University Syllabi Policy Statements

Op3.09 Course Syllabi/Policy Statements

Governing Policy G3.03 Faculty Handbook (Section requires that all course syllabi/policy statements include statements on nondiscrimination, disability accommodation, cheating and plagiarism, attendance and a cell phone policy. The suggested wording for these statements, as well as several other recommended policy statements can be found on the Provost website. Faculty who wish to compose their own wording or to expand on these statements must comply with the Faculty Handbook, relevant University policies, and state and federal laws. All updates to syllabi should be made prior to the beginning of the semester. In addition to statements that are required by the Faculty Handbook, suggested wording about other university policies, including the University’s procedure for dropping classes is provided for faculty who might wish to include that information.

What is a Learner-Centered Syllabus?

The syllabus, often the first document read by students each semester, establishes the tone for a course.  Often viewed as a contract, the traditional syllabus is focused more on behavior, content and university policies. This authoritative tone can unintentionally create an adversarial relationship between instructor and student. The learner-centered syllabus, on the other hand, is focused on learner success and is more conversational in nature. Instead of a formal sounding document, the learner-centered syllabus uses language meant to generate interest, increase engagement, and to guide the student toward resources that may contribute to their success.

Syllabus template for a seated class (Updated 8-3-2021)

Syllabus template for an online class (Updated 8-3-2021)


Bart, M. (2015). A learner-centered syllabus helps set the tone for learning. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from

Weimer, M. (2002). Learner-centered teaching: five key changes to practice. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Fulmer, S. (2017). Weekly digest #64: Preparing a learning-focused syllabus. The Learning Scientists. Retrieved from

Ambrose, S., Bridges, M., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M. & Norman, M. (2010). How learning works: Seven research-based principles for smart teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Grunert O’Brien, J., Millis, B. J., Cohen, M. W. (2008). The Course Syllabus: A Learning-Centered Approach, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons.

Planning for the unexpected

This planning document is being provided to assist faculty in dealing with the continuation of course work when there is a high-absenteeism due to COVID or other communicable illness. Please feel free to modify to your class situation.

Download planning document

Recommeded Syllabus Wording

The purpose of the University Syllabus Policy Statements is to support teaching and learning on the Missouri State campus. The established policies are in place to ensure that students, faculty, and staff may pursue academic endeavors with as few obstacles as possible. As a student at Missouri State University, you are a part of the university community therefore, you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the University Syllabus Policy Statements. These policies cover topics such as nondiscrimination, disability accommodation, academic integrity, among many others. For program and course specific policies please refer to the individual course syllabus provided by your instructor.


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