Loyola University Chicago

Department of Fine and Performing Arts

DFPA Syllabi Requirements

An instructor’s syllabus is perhaps the single most important document developed for a class, because it sets the tone of the class and serves as a contract between you and your student. The more detail you can include in the syllabus, the less confusion there will be on the part of the student throughout the semester.

Sakai can be a very useful tool to communicate information to students and to avoid unnecessary printing. It is recommended that you post all course documents on your Sakai site where students will be able to access them from any computer. The university offers training in the use of Sakai and power point throughout the summer and academic year. Information on technology training summer workshops can be found here for Microsoft Office Workships and here for Sakai training.

Course Description and Learning Outcomes

Each syllabus should list a short description of the course and its learning outcomes.  The official version of both can be found in the course catalogue on LOCUS. Marta Wasko (8-2820) can assist you, if you do not know how to access this web page. In some cases it is clear that the learning outcomes need some serious revision. You may elaborate beyond what is printed for more specificity. DFPA core curriculum courses require special language appear in a core syllabus.  For more information, see Core Curriculum section of this document*.

Ground Rules

It is important to set forth clearly your ground rules regarding grading, attendance, paper submission dates, etc. in your syllabus. Thereafter, be sure to stick to them. Student complaints too often concern either the lack of a clear syllabus or the instructor's failure to adhere to the rules laid out in his or her syllabus. If circumstances later make it essential that you change some previously announced policy, please submit the changed syllabus to Marta Wasko as soon as you make the change.

Class Attendance

With regard to class attendance, the policy of the College of Arts and Sciences specifies that "precisely how atten­dance and class participation are taken into account in the final grade is at the discretion of the individual instructor”. An instructor may institute a point reduction strictly for attendance, but faculty should have a strong rationale for such a policy. Typically, students are forgiven the equivalent of one weeks’ worth of unexcused absences without penalty. It is incumbent upon the instructor to clearly indicate, in the written ground rules, if and how attendance in his/her class is to be calculated into the final grade.

Textbooks, Materials and Fees

Include textbook listing and any additional fees associated with your class in your syllabus (for example, THTR 205 and 207 require an additional $160 fee to cover the costs of tickets). In most cases, book orders have been placed for your classes. Should you need to make changes, contact the bookstore as soon as possible. Please consider the cost of the books and materials before ordering them, and if you order them make sure you use them in class.

Academic Honesty

Loyola University Chicago is committed to Academic Honesty.  Please refer your students to the university and college policies regarding plagiarism in your syllabi.

Office Hours

The Department of Fine and Performing Arts expects full-time faculty to maintain office hours for a minimum of six hours per week. The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences requires that part-time faculty list a minimum of two hours per week. Be sure to include this information on your syllabus.


Include information on your syllabus on how the course will be graded. Indicate how assignments will be weighted and what will constitute the final grade. Sakai offers an electronic grade book that can be tailored to your class. The advantage to you is that it calculates your grades, and students can easily monitor their progress in class as grades are posted.

Weekly Outline

It is highly recommended that you develop a week-by-week or day-by-day outline for your class. A class outline of lectures, activities, presentations and assignments ensures that you have a plan as to how you will achieve your learning outcomes and allows students to plan accordingly. This does not mean you cannot adjust your weekly outline to accommodate student needs as the semester progresses. If your outline is posted on its course Sakai site, the outline can be adjusted easily when the need arises.

Final Exam

Your final exam date and time must also be listed on your syllabus. Please see Final Exam Schedule on the university website.

If you are giving a final examination, it MUST be given in the time slot listed in the course description booklet. The Dean of the College also requires that if you are NOT giving a final exam, you MUST meet with your students at the scheduled two-hour exam period.

Core Curriculum Courses*

The Core Curriculum “belongs” to the University, not the college or the department. That is, it has been approved to satisfy certain University degree requirements. As such, a core course is expected and required to meet those curricular expectations as stipulated by the University.

These expectations include content appropriate to the course designation, and the expectations also include that learning objectives, as identified by the Core Curriculum documents, will be satisfied by your section. Learning objectives are also referred in the University's Core literature as learning outcomes.

A complete list of Core Curriculum courses, their descriptions, and learning outcomes in the Artistic Knowledge & Experience category can be found here.

Each instructor teaching a Core Curriculum course should on their syllabus identify their course as a core curriculum course and include a version of this Core Curriculum course description and learning objectives. Instructors can then add material in their syllabus providing a bit more detail of how those learning objectives will be pursued in their course.

Copies of Syllabi             

Please email a copy of your syllabi and daily outlines to Marta Wasko at mwasko@luc.edu by the start of the third week of classes.