Is it A Contract? The Legal Significance of a Course Syllabus

Is it A Contract? The Legal Significance of a Course Syllabus

Dr. Jionel E. Pierre, JD, MBA, LLM., Ph.D.


A syllabus creates a medium of understanding, between the professor and student, by outlining assignment, due dates, grades and course outcomes. The course syllabus also sets forth the professor’s expectations of his/her students and required statutory language pertaining to students with disabilities and other needs.  If students are unclear as to an assignment or policy, students may refer to the course syllabus for clarity and understanding, furthermore, if a dispute between the professor and student arise, the student can challenge the professors on grounds set forth or omitted in the course syllabus. In keeping with the above mentioned and anatomizing the premise thereof, a question is then proposed, does the syllabus create a contract between the professor and student?  The purpose of this presentation is to provide participants with the understanding of contract formation and the legal significance of a course syllabus. An emphasis will be placed on writing a legally effective course syllabus for all instructors but more specifically for part time and adjunct professors.

Session Speaker(s)

Session Time and Location

4:40pm to 5:10pm
Maplewood B

Session Track

Teaching and Learning