for an updated attendance policy for Fall 2020.
  • Written Coursework Guidelines: Do you have specific requirements for work being turned in? Hard copy? Electronic? Etc. For example: 

All work must be typed, in 12 point font, and double spaced unless otherwise directed by instructor. 

When citing sources, please use APA format and provide a reference list when appropriate. 

Paginate any paper of more than 2 pages and be sure your name and date are on the paper. 

Please proofread all work. 

Do not rely on spell check programs.

  • Course Evaluation: How will work be evaluated? Make sure you are specific about how you will grade the course? What is policy about due dates/late work? How should work be given to instructor – in class, emailed, posted to Canvas? Will you allow for Incomplete (I) grades?  This is also a good place to put an Academic Honesty statement and information about the Writing Center. 
  • Class Meeting Schedule: This is a list of class meeting dates, a list of topics to be covered, reading/assignments due at each class meeting, etc. Consider putting in a disclaimer like the one below: 

This course meeting schedule serves the student only as a general guideline. The instructor may delete or add topics and/or assignments as the semester progresses based on the needs of the students. The course topics and reading assignments are subject to slight changes as we progress through the semester.

  • Students with Disabilities: The University of San Francisco is committed to providing equal access to students with disabilities. If you are a student with a disability, or if you think you may have a disability, please contact Student Disability Services (SDS) at or 415 422-2613, to speak with a disability specialist (please note all communication with SDS is private and confidential). If you are eligible for accommodations, please request that your accommodation letter be sent to me as soon as possible (students are encouraged to contact SDS at the beginning of the semester), as accommodations are not retroactive. Once I have been notified by SDS of your accommodations we can discuss your accommodations and ensure your access to this class or clinical setting. For more information please visit the SDS website
  • Writing Center: Some students may wish to obtain editorial assistance with grammar, syntax, and style, which is acceptable. Editorial assistance for content is unacceptable. If you need help with the former, the Writing Center is located in Cowell Hall 227 on the main campus. Phone (415) 422-6273 to arrange an appointment. The Writing Center will arrange for a writing coach to work with you at no cost. Help is also available online.
  • Academic Honesty: Whenever you quote from, make reference to, or use ideas attributable to others in your writing, you must identify these sources in citations or references or both. If you do not identify the source, whether deliberately or accidentally, then you have committed plagiarism. Plagiarism, defined as the act of stealing or using as one’s own the ideas of another, is not permitted in work submitted for courses at USF or in any published writing. Please read the complete text related to academic honesty in the Fogcutter Student Handbook under “Student Conduct, University Standards, Policies and Procedures:  University faculty may use internet-based services to identify those portions of the person’s written assignments that might not meet the full standards of academic integrity.
  • Incomplete (I) Grades: Incomplete (I) grades may only be issued after consultation with, and approval by instructor. An Incomplete Grade/Course Completion Form must be filled out, signed by both the student and instructor, and submitted to the Dean's Office. Incomplete (I) grades will automatically be changed to a Failing (F) grade after one full semester unless the Incomplete Grade/Course Completion Form stipulates a longer period of time. The instructor must request the continuation of the incomplete grade remain in the subsequent semester. If the Incomplete Grade/Course Completion plan is not completed within the agreed upon timeframe, the Failing (F) grade will stand and the student must re-enroll in the course.  
  • Unregistered “guests”, including children and pets, may not attend this course.
  • Optional Textbooks/Instructional Materials: Articles will be handed out to provide in-depth readings on specific issues. In addition, resource lists of Optional Readings and additional Instructional Materials will be handed out during the course of the seminar.
  • Participation: Do you have a policy about participation? For example: Active participation is defined as sharing questions, concerns, constructive feedback, support, ideas, and resources. Active participation is being attentive, self-motivated, respectful, independent, responsible, and flexible. This also means that you will have completed assignments and readings listed in the syllabus for the class date each is due. Attendance alone does not constitute active participation.
  • Policies about cell phones, computers, etc. For example: As a courtesy to the instructor and your fellow students, please turn off all cell phones and other electronic devices during class. If there is a reason to have your cell phone on, please put it on vibrate. While computers/tablets may be useful at times during the course, there will also be times when they are a distraction. Thus, there will be times when you are asked to put your computers/tablets away.