Best Practices for SFA Syllabi

Whether you are updating your syllabi to reflect the requirements of the new Common Curriculum or to simply better align your syllabi with university practices and policies, please visit the University Senate’s Common Curriculum Committee (CCC+) Syllabus Templates, Checklists & Samples page.

For suggestions of what your course syllabi should include (as well as samples) visit the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Policies about what is “required” in syllabi are flexible, but here are suggested Best Practices for Syllabi in the School of Fine Arts:


1.  Include Learning Objectives

For helpful tips on writing learning objectives visit the Learning Objectives page of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

2. Include a Breakdown of Assessments

Include a clear breakdown of assessment (type and number of assignments). Clearly indicate what percentage of the total grade each assessment item is worth. You can say, for example, “Quizzes are 15%,” without indicating exactly how many quizzes will occur.

3. Include a Grade Scale 

Include a grading scale (i.e., how many points or what criteria earn an “A,” or “B,”). Note that grading for graduate courses should include the A+ designation. Here is an example of a grading scale for an undergraduate syllabus: 


If your Current Average is greater


and less than: then your Current Grade


92.0   A
90.0 92.0 A-
88.0 90.0 B+
82.0 88.0 B
80.0 82.0 B-
78.0 80.0 C+
72.0 78.0 C
70.0 72.0 C-
68.0 70.0 D+
62.0 68.0 D
60.0 62.0 D-
  60.0 F

4. Grade on Participation, not Attendance

Eliminate any indication that you will grade on Attendance. Please note the university’s Policy on Attendance and Grades (first paragraph): 

5. Include a Course Schedule

Include a course schedule, indicating readings, assignment due dates, and other relevant information.

6. Include University Policy Statements

Include university approved policy statements in your SFA Syllabi. Here are Policies from the University Senate, the Office of Institutional Equity, the Office of the Provost, and Community Standards and if applicable, make sure to include region campus specific phone numbers. 

Examples include:

The Center for Students with Disabilities

The University of Connecticut is committed to protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities and assuring that the learning environment is accessible. If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on disability or pregnancy, please let me know immediately so that we can discuss options. Students who require accommodations should contact the Center for Students with Disabilities, Wilbur Cross Building Room 204, (860) 486-2020 or

The Office of Emergency Management on Emergency Preparedness

In case of inclement weather, a natural disaster, or a campus emergency, the University communicates through email and text message. Students are encouraged to sign up for alerts through Students should be aware of emergency procedures, and further information is available through the Office of Emergency Management at

Some Useful Contact Information: 

Counseling and Mental Health Services:
(860) 486-4705 – After hours: (860) 486-3427

Career Services:
(860) 486-3013

Alcohol and Other Drug Services:
(860) 486-9431

Dean of Students Office:
(860) 486-3426