How to Read the Course Syllabus – Part 2

Written by Madeline Grove, Senior Writing and Language Consultant at the Student Learning Hub

Welcome to part two of reading the course syllabus to facilitate a smoother academic year!

In part one, we delved into course-specific details such as assignments and grading, as well as the instructor’s expectations and class schedule.

In part two, we will go over course and university-wide regulations and support services to keep in mind throughout your university journey.

Course Policies – Unique to Each Course

The syllabus will contain information related to classroom behavior, participation, absences, and penalties for turning papers in late. Some professors also include policies regarding cell phone use, eating in class, or the use of artificial intelligence. If your instructor has made a note about something in the syllabus, you can be assured it’s important to them that you know about it. If you have questions or concerns about anything written or not in the course policies, you should always consult your professor for clarification.

University Statements – Standard Protocol

Review university policies about academic integrity, accessibility, and more. They’re the guiding principles for every student.

Additional Supports and Resources – For Further Learning and Wellbeing

Your syllabus highlights extra tools and support to help you thrive. There are lots of resources and services on campus to help you with everything from academics to health and wellness, co-op, and exchange programs. You can find all the information (websites, locations, and contacts) to take advantage of these opportunities directly from every syllabus. 

The syllabus is your go-to resource for anything related to your courses. You can print them out and glue them in your notebooks or download them and keep them in a folder on your computer. Make sure to keep your syllabi in an accessible and visible place.

If you have concerns regarding course content or writing assignments, or if you would like to learn more about effective study habits and time management, you can visit the Student Learning Hub: your one-stop-shop for free and flexible learning supports and resources.