Course Procedures


For each course the instructor should prepare a course syllabus that provides a day-by-day, or at least topic-by-topic, sequence for the semester. In core courses, these syllabi may be prepared at the department level for the use of anyone teaching these courses. The syllabus might also include required textbooks and/or reserve readings, assignments with due dates, dates of tests and examinations, grading criteria, and attendance policy.

The ideal syllabus should serve as a basic reference document for both the AIs and the students, and as such should include the following items:

  • Teacher's name, title, office number, office telephone, office hours, e-mail address, and where to leave messages.
  • Course number, section, title, meeting days and times, room and building.
  • Pre-requisite(s) of the course.
  • Description of the course.
  • Course goals or objectives.
  • Required purchases: texts and supplies.
  • Grading standards and criteria.
  • Policies regarding:
    Pass/Fail, Incomplete, and Withdrawal marks
    Academic misconduct
    Late assignments
  • A table listing:
    1.Topics to be covered in sequence with dates
    2.Reading/listening assignments and dates due
    3.Due dates for major assignments; date and time of final exam (determined by the campus schedule)
    While such a detailed syllabus may not be appropriate for performance or composition study, students should be informed in writing at the beginning of the semester in very specific terms about the basis for grading. If a certain amount of repertoire is expected to be learned and/or memorized, or a number of compositions completed, these expectations should be made clear to the student. The syllabus should also make clear the policy for missed lessons or classes and how attendance will affect the grade. Putting these things in writing will help to avoid later disputes over grades.


Textbooks and required materials for courses should be ordered through the Indiana Memorial Union bookstore. (click on the Faculty Resources tab and register through the website). The deadline for fall semester orders is April 5, for the spring semester October 5, and for the summer semester March 5.

Instructors may also choose to post articles and portions of books online via Canvas (https://canvas.iu.edu).


All faculty requests for duplication of materials over 25 pages for classes (including syllabi and tests) should be processed in the Jacobs School of Music through Duplicating Services, located in the mailroom (MU006 lower level, located between Merrill Hall and the Music Annex). Duplication of materials in amounts less than 25 pages may be completed using departmental copy machines, the self-service copier in MU006, or the copier in JS114. Any larger volume of duplicating should be left for the staff to process. Ask Duplicating Services about available formats.For supplies and duplication a departmental billing number is required. All supplies and duplication require a departmental billing number.

Tests and Examinations

Tests should be announced at the beginning of the semester in the syllabus, and consequences of missing tests should be clearly spelled out. Each fall and spring semester ends with an examination week during which final exams are scheduled. These assigned times are two-hour periods, not necessarily at the same time as the class period. The schedule is available in the Student Enrollment Bulletin for each semester and from the Office of the Registrar. Examinations must be given during this official time since changing times can lead to schedule conflicts for students.

Class Rosters and Grade Books

Class rosters, including student e-mail addresses, are available electronically to instructors of record. For information about obtaining access to rosters, call the Jacobs School of Music Academic Scheduling Office, 856-4659, MU116.

Information about the campus calendar, including last day to drop and final exam schedules, is available from the Office of the Registrar.

Grade books are available in Duplicating Services (MU006). The use of computer grade book programs (such as Canvas) or speadsheets is also an efficient way of keeping track of student grades, attendance patterns and general background information (telephone, address, class schedule, etc.).

Student Absences

In some cases, such as ensemble, attendance is a very important part of the class requirement. In some other classes, attendance may not be as strictly controlled. In any case, policies concerning attendance of students should be clearly defined in the syllabus in advance.

Accomodating Religious Holidays

Indiana University students follow many different religious practices; some of them will need to miss classes for holidays on which the university remains open. In response to the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Indiana University observes the following practices regarding student absences due to religious beliefs:

Any student who is unable to attend classes or participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day because of his or her religious beliefs is excused from any such activity. The student will be given the opportunity to make up the work that was missed, provided that the makeup work does not create an unreasonable burden upon Indiana University. The university will not levy fees or charges of any kind when allowing the student to make up missed work. In addition, no adverse or prejudicial effect will result to students because they have made use of these provisions.

The Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs website lists all religious holidays for five years. Try not to schedule important exams or deadlines to conflict with such days if at all possible. You should also, early in the semester, tell students that they should inform you in advance about such absences so that you can accommodate them.