Understanding Your Course Syllabus
On the first day of every class at SU, you will receive a syllabus. This is a document that describes all of the work you are expected to do, including readings, assignments, dates of exams, papers due and so on.
In high school, some of you may have gotten a syllabus that the teacher completely ignored. This is not the case in college. In college, your professor should hand out a syllabus the first day of class. There may be a few exceptions, especially in classes using feminist pedagogy where students help develop the course content; even in those classes, you will get a partial syllabus the first day and a more complete syllabus later.
You should read the entire syllabus after the first day of class. Professors will not go over every word on the syllabus, but you will be expected to know the policies and due dates in the syllabus. And they will be different for every class.
If you ever have a question about the class, READ THE SYLLABUS FIRST. Nine times out of ten, the answer to your question is in the syllabus.
In addition, professors may not end class telling you what to do for the next class. They will expect you to look at the syllabus to figure out what to do for the next class.
You will use this document for the entire semester, so do not throw it out.
Finally, some professors may hide extra credit opportunities or other “easter eggs” in the syllabus to see who is reading it and paying attention. Make sure you are paying attention.
Created by Dr. Sandi Nenga, Professor of Sociology