Difference Between Syllabus and Curriculum

Syllabus vs Curriculum

Syllabus and Curriculum are two words that are often confused as words that have same sense. Strictly speaking they are two different words that give different meanings. Syllabus refers to the program or outline of a course of study. Curriculum on the other hand is a word that refers to the subjects that are studied or prescribed for study in a school or in a college. This is the main difference between syllabus and curriculum.

In other words syllabus refers to the portions of study prescribed in a particular subject meant for a particular course of study. For example if Physics is a subject meant for a course of study called ‘material science’, then the portions of study prescribed in the subject of Physics is called as syllabus.

As a matter syllabus is prescribed once in a year and the particular syllabus that is prescribed for the year should be completed both by the teacher or the professor and the student during the year. Examinations will be conducted at the end of the year only from the particular syllabus of the year in the particular subject. This shows that the student will follow another syllabus in the next year of a given three-year undergraduate course.

A curriculum on the other hand pertains to the entire period of study in a college or a school. For example the curriculum of a certain course of study say B.Sc Chemistry includes all the subjects, including the allied subjects to be studied as part of the entire course of study. Hence it can be said that syllabus is a subset of curriculum. In other words it can be said that syllabus is contained in the curriculum. Syllabi make a curriculum. A curriculum gets completed once the syllabi get completed. This is the difference between syllabus and curriculum.