47 Questions to Ask Your Professor About the Syllabus

A syllabus is like a road map for a course. It tells you what the professor will cover in class and what is expected of you as a student.

The syllabus can be very helpful when it comes to planning your time and studying for exams, but it can also be confusing. If you have questions about the syllabus, do not be afraid to ask your professor during office hours or after class.

47 Questions to ask about the syllabus:

  1. What topics are covered in this course?
  2. What is the order of the topics?
  3. Why did you choose this order?
  4. What are the goals of this class?
  5. Do the course learning outcomes convey what students need to know and what they can do with what they have learned?
  6. What skills or knowledge will I gain by taking this course?
  7. How will this course help me achieve my academic or career goals?
  8. What are the requirements for this class?
  9. What will be covered in each unit?
  10. What are the major assignments in this course?
  11. When are the major assignments due?
  12. What texts or other materials do I need to purchase for this course?
  13. Where can I find these materials?
  14. What readings are required? When are they due?
  15. What kind of assignments can I expect? When are they due?
  16. How will my grade be determined?
  17. What is the breakdown of the grade?
  18. How much time do I have to spend outside of class on homework, reading, etc.?
  19. Will there be quizzes or exams in this course?
  20. What is the format of the exams in this course (multiple choice, essay, etc.)?
  21. Are there any projects or presentations that I will be required to do?
  22. Is there a final exam? When is it scheduled?
  23. When are they scheduled?
  24. What format will they be in (e.g., multiple choice, essay, oral)?
  25. How will my performance in this course be evaluated (e.g., grades, participation, projects)?
  26. What percentage of my grade will be on each component?
  27. Are there opportunities for extra credit in this course?
  28. If so, how can I earn extra credit?
  29. Is there anything I can do if I’m struggling with the material or keeping up with the workload?
  30. What is your policy on attendance and participation?
  31. What is your policy on make-up work and late homework?
  32. What is your policy on using laptops or other electronic devices in class?
  33. What is the policy on academic honesty?
  34. What is your policy on absences?
  35. Will we be working in groups at any point during the semester?
  36. Do you have a preferred method for taking notes in class (e-notes, laptop, etc.)?
  37. Can I get feedback on my work during the semester?
  38. Where can I get help outside of office hours (e.g., tutoring, writing center)?
  39. Are there guest lectures or field trips?
  40. If so, when and where will they be held?
  41. Are there any prerequisites for this course?
  42. Are there any prerequisites for this course?
  43. When is the first day of class?
  44. Is there anything I need to do to prepare for the first day of class?
  45. Is there anything I should know about your teaching style or methods?
  46. Can I get a copy of the slides/notes?
  47. Is there anything else I should know about this course or that would be helpful for me to know?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a course syllabus a legal document?

A syllabus for a course is not a legal document in the sense that it can be used in court. However, it can be a useful reference tool for both students and professors. It usually contains information about the course, such as the title, instructor, and textbook, as well as dates for exams and other assignments.

What is the purpose of a syllabus?

A syllabus is a document that outlines the goals, objectives, and expectations of a course. It also includes the schedule of topics covered in the course, as well as required readings and assignments. Using the syllabus, students know what is expected of them in the course, and instructors can measure student progress.

Do professors create their own syllabus?

Some professors prefer to create their syllabus, while others use a pre-made syllabus. Creating a syllabus can be a lengthy process, as professors usually want to make sure they have enough time to cover all the topics they plan to cover. In addition, professors may want to get input from their students to tailor the syllabus to their needs.


Asking your professor questions about the syllabus is a great way to get clarification about the course material and expectations. It can also help you manage your time and study more effectively for exams. So do not be afraid to ask your questions – your professor will appreciate your engagement and effort!

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