Please note: Before beginning this tutorial, update your syllabus file and save it as a Word document or PDF.  The college needs your syllabus file in Canvas to serve as the long-term record of your class. This is used by students seeking to transfer credits or apply to graduate schools, as well as the college for accreditation purposes. Please do not link to a Google Doc or another cloud document. Here’s a guide to converting your syllabus from Word to PDF. You can download any Google Doc as a Word document or PDF from the File menu in Google Docs.


Fortunately, uploading and linking your syllabus on your Canvas syllabus page or home page is a single process.

First, open your Canvas course. Click on “Syllabus” in the left-side navigation. This will take you to the syllabus page, which has a few basic components that are part of the course shell. These include a logo, generic title, and a table of mandatory verbatim text, as well as integrated components of the syllabus page like the Course Summary. Do not remove or edit the table; it is required.

Empty syllabus page in Canvas with the generic components of the course shell.

Click on the “Edit” button in the upper right. This will open the editing tools so you can change the content in the Rich Content Editor.

Highlight the words “Course Syllabus”. You can change these if you want; for example, you might like to have the syllabus link say “Introduction to XX: Course Syllabus”.

Once you’ve highlighted that text, click the document icon in the toolbar.

Syllabus content editor with the phrase "Course Syllabus" highlighted and the document menu open. "Upload Document" is highlighted.

Unless you have already uploaded your syllabus somewhere in the course, select “Upload document”. You will be prompted to select and upload the file from your computer. When you click “submit”, the file will be uploaded and the highlighted text will be transformed into a link.

Make sure you click the “Update syllabus” button to save your changes!

After updating your syllabus successfully, you will see that the text “Course Syllabus” is now a link to your syllabus file and that there is an icon to the right of the text. Clicking the link text will generate a preview of the document. The down-arrow icon will download the syllabus. 

You can use the same procedure to upload and link a file in any Canvas item (page, assignment, or discussion–but not module).

Video Demonstration

If you have any issues uploading your syllabus, please contact us at or call Canvas’s 24/7 Support line at (833) 209-6112.

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