Washington State University

Office of the VPUE

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Washington State University

Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Policies (Undergraduate & Graduate)

For Course Planning & Syllabi

Course Planning and Syllabi

The information below outlines requirements, recommendations, and additional resources for faculty related to course planning and syllabi. The 2015 Syllabus Checklist provides an updated guide for syllabi design.

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Required for Course SyllabiRecommended for SyllabiResources and Other Policies

Required for Course Syllabi

According to WSU's Educational Policies and Procedure Manual:
The instructor(s) of each course shall make available to enrolled students a course syllabus which should (a) be presented during the first week of class, and (b) include information about the method(s) to be used for evaluation of student progress and determination of grades. The University, College, or Academic Unit may, in published policies, specify additional information to be included in course syllabi. Each course syllabi should include the following items:


  • Instructor(s)contact information (office location, telephone number, and email address) and office hours; TA contact information and office hours.
  • Course prefix and number, title, number of credit hours, and prerequisites; UCORE category as applicable.
  • Meeting schedule with times and building(s)/room(s).
  • List of required and recommended reading materials.
  • Required fees or field trips.


  • Student Learning Outcomes: For any course taught/offered at WSU, a course syllabus must contain student learning outcomes, and a method of assessing them.
  • Week-to-week course outline including dates of in-class and out-of-class activities ( e.g. Field trips, competitions, or other commitments) and assignment deadlines.
  • Descriptions of required assignments.

Grading Policies

  • Relative weighting of required assignments in the midterm and final grades
  • Any penalties for late assignments
  • Grading criteria
  • Composition of midterm and final grades
  • Attendance or participation policies

Policy Statements on Safety, Conduct, and Accessibility

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Method of course delivery

Lecture, discussion, online, AMS, lab, studio, fieldtrips, etc.

Instructor-Specific Expectations

  • Many Faculty members find a list of expectations for student conduct helful in setting a productive classroom tone.
  • Do you have policies about cell phones and text messaging in class, late papers, or late arrivals to class? What are your expectations regarding safety procedures? Do you remind freshman and sophomores to keep papers for Writing Portfolios submissions?

Instructional Methods

Will you be using group work or peer review? Do you expect students to collaborate or work independently? Will your course be a combination of lecture and interactive discussion? Do you have hands-on projects and opportunities for critical inquiry? Spell out expectations of groups vs. individual work, evaluation of group work, permissible re-writes or revisions, allowable collaboration, etc.

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Resources and Other Policies

Absence Policies

The Office of the Registrar posts academic regulations regarding absences (see #73) and faculty should be familiar with those.

Academic Integrity at WSU

Academicintegrity.wsu.edu offers resources and references for faculty.

Academic Regulations

The Office of the Registrar lists Academic Regulations.

Campus Safety and Emergency Policies

All faculty and staff members and students are responsible for knowing what to do in case of an emergency on campus. The WSU Campus Safety offers detailed information as does the
Office of Emergency Management including links to further resources.

Faculty are further responsible for:

  • discussing with students in each class and laboratory the emergency policies specific to that location.
  • including links to web sites in every course syllabus.
  • posting such information on course web sites.

Closed Week (Also Known as Dead Week)

According to Academic Regulation (#79) per the Office of the Registrar, “No examinations or quizzes (other than laboratory examinations, make-up examinations and make-up quizzes) may be given during the last week of instruction.” Note that special arrangements may be made for paper-proctored exams at a distance.

Academic Regulation #27: Credit Definition

Academic credit is a measure of the total minimum time commitment required of a typical student in a specific course. See www.catalog.wsu.edu/General/AcademicRegulations/ListBy/27

Education Policies and Procedures Manual (EPPM)

The faculty senate approves Education Policies and Procedures.

Faculty Manual

Policies related specifically to expectations of faculty members in regard to courses and interactions with students are in the Faculty Manual.


Students have rights regarding protection of their academic records in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Grade Appeals

According to the Education Policies and Procedures Manual (EPPM), “Students having complaints about instruction or grading should refer them first to the instructor. If the complaint is not resolved, then the student may refer the complaint in writing to the chairperson of the department in which the course is offered by the end of the last day of the following semester.”

Reasonable Accommodation

Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. For more information contact a Disability Specialist on your home campus.

Pullman or WSU Online
: 509-335-3417509-335-3417 accesscenter.wsu.edu, Access.Center@wsu.edu

: https://spokane.wsu.edu/studentaffairs/disability-resources/

: www.tricity.wsu.edu/disability/

: 360-546-9138360-546-9138 studentaffairs.vancouver.wsu.edu/student-resource-center/disability-services

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Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, PO Box 641046, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1046
509-335-8044, Contact Us