Table of Contents


Information for specific audiences:


Syllabus statements are the first step in communicating expectations with students. The following examples are consistent with the policies and procedures related to teaching from a variety of USC documents.

1. Academic Integrity

Example 1:
Assignments and examination work are expected to be the sole effort of the student submitting the work. Students are expected to follow the University of South Carolina Honor Code and should expect that every instance of a suspected violation will be reported. Students found responsible for violations of the Code will be subject to academic penalties under the Code in addition to whatever disciplinary sanctions are applied. Cheating on a test or copying someone else’s work, will result in a 0 for the work, possibly a grade of F in the course, and, in accordance with University policy, be referred to the University Committee for Academic Responsibility and may result in expulsion from the University.

Example 2:
The University of South Carolina has clearly articulated its policies governing academic integrity and students are encouraged to carefully review the policy on the Honor Code in the Carolina Community. Any deviation from these expectations will result in academic penalties as well as disciplinary action. The area of greatest potential risk for inadvertent academic dishonesty is plagiarism. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, paraphrasing or direct quotation of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgement.

2. Attendance Policy

Example 1:
When you miss class, you miss important information. If you are absent, you are responsible for learning material covered in class. If you are absent when an assignment is due, you must have submitted the assignment prior to the due date to receive credit. If you miss more than 10% of the classes, whether excused or unexcused, your grade will be dropped one letter grade.

3. Expectations for Classroom Behavior

Example 1:
All cell phones and pagers are to be turned off or silenced during class (not on vibrate). All cell phones are to be put away out of view during class; there is no text messaging, web browsing, etc, during class. There will be no eating during class time. Failure to adhere to these classroom rules may result in your being dismissed from class and/or an academic penalty.

Example 2:
Please be respectful of each other, the instructor, and any guest presenters while in class. We are all here to learn! Any disrespectful or disruptive behavior may result in your referral to the Office of Student Judicial Programs.

4. Assignment Submission

Assignments are always due before class starts on the day noted. Late assignments will be accepted only in cases of emergency.

Example 2:
Assignments are due at times specified by the instructor. Usually, lab reports will be due at the beginning of class. If an assignment is not handed in on time, even by a minute, then it is late. Points are taken off as follows: Up to 24 hours from the due date = -10 points; 24 to 48 hours late = -20 points; 48 to 72 hours late = -30 points; More than 72 hours late = -50 points. However, late assignments will not be accepted if they have already been graded and returned to the other students.

Example 3:
All assignments should be submitted using Blackboard’s "submit assignment" link. Except for the last assignment and the final project, all assignments are due on Friday at 11:59 pm. Assignments lose 20% of their point value per day late and will be counted as if the whole assignment was submitted at the time of the latest timestamp present.

5. Midterm Exams

Example 1:
Makeup exams will be allowed only with pre-approval of the instructor or with an acceptable, documented reason. Acceptable reasons for makeup exams include severe illness, family emergencies or other unavoidable events including dangerous weather conditions and car accidents. Exam format for makeup exams may be different than the original exam and will likely utilize a short answer format. An oral examination may also be utilized if deemed appropriate by the instructor.

Example 2:
Three exams will be given for the class which weight total 50% of the final grades. The date
and time will be announced in the class. Exams will have an undergraduate version and a
more challenged graduate version. Undergraduate students may get extra credits by solving
the problems for graduate students. From time to time, short quizzes will be given in the class
as a mechanism for measuring the understanding of materials presented in the class.
No makeup exams will be given without valid and documented excuse and prearranged with
the instructor.

6. Final Exams

Students who are absent from any final examination will be given the grade of F on the course if they have not offered an excuse acceptable to the instructor. Re-examinations for the purpose of removing an F or raising a grade are not permitted. If the absence is excused, students will be assigned a grade of I, and may complete the course under the conditions specified by the instructor in the "Assignment of Incomplete Grade" form. A student with excused absence from a final examination in one semester may take the deferred examination at the next regular examination period provided the examination is taken at the convenience of the professor. The examination must be taken within one calendar year from the time the absence was incurred. Deferred examinations will be granted only in case of absence certified as unavoidable because of documented illness or other cause, rendering attendance at final examinations impossible.

7. Accommodating Disabilities

Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and may need accommodations to fully participate in this class, contact the Office of Student Disability Services: 777-6142, TDD 777-6744, email, or stop by LeConte College Room 112A. All accommodations must be approved through the Office of Student Disability Services.

8. Diversity

Example 1:
In order to learn, we must be open to the views of people different that ourselves. In this time we share together over the semester, please honor the uniqueness of your fellow classmates and appreciate the opportunity we have to learn from one another. Please respect each others’ opinions and refrain from personal attacks or demeaning comments of any kind. Finally, remember to keep confidential all issues of a personal or professional nature that are discussed in class.

Example 2:
In addition to scheduling exams, I have attempted to avoid conflicts with major religious holidays. If, however, I have inadvertently scheduled an exam or major deadline that creates a conflict with your religious observances, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can make other arrangements.

9. Instructional Methods

The course will be taught using multiple instructional methods. These methods will include lecture, group discussion and oral presentations with an associated critical discussion. Typically, course topics will be introduced via a 2-3 lecture format incorporating interpretive discussions. Directly following the lecture presentation, students will receive an article from the primary literature that either illustrates current research into the topic or explore a related or relevant additional concept. Literature discussions will utilize small group discussions following by classroom presentation and discussion.

10. Recommended Study Habits

Example 1:
Readiness to learn means that you will come to class with questions and insights and prepared to discuss the relevance and application of course materials. I have found that students who do well in my class also:

  • Check Blackboard often for announcements and up-coming assignments and quizzes.
  • Highlight the textbook or take notes as you complete reading assignments to help you prepare for quizzes.
  • Form small study groups to prepare for the exams.

Get the phone numbers of at least two classmates whom you can contact if you have questions or need help studying.

Example 2:
Readiness to learn means that you will come to class with questions and insights and prepared to discuss the relevance and application of course materials.
I have found that students who do well in my class also:

  • Read the assigned material before class.
  • Bring thoughtful questions to class for discussion.
  • Prepare for the exams in study groups.
  • Take notes during class discussions and while completing reading assignments.

11. Expectations of the Instructor

The instructor is expected to facilitate learning, to answer questions appropriately, to be fair and objective in grading, to provide timely and useful feedback on assignments, to maintain adequate office hours, and to treat students as he would like to be treated in their place.

12. Amending the Syllabus/Rules

Amendments and changes to the syllabus, including evaluation and grading mechanisms, are possible. The instructor must initiate any changes. Changes to the grading and evaluation scheme must be voted on by the entire class and approved only with unanimous vote of all students present in class on the day the issue is decided. The lecture schedule and reading assignments (daily schedule) will not require a vote and may be altered at the instructor’s discretion. Grading changes that unilaterally and equitably improve all students’ grades will not require a vote. Once approved, amendments will be distributed in writing to all students via Blackboard.

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