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.