Clear policies and best practices are in place to guide undergraduate course management. Creativity and a depth of disciplinary knowledge inform the creation of a vast array of undergraduate courses each semester. At the same time, shared core practices ensure consistent expectations among both students and departments. Sample language that communicates these policies on course syllabi and a Fall 2023 syllabus template and a Spring 2024 syllabus template are available. Course Procedures Course Scheduling When scheduling courses, faculty should keep in mind that the most popular time slots are frequently quite congested (11:00 on T/Th and M/W in particular). A large number of lectures are scheduled in the mornings and seminars and labs are frequently scheduled in the afternoons. To maximize possible enrollments in a course, consider picking a less congested time slot. Coursebooks Full-time, degree-seeking students receive a 30 percent discount off the publisher's list price of new and used coursebooks purchased through Labyrinth Books, the University's bookstore. If they choose to sell books back at the end of the year, their savings come to 55% off all new books and 62.5% off all used books. Faculty should submit course reading lists through the “Books” tab in the main navigation on Canvas. This ensures compliance with the 2008 Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act, which requires colleges and universities to publish the cost of required course materials for students. Faculty are expected to set aside physical and electronic reserve copies of required texts or Pequod readers through Firestone Library whenever possible. E-reserves of book chapters and articles can be provided through course Canvas sites, provided that the use of these materials is consistent with all applicable copyright laws. Course Evaluations The online course evaluation system gives students the opportunity to provide constructive comments about their courses. These are useful to the course instructors and University administrators with responsibility for the overall quality of the curriculum and academic life at Princeton. To ensure the integrity of this process, student evaluations are anonymous and faculty are not able to view evaluation results, including comments, until after the evaluation period has ended and after final grades have been submitted. Students are advised that their anonymous comments in response to the final question ("What advice would you give to another student considering taking this course?") will be made available on the Course Offerings website to other members of the University community. Office Hours Faculty should hold regular weekly office hours in which students may consult outside of class time to discuss course material and other related matters. Faculty should arrange alternative appointments for students with course conflicts or required athletic practices during the faculty member’s regularly scheduled office hours. General Course Policies Attendance A liberal arts education requires full and consistent classroom engagement. Courses are conducted in person, and faculty expect students to attend all scheduled course meetings, to be present promptly at the start of the course meeting, and to be prepared to participate fully. On occasion, students may have a compelling reason to miss a course meeting; for example, to observe a religious holiday, to participate in a required varsity athletic competition, or because of illness. Personal travel, job interviews, or extracurricular commitments, including team practices or events, are not compelling reasons to miss class. Instructors may set their own attendance policy for their courses. But more than two weeks of cumulative absences, regardless of the reason a student misses a class, may represent grounds for a failing grade in a course. Faculty are urged to make their expectations regarding attendance clear in course syllabi and other communications with students at the start of the term. See the University’s official policy on undergraduate course attendance as well as sample language for inclusion on course syllabi. If you have concerns about a student’s attendance in your course, please contact the student’s residential college dean or assistant dean right away. For advice about supporting students with an ongoing illness or disability that could inhibit course attendance, please consult Dean Dolan’s memo on students in distress. Athletics and Class Attendance As outlined in this memo, Princeton University has long been committed to maintaining a competitive varsity athletics program as part of its broad conception of undergraduate education. In keeping with that commitment, Princeton reserves the 4:30-7:30 p.m. time slot for student participation in athletics and many other extracurricular activities. Our athletics department makes every effort to schedule competitions at times that do not conflict with our students’ academic commitments. Some conflicts are sometimes unavoidable, however, because of factors beyond our control. Students who need to miss class for varsity athletic competitions are expected to notify their instructors in advance and to discuss with them how they plan to make up the assigned material. They might, for example, review other students’ class notes (if permitted); meet with their professors in office hours to discuss the material missed; or write a short essay on the assigned reading. The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning has additional resources that might be helpful to accommodate student needs, including recording lectures and capturing class content. If you have any questions or concerns about the amount of class time that a student is missing due to varsity athletic competition, please contact the residential college deans and assistant deans of studies, who will consult as needed with Dean Colagiuri, Princeton’s Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA, and with other colleagues in the athletics department. Class Trips Class trips and other University-sponsored outings may not be scheduled during the 12-week teaching semester in a manner that creates class conflicts for students; students may not miss another class to participate in a class trip. Class trips and outings may be scheduled during fall or spring break but cannot be scheduled outside of the official semester (intersession, summer). If a class trip or outing is required, it should be listed in the official course description in Course Offerings and on the class syllabus. The cost of class trips must be covered for all students, and it is expected that those costs will be covered by department funds. Consistent with this policy, students shall not incur a financial penalty if they are unable to complete the trip as planned – for instance, due to illness or emergency, or dropping the class. For these reasons, faculty are encouraged to make clear the academic and logistical expectations of required course travel on an application prior to student enrollment. Departments seeking additional funds to support class trips and outings, particularly in new or redesigned courses, may submit proposals to the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project or the 250th Anniversary Fund for Innovation in Undergraduate Education. If you are planning a domestic or international class trip as part of your course, consult the travel website for important information on the policies, procedures, and guidelines that govern University-sponsored travel. Please note that all University-sponsored undergraduate student overnight travel, with the exception of metropolitan New York City and Philadelphia, must be registered in the travel database. Undergraduate Course Assistants The University recognizes that, under appropriate circumstances, it can be beneficial for undergraduate students to assist faculty members with the grading of certain types of course work. Undergraduate Course Assistants (UCAs) can derive significant benefits from having this additional opportunity to work with faculty members, while the assistance of UCAs can allow faculty members to devote more time to their advising and teaching responsibilities and otherwise manage their courses more effectively. Before engaging an undergraduate course assistant, please review the University's policy and then contact [email protected] for the standard terms and conditions. Avoiding Conflicts of Interest in the Classroom Faculty and other individuals in instructional roles (preceptors, lab AIs, or undergraduate course assistants) are expected to avoid conflicts of interest in the classroom, as well as the appearance of conflicts of interest, in a manner that is consistent with the University policy on nepotism. Additional guidance about intimate relationships between individuals of different University status can be found in the Dean of Faculty’s rules and procedures for faculty as well as in section 1.3.4 of Rights, Rules, Responsibilities. Both students and faculty should actively avoid situations in which a student enrolls in a course that is taught or graded by a family member (those related by blood or marriage or in the same household) or an individual with whom there is a close personal relationship. If a course is required and no alternative exists, then all grading and assessment of a student who is related to or has a close personal relationship with the faculty member should be carried out by a different instructor, who is not the instructor’s co-author or research collaborator or in any supervisory relationship with the faculty member. Graduate students should not be assigned as assistants in instruction for a course in which a family member (or individual with whom they have a close personal relationship) is enrolled unless no alternative exists; in that case, grading of the AI’s family member should be carried out by the faculty member or another AI. Undergraduate course assistants may not be assigned as graders for a course in which a family member (or individual with whom they have a close personal relationship) is enrolled. Collaboration It is up to the course instructor to set clear expectations regarding collaboration on any materials that will be graded in an undergraduate course (e.g. take-home projects, papers, homework, problems sets, or laboratory reports.) The standard for permissible collaboration varies from course to course. Some faculty members permit students to do problem sets together and even to turn in an assignment together; others allow students to discuss the problems but require them to write up their own answers; still others prohibit any collaboration at all on homework. Given the proliferation of technologies that enable students to share information quickly and easily, it is especially important that instructors set forth their expectations in writing as to what constitutes permissible collaboration on academic work in a particular course. For sample guidelines, see these course syllabus statements as well as resources from the Princeton Writing Program on Teaching with Writing. For the specific University policies, consult Academic Integrity, the Undergraduate Announcement and Rights, Rules, Responsibilities Laptops in the Classroom Each faculty member may set the policy for the use of laptops in their classroom; this includes the option to prohibit students from using laptops or other electronic devices during class. The McGraw Center has outlined a number of resources for faculty to consider when teaching with technology. Resources Sample Syllabus Policy Language Review and adapt sample policy language for use on course syllabi. Current Semester Meeting Template Access a list of the semester’s meeting schedule in a format suitable for use in a course syllabus. Conduct of Courses View regulations from the Registrar governing course deadlines, examinations, and grading. Faculty and Department Resources Find useful information from the Registrar regarding course logistics, grading, and more.