Syllabus guidelines

Syllabus Statements

Please feel free to cut-and-paste the following language for inclusion in course syllabi. Information on religious accommodation is required by State law, whereas information on accommodation, conduct, safety and diversity is strongly advised but not required.

Required syllabus language

Religious Accommodation

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy. Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request Form.

Optional syllabus language

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The University of Washington supports an inclusive learning environment where diverse perspectives are recognized, respected, and seen as a source of strength. In this course, I will strive to create welcoming spaces where everyone feels included and engaged regardless of their social and cultural backgrounds.

Disability Access and Accommodation

It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law, including establishing reasonable accommodations for all students. If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please activate your accommodations via myDRS so that we can discuss how they will be implemented in this course.

If you have not yet established services through DRS, and you have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations, contact DRS directly ( to set up an Access Plan. DRS facilitates the interactive process that establishes reasonable accommodations.  Conditions requiring accommodation include but are not limited to: mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts.

In assessing whether you require reasonable accommodations through DRS, please note that full participation in this course requires the following types of engagement: [to be described by the instructor. See example here.]

Academic Integrity

The University of Washington Student Conduct Code (WAC 478-121) defines prohibited academic and behavioral conduct and describes how the University holds students accountable. I expect that you will know and follow university policies regarding all forms of academic and other misconduct.

Acts of academic misconduct include:

  • Cheating:
    • unauthorized assistance in person and/or online for assignments, quizzes, tests or exams
    • using another student’s work without permission and instructor authorization
    • allowing anyone to take a course, assignment or exam for you without instructor authorization
  • Falsification: intentional use of falsified data, information or records
  • Plagiarism: representing the work of others as your own without giving appropriate credit to the original author(s)
  • Unauthorized collaboration: working with other students in the course on assignments, quizzes or exams without permission
  • Engaging in behavior prohibited by an instructor
  • Multiple submissions of the same work in different courses without instructor permission
  • Deliberately damaging or destroying student work to gain advantage
  • Unauthorized recording, and/or subsequent dissemination of instructional content

If these definitions are not clear to you, please contact me or your TAs so that we can review them with you.  It is important that you fully understand what is and is not permissible in this course.

Any suspected cases of academic misconduct will be handled according to university regulations, which include:

  1. submission of the case material (description of the incident and supporting documents such as an exam, paper, and any communications about the incident) to the College of the Environment Dean’s Office
  2. suspension of the grade for the quiz, exam, homework, paper or other assignment in question
  3. an X grade for the class in the case of the academic misconduct procedure continuing past the end of the quarter
  4. a reduction, down to a zero, for the quiz, exam, homework, paper or other assignment in question should the academic misconduct hearing officer find you responsible

For more information, see the College of the Environment’s Academic Misconduct Policy and the Community Standards and Student Conduct website.

Student Academic Grievance Procedures

The College of the Environment Student Academic Grievance Procedures provide mechanisms for enrolled students to address academic problems or grievances in an equitable, respectful and timely manner. Academic grievances are defined as those involving conflicts between a student or students and their course instructors (including faculty and teaching assistants) or research mentor(s) with respect to differences arising within credit-bearing work and while the student is registered at the University of Washington.  If you have or are experiencing such a conflict in this class, and have not, cannot, or do not wish to attempt resolution with me, I encourage you to explore additional options open to you by accessing the website above.


If you feel unsafe or at-risk while taking this or any course, please contact SafeCampus, 206-685-7233 anytime where you can anonymously discuss safety and well-being concerns for yourself or others. SafeCampus can provide individualized support, discuss short- and long-term solutions, and connect you with additional resources when requested.  For a broader range of resources and assistance see the Husky Health & Well-Being website.

COVID-19 Safety [for in-person courses]

The health and safety of students, faculty, postdocs, and staff are the University of Washington’s priority. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and until otherwise stated, face coverings are required per UW COVID-19 Face Covering Policy. Specifically,

  • when indoors when other people are present and in all public and common areas, such as lobbies, hallways, stairways, restrooms, elevators, and in shared vehicles, and
  • when out-of-doors when keeping a 6-foot distance may not be possible.

This includes all indoor and outdoor spaces on each of the three UW campuses.

Before attending class, please review the UW Environmental & Safety policy for information regarding proper face coverings.

If you physically cannot wear a mask, you choose not to wear a mask, your mask is not appropriate/sufficient, or if you are not wearing a mask properly such that it covers both your nose and mouth, you CANNOT be in the classroom and will be asked to leave.

If you have a medical condition or health risk as outlined in the UW COVID-19 Face Covering Policy. please request an accommodation by contacting the Disability Resources for Students office at BEFORE ATTENDING CLASS.

Recording Zoom Class Sessions 

This course is scheduled to run synchronously at our scheduled class time via Zoom. These Zoom class sessions will be recorded. The recording will capture the presenter’s audio, video and computer screen. Student audio and video will be recorded if they share their computer audio and video during the recorded session. The recordings will only be accessible to students enrolled in the course to review materials. These recordings will be deleted after the course ends.

The University and Zoom have FERPA compliant agreements in place to protect the security and privacy of UW Zoom accounts. Students who do not wish to give consent to being recorded should:

  1. Choose a Zoom profile name that does not include any personal identifying information like their name or UW Net ID, and not upload a profile picture
  2. Not share their computer audio or video during class Zoom sessions

All students enrolled in this class may use recorded course material stored on the Canvas course page to achieve the learning objectives of this course at any time. However, students may not personally record (including still images, video or audio recordings) lectures or other class activities without written permission from the instructor, except as necessary as part of an approved accommodation plan from the Disability Resources for Students office (DRS). Any approved recordings may only be used for the student’s own academic use, such as for studying or completing assignments. No student may distribute recorded material to others, or upload the recordings to other platforms.

Remote Course Activities

Please note that any hands-on laboratory exercises performed remotely – that is, anywhere other than the confines of a University of Washington teaching laboratory in the company of course instructors – may introduce additional challenges due to non-standard facilities, equipment, and/or disruptions.  It is the responsibility of the student to assess their ability to proceed effectively and safely before attempting to conduct any remote hands-on work, including but not limited to:

  1. Inform any housemates where and when you will be conducting your lab work, so that everyone is informed and can plan accordingly. Some work may not be able to be completed successfully if there are significant interference or interruptions.
  2. Make sure that you are wearing proper clothing, as indicated by your instructor. This may include weather-appropriate clothing for work outdoors, clothes that are easily cleaned, and/or close-toed shoes.
  3. Make certain that you have access to appropriate preparation and/or clean-up materials, as indicated by your instructor. These may include:
  • sink with running water
  • hand soap
  • paper towels or a hand towel
  • cleaning supplies
  • trash container or other appropriate disposal mechanism
  1. Refrain from eating and drinking while conducting remote laboratory work. If you must conduct the work in a kitchen, make sure there is no exposed food (open containers, bowls of fruit, etc.) and no plans for any other person to use the kitchen to prepare food during the time you will be conducting your work.
  2. Label and securely store kit materials and any projects you are not currently working on away from potential damage or disturbances.
  3. At the conclusion of your work, please make sure that you have disposed of any materials according to the instructions provided by your instructor. Please also make sure that all surfaces and any household or durable kit materials have been thoroughly cleaned.

Guidance to Students Taking Courses Outside the U.S.

Faculty members at U.S. universities – including the University of Washington – have the right to academic freedom which includes presenting and exploring topics and content that other governments may consider to be illegal and, therefore, choose to censor. Examples may include topics and content involving religion, gender and sexuality, human rights, democracy and representative government, and historic events.

If, as a UW student, you are living outside of the United States while taking courses remotely, you are subject to the laws of your local jurisdiction. Local authorities may limit your access to course material and take punitive action towards you. Unfortunately, the University of Washington has no authority over the laws in your jurisdiction or how local authorities enforce those laws.

If you are taking this course outside of the United States, please exercise caution by examining the full syllabus, including all topics covered in lectures, readings, discussions, and assignments, to ensure you are in compliance with the laws of your local jurisdiction.