Syllabus statements

We offer a host of sample syllabus statements that faculty may copy, adjust, use as they see fit for their pedagogical needs. We would love to build up this buffet of syllabus statements even more. If you would like to submit a sample syllabus policy or statement for faculty to use freely, please contact us at

Video to share with your students that provides a great overview of policies every student should know:

Sample inclusive teaching statements

customize your own statement so that it rings true for you and captures the essence of your own values.

Many faculty are now including inclusive teaching statements that not only convey diversity values, but also illustrate a recognition of and commitment to infusion of inclusive and equity-based practices in their classrooms and their disciplines at large.

Faculty have written these to include in their syllabi, build an online module, and even record videos of them reading the statement to students. Of course, you will want to customize your own statement so that it rings true for you and captures the essence of your own values.

Hopefully, some examples will serve as a starting point to create your version:

  • I am dedicated to incorporating principles of universal design throughout all of my creative projects, including my teaching. Universal design has taught me that including diverse perspectives throughout the design process improves systems, products, and processes for everyone. STEM fields have not always valued diversity of perspectives. Historically, much of science and engineering was built on a small subset of privileged voices.
  • My goals for this course are to: foster a supportive environment where you can feel comfortable learning engineering by doing and sharing engineering; encourage you to place your own personal experiences in the context of the engineering field; offer you course content that has the lowest possible barrier to entry; empower you to stay curious and foster dispositional curiosity.
  • I want you all to feel welcome and feel like you belong in my class! VCU is one of the most diverse higher education institutions in Virginia, and I feel really lucky to be in this environment! We recognize the need to ensure an inclusive and equitable learning environment for our students. The materials covered in the course were discovered by a diverse array of scientists.
  • I want to let all my students know that they ALL BELONG in my class! Everyone enrolled in this class is able to master this material! This means YOU! Enrollment into VCU and completing the prerequisite courses guarantees that you have what it takes! No matter your social background, sex, race, sexual identity, culture, experiences, worldviews, transfer status, first-generation college student, neurotypical/non-neurotypical; YOU belong here!
  • In this course, I am not testing how intelligent you are! You are intelligent! I am testing your fluency in the course material. How fluent you are in the course materials depends on numerous complex factors; health status, development of study technique, time available to study for this course, interpersonal relationships, etc. Your grade does not reflect who you are or where you are going; we are just assessing your knowledge of this course material.

Thank you to the VCU Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant, Tricia Hardt Smith, and Thea Pepperl for permission to share portions of their statements.

Sample Land Acknowledgement

Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians of the Land: I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we are on today, the Powhatan Confederacy, and pay respect to their elders past and present.

Thank you to Amy Rector for sharing her syllabus statement for land acknowledgement above.