PRP 3233 - Required Format for Master Course Syllabi for BUCC Approval

PRP 3233 - Required Format for Master Course Syllabi for BUCC Approval

Issued by: Ira K. Blake, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Effective Date: Fall 2013

Prior Version of Policy

Notes: Amended by the Bloomsburg University Curriculum Committee November 14, 1990. Presented as an information item to the University Forum January 30, 1991. Amended by BUCC 4/12/95. Presented to the University Forum 4/19/95. Amended by BUCC 4/27/11. Amended by BUCC 4/17/2013. Presented to University Forum 4/24/2013.


The Master Course Syllabus (MCS) provides assurance that different sections of a course will contain content in a manner that consistently meets or exceeds the objectives of the course. Instructors will use the Master Course Syllabus to prepare a working syllabus for their section(s) of the course. The Master Course Syllabus is a binding document and a permanent record. It must be prepared and updated with utmost care. As indicated on the Omnibus Form (PRP 3230) many updates, including changes in course content, require further action.

Glossary of Terms

Program Goals — the general ends towards which effort is directed, what you want to have happen; they are not necessarily measurable or assessable directly. Programs have goals. Student Learning Objectives — because the goals are not necessarily themselves assessable and measurable, we set objectives which are proxies for the goals. Objectives are stated in a way such that they are directly measurable or assessable. Courses have student learning objectives. Expected Outcomes – the actual results of the course. They cannot be specified in advance. The outcomes are used to determine how well the objectives have been met.

Required Format

The following items must be included in the Master Course Syllabus. Use as much space as needed.

1. Date Prepared:
2. Prepared by:
3. Department:
4. Course Numbers: (Refer to PRP 3224 Guidelines for Course Numbering System)
5. Course Title:
6. Credit Hours:
7. Prerequisites: State course(s) or non-course prerequisites that students must complete before enrolling in the course. Non-course prerequisites may include, but are not limited to: prior admission to a specific curricular group (e.g., “majors only”), minimum number of credit hours, background clearance, and prior certifications.
8. Catalog Description: In a paragraph of about five sentences, which begins with an action verb, summarize the goal(s), target audience, methods, educational requirements satisfied by the course, and prerequisites for the course in terms understandable to the university community. Special considerations such as co-curricular requirements and limited times of offering, must be indicated.
9. Content Description: Give the topics of the course. The master course syllabus is used by a large audience (instructors, campus review committees, administrators, reviewers and accreditors). It should provide the scope and depth of the course content. Core content required to be taught in all sections of the course should be so designated. Optional content may be included, but it must be clear which topics are required and which are optional. The examples below are illustrative.

(Example #1) EGGS 100 World Regional Geography

World Regions

At the instructor’s discretion, between seven and ten of the following world regions will be taught in any given semester:

      A.         North America

      B.         Europe

      C.        Middle and South America

      D.        Russia and the Former Soviet Eurasian States

      E.         North Africa and the Middle East

      F.         Sub-Saharan Africa

      G.        East Asia

      H.        South Asia

      I.          Southeast Asia

      J.         Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania


Essential Foundational (Introductory) Content

The following content areas will be covered every semester:

      A.         Defining Regions

      B.         The Regional Approach to Understanding Geography and Geographic Change

      C.        Overview of Physical Geography

      D.        Overview of Human Geography

      E.         Overview of Nature-Society Geography


Essential Regional Content

For each region analyzed, the following content areas will be covered every semester:

      A.         Physical Geography, Climate and Landforms

      B.         Human-Environment Interactions, Built Landscapes, and Environmental Issues

      C.        Historical, Economic and Demographic Change

      D.        Language, Religion and Culture

      E.         Globalization and Development


Additional Specific Topics

The following may be taught in a particular region or regions (Instructor’s Discretion):

      A.         Overpopulation (or Underpopulation)

      B.         Geography of Industrialization

      C.        Aid, Debt, and Underdevelopment

      D.        Impacts of Climate Change

      E.         Agricultural Issues

      F.         Gender Roles

      G.        Human Migration

      H.        Geological Risks and Natural Disasters


(Example #2)  HISTORY 398 Research and Writing Skills

Content outline:  The topics listed below are essential to the course.  Individual instructors may add other topics they consider necessary.

      A.         Hunting primary and secondary sources for historical research.

      B.         Analyzing primary sources.

      C.        Claims, evidence, warrants, qualifications.

      D.        Locating and comprehending historical interpretations in secondary sources.

      E.         Formulating and asserting historical interpretations.

      F.         Plagiarism and how to avoid it.

G.        Composing, editing, and revising papers, including a research prospectus, a historiographic essay, a primary source outline, and a first draft research paper.


H.      Editing and revising formal research papers: from the first draft to the final draft.

      I.          Preparing/delivering effective oral presentations.


(Example #3)  INTSTUDY 101 Liberal Arts Seminar 

Across multiple sections and assignments, this course includes sustained instruction in composing and revising in ways that demonstrate awareness of writing as a social process.  For example, this course provides instruction in crafting writing for particular purposes and audiences.  Because writing and reading are related processes, this course also involves instruction in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating texts.  Specific course structures and procedures are developed by each instructor.  Students will compose several writing assignments, both formal and informal, over the course of the semester, practicing writing processes including (but not limited to) brainstorming, drafting, peer review, revision, and reflection.  At least one primary assignment will be dedicated to research, as students are instructed in effective research strategies and the assessment of appropriate source material and information.  Other assignments will vary according to instructor.  Course readings will address the topical focus of the course.

(Example #4) PSYCH 131 Psychology of Adjustment

Core Content

Note: These topics comprise the General Education content for the course, and will be covered in every course section by every instructor.

Definitions of Psychological Adjustment

Approaches to Defining Psychological Adjustment

Science, Culture, Values, and Conceptions of Psychological Adjustment

Growth and Wellness Perspectives on Psychological Adjustment

Science and Adjustment: Implications and Limitations

Psychological Adjustment as a Spectrum

Stress, Coping, and Adjustment

Conceptions of Stress

Stress Responses, Distress, and Emotions

Processes of Coping

Stress and Coping in Cultural and Social Context

Outcomes of Coping: Growth, Wellness, Problems in Adjustment

Emotions and Psychological Adjustment

 Emotions: Basic Psychological and Biological Aspects

 Emotional Awareness and Psychological Adjustment

 Emotional Self-Regulation and Psychological Adjustment

 Interpersonal Skills, Sociocultural Awareness, and Psychological Adjustment

 Conceptions of Interpersonal Skills for Psychological Adjustment

 Conceptions of Cultural and Social Awareness for Psychological Adjustment

 Major Theoretical Perspectives for Psychological Adjustment

Theories of Change and Growth

 Psychodynamic, Humanistic, and Existential Perspectives

 Behavioral and Cognitive Perspectives

 Social and Cultural Perspectives

 Stress: Specific Conceptions and Applications

 Definitions of Stress, Stress Reactivity

 Stress and Other Experiences (e.g. Anxiety)

 General Adaptation Syndrome

 Stress and Decompensation (Psychological and Physiological)

 Stress and Growth

 Eustress and Distress, Hypostress and Hyperstress

 Stressors: Life Transitions, Daily Hassles, Chronic Stressors

 Type A and Hardy Personality Patterns

 Resources for Coping: Personal, Social, Material

 Reactive Coping Mechanisms and Adjustment Strategies/Techniques

 Problem-Focused, Emotion-Focused, Meaning-Focused Coping

 Psychological Functions: Awareness and Behavior

 Consciousness and Behavior

 Sensation, Perception, Attention

 Thinking and Cognitive Processes


 Emotions and the Brain

 Basic Human Emotions: Physiological and Facial Expressions

 Limbic System, Frontal Cortex, Emotional Processes and Regulation

 Neurotransmitters and Emotional Processes

Specific Content

Note: Specific topics for each course section offered will include topics selected from the following list, and additional topics as chosen by the instructor.  Many Specific Topics elaborate specific aspects of the Core/Essential Topics above; others provide additional content that goes beyond the Core/Essential Topics.

Major Theoretical Perspectives for Psychological Adjustment

Theories of Change and Growth

Psychodynamic, Humanistic, and Existential Perspectives

Behavioral and Cognitive Perspectives

Social and Cultural Perspectives

Stress: Specific Conceptions and Applications

Definitions of Stress, Stress Reactivity

Stress and Other Experiences (e.g. Anxiety)

General Adaptation Syndrome

Stress and Decompensation (Psychological and Physiological)

Stress and Growth

Eustress and Distress, Hypostress and Hyperstress

Stressors: Life Transitions, Daily Hassles, Chronic Stressors

Type A and Hardy Personality Patterns

Resources for Coping: Personal, Social, Material

Reactive Coping Mechanisms and Adjustment Strategies/Techniques

Problem-Focused, Emotion-Focused, Meaning-Focused Coping

Psychological Functions: Awareness and Behavior

Consciousness and Behavior

Sensation, Perception, Attention

Thinking and Cognitive Processes


Emotions and the Brain

Basic Human Emotions: Physiological and Facial Expressions

 Limbic System, Frontal Cortex, Emotional Processes and Regulation

 Neurotransmitters and Emotional Processes

 The Self

 Philosophy of Self

 Essence vs. Existence

  Importance of Self-Awareness

  Identity and Identification

 Values, Meaning, Purpose, and Psychological Adjustment

  The Search for Meaning: Viktor Frankl

  Conceived, Operative, Instrumental and Terminal Values

  Sources of Values

  Achieving Purpose from Values

  The Role of Rituals and Disciplines in Meaning, Purpose, and Values

  Altered Awareness and Adjustment

  Consciousness, Ordinary Consciousness, and Altered States of Consciousness

  Eastern Cultural Perspectives

  Meditation – Definitions, Types, and Scientific Research

  Characteristics and Advantages of Altered States for Adjustment

  Mindfulness, Meditation, and the Flow State

  Behavioral Self-Management

  Advantages of Ordinary Consciousness

  Power of the Environment

  Behavioral Self-Observation

  Collect Data (Antecedents, Behavior, Consequences)

  Self-evaluation/Analyze Data

  Goal Setting

  Behavioral Self-Management

  Environmental Planning

  Learning Specific Skills of the Target Behavior

  Behavioral Programming (manipulating consequences)

  Integrating Eastern and Western Cultural Influences into an Adjustment Program

  Becoming Self-Directed in a Social World

  Social Influence

  Conformity, Compliance, Obedience

  Types of Social Power/Authority

   Normative and Informational Influences

   Resisting Normative Social Influence

   Resisting Informational Social Influence

   Time Management

   What is Time? Ordinary and Non-Ordinary Time

   Issues and Problems in Time Management

  Techniques for Effective Time Management

  Emotional Competencies for Adjustment: Concepts and Applications

  Emotional Awareness

  Emotional Management and Self-Regulation

  Motivational Management and Self-Regulation

  Problem-Solving and Decision-Making

  A “Flexible Control” Perspective for Coping

  Interpersonal Competencies for Adjustment: Concepts and Applications

   Empathy and Listening Skills

   Personal Connection: Building and Maintaining Relationships

   Negotiating and Conflict Management           

  Social Cognition: Understanding Group Interactions

  Organizing Groups and Leadership


   Assertiveness, nonassertiveness, and Aggressiveness

  Techniques for Developing Assertiveness

  Social Competencies for Adjustment: Concepts and Applications

  Stereotypes and Prejudices

  Discrimination and Privilege

  Gender and Adjustment

  Sexual Orientation and Adjustment

  Selected Mental Disorders, Related Topics, and Adjustment      

   Major Depression and Related Mood Disorders

  Substance Abuse, Dependence, and Recovery

  Eating Disorders

  Coping with Trauma


  Gender and Behavior

  Gender Stereotypes

  Gender Similarities and Differences

  Aggression: Female vs. Male

  Psychological Disorders: Male vs. Female

 The Life of Frederick Douglass as an Exemplar of Adjustment, Growth, and Liberation

 Themes Related to Psychological Adjustment in the Life of Frederick Douglass

******************************************End of Examples****************************************
10. Methods: Indicate a recommended class size, if appropriate, with rationale , course content delivery (e.g., lecture, laboratory, art studio, writing lab, recitation, specific methods used for distance education), course offering frequency, out-of-class activities, co-curricular activities, additional costs to the students, and whether alternate assignments will be provided in lieu of out-of-class or co-curricular activities.

11. Student Learning Objectives: State objectives in a way such that they are directly measurable or assessable.
In list form, state what knowledge, skills, applications, creative endeavors, etc., the successful student, upon completion of this course, should be able to demonstrate. Individual instructors may add to Student Learning Objectives, but the intent here is that the Student Learning Objectives in this Master Course Syllabus should apply to all sections of the course.

12. Student Assessment: For each Student Learning Objective listed above, state how it will be measured, assessed, or demonstrated. This can be in a variety of ways and may vary in practice from instructor to instructor.

13. Evaluation of Individual Student Performance: State how individual attainment of each of the student learning objectives will be assessed (exams, projects, performances, quizzes, etc.). Refer to PRP 3264 Student Course Requirements and Progress Information

14. Course Assessment: State how it will be assessed that the course meets each of the student learning objectives. Course development is an evolutionary process and the course assessments will assist the department in changing the course to meet the outcomes and/or changing the outcomes so that the course better reflects the goals of the program.

15. Supporting Materials and References: List materials and references necessary to support the course. The style of entry should consistently follow a manual such as Turabian, MLA, APA, or an accepted guide in a specific discipline. Indicate, with an asterisk at the beginning of the citation, resources that are available through the Andruss Library. If available elsewhere, indicate in parentheses following a resource citation, indicate the resources locations in parentheses (e.g., provided by instructor upon request, available from departmental library). If a course requires use of library resources, the librarian liaison to the department should be consulted to confirm that the library’s offerings are adequate to support it.

16. Prototype Text: Indicate possible texts for the course, including author, title, publisher, and date of publication.