How to Read a Syllabus


By Branch Archer

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Whether you’re a freshman or a sophomore, the opportunity to register for courses will no doubt be one of your favorite college experiences. It’s almost as if, once a semester, you get to experience the equivalent of a virtual DMV. Rather than looking into the soulless eyes of a government worker, you get to stare at this

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while thousands of other students register for the same twelve-person jazz appreciation class you need to graduate.

However, before you even get to register, you need to set aside some of that free time you have during the peak of midterm season and research the classes you need to take. For many classes, there are at least a handful of choices you have in regards to the professor you select. So, how do you know which one to choose? In my opinion, one of the best things you can do is look at course syllabi and check for various red flags. Let’s take a look at a sample syllabus to learn what these red flags look like.

Graphic by Kara Fields


No class or professor will be perfect, but hopefully this guide will help you spot some red flags from the course syllabi.

Graphic by Kara Fields