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Example Syllabus Statements

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.

Honor Code
Every student has a role in maintaining the academic reputation of the university. It is imperative that you refrain from engaging in plagiarism, cheating, falsifying your work and/or assisting other students in violating the Honor Code. Two important components of the Honor Code:

  • Faculty members are required to report potential violations of the Honor Code to the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity.
  • When a student is uncertain as to whether conduct would violate the Honor Code, it is their responsibility to seek clarification from the appropriate faculty member.

To clarify your understanding of the Honor Code, use these resources:

Your enrollment in this class signifies your willingness to accept these responsibilities and uphold the Honor Code of the University of South Carolina. Please review the Honor Code Policies. Any deviation from this expectation can result in a (insert academic penalty here) and a referral to the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity.

Carolinian Creed
The community of scholars at the University of South Carolina is dedicated to personal and academic excellence.  Choosing to join the community obligates each member to the Carolinian Creed. Academic and civil discourse are the cornerstones of the educational system and crucial to individual growth.

As a Carolinian:

  • I will practice personal and academic integrity;
  • I will respect the rights and dignity of all persons;
  • I will respect the rights and property of others;
  • I will discourage bigotry, while striving to learn from differences in people, ideas and opinions;
  • I will demonstrate concern for others, their feelings and their need for conditions which support their work and development.

Copyright Syllabus Language
Lectures and course materials (which is inclusive of my presentations, tests, exams, outlines, and lecture notes) maybe protected by copyright. You are encouraged to take notes and utilize course materials for your own educational purpose. However, you are not to reproduce or distribute this content without my expressed written permission. This includes sharing course materials to online social study sites like Course Hero and other services. Students who publicly reproduce, distribute or modify course content maybe in violation of the university’s Honor Code’s Complicity policy, which states: sharing academic work with another student (either in person or electronically) without the permission of the instructor. To best understand the parameters around copyright and intellectual property review ACAF 1.33 "Intellectual Property Policy".

A student’s grades are to represent to what extent that individual student has mastered the course content. You should assume that you are to complete course work individually (without the use of another person or un-cited outside source) unless otherwise indicated by the instructor. It is your responsibility to seek clarification if you are unclear about what constitutes proper or improper collaboration.

Lab Assignments
In this course students will complete lab assignments with a partner. You are encouraged to work together to complete the data collection. However, all lab reports must be the work of the individual student and may not be copied from another student’s work, the text or any other source. Any discussion with your lab partner should be limited to general terms and big picture concepts. Avoid sharing your lab report with other students electronically.

Reusing Course Materials

  • The use of previous semester course materials is not allowed in this course. This applies to homework, projects, quizzes and tests. Because these aids are not available to all students within the course, their use by any individual student undermines the fundamental principles of fairness and disrupts your professor’s ability to accurately evaluate your work. Any potential violations will be forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity for review.
  • The use of previous semester course materials is allowed in this course. Keep in mind that they may serve as helpful teaching tools, but they are not guidelines for how you should complete your work this semester.

For more information, visit the Student Conduct and Academic Integrity website.

Student Success Center
In partnership with University of South Carolina faculty, the Student Success Center (SSC) offers a number of programs to assist you in better understanding your course material and to aid you on your path to success. SSC programs are facilitated by professional staff, graduate students, and trained undergraduate peer leaders who have previously excelled in their courses. Resources available to students in this course may include:

  • Peer Tutoring: You can make a one-on-one appointment with a Peer Tutor by going to Drop-in Tutoring and Online Tutoring may also be available for this course. Visit our website for a full schedule of times, locations, and courses.
  • Supplemental Instruction (SI): SI Leaders are assigned to specific sections of courses and hold three weekly study sessions. Sessions focus on the most difficult content being covered in class. The SI Session schedule is posted through the SSC website each week and will also be communicated in class by the SI Leader.
  • Peer Writing: Improve your college-level writing skills by bringing writing assignments from any of your classes to a Peer Writing Tutor. Similar to Tutoring, you can visit the website to make an appointment, and to view the full schedule of available drop-in hours and locations.
  • Success Consultations: In Success Consultations, SSC staff assist students in developing study skills, setting goals, and connecting to a variety of campus resources. Throughout the semester, your instructor may communicate with the SSC via Success Connect, an online referral system, regarding your progress in the course. If contacted by the SSC, please schedule a Success Consultation. Success Connect referrals are not punitive and any information shared by your professor is confidential and subject to FERPA regulations.

SSC services are offered to all USC undergraduates at no additional cost. You are invited to call the Student Success Hotline at (803) 777-1000, visit, or come to the SSC in the Thomas Cooper Library on the Mezzanine Level to check schedules and make appointments. 

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 Student Disability Resource Center: 777-6142, TDD 777-6744, email, or stop by Close-Hipp Suite 102. All accommodations must be approved through the Student Disability Resource Center. 

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.

Example 1
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.