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Syllabi Guidelines

Every regularly scheduled classroom course must have a syllabus.
  The syllabus should be handed out on the first day of class, and no later than the second day of class of the semester.  The syllabus must include the course title, course prefix, number and section, instructor's name, office hours and location, phone number, course objectives, attendance policy (including tardies), grading policy, dates of scheduled exams, course outline including assignments and dates due, and notice of permission/non-permission to sell notes or tapes of class lectures.  Faculty are also encouraged to include titles of required textbooks and readings, a policy statement on make-up of missed work, e-mail or FAX number.

Your individual course syllabus should be consistent with the departmental syllabus for the course.  Departmental syllabi for approved courses should be on file in every department. Templates for departmental syllabi can be downloaded below:

Graduate Course Syllabus

Undergraduate Course Syllabus

All syllabi, undergraduate and graduate, MUST include the following information:

  • Conceptual Framework Statement (for undergraduate educator preparation programs, MAT programa, MA Plan I programs, counseling, school psychology, educational measurement and evaluation, and educational leadership):  "The College of Education is dedicated to the ideals of Collaboration, Academic Excellence,
    esearch, and Ethics/Diversity. These are key tenets in the Conceptual Framework of the College of Education. Competence in these ideals will provide candidates in educator preparation programs with skills, knowledge, and dispositions to be successful in the schools of today and tomorrow

    To download the Conceptual Framework document. go to the Accreditation website and click on "Conceptual Framework" under Related Links.

  • ADA StatementStudents with disabilities are responsible for registering with the Office of Student Disabilities Services in order to receive special accommodations and services.  Please notify the instructor during the first week of classes if a reasonable accommodation for a disability is need for this course. A letter from the USF Disability Services Office must accompany this request.

  • USF Policy on Religious ObservancesStudents who anticipate the necessity of being absent from class due to the observation of a major religious observance must provide notice of the date(s) to the instructor in writing by the second class meeting.

  • Grading Procedures and Criteria:  For both undergraduate and graduate courses, please be reminded that the University's Grading Policy includes plus and minus grades, and #9 in your course syllabi should be clear with regard to how the new grades will be implemented in your courses.

    1. Indicate the grading system to be used:  A, B, C, D, F, or the plus/minus grading system (A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, etc.) There is not mandated numeric grading system. Individual faculty can determine what constitutes a letter grade (e.g., A= 90 to 100 or A- = 90-94 -- these are only examples).

    2. Indicate the criteria for awarding grades.

      In graduate syllabi, the following (wording from the USF Graduate Studies Catalog) should be included:  "No grade below "C" will be accepted toward a graduate degree. This includes C- grades."

  • Course Participation:  Expectations for participation should be clearly explained in the syllabus. If class participaton is a component of the course grade, sufficient amount of time should be allotted in class for that purpose. When, for example, a course is mainly lecture, students may find it difficult to contribute to class discussions.

    NOTE: During the course of the term, students should be kept apprised of their performance. Periodic feedback is critical so that a) students know how they are doing; b) students have a chance to improve their grade if they are not doing as well as they would like; and c) so that there are no surprises concerning grades at the end of the course.

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It is recommended that you include the following information:

  • Web Portal InformationWhy are the NetID and USF mail account important to students? Every newly enrolled USF student receives an official USF e-mail account that ends with "" Every official USF correspondence to students will be sent to that account. Students should go to the Academic Computing website and select the link "Activating a Student E-mail Account" for detailed information.  Information about the USF Web Portal can be found at:

  • Academic Dishonesty:  Make sure to discuss this in detail during your first class session. More information can be found in the online catalogue on plagiarism.

    Plagiarism is defined as "literary theft" and consists of the unattributed quotation of the exact words of a published text or the unattributed borrowing of original ideas by paraphrase from a published text. On written papers for which the student employs information gathered from books, articles, or oral sources, each direct quotation, as well as ideas and facts that are not generally known to the public-at-large, must be attributed to its author by means of the appropriate citation procedure. Citations may be made in footnotes or within the body of the text. Plagiarism also consists of passing off as one's own, segments or the total of another person's work.

    Punishment for academic dishonesty will depend on the seriousness of the offense and may include receipt of an "F" with a numerical value of zero on the item submitted, and the "F" shall be used to determine the final course grade. It is the option of the instructor to assign the student a grade of "F" of "FF" (the latter indicating dishonesty) in the course.

    Detection of Plagiarism
    Instructors and students should be aware of an available service called "" to detect plagiarism.

    It is very important to state in your syllabus that you plan to submit student assignments to in order to detect plagiarism. This will give you the legal right to submit student assignments to Here is a sample statement for a syllabus:

    The University of South Florida has an account with an automated plagiarism detection service which allows instructors to submit student assignments to be checked for plagiarism. I reserve the right to 1) request that assignments be submitted to me as electronic files and 2) electronically submit to, or 3) ask students to submit their assignments to through myUSF. Assignments are compared automatically with a database of journal articles, web articles, and previously submitted papers. The instructor receives a report showing exactly how a student's paper was plagiarized. For more information about SafeAssignment and plagiarism, go to: and click on "Plagiarism Resources." For information about plagiarism, go to USF's undergraduate catalogue.

  • ESOL & Florida Accomplished Practices (FAP) Requirements (for ESOL-infused courses and other courses where assignments need to be collected by students to complete their portfolios): Please note certain assignments are marked (e.g., AP4 and 8, and/or ESOL22) or (*) and should be saved once graded, as appropriate documentation for one or more of the Florida Accomplished Practices/ESOL Performance Standard.

    • Where the assignment is described, a designation such as (AP4 and 8) or (ESOL 22) would be indicated.
    • The asterisk above designates an assignment that is viewed as appropriate for documentation for one or more of the Florida Accomplished Practices/ESOL Performance Standard.

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