Guidelines for Course Syllabi

Faculty of Science

Updated: Summer 2019
PDF version

As per university regulations, a course syllabus shall be made known to students before the end of the first week of lectures in any semester or session. If requested, instructors are to provide the relevant course information to the academic unit Head.

For per course instructors only: As per university regulations, a course syllabus shall be made known to students before the end of the second week of lectures in any semester or session. Provision of relevant course information to the academic unit Head is required by the end of the second week of classes.

For more information on instructor duties and responsibilities, please refer to the:

• General Academic Regulations (Undergraduate), Undergraduate Calendar (

• Duties and Responsibilities of Faculty Members, MUNFA collective agreement (

• Duties and Responsibilities, LUMUN collective agreement (

Instructor Information

Provide students with your location, contact information, availability, and any expectations around interactions.

Information about your availability for consultation (in-person and, where appropriate, by other means of communication) outside of class.

Office hours as prescribed by MUNFA and LUMUN collective agreements (i.e., 2 hours per course per week, to a maximum of 5 hours per week).

A statement regarding response times for inquiries. e.g., Every effort will be made to respond to emails within 24h, with the exceptions of evenings, weekends and holidays.

Course Information

Along with the standard course information (course name and number), you may highlight the focus of your course, its purpose or relevance, questions that are addressed by your course, and/or indicate where your course fits within the context of the program.

Any required prerequisites or co-requisites.

Course description. Available from the University Calendar, Faculty of Science, Section 12.

Course format (e.g., team taught, lecture based, laboratories, tutorials, field work).

Course expectations such as classroom etiquette, importance of attendance, use of formative/ungraded evaluations during class, and/or professional conduct statement.

Statement of fair warning. Outline content that may be personally offensive or otherwise troubling. Include instructions for students seeking alternative accommodations. 

Learning Goals

Clearly outline what you want students to be able to demonstrate at the end of your course. These broader course goals do not necessarily result in measurable behaviour, but they will provide students with a clear purpose to focus studies on, and they provide direction for the specific learning outcomes and assessment strategies within the course.

Big ideas, essential understandings, theories or approaches students will learn.

Equations, strategies and core knowledge students will apply.

Key skills students will develop (e.g., specific laboratory skills, critical thinking).

Threshold concepts or attitudes students will develop (e.g., evolutionary thinking, uncertainty in measurements, the Nature of Science, structure and function relationships). 

Required Text and Resources

List any textbooks, articles, books, media or other resources that students should consult. Be clear about which resources are required in the course and why, which are optional, and where these resources may be accessed. You may also wish to include a statement regarding how the text and resources will be used and how students should approach them.

Required textbooks, materials or other resources that must be purchased by students.

Any additional resources that students should access (e.g., Brightspace, online programs and tools, free classroom response systems, library reserves, additional readings).

Method of Evaluation

Clearly outline how students will be evaluated in your course. This includes how assignments are counted, participation expectations, how overall grades are calculated, and submission policies (e.g., how late submissions or missed assessments will be handled).

The allocation of marks for all parts of the evaluation including assignments, laboratory projects, presentations, tests, mid-term examinations, and/or final examinations.

Wherever possible, an explanation of the alternate evaluation which will be offered to students who are unable to complete a part of the evaluation due to acceptable cause, as described under Exemptions from Parts of the Evaluation (University Regulation 6.7.5).

With the exception of final examinations, and in accordance with Scheduling of Parts of the Evaluation (University Regulation 6.7.3), the probable dates of all in-class parts of the evaluation, and the probable dates on which all take-home parts of the evaluation are due.

As per University Regulations, evaluations must abide the following:

  • Students must receive 20% of course grade by final drop date (
  • Exemptions due to illness must be in keeping with University Regulations, Exemptions from Parts of the Evaluation (6.7.5)
  • Only certain evaluations are permitted in last two weeks of lectures (
  • Attendance regulations may not be included without Senate approval (6.6.1)
  • The return of graded work and notification of grades must be in keeping with the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (

Information regarding any final examinations. This may include the format, cumulative nature of the exam, and/or final exam policies. Policies can be indicated by a simple reference to University Regulations 6.8, or specific aspects of the policy may be highlighted for students.

Information regarding any supplementary exams in the Departments of Biochemistry, Computer Science, and Mathematics & Statistics. This must abide by the Supplementary Examinations regulations (Faculty of Science, 8.1). 

Additional Policies

Students should be made aware of any other policies relating to the course, as well as applicable university wide policies.

A statement of Memorial University of Newfoundland’s commitment to accommodation of students with disabilities.

e.g., Memorial University of Newfoundland is committed to supporting inclusive education based on the principles of equity, accessibility and collaboration. Accommodations are provided within the scope of the University Policies for the Accommodations for Students with Disabilities ( Students who may need an academic accommodation are asked to initiate the request with the Glenn Roy Blundon Centre at the earliest opportunity (

A statement regarding academic integrity, including a reference to the entry on Academic Misconduct (University Regulation 6.12).
e.g., Students are expected to adhere to those principles which constitute proper academic conduct. A student has the responsibility to know which actions, as described under Academic Offences in the University Regulations, could be construed as dishonest or improper. Students found guilty of an academic offence may be subject to a number of penalties commensurate with the offence including reprimand, reduction of grade, probation, suspension or expulsion from the University. For more information regarding this policy, students should refer to the University Regulations for Academic Misconduct (Section 6.12) in the University Calendar.

A statement regarding any restrictions around the use of visual and/or audio recording in the classroom, excluding any provisions made for students with special needs.

A statement regardingany restrictions or classroom etiquette around the use of personal electronic devices (e.g., phones, laptops, tablets), excluding any provisions made for students with special needs. 

In line with the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Act, a statement regarding student equity and the provision of a safe learning environment regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, social origin, religious creed, religion, age, disaiblity, disfigurement, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family status, source of income or political opinion.

Memorial University’s Land Acknowledgement (May be obtained from the Office of Aboriginal Affairs, If used in syllabus, it is also recommended to deliver the acknowledgement verbally during the first class. 

Additional Supports

Memorial University offers a broad range of supports that may not be known to your students. Instructors are encouraged to direct students to academic supports as well as those listed at and

A list, statement, or link outlining available academic supports including, but not limited to: Memorial University Libraries, The Commons (QEII Library), The Glenn Roy Blundon Centre, The Writing Centre, Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, Information Technology Services, Academic Advising, and specific departmental help centres.

A list, statement, or link outlining available student life supports including, but not limited to: Student Wellness and Counselling Centre, Student Support and Crisis Management, MUN Chaplaincy, Sexual Harassment Office, The Circle: First Nations, Inuit and Métis Students Resource Centre, Disability Information Support Centre, International Students Resource Centre, Sexuality and Gender Advocacy, Student Parent Assistance and Resource Centre, Students Older Than Average, Intersections – A Resource Centre for Marginalized Genders, and specific departmental societies.

Instructor Feedback

Instructors may wish to include a statement regarding the use of any feedback mechanisms used in the course, such as instructor developed feedback forms, prior-learning assessments, learning outcomes questionnaires, or the Course Evaluation Questionnaire.

A brief statement regarding the timing of feedback, how feedback is used, and the value of feedback in improving the course for current and/or future students.

Tentative Course Schedule

A tentative schedule helps to ensure course expectations are clear, and aids students in time management during their studies.

A tentative timeline (e.g., a table) of topics broken down by week, including any tutorials, online meetings, assignments, tests, or assigned readings.

An indication of alignment with any required resources (e.g., what sections of the text correspond with scheduled topics or lectures)

A statement regarding the procedure for lecture or laboratory cancellations.

An intellectual property statement regarding lecture and course material (e.g., permissions required for the reproduction of material).

*Required components are mandated by University Regulations 6.7.2. 

Developed by Amy M. Todd, Faculty of Science/CITL. Questions can be directed to