Policies and Procedures


  • Lab Safety

No food or drinks are allowed in lab rooms. Some labs involve heavy or spinning objects and water among other things that may damage your electronics devices such as laptops, tablets or cell phones. Please use these devices at your own risk. Neither IPL nor the Physics department is responsible for any damages that may happen to your electronics during the lab.

  • Plagiarism

WARNING: YOUR LAB REPORT MUST BE WRITTEN INDEPENDENTLY. Do not submit a full or partial copy of your partner’s report or somebody else’s report, or copy the lab manual, textbooks, or the internet. If you submit a report with duplicated or marginally rephrased material, it will be flagged by the “Turnitin” software that scans for such content. “Marginal rephrasing” occurs when your sentence structure and wording (or synonym substitutions) are highly correlated with other material. If this occurs, your grade will be subject to serious sanctions (typically a zero will be given for the report). This penalty will apply to all individuals with duplicate text in their reports so don’t copy and do not share your report with others. If a second incident of plagiarism is detected, you will receive a zero for the lab component of the course. You will also be reported to OSCCR.

  • IPL Report Grading

    Typically there are six experiments that have to be done and all six will be used in computing the final course grade. You will receive a numerical grade (0 – 100) for each lab. The grade is based on preparation and Introduction, experimental work, data tables, calculations, graphs, analysis, conclusions and answers to questions. Lab reports have 5 points deducted for each day they are late. The “pre-lab quiz” questions must be completed online on Hayden-McNeil website. You should receive feedback on your report and your grade approximately on Canvas within one week after you submit your report. If it does not, please email your TA and copy the Lab Supervisor.

  • Make-up labs

    If you miss a lab, you will get a zero. You can make-up only one lab during the make-up period (or during the semester) if you have a valid excuse (such as a medical emergency) for missing that lab. You must communicate with your TA to schedule a make-up. All make-ups must be approved by the IPL Directors/Supervisor in consultation with the TA, who must be present during the make-up.

  • Course Grade

    Students are required to take the lab and lecture courses concurrently as co-requisites, unless they are repeating a component. At the end of the semester, the numerical average of the lab report grades is sent to your lecture professor. A 1-credit lab grade will be given independently and the numerical lab grade will also be counted as 10-15% of your overall lecture course grade (see lecture course syllabus). If a student passes the lab component and fails the lecture component, they only need to repeat the lecture component. In that case, the previous lab grade will not be factored into the repeated lecture component.

    International students who hold F-1 or J-1 visa status must contact the Office of Global Services before dropping below a full-time course load. A grade of W does not count towards full-time status for international students. If a student drops or withdraws from the co-registered lab component of their physics course while continuing on with the lecture component of the course, they will receive a zero for the lab component of the overall course grade unless permission to receive an incomplete grade has been granted by both the lecture and lab instructors.  In this case, an Incomplete Grade Contract for both the lab and lecture courses (including the ILS, if applicable) must be filled out, signed, and sent to the IPL Supervisor and COS Dean’s Office. The Incomplete Grade Contract(s) for the lecture course (and ILS, if applicable) must include the final numerical score obtained in the lecture course so that, upon make-up of the lab, the final lecture grade can be calculated. Typically, at least 50% of the labs and lab reports must be completed on time and there must be a documented reason for not completing all the labs in order to qualify for an incomplete in the lab component of the course.  It is the student’s responsibility to keep copies of the incomplete grade contracts and bring them to the appropriate lecture and lab instructors once they have completed the lab.


Before lab:

  • Read over the relevant sections of the lab manual and complete the pre-lab quiz on Hayden-McNeil website before coming to lab.

During lab:

  • Listen to your TA’s introduction carefully. Do not attempt to start the experiment until after your TA’s introduction.
  • Work with your lab partner and complete all investigations and data analysis during the lab time.
  • E-mail your complete data file to your TA and your partner, and organize your lab bench before leaving the lab room.

After lab:

  • Write a lab report and submit it on Canvas. Lab reports are due a week after your lab by 11:59pm.
  • After submitting your lab report, make sure to double check that you uploaded the correct file into the correct assignment on Canvas.