CAS Syllabus Resources

Syllabi for CAS courses are expected to include all of the following in an organized and readable format:

  • Your contact information (office location and office hours, phone number, email address) 
  • Course overview and learning objectives 
  • Required textbooks, including ISBN numbers and availability (e.g., for purchase at Barnes & Noble/BU, on library reserve) 
  • Pertinent logistics (e.g., accessing Blackboard Learn site) 
  • Course policies (on attendance, late work, cellphones, etc.) 
  • List of assignments with a short description of each and the value of each assignment as a percentage of the final grade 
  • Week-by-week schedule with readings and assignments incorporated 
  • Reference to the pertinent Academic Conduct Code. 

The page contains sample language (syllabus inserts) that you may use in your course syllabi. 

  • Section I contains sample syllabus inserts drafted by CAS on addressing syllabus statements that are either required or encouraged by the CAS Instructors’ Guide. 
  • Section II contains sample syllabus inserts drafted by CAS faculty. Language addressing Learn from Anywhere is available in this section. 

As provided, the sample language in both sections is consistent with CAS and University policies. For statements of College policy on matters related to teaching, please see the CAS Instructors’ Guide. You are welcome to adopt them verbatim or to adapt them as appropriate for your specific course. If you do make changes, please ensure your practices and policies are consistent with CAS and University policies.   

The more examples of syllabus language and course policies we have, the more useful this page will be. So please do consider contributing something. Simply email your contribution to casuap@bu.edu, beginning your subject line with the tag “[Syllabus Language].” We’ll post your contribution as soon as possible, once we have checked to be sure it is consistent with CAS and University policies. If you would like to be acknowledged by name, please indicate that in your email. Otherwise, we will post contributions anonymously. 

The Center Teaching & Learning (CTL) also provides sample syllabi and checklist to help in the preparation of syllabi. This resource is not maintained or reviewed by CAS. 

A Note on Learn from Anywhere and Course Syllabi: The University’s Learn from Anywhere framework for Fall 2020, per the following excerpts from the University’s Back2BU Faculty Support page, requires that statements about the recording of classes, synchronous participation (if required for the class), and exceptions from LfA be included in all course syllabi: 

Required synchronous participation: The ethos of LfA is that students should be able to complete courses whether on campus or off, and whether they participate synchronously or asynchronously.  Nevertheless, the pedagogies of certain courses may require discussion or other synchronous forms of participation. Faculty are encouraged to make earnest efforts to facilitate active participation by students who, due to time zone or illness, must take a class asynchronously. However, if synchronous participation is an essential element of the class and thus required, that should be made clear to students in the syllabus and as part of introductory class meetings. 

Recording: All LfA course syllabi must include a clear description of the course’s recording policy, including a statement of key student rights and responsibilities (see the LfA class recording guide for an example). This is especially important if a faculty member will not be recording class so that wholly remote students are prepared to attend class synchronously or drop the class if they are unable to do so.  

Faculty wishing to record classes that include student participation should notify students at the beginning of each class session that the session is being recorded. A single notification in a syllabus or at the start of the semester is insufficient. Per guidance from General Counsel, students should be notified that they are being recorded, but their explicit written permission is not required. Recordings may not be shared outside the registered student list by either students or faculty. Students must be given the opportunity to opt out of being recorded without their classroom experience being diminished. 

Exception to LfA for required in-person component: If your class is one of the very few that has received an exception to LfA to allow it to have required in-person components, your syllabus should clearly explain this requirement.  

The Back2BU Faculty Support page also suggests that syllabi include the following: 

  • Course policies regarding compliance with University-mandated COVID-19 safety protocols (e.g., masks, social distancing) 
  • An acknowledgment that students may attend class remotely or in-person (in their assigned rotations) and may change their modality at their discretion 
  • A course-specific procedure that students should follow if they wish to switch from attending remotely to attending in person