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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.

As a partner in your learning, it is important to both of us that any assignment submission is a pure reflection of your work and understanding. Suspicions of alleged violations of Cheating –defined as “unauthorized assistance in connection with any academic work” and/or Falsification, which includes “Misrepresenting or misleading others with respect to academic work or misrepresenting facts for an academic advantage” – will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity.

You are expected to practice the highest possible standards of academic integrity. Any deviation from this expectation will result in a minimum academic penalty of your failing the assignment and will result in additional disciplinary measures. This includes improper citation of sources, using another student's work, and any other form of academic misrepresentation. The first tenet of the Carolinian Creed is, "I will practice personal and academic integrity." Below are some websites for you to visit to learn more about University policies:


Using the words or ideas of another as if they were one’s own is a serious form of academic dishonesty. If another person’s complete sentence, syntax, key words, or the specific or unique ideas and information are used, one must give that person credit through propercitation.

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 CourseHero and other services. Students who publicly reproduce, distribute or modify course content may be in violation of the university’s Honor Code’s Complicity policy, which states: 

Complicity: Assisting or attempting to assist (through intentional or unintentional action) another in any violation of the Honor Code. Other prohibited behaviors include:

  1. Sharing academic work with another student (either in person or electronically) without the permission of the instructor.
  2. Communicating (either in person or electronically) with another student(s) or other individual(s) during an examination without the permission of the instructor.

To best understand the parameters around copyright and intellectual property review ACAF 1.33 "Intellectual Property Policy."

Your grades should represent the extent to which you have 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

Example 1

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.

Example 2

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.

Student Success Center

In partnership with USC faculty, the Student Success Center (SSC) offers a number of programs to help you better understand your course material and to support 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 you in this course may include:

  • Peer Tutoring: You can make a one-on-one appointment with a Peer Tutor. Drop-in Tutoring and Online Tutoring may also be available for this course. Visit their 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 you in developing study skills, setting goals, and connecting to a variety of campus resources. Throughout the semester, I may communicate with the Student Success Center regarding your progress, which indicates your instructor is concerned about your progress in this course. If contacted by the Student Success Center, please schedule a Success Consultation right away. Referrals are not punitive, and any information shared by your professor is confidential and subject to FERPA privacy laws. Student Success Center services are offered to all USC undergraduates at no additional cost. Please call 803-777-1000, visit Student Success Center, or come to the Student Success Center in the Thomas Cooper Library (Mezzanine Level) to check schedules and make appointments.

University Libraries Resources

  • University Libraries has access to books, articles, subject specific resources, citation help, and more. If you are not sure where to start, assistance is available at Ask a Librarian!
  • Remember that if you use anything that is not your own writing or media (quotes from books, articles, interviews, websites, movies – everything) you must cite the source in MLA (or other appropriate and approved) format.

Writing Center

This course has many writing assignments. The University Writing Center is an important resource you should use! It's open to help any USC student needing assistance with a writing project at any stage of development. The main Writing Center is in Byrnes 703.

The Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) empowers students to manage challenges and limitations imposed by disabilities.  In order to receive reasonable accommodations from me, you must be registered with the Student Disability Resource Center (1705 College Street, Close-Hipp Suite 102, Columbia, SC 29208, 803-777-6142). Any student with a documented disability should contact the SDRC to make arrangements for appropriate accommodations.  Once registered, students with disabilities are encouraged to contact me (within the first week of the semester) to discuss the logistics of any accommodations needed to fulfill course requirements.


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.

To arrange excuses for absences that can be anticipated at the start of the term, you should:

  • Submit a written request (email is acceptable), no later than the end of the second week of the course, stating the dates of the anticipated absence.
  • Explain the reason for the absence. In some cases, documentation may be required. For additional information, please consult the USC attendance policy.
  • Include any request for make-up work.

To arrange excuses for absences that cannot be anticipated at the start of the term, (e.g. legal proceedings, illness, accidents), you should, at the first opportunity, submit a written request (email is acceptable) stating:

  • The date(s) of absence
  • The reason for absence. In some cases, documentation may be required.  For additional information, please consult the USC attendance policy.
  • Any request for make-up work as soon as reasonably possible after you become aware of the need to be absent.

I will cite and/or reference any materials that I use in this course that I do not create. You, as students, are expected to not distribute any of these materials, resources, quizzes, tests, homework assignments, etc. (whether graded or ungraded).

The university offers Counseling and Crisis Services as well as outreach services, self-help, and frequently asked questions.

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 they 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.

Example 1

The University is committed to fostering an environment in which the open exchange of ideas and information is valued, promoted, and encouraged.  In context of the Carolinian Creed, all class members are free and encouraged to express thoughts, opinions, and beliefs in ways that are protected by law or University policy. Offensive language, personal attacks, threats, harassment, and other expressions that demean others are not conducive to a healthy learning environment and will not be tolerated in this class. Explore Free Speech on Campus to discover how the university actively cultivates an atmosphere that values, promotes, and encourages the open exchange of ideas and information.

 Example 2

The University is committed to fostering an environment in which the open exchange of ideas and information is valued, promoted, and encouraged.  Throughout the semester, members of this learning community are welcome and encouraged to engage in civil discourse but should do so in ways that honor and respect the character, status, reputation, and perspectives of others and their respective opinions. Expressions and/or communications that violate the guidelines for free speech set by the law or the University may result in a referral to the Office of Student Judicial Programs or to the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. Access Free Speech on Campus to explore how the university proactively creates an environment that promotes and embraces the open exchange of ideas and information.

[ Note to Instructor: This resource is an adaptation of "ChatGPT and Generative AI Tools: Sample Syllabus Policy Statements" by UT Austin’s Center for Teaching and Learning and is used under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license. Changes include rewriting some of the passages and adding original material.  At present, the CTE recommends that USC faculty and instructors decide whether or not these tools fit within their pedagogical aims and clearly state their course policies in a designated section of their syllabi. 

Sample language for various GenAI policies is below. Each section contains several possible ways of framing the instructor’s intent. ] 

Example 1
No Use of Generative AI Tools Permitted

Example 1A

This course assumes that work submitted by students – all process work, drafts, brainstorming artifacts, final works – will be generated by the students themselves, working individually or in groups as directed by class assignment instructions. This policy indicates the following constitute violations of academic honesty: a student has another person/entity do the work of any substantive portion of a graded assignment for them, which includes purchasing work from a company, hiring a person or company to complete an assignment or exam, and/or using generative AI tools (such as ChatGPT).

Example 1B

In this course, every element of class assignments must be fully prepared by the student.  The use of generative AI tools for any part of your work will be treated as plagiarism. If you have questions, please contact me.

Example 1C

All assignments should be fully prepared by the student. Developing strong competencies in the skills associated with this course, from student-based brainstorming to project development, will prepare you for success in your degree pathway and, ultimately, a competitive career. Therefore, the use of generative AI tools to complete any aspect of assignments for this course is not permitted and will be treated as plagiarism. If you have questions about what constitutes a violation of this statement, please contact me.

Example 1D

This course assumes that work submitted for a grade by students – all process work, drafts, brainstorming artifacts, final works – will be generated by the students themselves, working individually or in groups as directed by class assignment instructions. This policy indicates the following constitute violations of academic honesty: a student has another person/entity do the work of any substantive portion of a graded assignment for them, which includes purchasing work from a company, hiring a person or company to complete an assignment or exam, and/or using generative AI tools (such as ChatGPT).

Example 2
Generative AI is Permitted in Specific Contexts and with Acknowledgment

Example 2A

The emergence of generative AI tools (such as ChatGPT and DALL-E) has sparked interest among many students in our discipline. The use of these tools for brainstorming ideas, exploring possible responses to questions or problems, and creative engagement with the materials may be useful for you as you craft responses to class assignments. While there is no substitute for working directly with your instructor, the potential for generative AI tools to provide automatic feedback, assistive technology and language assistance is clearly developing. Please feel free to reach out to me well in advance of the due date of assignments for which you may be using generative AI tools and I will be happy to discuss what is acceptable.

Example 2B

In this course, students shall give credit to AI tools whenever used, even if only to generate ideas rather than usable text or illustrations. When using AI tools on assignments, add an appendix showing (a) the entire exchange, highlighting the most relevant sections; (b) a description of precisely which AI tools were used (e.g. ChatGPT private subscription version or DALL-E free version), (c) an explanation of how the AI tools were used (e.g. to generate ideas, turns of phrase, elements of text, long stretches of text, lines of argument, pieces of evidence, maps of the conceptual territory, illustrations of key concepts, etc.); (d) an account of why AI tools were used (e.g. to save time, to surmount writer’s block, to stimulate thinking, to handle mounting stress, to clarify prose, to translate text, to experiment for fun, etc.). Students shall not use AI tools during in-class examinations, or assignments unless explicitly permitted and instructed. Overall, AI tools should be used wisely and reflectively with an aim to deepen understanding of subject matter.

Example 2C

It is a violation of university policy to misrepresent work that you submit or exchange with your instructor by characterizing it as your own, such as submitting responses to assignments that do not acknowledge the use of generative AI tools. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have about the use of generative AI tools before submitting any content that has been substantially informed by these tools.

Example 2D

In this course, we may use generative AI tools (such as ChatGPT) to examine the ways in which these kinds of tools may inform our exploration of the topics of the class. You will be informed as to when and how these tools will be used, along with guidance for attribution if/as needed. Any use of generative AI tools outside of these parameters constitutes plagiarism and will be treated as such.

Example 2E

Understanding how and when to use generative AI tools (such as ChatGPT, DALL-E) is quickly emerging as an important skill for future professions. To that end, you are welcome to use generative AI tools in this class as long as it aligns with the learning outcomes or goals associated with assignments. You are fully responsible for the information you submit based on a generative AI query (such that it does not violate academic honesty standards, intellectual property laws, or standards of non-public research you are conducting through coursework). Your use of generative AI tools must be properly documented and cited for any work submitted in this course.

Example 2F

To ensure all students have an equal opportunity to succeed and to preserve the integrity of the course, students are not permitted to submit text that is generated by artificial intelligence (AI) systems such as ChatGPT, Bing Chat, Claude, Google Bard, or any other automated assistance for any classwork or assessments. This includes using AI to generate answers to assignments, exams, or projects, or using AI to complete any other course-related tasks. Using AI in this way undermines your ability to develop critical thinking, writing, or research skills that are essential for this course and your academic success. Students may use AI as part of their research and preparation for assignments, or as a text editor, but text that is submitted must be written by the student. For example, students may use AI to generate ideas, questions, or summaries that they then revise, expand, or cite properly. Students should also be aware of the potential benefits and limitations of using AI as a tool for learning and research. AI systems can provide helpful information or suggestions, but they are not always reliable or accurate. Students should critically evaluate the sources, methods, and outputs of AI systems. Violations of this policy will be treated as academic misconduct. If you have any questions about this policy or if you are unsure whether a particular use of AI is acceptable, please do not hesitate to ask for clarification.

Example 3
Students are Encouraged to Use Generative AI Tools in Coursework

Example 3A

The use of generative AI is encouraged with certain tasks and with attribution: You can choose to use AI tools to help brainstorm assignments or projects or to revise existing work you have written. When you submit your assignment, I expect you to clearly attribute what text was generated by the AI tool (e.g., AI-generated text appears in a different colored font, quoted directly in the text, or use an in-text parenthetical citation).

Example 3B

Designers commonly use AI-content generation tools in their work. In this course, using AI-content generation tools is permitted and will be a normal and regular part of our creative process when it is used according to the below criteria. In this course, neglecting to follow these requirements may be considered academic dishonesty. (1) For each assignment, you are required to include a paragraph that explains what AI content- generation tool you used, the dates you used it, and the prompts you used to generate the content according to the MLA style guide. (2) During critique, it is important to describe the precedents you used and how any source content was transformed. When showing or presenting images or other content you generated using an AI-tool, cite that image or content following the MLA style guide. If you need help referencing your creative work, contact me to collaborate.

Example 3C

Students are invited to use AI platforms to help prepare for assignments and projects (e.g., to help with brainstorming or to see what a completed essay might look like). I also welcome you to use AI tools to help revise and edit your work (e.g., to help identify flaws in reasoning, spot confusing or underdeveloped paragraphs, or to simply fix citations). When submitting work, students must clearly identify any writing, text, or media generated by AI. This can be done in a variety of ways. In this course, parts of essays generated by AI should appear in a different colored font, and the relationship between those sections and student contributions should be discussed in cover letters that accompany the essay submission.

Note on Citation of AI Tools

These tools cannot be used to create content that could be private (i.e., used for research purposes) or as their intellectual property. The following are the most commonly used style guides for citing the use of GenAI output.

Example 1

In order to learn, we must be open to the views of people different than 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.

You may be assigned an 'I' (Incomplete) grade if you are unable to complete a significant portion of the assigned course work because of an unanticipated illness, accident, work-related responsibility, family hardship, or verified learning disability. An Incomplete grade gives you additional time to complete course assignments ONLY IF there is indication that the specified circumstances prevented you from completing course assignments on time.

The course will be taught using multiple instructional methods. These methods will include lecture, group projects 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, you will receive an article from the primary literature that either illustrates current research on the topic or explores a related or relevant additional concept. Literature discussions will utilize small group discussions followed by classroom presentation and discussion.

Interpersonal violence - including sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual assault, and stalking - is prohibited at USC. Faculty, staff, and administrators encourage anyone experiencing interpersonal violence to speak with someone, so they can get the necessary support and USC can respond appropriately. If you or someone you know has been or is currently impacted by interpersonal violence, you can find the appropriate resources at the Interpersonal Violence website.

As faculty, I must report all incidents of interpersonal violence and sexual misconduct, and thus cannot guarantee confidentiality. Please know that you can seek confidential resources. If you want to make a formal report, use the Interpersonal Violence Incident Report Form, or contact the institution’s Title IX Coordinator, or one of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators listed on the SAVIP website. You can also file a police report by contacting USC Police at 803-777-4215.

If stress is impacting you or getting in the way of your ability to do your schoolwork, maintain relationships, eat, sleep, or enjoy yourself, then please reach out to any of USC’s mental health resources.  Most of these services are offered at no cost as they are covered by the Student Health Services tuition fee.  For all available mental health resources, check out Student Health and Well-Being Mental Health and the quick reference list below. 

  • Wellness Coaching can help you improve in areas related to emotional and physical well-being (e.g., sleep, resiliency, balanced eating and more) – schedule an appointment at (803) 777-6518 or on MyHealthSpace.
  • Access virtual self-help modules via Therapy Assistance Online (TAO).
  • Access additional articles and videos on health and wellness topics at Thrive@Carolina,
  • Counseling & Psychiatry offers individual and group counseling and psychiatric services – schedule an appointment at (803) 777-5223 or on MyHealthSpace.
  • Access the 24-hr Mental Health Support Line at (833) 664-2854.
  • Access an anonymous Interactive Screening.

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.

Minimum technical skills are needed in this course. All work in this course must be completed and submitted online through Blackboard. Therefore, you must have consistent and reliable access to a computer and the Internet. The minimum technical skills you have include the ability to:

  • Organize and save electronic files
  • Use USC email and attached files
  • Check email and Blackboard daily
  • Download and upload documents
  • Locate information with a browser; and
  • Use Blackboard

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

If you have questions or problems related to your computer, software, or need technical support (including Blackboard support), please contact the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) Service Desk at (803) 777-1800, submit an online request through the Self-Service Portal, or visit the Carolina Tech Zone. The Service Desk is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Eastern Time).

If you have computer issues/problems, then there is a computer lab available at the Thomas Cooper Library and in certain campus classroom buildings. If you are not located in the Columbia, SC area, then most regional campuses and public libraries have computers for public use.

The PowerPoint lecture presentations, assignments, quizzes, and rubrics and links to articles are located on the Blackboard site for the course. To participate in learning activities and complete assignments, you will need daily access to:

  • The Internet and a computer which can be used at any time, controlled and configured as required for assignments, for access to resources, and for communication.
  • A web browser
    • MacOS™ - Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox.
    • Windows™ - Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox.
  • Blackboard Learning Management System
  • Microsoft Word as your word processing program
  • Adobe 11 or DC; and
  • Reliable data storage for your work, such as a USB drive or Office365 OneDrive cloud storage.

Microsoft Office 365 is available for free to all students. Students have access to the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and much more. You can install Office 365 on up to five compatible devices, including five tablet devices. All work can be saved online in OneDrive so it can be accessed no matter which device is being used. You can use this Office 365 subscription for as long as you are a student  at the University of South Carolina. To download Microsoft Office, go to, log in with your email address and Network Username password and then choose Settings, Office 365 settings, Software.

All computers that connect to a university network must have current, up-to-date antivirus software. Antivirus software is included with Microsoft Windows; however, it is not included on Macs. If your computer does not have antivirus software, the Carolina Tech Zone can assist you.  

If you have further questions or need help with the software, then please contact the Division of Information Technology Service Desk (see details below).

Smartphone Policy [optional]

Cellphones should be placed on silent and should be put away in your pocket or bag.  If there is a serious need to leave your phone on vibrate (such as a family emergency), please let me know.  If you happen to leave the class to accept a phone call, then I will have advance knowledge of the potential emergency.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.