Syllabus and Course Policy Statements

Recommended Syllabus and Course Policy Statements

The following statements provide important procedural information that students need to be aware of and are recommended for inclusion on course syllabi.

The Provost’s Office provides many examples of syllabus and course policy statements on this CITL webpage. We recommend leveraging these statements, as appropriate, for your course. Example statements include:

  • Absence Policy (each UIUC course is required to have an absence policy clearly communicated at the beginning of the semester; the CITL website provides links to several examples; see below for some additional information in Additional Recommended Practices).
  • Academic Integrity (each Grainger Engineering course is expected to have a clearly articulated academic integrity policy; see below for some additional information in Additional Recommended Practices).
  • Mental Health (the provided text on the CITL website has been approved by the Counseling Center and should be included verbatim)
  • Community of Care
  • Student with Disabilities (the provided text on the CITL website has been approved by DRES and should be included verbatim)
  • Disruptive Behavior
  • Emergency Response (relevant to courses with an in-person component)
  • Religious Observances (see below for some additional information in Additional Recommended Practices)
  • Sexual Reporting Obligation

Additional statements you should consider including in your course policies include:

  • Anti-Racism and Inclusivity Statement  

The Grainger College of Engineering is committed to the creation of an anti-racist, inclusive community that welcomes diversity along a number of dimensions, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity and national origins, gender and gender identity, sexuality, disability status, class, age, or religious beliefs. The College recognizes that we are learning together in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, that Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous voices and contributions have largely either been excluded from, or not recognized in, science and engineering, and that both overt racism and micro-aggressions threaten the well-being of our students and our university community.

The effectiveness of this course is dependent upon each of us to create a safe and encouraging learning environment that allows for the open exchange of ideas while also ensuring equitable opportunities and respect for all of us. Everyone is expected to help establish and maintain an environment where students, staff, and faculty can contribute without fear of personal ridicule, or intolerant or offensive language. If you witness or experience racism, discrimination, micro-aggressions, or other offensive behavior, you are encouraged to bring this to the attention of the course director if you feel comfortable. You can also report these behaviors to Campus Belonging Resources ( on your report, Members of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion staff will follow up and reach out to students to make sure they have the support they need to be healthy and safe. If the reported behavior also violates university policy, staff in the Office for Student Conflict Resolution may respond as well and will take appropriate action.

  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Any student who has suppressed their directory information pursuant to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) should self-identify to the instructor to ensure protection of the privacy of their attendance in this course. See for more information on FERPA.

Additional Recommended Practices

Absence Policy

In addition to the example statements provided on the Provost’s Office Syllabi Guidelines page, we encourage Grainger Engineering instructors to include specific language to clearly outline expectations around attendance and how students should communicate with instructional staff around unexpected absences and ramifications on assignments and exams. For example:

  • Part 5, 1-501 of the Student Code provides background on class attendance and provides useful information for students (and instructors). Consider a direct link to this resource in your course policies. Please note that the code stipulates the conditions under which an absence letter from the Office of the Dean of Students may be requested. Note, a brief illness (less than 3 days) would not qualify for an absence letter.
  • We want to encourage students to not come to class, lab, or exams when they are sick with a potentially contagious illness. Course policies that provide leniency to accommodate unexpected health situations are encouraged and, if adopted, should be clearly communicated at the beginning of the semester. Policies such as allowing students to miss a predefined number of sessions (if attendance is graded), dropping one or two homework grades, or allowing a conflict exam due to illness can accomplish this while minimizing the amount of absence requests instructors must field.
    • Please note, though, that in general such a policy does not circumvent the need to accommodate absences related to religious observances and practices. That is, one cannot require a student who cannot hand in an assignment on its due date due to a religious practice to use a “free drop” for that assignment.

Academic Integrity

As you formulate academic integrity policies for your course, please consider the information and best practices around academic integrity found on our Faculty Resources page.


  • In this course you are expected to produce your own work in all assignments. Written assignments will be submitted through SafeAssign, a software tool that compares your writing against a large database as well as to the work of your current classmates and previously submitted assignments. Assignments with close matches to other work will be flagged and investigated.
  • In this course you are expected to produce your own work in all laboratory reports. You may collaborate with your partner, but each report must be written by each individual separately. We will compare all reports each week against current classmates. If your report has a close match with another it will be flagged and investigated.
  • In this course the use of calculators or electronic devices (cell phones or others) will not be allowed during examinations. If you are found using one, it will be investigated as potential cheating.

Religious Observances

We have a legal obligation to provide reasonable accommodations for students’ religious practices and observances as outlined in Part 1, 1-107 of the Student Code. When planning academic deadlines for your course (e.g., exams, projects, assignments), you are encouraged to consult the Religious Observances that Affect the Academic Calendar page. Additional information can be found at this Office of the Dean of Students page. Specifically, pertinent to course policies:

  • A statement on a course syllabus informing students of the process for seeking a religious accommodation for a course commitment—and which includes a deadline for such a request—helps raise awareness and defines expectations.
  • Having to create/give a make-up exam is unlikely to meet the standard for an “unreasonable burden upon the institution” that would warrant denial of an accommodation request under 110 ILCS 110.
  • If an instructor has a policy of allowing students to drop their lowest midterm/assignment grade in calculation of the final course grade, it is not recommended to require that a student utilize this option for missing a midterm/assignment due to absence from class for a religious observance.
  • Similarly, if a student is permitted to miss (any) class(es) without penalty (for up to a given number of classes), it is not recommended that faculty count an absence for a religious observance toward that allotment; rather, it should be an excused absence independent of that tally.
  • A student should not be required to submit evidence of attendance at a religious service in order to receive an accommodation.