What is Covered In Your Course
The minimum required material to be covered by an applicant throughout a flight training course is governed by the FAA with CFR 14 Part 61. The FAA mandates both the Aeronautical Knowledge areas and the Flight Proficiency elements in which the applicant must be proficient before appearing for a checkride. Detailed description of what is expected on the flight proficiency elements can be found in the FAA PTS information page.
Flight training programs under Part 61 and Part 141 must ensure the same coverage of the aeronautical knowledge areas and flight proficiency elements. Students from both type of programs must satisfy the exact same requirements. Since programs under Part 141 must meet additional requiremens and Part 141 flight training operations are closely monitored by the FAA, there is a lower minimum requirements in terms of hours of aeronautical experience for Part 141 applicants. This can significantly lower the cost of a program for students who sign up for an Instrument Rating or a Commercial Pilot License. Even for Private Pilot license there is a 5 hour difference in the minimum requirements between Part 141 and Part 61.
The authoritative source for information is, as always, the FAA website: http://www.faa.gov/pilots/