Is it ok to ask for a graduate school syllabus early?

I am taking two classes in Spring. However, I may want to do an overload in the summer, so I can graduate earlier. I don't want to register for 3 classes without knowing what the workload (reading, assignments) level is like. Is this OK? How should I word it?

4 Answers

  • MS
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    It's okay to ask, but the actual syllabus may not be available early.  You may get a better response if you ask about what is covered in the class and what is required in the class.  

  • 2 months ago

    My university posts course descriptions online so it's easy to see them. Maybe yours does too. If not, you can email the professor. Be aware that most update their syllabi just before the semester begins. There may be new materials with updated information that the professor would want to include. When you email, don't say that you're concerned about the workload. Say something like you want to get the books early so you can start doing the reading. OR that you're interested in the class and might want to drop something else in order to take it. Try to sound actually interested in the class- professors like that. 

  • Lisa
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Of course you can ask for the syllabus early.  If the professor has taught the class before, she or he may be able to send it to you immediately.  At the very least, you might be told what texts will be required, how much of them you will have to read, and what other sorts of assignments there will be in terms of tests, papers, etc.  I've taught college level English (as well as having taken plenty of graduate level classes myself), and I loved when students emailed me beforehand to ask questions about the class.  It told me they were interested and wanted to earn a good grade.  

    What I would do if I were you is to email the professor, say you are interested in the course, but also say it is important to you that you do well in it and learn as much as you possibly can.  In other words, sound motivated.  Then ask what the assignments will be.  

    It's true that not all professors will respond, and it is true that not all will respond with much detail.  Some might say something like, "Well, you'll see what is required the first day of class" or "I haven't developed the class yet.  I'm still working on it."  But if you are polite and sound interested, you can't go wrong.

    However, if you are really worried about making a bad impression, you can always ask a friend (someone who definitely won't take the class) to email on your behalf.  The professor will never know.  But, honestly, I wouldn't do that if I were you.  The impression you would make by showing an interest in the class is likely to be favorable.  And, the other side of it is that the summer is many months away.  It is unlikely the professor would remember your name.

    It speaks well of you that you care enough to even ask the question.  I bet you do great in your classes.

    Source(s): College level English instructor
  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    The professor won't have the syllabus available that far in advance.  You can ask to see a syllabus from previous semesters to get an idea of what the load is like in general, but it may change for the semester you actually take the class.  You can also look online to see if previous syllabi have been posted.

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