YSU Common Syllabus

Your course syllabus serves many purposes. It can be viewed as a "contract" between you and your students where duties are established between faculty and students. It includes information such as your attendance policy and the university's statement of non-discrimination. Your course syllabus can also be seen as a "permanent record" of what happens in a respective course, as it includes information like the current course catalog description and student learning outcomes. Finally, your course syllabus acts as a "learning tool" for your students. A course syllabus provides a visual roadmap for students and should describe how students can be successful in a course (Richmond, 2016). 

Your syllabus should be designed with your students in mind. Research points to several benefits of designing a "learner-centered syllabus," such as increased rapport between students and faculty, increased retention of course details, and increased student perception of effective teaching (Richmond, 2016). The YSU Common Syllabus Templates below have been designed with a focus on your students. If you are interested in learning more about how to create a "learner-centered syllabus," check out Constructing a Learner-Centered Syllabus: One Professor's Journey** (Richmond, 2016).

YSU Common Syllabus Templates

Templates last updated on May 3, 2023. Please note the syllabus is typically updated 1 week before the start of the next semester. Be sure to use an updated template as additional policies have been included.

Academic Senate has approved the use of this common syllabus for all courses at YSU (supporting documentation for Senate). There are a series of required items* that must be included in your syllabus, as well as several recommend items. Using the YSU Common Syllabus templates are optional, and are provided below for your use. These ADA-compliant Microsoft Word templates were designed with your students in mind and utilize language and design that focuses on the learner.

*Please consult with your department and college leadership for any additional required syllabus items.

Using the Common Syllabus Template

  1. Choose your template (in the boxes below) preference and click to download.
  2. Edit your templates using Microsoft Word. Word is accessible to all faculty using your YSU credentials. 
  3. Consider utilizing peer-review for your syllabus. Ask a colleague to review your syllabus and identify places that may need more clarity for students. You can also schedule a consult with the Institute for Teaching and Learning to discuss your syllabus.
  4. Consider utilizing the Checklist for a Learner-Centered Syllabus.
  5. Recommended: Save your final syllabus as a PDF document. This ensures optimal viewing on mobile devices.
  6. Post your syllabus in a central online location for your students, such as your Blackboard course shell (how to add content to Blackboard Ultra or Blackboard Original). Having an online version of your syllabus allows students access to the clickable links in your document.

** If the direct email link doesn't work, email IDDC@ysu.edu to request the Blackboard syllabus.