University College requires that every organized course has a syllabus (Note: A syllabus is not required for an independent study, a practicum, research colloquium, or other similar educational experience). Syllabi may be handed out in class, included in a course packet, or posted on the course ICON site. According to the Operations Manual, all information listed below must be included on every syllabus. DEOs may review syllabi for compliance with departmental and University College policies.

New instructors wishing to see a generic example of a syllabus may visit this link on the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences website. 

Required Information

According to the University Operations Manual, the Office of the Provost, and University College policy, the following information must be included on every syllabus.

  • The number and title of the course as listed on MyUI. Include all cross-listed numbers and the departmental home of the course. Include any changes in information about the course from that which appears in official University notices.
  • Include University College as the administrative home of the course.
  • The instructor's name, office address, office hours, phone number, email address, and DEO contact information. Teaching assistants must also provide the course supervisor's name, office address, office hours, and directory information.
  • Course description and topics covered.
  • Course goals and objectives.
  • Texts and other course materials and where they may be found, including the use of any electronic sites (such as ICON).
  • Grading procedures, including whether you will use plus/minus grading. You must provide enough information for a student to have a reasonable expectation of the grade distribution. For example, a statement such as “The class will be graded on a curve” is not sufficient; you must indicate to the student the proportion of grades to be awarded.
  • Expectations for attendance, assignments, and examinations, including any expectations for electronic means of participation.
  • Dates and times of midterms and finals. Please note that dates and times for final exams are now published on the Registrar’s site and should be included in the syllabus whenever possible.

Additional Requirements

The following elements must be included in your syllabus. We’ve provided a template in italics that you can use, but make sure that the policies, especially regarding missed classes and academic misconduct, conform to YOUR expectations. For example, this template says that collaboration on an assignment will result in a zero on an assignment. If you intend to fail a student who collaborates, you should state that. If collaboration on assignments is acceptable, you should state that.

Administrative Home 
Beginning in Fall 2004, virtually everything that concerns your class, including dropping and adding after the deadline and academic misconduct, will be controlled by the College that offers the course.

University College is the administrative home of this course and governs matters such as add/drop deadlines, grading guidelines, absences and other related matters. If you are unclear about the policies that govern you or this course, contact the Associate Dean of University College in 310 Calvin Hall.


Electronic Communication 

University policy specifies that students are responsible for all official correspondences sent to their standard University of Iowa e-mail accounts. Students should check this account frequently.


Academic Misconduct
Your syllabi should contain language that clarifies as much as possible your expectations about students’ academic conduct. For example, if you assign projects, be very clear about whether students may work with other students, share information, etc. In addition, you should be very clear about what will happen if your expectations are violated, i.e. the student commits academic misconduct. Regrettably, some students are becoming increasingly savvy about using technology for cheating, especially in exams. Students use cell phones and pagers to send text messages to each other. You may want to prohibit any use of cell phones, etc. in your exam and note that violation of the policy will be considered academic misconduct. 

We are bound by the Code of Academic Honesty, in which each of us agreed to do, “My own academic work and to excel to the best of my abilities, upholding the IOWA Challenge. I promise not to lie about my academic work, to cheat, or to steal the words or ideas of others; nor will I help fellow students to violate the Code of Academic Honesty."

Collaboration or group work on assignments is not allowed; all work must be completed individually.  Students are expected to follow the Code of Student Life; academic dishonesty will be reported to University College and the student may be placed on disciplinary probation for the remainder of his or her undergraduate work at the University of Iowa. If I determine that any assignment was not written solely by the student, the student will receive a zero (0) on the assignment. In general, the decision of the Instructor may be appealed to the Associate Dean of University College, and then to the Provost, and so on in accordance with University Policy.


Concerns About the Instructor(s)

Students with a complaint or problem in the course should first visit with me and then, should the issue remain unresolved, with, Dr. Andrew Beckett, Associate Dean of University College. Complaints must be made within six months of the incident.


Understanding Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University and threatens the well-being of students, faculty, and staff. All members of the UI community have a responsibility to uphold this mission and to contribute to a safe environment that enhances learning. Incidents of sexual harassment should be reported immediately even if they are uncertain whether a violation of this policy has occurred. See the UI Comprehensive Guide on Sexual Harassment (Operations Manual: for assistance, definitions, and the full University policy.


Reacting Safely to Severe Weather

In severe weather, class members should seek appropriate shelter immediately, leaving the classroom if necessary. The class will continue, if possible, when the event is over. For more information on Hawk Alert and the siren warning system, visit or


Special Accommodations

I want to hear from anyone who has a disability that may require some modification of seating or other class requirements. Please contact me during my office hours, by e-mail or after class. Special academic arrangements for students with disabilities are handled in cooperation with Student Disability Services ( Students who feel they need special accommodations for any aspect of the course are encouraged to contact SDS and to speak with the instructor early in the semester, so that accommodation can be made as soon as possible.