Syllabus Elements Required for Curricular Approval

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Updated on 11.30.21 to reflect changes approved by Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Requirements

  • Instructor name, office location, contact information, office hours (can just say ‘by appointment’)
  • Required materials
  • Pre-requisites
  • Attendance policy (if any; must be included if attendance is part of the grade)
  • Special policies (if any). Examples may include: collaboration policy, calculator policy, late work policy.
  • A list of papers, exams, and other assessments that will contribute the students’ grades, along with the exact or approximate value of those assessments (points or percentage of total grade). Repeated small assessments (e.g., homework or quizzes) can be considered as one item in the list of assessments.
  • Instructional Continuity Plan (effective Jan 3, 2022): explanation of the mode of communication the instructor will use if in-person classes are cancelled, and campus follows instructional continuity plans. For example,
    • “If in-person classes are cancelled, you will be notified of the instructional continuity plan for this class by [Canvas, email, etc.].”
  • University wide information may be included directly or include a link to the Course Policies website ( If the link is included, the individual policies need not be included.
    • University-wide Attendance Policy
    • Academic Honesty Policy
    • Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Policy (use verbatim if including):
      The University strives to make all learning experiences as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience barriers based on your disability (including mental health, chronic or temporary medical conditions), please let me know immediately so that we can discuss options privately. To establish reasonable accommodations, I may request that you register with Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). If you are eligible for services and register with their office, make arrangements with me as soon as possible to discuss your accommodations so they can be implemented in a timely manner. SSD contact information: 117 Louise Pound Hall.; 402-472-3787
    • Mental Health and Well-being Resources (use verbatim if including):
      UNL offers a variety of options to students to aid them in dealing with stress and adversity. Counseling and Psychological & Services (CAPS) is a multidisciplinary team of psychologists and counselors that works collaboratively with Nebraska students to help them explore their feelings and thoughts and learn helpful ways to improve their mental, psychological and emotional well-being when issues arise. CAPS can be reached by calling 402-472-7450. Big Red Resilience & Well-Being provides one-on-one well-being coaching to any student who wants to enhance their well-being. Trained well-being coaches help students create and be grateful for positive experiences, practice resilience and self-compassion, and find support as they need it. BRRWB can be reached by calling 402-472-8770.
    • Final Exam Schedule
    • Fifteenth Week Policy
    • Emergency Procedures
    • Diversity & Inclusiveness
    • Title IX Policy

Graduate Council Requirements

(required for graduate course proposals, including those cross-listed as 400/800):

  • When a new course is proposed in CIM, a graduate course number will trigger an additional question box: “List other UNL graduate courses that address the same or similar topics.” The Graduate Council takes this duplication (or perceived duplication) very seriously and will not approve courses which may overlap with existing courses. In order to smooth the approval process for your proposed course, please use due diligence and investigate what other courses may contain the same or similar content. Use the Justification box to explain why your course is distinct from others. A support letter from the unit(s) offering the existing duplicative courses may also be helpful. Keep in mind that the Graduate Council does not have campus-wide knowledge base—it may be obvious to you that the courses are not duplicative, but to others without a disciplinary background they may appear to overlap.
  • Distinction between 400/800 (if applicable)—800-level must have at least one additional stated learning objective; separate assessment plans and performance expectations for 400 and 800. For example, two proposals that were recently favorably reviewed by the graduate council had the following grading schemes (adapted to be more generic):
    • The assessment tools we will use to gauge your progress will include critiques of the current literature; a production timeline; and an exam at the end of each section. There will be a project required for graduate students. The points associated with each assessment are as follows:
      • For undergraduate students:
        • Literature evaluation; production timelines: 50
        • Two exams (1 for 50 points, 1 for 100 points): 150
        • Total: 200
      • For graduate students:
        In addition to the extra project, during the last 5-10 minutes of each lecture graduate students will be asked to pose questions to the class and the summarize the highlights of the topics covered. This will aid the instructors in gauging the effectiveness of the presented information and correct any misconceptions.
        • The requirements above to total: 200
        • Project: 100
        • Total: 300
Grade Scale
Undergraduate Graduate Final Grade
181-200 points 273-300 points A
161-180 points 243-272 points B
141-160 points 213-242 points C
121-140 points 183-212 points D
120 and lower 182 and lower F

Note that this class is a mix of graduate and undergraduate students…I recognize that the goals and experience of the undergraduates may be slightly different than the graduate students and have set up the grading system accordingly.

  • Graduate:
    • Participation: 20%
    • Weekly Response Pieces: 20%
    • Research Paper: 50% for the actual paper; 10% for initial submission and summary of project
  • Undergraduate:
    • Participation: 10%
    • Homework: 20%
    • Weekly Response Pieces: 20%
    • Exams: Midterm-25%; Final-25%

For more information, see:

Additional CASNR Requirements:

  • Learning Objectives
  • Unit/program grade appeal policy
  • ACE outcome and associated assessment(s) (if applicable)