What Is a Course Outline?

The course outline is defined for purposes of Middle States Accreditation as the official, approved document that outlines what students are expected to learn in a course and what they can expect in the way of instructional methods, activities, assignments and grading methods. The content and student learning outcomes in the course outline must be addressed by faculty teaching each section of the course. The course outline is archived by the registrar and available to anyone requesting information about a course. Course outlines must be updated at least once in every accreditation and/or program review cycle. It consists of the following items:


William Paterson University 



Course Outline

  • Title of Course and Course Number
  • Description of the Course
  • Course Prerequisites
  • Course Objectives
  • Student Learning Outcomes
  • Topical Outline of the Course Content
  • Guidelines/Suggestions for Teaching Methods and Student Learning Activities
  • Guidelines/Suggestions for Methods of Student Evaluation
  • Suggested Readings, Texts, Objects of Study
  • Bibliography of Supportive Texts and Other Materials
  • Preparer’s Name and Date
  • Original Department Approval Date
  • Reviser’s Name and Date
  • Department Revision Approval Date