PRP 3233 - Required Format for Master Course Syllabi for BUCC Approval

Issued by: Academic Affairs
Approved by: BUCC
Presented to University Forum: 10/21/204/17/2013; 4/19/1995; 1/30/1990 *For Information Purposes Only
Prior Version(s) of this Policy: Amended by BUCC 9/7/2016; 4/24/2013; 4/27/2011; 4/12/1995; and 11/14/1990.


The Master Course Syllabus provides assurance that different sections of a course will contain content in a manner that consistently meets or exceeds the objectives of the course.


Course Format

Distance Education is an educational process in which the instruction occurs with the instructor and student in different locations. Distance Education makes use of one or more technologies to deliver 80% or more of the instruction for the course to students who are separated from the instructor and to support interaction between the students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously.

Online Synchronous - Students learn online via videoconferencing (e.g., Zoom) and other appropriate instructional technology. The course will have regularly scheduled meetings (day/times).

Online Asynchronous - All instruction is web based. Students do not meet with the instructor at predetermined times. Student learning may require more self-direction, independent and autonomous learning.

Multi-Modal is the delivery of instruction using face-to-face classroom instruction in addition to synchronous and/or asynchronous online technologies. The student may participate in class using any of the modalities through the semester. Therefore, the class size will be limited to that which may be accommodated in a classroom holding all enrolled students if they attended face-to face.

Blended –Students in blended (hybrid) courses combine face-to-face interaction with technology-enhanced or online activities. Students will normally be expected to be physically present for some aspects of class instruction (the course will have a classroom and day/times), 30-79% of the content is delivered online.

Face-to-Face (Formerly Traditional)- Students meet with the instructor at regularly scheduled times (in-person synchronous learning), primarily in a classroom. Students in face-to-face courses will normally be expected to be physically present for all or part of the term/semester (will have classroom and day/times). Many Face-to-Face classes today are web-facilitated with 1-29% of the content supported/delivered online.


Master Course Syllabus

  • The Master Course Syllabus (MCS) is a permanent record between relevant stakeholders including instructors, the department, the college, the university, and the administration.
  • The MCS is approved by the department, the college, the university and the administration as reflecting the curricular standards of the University.
  • Instructors will use the Master Course Syllabus to prepare a working syllabus for their section(s) of the course.
  • Students taking the courses will have access to this information and the content is reflected in the Working Syllabus (as detailed below).
  • It must be prepared and updated by the department to reflect any changes in the course content, curriculum or objectives. 
  • The signed Omnibus form and corresponding Master Course Syllabus for the most current version of every course will be archived on the University storage system (S:/Drive and OnBase) and should be stored by the originating departments. 

Working Syllabus

  • The working syllabus is a statement of intent and schedule of topics/activities that serves as an implicit agreement between the instructor and students.
  • A working (paper or electronic form) syllabus must be distributed to students in each course during the first week of classes. Changes to the syllabus shall also be given to the student in written (paper or electronic) form.
  • The working syllabus will include, at minimum, the following information from the Master Course Syllabus: the student learning objectives and required course material.
  • In addition, the working syllabus should include the following: (might be attached as a appended or separate document)
    • Course name and number and description
    • Date Revised
    • Course Student Learning Objectives
    • Instructor name
    • Instructor contact information & office hours
    • Listing of required/recommended textbooks, & any other required materials
    • Assessment (grading) policies, including any exam and attendance policies
    • Tentative calendar/topic listing
    • Other Campus Support Resources
  • Within the first week of classes each semester, teaching faculty must distribute in writing, send by electronic mail, or post on the course website, at least the following information (See PRP 3264 Student Course Requirements and Progress Information):
    • Procedures for determining each letter grade.
    • Any relationship of class attendance to the course.
    • Any other course requirements.
    • Weighting of requirements for grade computation.
    • Procedures for making up tests or other work missed through excused absences.


Required Format for Master Course Syllabus

The following items must be included in the Master Course Syllabus. Use as much space as needed.

  • Prepared by:
  • Department/College:
  • Course Prefix and Number(s): (Refer to PRP 3224 Guidelines for Course Numbering System)
  • Course Title:
  • Credit Hours:
    • Give the number of credit hours for the course (which may be a range) 
    • If a course may be repeated for credit, indicate that it may be repeated credit and specify the following, as applicable:
      • Indicate how many total times a student can repeat the course and receive credit.
      • Indicate the maximum number of credits a student may receive from repeating this course.
      •  Give any conditions which might govern when a student may repeat a course. For example, a seminar may be repeated if the topic is different.
  • Prerequisites:
    •  State course(s) that students must complete before enrolling
               in the course.
    • State any non-course prerequisites which may include but are not limited to:
      • Prior admission to a specific curricular group (e.g., “majors only”)
      • Minimum number of credit hours
      • Background clearance and prior certifications
  • Catalog Description:
    • Begin with an action verb.
    • In a paragraph of about five sentences summarize the following:
      • Course goal(s).
      • Target audience.
      • Methods, such as lecture, online, lab, or other experiences.
      • Educational requirements satisfied by the course.
      • Prerequisites for the course in terms understandable to the university community.
      •  Special considerations such as co-curricular requirements must be indicated.
  • Content Description:
    • The master course syllabus is used by a large audience (instructors, campus review committees, administrators, reviewers and accreditors). It should provide the scope and depth of the course content.
    • Content required to be taught in all sections of the course should be so designated (i.e. *Required Content).
    • Optional content may be included in the MSC, however it must be clear which topics are required and which are optional. See BUCC S:/Drive for examples.
    • Methods--indicate the following:
      • Course content delivery (e.g., lecture, seminar, laboratory, art studio, writing lab, recitation, specific methods used for distance education).
      • If applicable, out-of-class activities, co-curricular activities, additional costs to the students, and whether alternate assignments will be provided in lieu of out-of-class or co-curricular activities.
      • State the recommended class size and provide justification. If there are specific accreditation recommendations cite these in the proposal.
      • See the glossary at the end of this policy to determine if a course will involve distance education (synchronous, asynchronous or combined), blended or hi-flex education, or a traditional face-to-face format. Indicate any deviation from the methodology that is unique to specific types of course formats.
  • Student Learning Objectives and Assessment:
    • Course learning objectives must be established for each course by individual departments and approved through the university curriculum approval process.
    • Instructors wishing to add learning outcomes should consult with their department chairperson prior to doing so and must maintain all core course outcomes as established in the master course syllabus.
    • In list form, state student outcomes in a way such that they are directly measurable, observable, or assessable. These outcomes should be measurable demonstrations of knowledge, competence, and/or critical thinking and can be measured during or at the completion of the class.  A list of action verbs from Bloom’s taxonomy can be found at
    • Number each Student Learning Objective.
    • For each Student Learning Objective listed, state how it will be measured, observed, assessed, or demonstrated. This may be achieved in a variety of ways and may vary in practice from instructor to instructor. Each outcome should be measured during or upon completion of the class and should be visibly linked to course assignments and other assessments in the course syllabus.
    • When a course is dual listed, clearly indicate undergraduate and graduate learning objectives and/or expectations, and any distinct assessments.
    • The chart below illustrates the suggested format for aligning items.

Student Learning Objectives Chart:

Student Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course student will be able to:

1. State student learning objective here. Create as many boxes as needed.1. State corresponding assessment here and continue for each SLO listed.

Note: The chart may be expanded to include department goals, and when applicable, General Education goals.

  • Evaluation of Individual Student Performance:
    • State how students will be evaluated and given a grade.
    • Refer to PRP 3516, Course Requirements, Progress Information and Evaluations.
    • When a course is dual listed, clearly indicate distinct undergraduate and graduate
  • Course Assessment:
    • State how it will be assessed that the course meets each of the student learning objectives.
    • With the exception of courses in the General Education curriculum, assessment should generally take place within the context of program assessment.
    •  Student learning may be assessed within individual courses as indicated by program assessment plans and/or accreditation requirements.
    • Course development is an evolutionary process and the course and program assessments will assist the department in changing the course to meet the outcomes and/or changing the outcomes so that the course better reflects the goals of the program.
  • References:
    • List materials and references to support the course, as appropriate.
    • The style of entry should consistently follow a manual such as Turabian, MLA, APA, or an accepted guide in a specific discipline.
  • Prototype Text, if applicable:
    • Indicate possible texts for the course, including author/editor, title, publisher, edition, and date of publication.
    • The style of entry should consistently follow a manual such as Turabian, MLA, APA, or an accepted guide in a specific discipline.