Course Delivery - Syllabus

Sample Syllabus Guidelines

Note to Instructors:

The course syllabus forms the basis of a contract between instructor and the enrolled students. A clearly-worded syllabus is essential for distance students who may not have the ability to check their understanding of your requirements by catching you in the hallway after class. By using this official document to precisely state your expectations for learning and behavior in your course, you will minimize possible confusion and misunderstanding.

Ecampus has created a Syllabus Template as a modifiable Word document file for your ease of use. It is meant not as a static document, but as a beginning point. We encourage you to personalize the template to reflect the uniqueness of your course, your individual approach built upon your experience, incorporating departmental and associated institutional or professional requirements where called for. Feel free to re-state text to accommodate your individual style of presentation.

Download the syllabus templates as Word documents:

Two versions of the syllabus are essential for courses facilitated by OSU Extended Campus:

  • The "Sample Course Syllabus," also referred to as a generic syllabus, is posted to the Ecampus Schedule of Classes, linked from your course, so that students who are thinking about taking your course will have an overview of the topics, learning objectives, project and exam requirements, learning resources, and “classroom” environment. This version of the course syllabus should not be term-specific, and thus should not include specific dates. Inclusion of dates would require updating the syllabus every term that you teach the course. Instead, we suggest that you indicate timing of topics, exams and due dates for projects by week of the term. For example, “Midterm – Week 5.” We would suggest you consider keeping the length of the Sample Syllabus between two and three pages.

Save your final version of the Sample Course Syllabus as a Word document and send by email attachment to The document will then be converted to PDF format for posting to the Ecampus Schedule of Classes.

Note: Remember to review the Sample Syllabus prior to registration each term to ensure it is current and accurate, and provide updates to Ecampus as needed.

  • The "Detailed Course Syllabus" is the syllabus you will provide to your enrolled students within Canvas once they begin their course. In many cases it will be exactly the same as the Sample Course Syllabus with the addition of week-by-week timelines for readings and discussions, and specific due dates for exams and projects. You may also want to include more comprehensive information in this syllabus than you would provide in the Sample Course Syllabus, such as:
    • Reading assignment details;
    • Examination formats: paper vs. computer based in Canvas, and possible proctoring requirements;
    • Project instructions, including when drafts are due;
    • Grading Rubrics;
    • Course conduct, i.e., academic and behavioral expectations.

If you need assistance posting the Detailed Syllabus to your Canvas course, please send it to, who will facilitate posting it for you.

The syllabus template uses the guidelines established by OSU Academic Programs and Curriculum Council.

These guidelines provide a framework for the required sections, and include additional suggested elements:

  • Required sections are indicated in black font: please provide the information to complete each of the minimum required sections marked with * .
  • Optional sectionsare indicated in blue font:
    • Ecampus has provided optional sections for your Sample Syllabus marked with ♦ that may be helpful for you and your students.
    • Additional suggested elements for later use in your Detailed Syllabus are marked with ♣.

Comments/instructions/suggestions intended for instructors only are enclosed in [brackets]. Please delete these from your final copy.

We would like to thank many of our instructors who have given permission to make available to you various wording they have found to be useful and successful. You have their permission to adapt their wording to your use as you see fit. Feel free to delete the optional wording you do not want to use. If you have examples of sample verbiage that you feel other instructors might find useful, please forward your contributions to