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Laboratory Attendance Policy

Common Policy

The Department of Physics has developed the following common policies for introductory laboratory sections of PHYS101, PHYS185, PHYS187, PHYS111, PHYS113, PHYS211 and PHYS213:


  • All students must be registered for a laboratory section. If a student drops the lecture, they must drop the laboratory.  This is the same if a student “audits” the course.
  • You may not register for the lecture at one campus site and the laboratory at another campus site.
  • If a student is retaking the course, they must also register for a laboratory section.
  • A student who does not register for a laboratory section will be dropped from the lecture section of the course.
  • Any switching of laboratory sections must be completed through Self Service by the last add date (typically about two weeks into the semester.


The laboratory is an integral part of learning introductory physics. It provides excellent opportunities for "hands-on" experience with scientific equipment, lab skills enhancement, and improved proficiency in scientific report generation as well as a chance to discover the connection between the abstract and concrete.

 Weekly attendance and completion of laboratory activities is required. The laboratory/course syllabus will define what completion means for your course.  If a student fails to complete three of the required labs during the semester then a failure for the course will result; regardless of other scores in the class. See your physics course and laboratory syllabus for further details.

PHYS 111, 113, 211 and 213

If you have previously taken the course and already completed some or all of the laboratories, you may petition the course instructor to have some or all of your previous lab scores applied to the current laboratory section. This is at the discretion of the Lecture instructor are only allowed if at least half of the labs have been satisfactorily completed and taken during the most recent spring or fall semester on campus in Brookings.

If you wish to petition to have those scores applied, the procedure is as follows:

  1. Obtain a repeat/exemption form from the Physics main office (SDEH255) prior to the last add date of the current semester.  Email Sally Krueger and ask for the laboratory .pdf repeat form.
  2. Complete the top portion of the form and return to the Physics Department main Office (email Sally Krueger).
  3. The main office fills in the previous semester lab scores and returns to the lecture instructor.
  4. The lecture instructor fills in their portion of the form and returns to the main office.
  5. Copies of the completed form are made and returned to the lecture instructor for distribution.
  6. The student should attend and complete all labs prior to the return of the form; unless told otherwise by their lecture instructor.