SYLLABUS: Social Media for Social Change

What role do social media and social movements play in the pursuit of more just and equitable futures?

The University of Iowa | School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Course Duration
1 semester | 16 weeks


Course Overview

Individuals and groups use social media to organize, collaborate, and spread their messages to local and global audiences. This class will explore the myriad ways that people and organizations use social media as tools for civic engagement, activism, and political participation. Drawing on a broad range of international and national cases, we will examine early Internet activism through to today, looking at unfolding social movements. We will discuss formal and informal social movements that are deeply connected to social media. In addition to analyzing the specifics of various cases, we will examine the broader communication strategies that activists use.

Course Design

Essential Question
This course is grounded in a desire to promote professional inquiry and sustainability. Therefore, the entirety of this course is designed with the following question in mind:

What role do social media and social movements play in the pursuit of more just and equitable futures?

We will think about and return to this question throughout the course. Additionally, the summative assessment for this course will be a student’s opportunity to answer this question.

Course Objectives
Based on the essential question, students will work toward proficiency in the following objectives by the end of the semester:

• Investigate a social movement’s use of social media to convey agency, respond to a grievance, or reflect on historical change.
• Produce a final project that ignites a social movement and responds to an issue of civic responsibility on campus.
• Argue the effectiveness of a social movement’s use of social media relative to (a) time, (b) place, (c) grievance, and (d) purpose.
• Strengthen one’s ability to engage with issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Individual Class Objectives
The above objectives represent outcomes and goals of the course itself. Throughout Social Media for Social Change students will explore individual class objectives. Each class objective is meant to help students build toward the ultimate course objectives. Individual class objectives will be noted within the ICON module for each lesson.

Course Needs

  • Texts
    • #HashtagActivism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice by Sarah J. Jackson, Moya Bailey, and Brooke Foucault Welles (print or digital)
    • Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest by Zeynep Tufekci (print or digital)
    • Other articles and readings assigned on ICON
  • Materials
    • University Email: I will communicate through this (not ICON)
    • Journaling notebook: I would like this to be print and with you in class each session. Feel free to get whatever type, format, or design you’d like. This is for your personal thinking and processing.

Diversity and Discussion

In this class, we will be discussing current events and contemporary social issues, including potentially sensitive subjects. We will also be discussing political and cultural topics from a variety of perspectives. In this class, we support the open presentation and discussion of viewpoints, even those we don’t like or disagree with, and we will also be respectful of others’ ideas. This course is a place to explore new ideas and to think through the complexities of our socially mediated lives.

Please see the statement of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice in this syllabus for more information.

Student Accommodations

Students who have documentation from Student Disability Services (SDS) for accommodations must present the documents and meet with me in drop-in hours or by making an appointment. SDS forms must be turned in before the third week of classes when possible. Simply emailing the forms to me is not sufficient.

For more information, please see the section titled Academic Accommodations for Student with Disabilities; student can also see the full policy under The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Policies and Resources page at the end of the syllabus. If you have other health or personal circumstances (not covered by SDS) that might affect your ability to be successful in this course, please speak with me as soon as possible. All accommodations must be “reasonable” in nature. This will mean different things for different students so we will discuss your specific needs to make a plan. In some cases, reasonable accommodations cannot be made.

Communication & Professional Boundaries

If you need me, the best mode to contact me is through email. Emails should be respectful and brief, with complex matters addressed during my drop-in hours.

I am a firm believer that we can only give so much in our daily life. For many, they function solely under the premise of chronos – meaning we have 24 fixed hours in our day to use. And that’s true. When it comes to time, you can expect that come 5 p.m. each day I will not be attached to my email, and the likelihood is that if you email me I won’t respond until after 8 a.m. the next day. Faculty are not expected to answer email after business hours or during the weekends. Creating boundaries between work and life are incredibly important to me and my mental health. I hope you learn to do the same.

But I also believe that you should give yourself grace. Therefore, I also believe in the Greek concept of Kairos. In this understand of time we don’t think about life related to specified hour-by-hour appointments, but rather by moments that are more important or influential than others. A clock cannot measure these types of moments, and these moments aren’t meant to be equal. When we are in class together, I expect this time to be critical to our understanding of the content and the building of our culture. When you are in need of space and time for yourself, I hope you take that time and recognize how important those moments are to your well-being and mental health. Both types of moments — classroom and personal — are important; they’re absolutely critical to all of our success together. But they each have their own place. Give yourself grace.

Come to class and be in the moment. When you leave, make sure you also give yourself the gift of grace and of time. In a class about moments and movements, it will be important you step away and reflect.


Yes, this course is about social media. Yes, the readings for this class can be done digitally. And, yes, we will be engaging in digital investigations. However, I ask you be mindful of your use of technology in this course. As I shared in the previous section, I expect our classroom time to be meaningful and culture focused. This means that I will ask you to put your technology away unless it is imperative we use it.


Life happens. Because of this, I don’t want you to feel as though you must share what may be a personal reason as to why you aren’t in class. While I am here to support you, I also want you to feel comfortable missing class without providing a reason. All I ask is that you tell me you won’t be making it that day so I can help get you whatever you will be missing. Your attendance does factor into your overall participation grade in class; the more you aren’t present, the fewer points I will be able to give you. Additionally, missing class means missing in-class activities. You will be unable to make this up for points, but you are still encouraged to complete them for feedback. #growthmindset

You will be afforded four absences without any rationale and reduction of your participation grade. Five to seven absences from class will require both a conversation with me about your needs in this course, but also a 25% participation grade reduction. Eight absences will require a serious conversation about your success and the possibility of you withdrawing from this course. You will receive a 50% participation grade reduction after eight absences.


We will use ICON for all course management. It will serve as the most up-to-date syllabus and have several resources for your success inside and outside of this class. Each class session will have its own module. And in that module will be readings, objectives, and plans for that day’s class. Your assignments will be included in their own module, as will resources and course materials. If you are ever confused as to what we are doing in class, or if you’ve missed class that day, ICON will be the first place to look.

All assignments will be submitted and graded through ICON.

Assessment Plan

To be successful in this course, you will be asked to participate in several formative (ungraded, oftentimes in-class) and summative (graded, outside of class) assessments. Your assessments and associated grades will all build toward answering the essential question of the course and the three course objectives. To understand how you will get to the end of our course story, it is important you understand the journey.

Assessment Breakdown

  • Participation (attendance, preparedness, contribution, and cooperation): 20%
  • Student Case: 10%
  • Project Assignments: 30%
  • Final Project: 40%

Grading System and the Use of +/-
Final grades will be awarded based on the following ranges:

A                     B                      C                     D                 F

A+ 98-100       B+ 87-89         C+ 77-79      D+ 67-69 F < 59

A   93-97         B   83-86         C   73-76      D   63-66

A-  90-92        B-  80-82        C-  70-72    D-  60-62


At the end of the semester, I’ll review your attendance, preparedness, contribution, and cooperation. If I see issues along the way in any of these areas I will reach out so we can discuss what’s going on and together come up with ways to improve.

  • Attendance means showing up. Communication is crucial here. If you’re struggling or have reasons you need to miss class, please let me know so we can work together.
  • Preparedness means you show up having read what I’ve assigned for the week. Lively, informed discussion is the most important part of learning, and you should read deeply enough to have an educated discussion with your classmates.
  • Contribution means sharing your ideas. A class thrives when people feel free to share their ideas. We all have different comfort levels with sharing. If you share a lot, try to pause and consider before jumping in so you can leave space for others. If you struggle to share, push yourself to speak up even if your ideas aren’t fully developed.
  • Cooperation means showing care for our community. We don’t all need to agree, but care means considering how your words may land for those around you and being open to constructive comments if something doesn’t land as intended.

Daily Trivia: Current Events and Reading

Part of your participation will be us starting class in teams participating in trivia. The trivia questions will come from current events (especially those that relate to social media and social movements) and readings. Your group will have the ability to earn 5-10 trivia points (TPs) each class session. You accrue TP as a team, but you spend them as an individual.

You may redeem these TPs at any point in the semester for the following rewards:

  • 10 Trivia Points: A sticker or sucker
  • 30 TP: 24-hour assignment extension
  • 60 TP: Extra absence or 48-hour assignment extension
  • 100 TP: 72-hour assignment extension
  • 175 TP: +/- grade bump at the end of the semester

When you redeem TP for a reward, those points will be deducted from your individual TP account. You cannot use your TP on the final assignment.

Student Cases

Toward the end of the semester, students will present social movements they are interested in discussion. These cases will be selected before the midterm.

  • Students are encouraged to find a case that transcends international borders
  • Students will work in groups of 5 and will be responsible to lead discussion for half of class (30 minutes)
    • Assign two readings
    • Create a presentation that guides us through the case (use our course readings to guide your analysis): 15 minutes
    • Lead small group discussions on the case: 15 minutes
  • Cases cannot be ones we will discuss already in class

Project Assignments

I see education as a process. I by no means expect you to be proficient in the course objectives at the start of the semester. If you were, then I’d question why you were here. As a result, I designed this course so that you participate in activities throughout the semester that build toward your final project.

  • Each project assignment (P#) will have its own instructions, but its rubric will come from the final project’s.
  • Each project assignment will be able to be used in your final project; in fact, I encourage you to revise based on my feedback and use it again.
  • Each project assignment will not be graded. Rather, you will receive feedback on the assignment and a rubric score that will help you see where you are at in this course relative to achieving the goals (objectives) of this course.
  • You will receive a score of 0 on an assignment for one of two reasons: (1) not turning in a project assignment or (2) giving minimal effort on the project assignment. The project assignments are designed in a way where it will be clear if you did the assignment last minute. Please do not take my kindness for granted.

A brief description of each project assignment is included below. More detailed descriptions and rubrics will be provided a week ahead of the assignment’s due date. None of these assignments should take more than a week’s worth of time.

P1: Problem Statement

Students will write/record a problem statement about a social issue they are interested in addressing on campus. There should be a clear understanding of what the social issue is, why the student believes it to be a social issue, and why this issue must be addressed. The expectation is that the student also recognizes how this issue exists nationally and/or globally.

P2: Hawkeye on the Street I

Students will interview five different students on campus about their issue. These should be quick, short videos that could be compiled into a social media length video. Your goal is to check the pulse of people on campus about your issue. This should serve as initial research, but these can/should be used in some capacity in your final.

P3: Research

Students will do traditional research on their social issue. This will provide you with substantial background information as to what your issue is beyond campus. To do this, you will create a ten-source annotated bibliography that utilizes academic and media sources to contextualize your social issue.

P4: Social Media Audit

Students will utilize Twitter and Tear Gas to audit how a national or international social movement (similar to the one you are interested in) utilized social media to convey agency, respond to a grievance, or reflect on historical change. Your focus will be on utilizing what you learned from the tools and strategies outlined in Tufekci’s book, but also on learning how you can leverage those same strategies and tools in your final project.

P5: Reader Response

Students will write a response to a chapter in #HashtagActivism. For this response, students will be expected to address how Jackson et al. audited a social media movement, drew from several sources, and provided examples. Students will do this in two ways: (1) by considering the argument critically and (2) explaining the argument to someone unfamiliar.

P6: Midterm Reflection

We’ve reached the middle of the semester. In lieu of a midterm exam, students will be asked to write/film a reflection about the status of their final project. Expect to talk about what you’ve learned so far, where you expect to go moving forward, and how you will do this. The reflection will focus on goals and thinking critically about how you intend to achieve them.

P7: Planning

Students will create a plan (outline, organizer, sketch, etc.) for their final project based on the information they’ve compiled thus far this semester.

P8: Hawkeye on the Street II

Students will interview five different students on campus about their issue. These should be quick, short videos that could be compiled into a social media length video. Your goal is to check the pulse of people on campus about your issue. This time you should have research to really build these conversations into something more. These can/should be used in some capacity in your final.

P9: Community Conversation

Students will bring together a focus group of 3-4 people who are directly impacted by your social issue. The focus here is to learn about how you can make a difference and a change, as well as how these people use social media.

Final Project

The final project for this class is entirely of your own choosing. Below you have three possible options for what I would like to see submitted at the end of this class. Each option will be graded with the same rubric; however, each represents different professional or personal goals. No option will be weighted more than another.

  • Traditional Research Paper
  • Social Media Campaign
  • Podcast

If you would like to work in a group (no more than 4 people) for your final project, then I will allow it. The expectation, however, is that you each still produce the workload expected of you as an individual. For example,

  • If one person produces one podcast episode, a group of four would need to produce four.
  • The basic requirements of the social campaign for one person would need to be multiplied by three if you were in a group of three.
  • Maybe you want a partner for the research paper. If so, then double the individual requirements.

If you choose to work as a group, there will not be individual grades. You must accept the outcome of your group’s collaboration. There will be no post-final group evaluation. Since being a part of a group is not a requirement, you making that choice is seen as a decision made by a responsible adult.

The final project options will be introduced fully in week 4 of class.

Course Schedule

Given the nature of this course, the instructor reserves the right to move around topics and readings to respond to current events and cultural movements.

  • All readings must be done before class
  • All assignments are due by Friday at noon.
Schedule / TopicReadingAssignment
Monday, August 22
Classroom Culture
Wednesday, August 24
Course Foundations
Albright“Hashtag Activism: #powerful or #pointless” Neela-Stock & DiBenedetto“22 Moments of Activism…” Hitchings-Hales & Calderwood: “8 Massive Moments When Hashtag Activism Really Worked” Rosenblatt: “A Summer of Digital Protest”DUE: P1
Monday, August 29 DefinitionsGranillo: “The Role of Social Media in Social Movements” Cammaerts: “Social Media and Activism” 
Wednesday, August 31
Movements & Protests
Tufekci: Intro, Chs. 1-2 Listen to A Rift Over Power and Privilege in the Women’s MarchDUE: P2
Monday, September 5
Labor Day – NO CLASS
Wednesday, September 7
Tufekci: Chs. 3 & 4DUE: P3
Monday, September 12
Algorithms & Responsibilities
Tufekci: Ch. 5 & 6 
Wednesday, September 14 Algorithms & ResponsibilitiesTufekci: Ch. 7 
Monday, September 19 Memes and Mentions: Internet culturesLazzaro: “Memes are Our Generation’s Protest Art” Duong: “Why do Memes matter?…” Haubursin: “Why do Memes Matter?” – watch the video and feel free to read any of the suggested readings Daniels: “Do Memes Make the Internet a Better Place?” Fink: “The Role of Memes in Teen Culture” 
Wednesday, September 21 Democracy and Ethics Possible Guest SpeakerJackson et al.: Afterward TwitterCivic Integrity Policy Francis Haugen Video + TranscriptDUE: P4
Monday, September 26 Student PresentationsJackson et al.: Chapters 1-3DUE: P5
Wednesday, September 28 Student PresentationsJackson et al.: Chapters 4-6DUE: P5
Monday, October 3 Making sense of #Hashtag ActivismJackson et al.: Introduction & Conclusion Hintz: “Social Media Censorship, Privatized Regulation and New Restrictions to Protest and Dissent” 
Wednesday, October 5 Comparing MovementsTufekci: Ch. 8 – endDUE: P6
Monday, October 10 | Wednesday, October 12 Never AgainWitt: “How the Survivors of Parkland Began the Never Again Movement” Holan & Sherman: “PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year: Online Smear Machine Tries to Take Down Parkland Students” We Say Never Again: Read two PDF excerpts 
Monday, October 17 | Wednesday, October 19 Arab Spring“Digital Media and the Arab Spring” Gerbaudo: “‘We are not the guys of comment and like’: The Revolutionary Coalescence of Shabab-al-Facebook”DUE P7
Monday, October 24 | Wednesday, October 26 GamergateSmith: “The Reddit Revolt…” Klimentov: “A Breakdown of the GameStop Situation” Bernard, Flitter, & Das: “Buy GameStop…”DUE: Case articles
Monday, October 31 | Wednesday, November 2 #FreeBritney and Celebrity ActivismAnguiano: “The #FreeBritney Movement Finds its Moment” Spanos: “What is #FreeBritney…” Chang: “Britney Spears’ Conservatorship: A Complete Timeline” Lorenz: Who won the Depp-Heard Trial (read for Wednesday)   Suggested: NYT Britney doc on HuluDUE: P8
Monday, November 7 January 6Articles on ICON (TBD)DUE: Case presentations + discussion questions (Nov. 8 to ICON)
Wednesday, November 9 Student ChoiceStudent assigned articlesDUE: P9
Monday, November 14 Student ChoiceStudent assigned articles 
Wednesday, November 16 Student ChoiceStudent assigned articles 
FALL BREAK: NO CLASS Monday, November 21 Wednesday, November 23 
Monday, November 28 Nerve Finish WIP presentations for next week.
Wednesday, November 30 Finish Nerve Final Project Work/Meetings 
Monday, December 5 Student Work-in-Progress PresentationsAll presentations should be done by todayStudents should use in-class feedback to revise/add/edit their final projects
Wednesday, December 7 Student Work-in-Progress Presentations 
Finals Week: Project Due 

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication is dedicated to equity, anti-racism and social justice. A fuller statement of this commitment can be found at We strive to serve our students well in this regard, and consider diversity, equity, and inclusion as social resources that inform our learning environment. We train our students to achieve cultural competency across the diversity of groups that inhabit our global society. Among other things, this involves enhancing students’ ability to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds and experiences. In our classes, we discuss these themes through the concepts of media representations, bias and resulting stereotypes, and the effects of discrimination and structural inequalities as they pertain to all aspects of the media, from foundational concepts to advanced professional and graduate training. In accord with the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the dictates of academic freedom, we support an open discussion of all relevant viewpoints, even those with which we disagree. We encourage conversation that is based on facts and documentation, and on a mutual respect for one another.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication also has specific learning goals related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). As a whole, the school’s curriculum engages with the following core DEI concepts that are particularly relevant to journalism and mass communication education and professions: media representations, stereotypes, biases, effects of discrimination, and structural inequalities. In this course, we will emphasize the following learning objectives:

  • You will demonstrate sensitivity to and understanding of the role of media representations and stereotypes in shaping perceptions of people and groups, particularly marginalized or underrepresented groups.
  • You will demonstrate an understanding of the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in media professions and productions.

School of Journalism and Mass Communication Learning Outcomes

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication is committed to your academic and professional success. In line with this commitment, we have identified particular learning outcomes for the JMC curriculum. Our course addresses the following outcomes


  • You will demonstrate sensitivity to and understanding of the cultures, histories, perspectives, and socio-economic and political situations of diverse groups.

Media Literacy

  • You will demonstrate knowledge of the basic tenets of media literacy and how media literacy relates to your personal media habits and professional development.
  • You will develop critical thinking skills to analyze and interpret media messages through an understanding of media practices and institutions.

Media History

  • You will demonstrate an awareness of the historical origins of digital communication and the Internet and describe its effect on media industries with emphasis on their business models and audiences.
  • You will demonstrate an ability to explain the historical origins of recent examples of convergent digital news and entertainment media.

Extended Course Policies

Attendance and Classroom Expectations

Students are responsible for attending class and for knowing an instructor’s attendance policies, which vary by course and content area. All students are expected to attend class and to contribute to its learning environment in part by complying with University policies and directives regarding appropriate classroom behavior or other matters.

Students are responsible for communicating with instructors as soon they know that an

absence might occur or as soon as possible in the case of an illness or an unavoidable


Illness, unavoidable circumstances, & UI sponsored activities

Students who are ill, in an unavoidable circumstance affecting academic work, or who miss class because of a University sponsored activity are allowed by UI policy to make up a missed exam. Documentation is required by the instructor except in the case of a brief illness. Students are responsible for communicating with instructors as soon as the absence is known.

Holy days

The University is prepared to make reasonable accommodations for students whose religious holy days coincide with their classroom assignments, test schedules, and classroom attendance expectations. Students must notify their instructors in writing of any such Religious Holy Day conflicts or absences within the first few days of the semester or session, and no later than the third week of the semester. If the conflict or absence will occur within the first three weeks of the semester, the student should notify the instructor as soon as possible.

Military service obligations

Students absent from class due to U.S. veteran or U.S. military service obligations (including military service-related medical appointments, military orders, and National Guard Service obligations) must be excused without penalty. Instructors must make reasonable accommodations to allow students to make-up exams or other work. Students must communicate with their instructors about the expected possibility of missing class as soon as possible.

Academic Misconduct

All undergraduates enrolled in courses offered by CLAS have in essence agreed to the College’s Code of Academic Honesty. Academic misconduct affects a student’s grade and is reported to the College which applies an additional sanction, such as suspension. Outcomes about misconduct are communicated through UI email

Academic Support & Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

The University is committed to providing an educational experience that is accessible to all

students. If a student has a diagnosed disability or other disabling condition that may impact the student’s ability to complete the course requirements as stated in the syllabus, the student may seek accommodations through Student Disability Services (SDS). SDS is responsible for making Letters of Accommodation (LOA) available to the student. The student must provide a LOA to the instructor as early in the semester as possible, but requests not made at least two weeks prior to the scheduled activity for which an accommodation is sought may not be accommodated. The LOA will specify what reasonable course accommodations the student is eligible for and those the instructor should provide. Note that accommodations are not granted retroactively but from the time of the student’s request to the instructor onward. Additional information can be found on the SDS website.

Help with Classes and Careers

Class Recordings: Privacy and Sharing

Course lectures and discussions are sometimes recorded or live-streamed. These are only available to students registered for the course and are the intellectual property of the faculty member. These materials may not be shared or reproduced without the explicit written consent of the instructors.

Students may not share these recordings with those who are not enrolled in the course; likewise, students may not upload recordings to any other online environment. Doing so is a breach of the Code of Student Conduct and could be a violation of the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Free Speech and Expression

The University of Iowa supports and upholds the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech and the principles of academic and artistic freedom. We are committed to open inquiry, vigorous debate, and creative expression inside and outside of the classroom. Visit Free Speech at Iowa for more information on the University’s policies on free speech and academic freedom

Mental Health

Students are encouraged to be mindful of their mental health and seek help as a preventive measure or if feeling overwhelmed and/or struggling to meet course expectations. Students are encouraged to talk to their instructor for assistance with specific class-related concerns. For additional support and counseling, students are encouraged to contact University Counseling Service (UCS).

After hours, students are encouraged to call the Johnson County Community Crisis Line at (319) 351-0140 or dial 911 in an emergency.

Health Support and Advocacy Links

Non-discrimination Statement

The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, associational preferences, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual. The university also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to university facilities. For additional information on nondiscrimination policies, contact:

Director, Office of Institutional Equity

The University of Iowa

202 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316

319-335- 0705

Students may share their pronouns and chosen/preferred names in MyUI, which is accessible to instructors and advisors.

Sexual Harassment

The University of Iowa prohibits all forms of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and related retaliation. The Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct governs actions by students, faculty, staff and visitors. Incidents of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct can be reported to the Title IX and Gender Equity Office or to the Department of Public Safety. Students impacted by sexual harassment or sexual misconduct may be eligible for academic supportive measures and can learn more by contacting the Title IX and Gender Equity Office.

Information about confidential resources can be found here.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Policies

Course ICON site

To access the course site, log into Iowa Courses Online (ICON) using your Hawk ID and password.

Course Home

For Undergraduate Courses: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is the home of this course, and CLAS governs the add and drop deadlines, the “second-grade only” option (SGO), academic misconduct policies, and other undergraduate policies and procedures. Other UI colleges may have different policies.

Student Complaints

Students with a complaint about a grade or a related matter should first discuss the situation with the instructor and/or the course supervisor (if applicable), and finally with the Director or Chair of the school, department, or program offering the course.

Undergraduate students should contact CLAS Undergraduate Programs for support when the matter is not resolved at the previous level.

Drop Deadline for this Course

You may drop an individual course before the deadline; after this deadline you will need collegiate approval. You can look up the drop deadline for this course here. When you drop a course, a “W” will appear on your transcript. The mark of “W” is a neutral mark that does not affect your GPA.

Directions for adding or dropping a course and other registration changes can be found on the Registrar’s website. Undergraduate students can find policies on dropping and withdrawing here.

Date and Time of the Final Exam

The final examination date and time will be announced by the Registrar generally by the fifth week of classes and it will be announced on the course ICON site once it is known. Do not plan your end of the semester travel plans until the final exam schedule is made public. It is your responsibility to know the date, time, and place of the final exam.

According to Registrar’s final exam policy, students have a maximum of two weeks after the announced final exam schedule to request a change if an exam conflict exists or if a student has more than two exams in one day (see the policy here).

Communication: UI Email

Students are responsible for all official correspondences sent to their UI email address ( and must use this address for any communication with instructors or staff in the UI community.

University Policies

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Basic Needs and Support for Students

Classroom Expectations

Exam Make-up Owing to Absence

Free Speech and Expression

Mental Health

Military Service Obligations


Religious Holy Days

Sexual Harassment/Misconduct and Supportive Measures

Sharing of Class Recordings

COVID-19 Health and Safety

As we start the Fall 2022 semester, COVID-19 continues to spread in our community. The Omicron and other new variants of Covid are especially contagious, and the University of Iowa is resuming in-person instruction without a mask or vaccination mandate despite the best public health guidance, which is currently vaccination (including booster shots) and wearing high-quality masks like N95 or KN95. The University strongly encourages everyone to follow current public health and safety guidelines.

  • Wear a mask in all indoor public spaces.
    • Get vaccinated, including a COVID-19 booster and a flu shot.
    • Stay home if you’re sick and follow these steps.

What should you do if you test positive for COVID-19?

  1. If you are experiencing symptoms, get tested.
  2. If the test comes back positive, follow these steps.
  3. Contact your instructors to learn how to keep up with work in your courses.
  4. The University is now treating Covid like any other illness. Therefore, if you contract Covid you are responsible for making up academic work in your courses. Faculty are not required to offer additional online instruction.

These are extraordinary times, and we have been asked to do extraordinary things. If you find yourself overwhelmed or in a difficult mental state this semester, please let me know, so we can work together to figure out a way forward. Please let me know if you have additional COVID-related questions or concerns.

Please let me know if you have additional COVID-related questions or concerns.

Additional Resources

School of Journalism and Mass Communication Resources

Basic Needs and Financial Support

Master list: list from the Dean of Students with additional resources

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