UMass Law Omnibus Syllabus Language
This text is intended to be available on a webpage and regularly updated and maintained through the joint effort of the associate dean and the faculty. The purpose is to allow faculty to provide a link in their course syllabi to these standard policies, rather than including their full text in each course syllabus.
Workload and Class Planning Policies
Credit Hours Policy
UMass Law's Credit Hours Policy, in alignment with federal regulations and ABA Standard 310, sets expectations for the amount of work required to earn one academic credit. One credit hour is an amount of work that reasonably approximates not less than:
- 54 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instruction and at least 130 minutes of out-of-class student work each week for 14 weeks (including exam week), or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time.
- At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for co-curricular activities such as competition teams, law review, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
See UMass Law’s Credit Hours Policy for application of this policy to particular types of classes and co-curricular activities.
The Academic Calendar provides important planning information for students, faculty, staff, and departments, such as class start dates; deadlines for adding, dropping, or auditing a class; holiday schedules, and the final exam schedule. The Academic Calendar will also link to the final exam schedule.
All UMass Law students are expected to maintain high standards of academic integrity and scholarly practice. A high standard of academic integrity promotes the pursuit of truth and learning and respect for the intellectual accomplishments of others. These are values that are fundamental to the mission of UMass Law and UMass Dartmouth. Such values are undermined by academic dishonesty.
UMass Law does not tolerate academic dishonesty of any variety, whether as a result of a failure to understand required academic and scholarly procedure, or as an act of intentional dishonesty. All students should read and understand UMass Dartmouth’s Academic Integrity Policy.
A student found responsible for academic dishonesty is subject to severe disciplinary action, which may include dismissal from the university.
Plagiarism and Large Language Models (Such as Chat GPT)
Representing “the words or ideas of another as one's own in any academic exercise” constitutes plagiarism under our Academic Integrity Policy. Be aware that content produced by any large language model (such as Open AI’s Chat GPT, Google’s Bard, and Meta’s Llama 2) constitutes the “words of ideas of another” for purposes of the plagiarism policy, so representing such content as one’s own constitutes plagiarism. Individual professors have the discretion to include in their syllabi policies allowing the use of large language models in particular circumstances. If there is any uncertainty about whether use of a large language model is permissible in any academic exercise, students must consult with their faculty member before such use.
Students are expected to follow the Student Code of Conduct. Faculty may ask students to leave if the faculty member(s) determines that the code of conduct has been violated and a student is creating an environment that is unsafe or not conducive to learning.
The attendance policy for UMass Law is found in Section 4 of the Student Handbook. Individual faculty members may establish rules and policies on class attendance, which may be more stringent than the general attendance policy, as well as on participation and student performance. Students are responsible for adhering to class rules and policies and are subject to sanctions for violations.
The course withdrawal policy for UMass Law is found in Section 7 of the Student Handbook.
Leaves of Absence and Withdrawal from UMass Law
The Leave of Absence and Withdrawal policies are found in Sections 11 and 12 of the Student Handbook.
Section 17(a) of the Student Handbook provides:
An incomplete may be given only if a student fails to submit a final assignment in a course. Proctored and take-home final examinations are not “final assignments” for purposes of this subsection. Makeups and extensions for proctored and take-home final examinations are governed by Section 16(d). An “I” is temporary and has no value in computing the student’s grade point average.
An instructor may grant an extension of time to complete the final assignment of no more than 30 days after the end of that semester’s examination period excluding makeup days. The instructor must submit a grade of “I” and notify the LEC of the extension. A student who is granted such an extension shall complete the assignment within the time period determined by the instructor. Extensions of more than 30 days are permitted only in extraordinary circumstances and require the concurrence of the associate dean. A student who requests such an additional extension must first obtain the consent of the instructor. If the instructor agrees to an extraordinary extension, the student shall submit a Student Petition to the LEC (in person or to email@example.com) seeking the associate dean’s approval, stating with specificity the extraordinary circumstances that justify additional time and providing appropriate supporting documentation.
If the work is not completed within the allowed extension period, the grade will become an F(I). “I” grades cannot be changed to W.
Grade Appeal Process
The UMass Law grade appeal process is found in Section 19 of the UMass Law Student Handbook.
Accommodations and Support Policies
Accommodations for Documented Disabilities
Section 28 of the Student Handbook provides:
The school is committed to providing equal access to a quality legal education for all students. Any students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a documented disability should set up a meeting with Wendi Chaka, director of UMass Dartmouth’s Office of Student Accessibility Services, 508-999-8711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
At that meeting, the student will provide recent documentation from a qualified health care provider that describes the functional limitation to learning that the disability creates. If the documentation is not available at the time of the initial meeting, the student will be expected to provide the documentation before any accommodations will be provided. A determination will be made about what accommodations will help the student’s learning environment. No accommodations will be provided unless the student has met with Director Chaka and the requested accommodations have been deemed appropriate and reasonable.
Emotional Health, Violence, Sexual Harassment, and Title IX
The purpose of a university is to disseminate information, as well as to explore a universe of ideas, to encourage diverse perspectives and robust expression, and to foster the development of critical and analytical thinking skills. In many classes, students and faculty examine and analyze challenging and controversial topics.
If a topic covered in this class triggers post-traumatic stress or other emotional distress, please discuss the matter with the professor, or seek out confidential resources available from the Counseling Center, 508-999-8648 or -8650, or the Victim Advocate in the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality, 508-910-4584. In an emergency, contact the Department of Public Safety at 508-999-9191 24 hrs./day.
UMass Dartmouth, following national guidance from the Office of Civil Rights, requires that faculty follow UMass Dartmouth policy as a “mandated reporter” of any disclosure of sexual harassment, abuse, and/or violence shared with the faculty member in person and/or via email. These disclosures include, but are not limited to, reports of sexual assault, relational abuse, relational/domestic violence, and stalking. While faculty are often able to help students locate appropriate channels of assistance on campus, disclosure by the student to the faculty member requires that the faculty member inform the university’s Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at 508-999-8008 to help ensure that the student’s safety and welfare are being addressed, even if the student requests that the disclosure not be shared.
For confidential counseling support and assistance, please go to http://www.umassd.edu/sexualviolence/.
myCourses Learning Management System
Students in classes using the myCourses learning management system may access technical support for myCourses 24/7:
- Students can email myCoursesHelp@umassd.edu or call the Student Help desk at 508-999-8505 during normal business hours (Mon-Fri 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. EST).
- During off-hours, weekends, and holidays, technical assistance is available for students at http://umd.echelp.org/
Support information for all other UMass Dartmouth technologies can be found here: https://www.umassd.edu/online/technical-resources/.
Academic Assistance and Tutoring
If you are having difficulty with a class:
- You may contact the professor directly using the contact information listed on the syllabus.
- You may also take advantage of the resources of the Law Learning Center.