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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UC Denver

CLAS Policies, Forms & Procedures

Syllabus Requirements, CLAS Policy


Every course in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must have a course syllabus distributed to students the first class meeting.  This policy applies to courses that meet on campus, courses that meet off campus, and all online courses.

A faculty member is bound by the terms of his/her syllabus. If a faculty member revises a course syllabus for any reason, the faculty member must, in a timely way, notify students in writing of the changes. The faculty member must give students sufficient time to prepare new assignments. In any reasonable disagreement with a student, the administration is obligated to resolve omissions and confusing provisions in the student’s favor. Faculty who take extra time to develop a detailed syllabus will minimize miscommunication with students throughout the semester.

Required Components For a Course Syllabus

For an online version of the Syllabus Attachment including important policies, deadlines and religious holidays by term, see the links at the right.

  • Course information to include the department, course number, course title, and semester, catalog description, and core course or GT Pathways designation.
  • Instructor information to include name, office hours, phone numbers, email address, etc.
  • Course prerequisites: this must be consistent with the UC Denver Catalog description.
  • Required and optional course materials including texts, workbooks, outlines etc.
  • Detailed grading policies: weighting, scale, late penalties, specific attendance/participation requirements if any, whether you use +/- grading or not, tentative schedule of topics, and fixed exam dates (these cannot change unless campus is closed).
  • Course Schedule: The schedule should include the tentative sequence of course topics, the preparations or readings, and the assignments due.
  • Students with Disabilities: Include information regarding academic accommodations for students with disabilities. (See Disability Accommodations below.)
  • Student Code of Conduct: Include a reference to the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Academic ethics policies: define plagiarism for your course, state your policies regarding penalties, further sanctions you will seek. Outline the consequences.
  • Drop deadlines: must include the 10 week drop date and the optional CLAS 12 week drop date. Must stress that the 12 week deadline is absolute.

Strongly Recommended Components for Course Syllabus

  • Expected effort of the student: what you think the time commitment will be and what students should expect in the way of time for the course.
  • Student success: Provide suggestions or strategies students might use to be successful in the course.
  • CLAS Incomplete policy (see below).
  • Goals and objectives of the course: must be consistent with department and campus assessment policies.
  • Class pedagogies: delivery format, electronic support, etc.
  • Classroom policies: cell phones, computers, eating, discussion protocols, behavior expectations, penalties for violating classroom policies.

Religious Holiday Accomodations

Faculty in the University of Colorado system have both a legal and moral obligation to provide reasonable accommodations to students who must be absent from classes because of religious holidays. Faculty are expected to develop course-consistent accommodations for students who miss class or graded assignments in order to observe religious holidays. Faculty are encouraged to:

  1. Avoid examinations during major religious holidays;
  2. Ask students to privately identify all course conflicts at the beginning of the semester.

Dates of religious holidays are available on the Interfaith Calendar.

Disability Accomodations

The faculty at the University of Colorado system have both a legal and moral obligation to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities.  To be eligible for accommodations, students must be registered with the UC Denver Office of Disability Resources and Services (DRS) - North Classroom 2514; 303-556-3450, 303-556-4766 TDD).  The DRS staff has experience to assist faculty in determining reasonable accommodations and to coordinate these accommodations.  If a student is given accommodations, they must be followed.  If a student chooses not to accept the accommodations set forth by the DRS, they MUST complete all assignments and do all course work in the same manner as all other students.  No exceptions or alternate forms of evaluation can be used except those mandated by the DRS.  Faculty cannot arbitrarily decide to give a student extra time, extra assistance or other forms of aid unless it is formally mandated by the DRS.

CLAS Incomplete (IW/IF) Policy

The faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences passed the following policy relating to the awarding of incomplete grades.  This CLAS policy is consistent with the UC Denver campus policy.

Incomplete grades (IW or IF) are NOT granted for low academic performance. To be eligible for an Incomplete grade, students MUST:

  1. Successfully complete a minimum of 75% of the course.
  2. Have special circumstances beyond their control that preclude them from attending class and completing graded assignments.
  3. Make arrangements to complete missing assignments with the original instructor. Verification of special circumstances is required.

Completion of a CLAS Course Completion Agreement is strongly suggested. Incompletes cannot be awarded that stipulate:

  1. a student may repeat the entire course
  2. repeat or replace existing grades
  3. allow the student an indeterminate period of time to complete a course
  4. allow the student to repeat the course with a different instructor

The CLAS Course Completion Agreement is available from the CLAS Advising Office, NC 4002.