3.4.6 Courses and Syllabi

A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide information regarding course requirements and guidelines for course syllabi.

B. Persons Affected

All faculty.

C. Definitions

Syllabus – an outline of the main subjects of a course.

D. Policy and Procedures

  1. Length of courses

    A semester (fall or spring) shall normally include 15 weeks of instruction plus one week for final exams. An organized lecture course shall consist of 750 minutes of instruction per credit hour; summer sessions shall normally consist of at least 5 ½ weeks of instruction, registration and final exams and conform to the 750 minutes of instruction standard. Courses may be offered on a schedule different from that above provided they conform to the following criteria:

    1. All shortened courses shall consist of the same number of class contact hours as similar courses offered in a regular session or summer session. Courses shall also have the same objectives, requirements, and quality of instruction as regular length courses.
    2. Students may not carry more courses at one time in a shortened format than will give them total credit for more than one semester credit hour per week of instruction.
    3. No three-credit hour course shall consist of fewer than nine days of classes offered over not less than three weeks.
    4. Requirements for three-hour courses apply proportionately to courses of other credit hour value.
  2. Course Syllabi Guidelines

    A syllabus is a statement of intent by the course instructor that should clearly explain what a student must do and when they must do it to successfully complete the course and earn a grade. A syllabus is also intended to protect students from arbitrary or untimely changes in course requirements and due dates. A syllabus must also provide information about departmental and University policies governing conduct of the course.

    UT Tyler teaching faculty are required to distribute a course syllabus to their students on the first class meeting day. Faculty are also required to post their syllabi at the beginning of each registration period on the UT Tyler website, in a directory determined by the department or college.

    Syllabi for concurrently taught undergraduate/graduate courses (ex: CENG 4314/5314) must clearly describe the additional expectations of graduate students that are substantively and progressively more advanced than those of the undergraduates. This can be done in a separate graduate syllabus or a combined syllabus.

    Each syllabus MUST include the following minimum information:

    1. Course number, title, section number (if applicable) and scheduled class time;
    2. Instructor's name, office address, phone number and e-mail address, with recommendations on which method of contact the instructor prefers;
    3. Office hours—at least three per week and a provision for arranging office hours to accommodate students whose schedules conflict with regularly scheduled office hours.
    4. Course content--should be consistent with the approved course description found in the current UT Tyler catalog;
    5. Course learning objectives;
    6. Grading policy and criteria to determine final course grade;
    7. Date of final examination, scheduled according to the University final exam schedule. Reminder: any deviation from scheduled times must be approved by the college dean;
    8. Date to withdraw without penalty (12th class day)—please include actual date, which can be found in the current Schedule of Classes;
    9. Tentative dates of required assignments, quizzes, and tests, if applicable;
    10. Attendance and make-up policy;
    11. Required textbooks, materials, and supplies;
    12. Required field trips, rehearsals, etc., scheduled outside of regularly-scheduled class time, along with any accompanying fees and tickets; and/or course procedures unique to the course that might cause students to reconsider their enrollment in the course; and
    13. The following University policies: absence for religious observance, absence for university-approved trips, services to students with disabilities, grade replacement, state-mandated course drop policy, and Social Security and Privacy. A pdf of these policies can be found at http://www.uttyler.edu/academicaffairs/files/syllabuspolicy.pdf. The information contained in the course syllabus, other than the grading criteria and absence and make-up policies, may be subject to change with reasonable advance notice as long as the change is without prejudice to the students. Instructors should also consider including:

      a. Course Web site (if applicable);

      b. Course prerequisites and restrictions, as they appear in the catalog;

      c. Information about required learning-management software (Blackboard);

      d. Tentative deadlines for all assignments;

      e. Tentative schedule of course topics.

  3. Final Examinations

    Each semester the Registrar prepares a final examination schedule that is included in the Schedule of Classes. Normally, all examinations are to be administered as scheduled. However, if unusual circumstances require that special arrangements be made for an individual student or class, the dean of the appropriate college may authorize an exception to the schedule after consultation with the faculty member involved.

    Faculty members are required to maintain student final examination papers for a minimum of three months following the examination date.

E. Responsibilities

Not applicable.

F. Review

The divisional head for this policy is the Provost. This policy shall be reviewed every five years or sooner if necessary by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with the Faculty Senate.