Your syllabus is the definitive description of the learning objectives, assignments, requirements, and expectations for performance. Every student has a right to a fully articulated syllabus, and every faculty member has an obligation to provide one for each course. Timely access to syllabi helps students select courses that fulfill their educational objectives. In addition, the university is obligated to keep syllabi on file and review them as part of the regular accreditation process.
It is essential that your syllabus be comprehensive and complete. While there are many styles, a good syllabus should include key information such as your contact information, office hours, a weekly description of course topics, readings, and assignments, your grading scheme and attendance policy, a statement about the honor code, and so forth. Including these items makes it a useful tool for students, reduces misunderstandings about classroom expectations, and affords you protection against claims from some students that they were unaware of requirements.
Here is a guide to essential elements for the syllabus from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (useful for ECON and GLOA courses):
Also, here are two sample syllabuses from the Business School you can refer to:
Required Syllabus Language
At the start of each semester, the Office of the Provost and the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning sends out a message detailing baseline information that must be included on each course syllabus. Included in this message is a statement around academic integrity. If your program, department, or college has standards around integrity related to specific courses, it is also important to include such information in the syllabus. A sample statement is as follows (please feel free to use and modify as needed):
Academic Integrity: It is expected that students adhere to the George Mason University Honor Code as it relates to integrity regarding coursework and grades. The Honor Code reads as follows: “To promote a stronger sense of mutual responsibility, respect, trust, and fairness among all members of the George Mason University community and with the desire for greater academic and personal achievement, we, the student members of the university community, have set forth this Honor Code: Student members of the George Mason University community pledge not to cheat, plagiarize, steal, or lie in matters related to academic work.” More information about the Honor Code, including definitions of cheating, lying, and plagiarism, can be found on the Committee of Academic Integrity’s website at https://masonkorea.gmu.edu/resources-and-services/cai/overview.
If you are teaching a course at the George Mason University Korea campus, please consider including the following statement in your syllabus:
Notice of mandatory reporting of sexual assault, interpersonal violence, and stalking: As a faculty member, I am designated as a “Responsible Employee,” and must report all disclosures of sexual assault, interpersonal violence, and stalking to Mason Korea’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator pursuant to University Policy 1202 and 1412. If you would like to speak confidentially with the Mason Korea counselor, please see https://masonkorea.gmu.edu/resources-and-services/counseling-and-wellness for more information. For more information about what Title IX is, please see https://masonkorea.gmu.edu/resources-and-services/title-ix.