Economics Common Syllabus

Courses taught in the Department of Economics are covered by a common set of course management policies approved by the Faculty. Students are responsible for knowing and abiding by these course policies.


Courses have individual policies regarding class attendance.

Exam attendance at the specified time is required. There are a few exceptions to this rule, and if you are requesting one of these exceptions you must email the course instructor, copying the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Frank Wolak, (

The exceptions, detailed below, are health emergencies, the death of a close family member, Stanford business that takes you away from Campus, documented disabilities, and in specific circumstances jobs or internships that begin during the final exam period for the Spring quarter. There are no other exceptions. (Other than as indicated below, there will be no exception for students attending job interviews or beginning jobs or internships before the end of the term, or for other non-educational reasons would prefer not to be at the University when the exam is scheduled.) Since the exceptions are narrow and clear cut, your email asking for an exception should be short and to the point.

  • Death of a close family member may require you to travel away from campus to attend services. Close family members are your parents, and parents-in-law; parent surrogate, siblings, spouse, children and any other dependent family member who lived in the student's home residence. 
  • Health emergencies: 1)  If you're sick, notify the instructor in advance that you’re not going to take the exam.
    2)    If you do decide not to take an exam, the share of total points for this exam will be transferred to the final exam. If you miss the final exam, then the instructor has the option to give you an incomplete, but this is at the instructor’s discretion, not the student’s.
  • From the Office of Community Standards:  

    During the COVID-19 pandemic in AY 2021-22, students with a red HealthCheck badge are not permitted to attend in-person course meetings. Some of these students may be asymptomatic or feel well enough to take an in-person exam, while others may need to delay the exam due to symptoms.

    Recognizing that students with a red badge may be well enough to take exams, instructors may wish, but are not obligated, to offer these students to take an exam remotely at the same time as the in-person exam. To provide maximum flexibility to students with a red HealthCheck badge, the Board on Judicial Affairs permits the following:

    In-person exams may be administered simultaneously to students with a red HealthCheck badge using the same instructions as in-person exams. If an in-person exam is open-resource, so is the exam completed by the student with a red HealthCheck badge. If an in-person exam is closed-book, the exam taken by the student with a red HealthCheck badge will also be closed-book.

  • Absence from campus on Stanford business is usually for athletic competition. Work through the AARC in order to take your exam at the same time (or slightly earlier, if absolutely necessary) as other students in the course. The only difference will be the test location. 
  • Students with disability-related academic accommodations should present their OAE letters to the instructor as early as possible. See Access and Accommodations section below.
  • With Stanford on the quarter system, students sometimes face start-date difficulties for summer jobs or internships.  In recognition of this issue, an exception may be requested on an individual basis if you are taking a job or internship that begins in the final exam period of the Spring quarter; however, such an exception is at the instructor's discretion and further is permitted only if you (i) make the request before the add/drop deadline in Spring quarter, (ii) provide appropriate documentation (an offer letter with confirmation of a mandatory start date that conflicts with the scheduled exam), (iii) make appropriate arrangements for and (iv) take the final exam at the same time as other students in the course, with the only difference thus being the test location.  Documentation and testing arrangements information must follow your email.
  • Because the Stanford Honor Code views self-administration of tests as too tempting for students to cheat, any exam administered outside of the official exam must be given to a student by a neutral third party (SSO officer, coach, testing center, employer), who will print the test, give it to the student at an agreed upon time, collect it at the end of the allotted time, and relay any questions during the test to the instructional staff. They should not be in the room proctoring the student. This provision covers traveling athletes, OAE students, interns, and students isolated because of Covid.

Students are responsible for making sure, at the beginning of the term, that they can attend the exams. Registering for a course means that you certify that you will be present for the exam (unless one of the explicitly stated exceptions above arises.)

Economics courses enforce every other seat rule for examinations, and exams are to be taken either in the examination room or the designated overflow room if one is needed.

On-time exam attendance

Students who arrive late will have less time to finish the exam. The exam time is never extended.

No Make-up Exams

Other than the exceptions listed above, exams will not be rescheduled for a different time or place.

Withdrawals And Incompletes

Stanford provides an option for students to withdraw from courses. Students may withdraw up to the end of the 8th week of classes for any reason.

Students may request incompletes after that deadline provided (1) the only work that is incomplete is the course final exam or final paper and (2) there is a health emergency or a death of a close family member (these are clear cut boundaries, see the precise boundaries under "exam attendance, above.) Students should promptly work out an arrangement for clearing an incomplete with the instructor. The typical arrangement is taking the final for the same course offered in a later term. The University rules about incompletes, such as that they turn into NP after a fixed period of time, apply here.


Late work, whether problem sets, exams, papers, or other work, does not count for course credit. It gets a grade of zero. No exceptions unless specifically stated on the course syllabus.


Weighting different aspects of students' work is, like the rest of grading, necessary. The relative weights on the different elements of the course work are set by the instructor. So are the rules that permit (or do not permit) dropping the lowest problem set score. The department has no set weights. One department-wide rule is that, if the course permits dropping the lowest problem set score, a student who has entered a course late and missed the first problem set drops that one, not a later one.

Correcting Errors in Grading

This section lays out rules and procedures for requesting a correction of a grading error.

  • Requests for grading correction should clearly and succinctly state the unambiguous error you believe has occurred. Errors in grading due to illegible or garbled answers are not subject to correction. Students who have been graded incorrectly should petition for a correction in writing to the professor, copying the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Frank Wolak (
  • Students must not approach either instructor or TA with an oral request before making their written request.
  • Requests should be extremely short and must focus on the specifics of the grading error. View sample request.
  • Requests should occur within a week of the work being returned (for example, within a week of the work being placed in the academic office.)
  • The entire graded work (problem set or examination) should be resubmitted; there is no guarantee that grades will rise as, statistically, positive and negative errors in grading are equally likely. If the request arises because you think different students have been graded differently, all the affected students should submit their work as a group (there is no guarantee that only upward adjustments will occur.) Note that this policy applies only to specific and unambiguous errors, not to such items as disputes over grading policies, protests about the form or content of an examination, or claims of learning not displayed in the work.
  • Requests for a correction which do not state, with particularity and specificity, the error to be corrected will be rejected.
  • Requests after the end of the term are further limited by the University's policies.

Honor Code Issues

The Honor Code is a very important part of student life, and the Department of Economics takes it seriously. The Department encourages course instructors to fully comply with their responsibilities to honorable students under the Honor Code. Visit the Office of Community Standards website to find out more.

The Department reserves the right to undertake procedures that will catch violations of the Honor Code, such as photocopying work before it has been returned.

Access and Accommodations

Stanford is committed to providing equal educational opportunities for disabled students. Disabled students are a valued and essential part of the Stanford community. We welcome you to our class.

If you experience disability, please register with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). Professional staff will evaluate your needs, support appropriate and reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Academic Accommodation Letter for faculty. To get started, or to re-initiate services, please visit

If you already have an Academic Accommodation Letter, we invite you to share your letter with us. Academic Accommodation Letters should be shared at the earliest possible opportunity so we may partner with you and OAE to identify any barriers to access and inclusion that might be encountered in your experience of this course.