Center for Academic Innovation and Faculty Support University of South Carolina Upstate

About the Syllabus

The syllabus is an important communication tool for all students, but for remote, hybrid, and online students, it provides the whole infrastructure for all course interactions. The syllabus is the narrative that introduces the course goals, gives students a window into your personality through your tone and voice, and helps them structure their relationship to course materials and their routine for the whole term. Its purpose is to initiate a conversation about learning that will extend over several months.

The syllabus plays a role in welcoming students into the learning environment, establishing communication expectations, and fostering growth mindset. The following resources are available to help you streamline your syllabus design.

USC Upstate Syllabus Templates

Use the Syllabus Template document as the base syllabus for all courses. Its accessible headers and formatting without tables make it easy for students to use screenreaders and other accessibility tools to view the document in a way that works best for them. Note: Find the Final Exam Schedule on the Spartan Hub Intranet.

This Annotated Syllabus Guide file offers support and rationale for each section of the syllabus template. It also offers guidance for including optional sections related to specific disciplines or course features.

The HyFlex syllabus statement offers students in HyFlex courses an explanation of the different ways they can attend class. If you’re teaching a HyFlex course, consider using this or some variation in your syllabus.

USC Upstate Syllabus Design Checklists

Your syllabus provides a welcome and invitation to your students. Although it is important for your syllabus to contain essential institutional statements and to conform with accessibility standards, it is also important to use formatting and include information that is important to you and your program or department. As you customize your syllabus to meet your needs, the follow checklists offer guidance for using your syllabus to contribute to an inclusive learning environment where your students feel they belong.

The Inclusive Syllabus Checklist is an overview of ways to make your syllabus inclusive and welcoming for all learners. The PDF document describes characteristics of inclusiveness for areas like policies and tone. Each item has a hover-box and rationale for including these characteristics in course syllabi. To learn more about ways to use your syllabus as an inclusive communication tool, check out this short video (7 mins).

The Social emotional learning (SEL) Checklist offers an overview of ways to bring emotional intelligence to your syllabus and course design. The PDF document describes syllabus elements that support self-awareness, self-management, and other emotional intelligence dimensions.


Sharing syllabus elements in text format within your Blackboard courses helps students gain instant access to your course resources without downloading and opening files. Use Course Copy features in Blackboard to add Blackboard-ready syllabus statements and the most updated policies and student resource links into your courses. 

  • Email to enroll in the USC Upstate Ultra Syllabus Template Course, then use Copy Items to add the syllabus template to your Blackboard Learn Ultra Course
  • Self-Enroll in the USC Upstate Original Course View Syllabus Template Course. Click +Self Enroll in the left menu to send an email request or email