Regular class attendance and preparation are expected of all students. In addition, faculty members may, and often do, establish their own specific attendance and preparation requirements, the violation of which may result in the lowering of a grade or exclusion from class.

Auditing Courses

The Brown School allows only authorized visiting scholars and field instructors to audit courses. Field instructors may request to audit a course and must work with the professor to define expectations, and may not audit Intensive Trainings.


Once a student has been admitted to the Brown School, they are considered "Prime" to the Brown School in the degree program to which they are admitted. Every admitted student is required to follow the policies as set by the Brown School. Following policies is especially important in situations regarding enrollment for courses at other schools within Washington University while a Brown School degree-seeking student.

A student pursuing an MSW/MPH degree is considered a dual degree student, and they remain Prime to the Brown School, with an MSW Major Program Code the first year of study and an MPH Major Program Code for the second year, and a semester of each in the third year.

Students who are seeking degrees in more than one program (classified as joint degree students) with one program outside of the Brown School are considered Prime to the school or program depending on enrollment and the agreement of each school. Students may contact the registrar's office of either school for clarification.

Student IDs are coded to a student's Prime program. Being Prime to the Brown School affords a student evening and weekend access to Brown School buildings. Joint degree students who are Prime to another Washington University program will have their IDs coded to allow access. Joint degree students with building access concerns should contact the Office of the Brown School Registrar.


Grade Points per Unit
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
F 0.0
P/P# Pass
F/F# Fail
I Incomplete
W Withdrawal
R Repeat
N No Grade Submitted

All Brown School courses are for credit with the exception of the practicum and culminating experience.

Academic Probation/Suspension

Both the MSW and MPH programs at the Brown School require that students maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Failing to meet the minimum 3.0 GPA places a student on academic probation for the subsequent semester. If a student is only enrolled in practicum for the subsequent semester for which they are on academic probation, which is calculated on a pass/fail basis, then the student's grades will be reviewed after the following semester, when grades are earned.

Students will be notified by their associate dean regarding academic probation.

  1. Students can monitor their semester and cumulative GPA in WebSTAC.
  2. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.
  3. If a student is placed on academic probation, there are financial aid implications. Students in this situation should discuss their options with the assistant director of financial aid.

A student on Academic Probation for more than one semester will have their case reviewed by the assistant dean of their program. The assistant dean may recommend continued Academic Probation, a remediation plan, or may choose to refer the case to the Academic Progress Committee.

The Academic Progress Committee is responsible for reviewing students' academic progress and making decisions regarding appropriate actions, which may include continued academic probation, a required LOA, or termination from the program.

  1. This is an ad hoc committee consisting of three full-time faculty members who do not have a conflict of interest (instructor, adviser, supervisor, employer, etc.).
  2. The student whose academic progress is under review has the right to present their case to the committee with or without support by a guest. The guest is not allowed to speak during the committee meeting.
  3. Once the committee completes its deliberations, it forwards a recommendation to the associate dean for a final decision. The associate dean communicates the decision in writing to the student, the chairperson of the Academic Progress Committee, and the student's advisers.

The student has a right to appeal the decision of the Academic Progress Committee to the dean of the Brown School. The appeal must be submitted in writing within 14 days.

Professional Integrity

As local, national, and international leaders in social work, public health and social policy, the faculty, administration and staff of Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis are strongly committed to both academic and professional integrity. Academic integrity combines five fundamental values — honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility — for all academic work. Professional integrity involves behaviors that are consistent with the professional and ethical expectations of one's field. Brown School students must understand the unconditional imperative for honesty and ethical behavior in all scholastic and professional endeavors as well as in everyday conduct within and beyond the Brown School community.

Social work, public health and social policy are practice professions involving the management of complex systems and interpersonal relationships with diverse peoples, many of whom are vulnerable in a variety of ways for myriad reasons. Brown School students entrusted with practicum responsibilities are expected to be cognizant and respectful of all agency personnel and clients with whom they become associated. We require that students entering our professions possess the skills to manage these relationships responsibly.

The Brown School faculty has developed a statement of expectations and procedures that help them address issues of conduct that raise serious concerns about a student's capacity for responsible social work, public health or public policy practice.

Professional Integrity Violations

Professional integrity violations consist of behavior that is inconsistent with professional or ethical standards in the professional roles for which the student is being trained that are not necessarily covered by policies governing academic integrity. Behaviors inconsistent with the above listed expectations will be considered violations of professional integrity.

Statement of Minimal Expectations

​The Brown School minimally expects that students will do the following inside and outside the classroom when engaged in university programs or activities:

  • Conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the Code of Ethics adopted by the National Association of Social Workers and the Public Health Code of Ethics adopted by the Public Health Leadership Society.
  • Conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the university's Code of Conduct.
  • Demonstrate an ability to speak and listen respectfully.
  • Demonstrate clarity of thinking, including an ability to process information, conceptualize and integrate knowledge.
  • Demonstrate honesty in interactions with students, staff and faculty and at the practicum agency and an ability to be responsible, including such things as accurately recording and reporting practicum hours, keeping appointments, and attending class regularly and punctually in accordance with instructors' policies.
  • Demonstrate an ability to suspend personal biases in professional interactions with clients, including not imposing personal, religious or cultural values on others.
  • Represent their backgrounds, experiences and qualifications honestly.
  • Seek and use help for medical and emotional problems that interfere with scholastic and professional performance, including engaging in treatment for substance abuse and mental disorders when needed.
  • Provide course and instructor evaluations at the end of each term and, if requested, at midterm. Complete individual, peer and/or team assessments if required. Participate actively in site visits, complete self-evaluations, and complete other assignments needed for a grade in practicum.
  • Respect and maintain the appearance and the functionality of all buildings, classrooms and other facilities.

Evidence that a student is meeting or failing to meet these expectations may come from a variety of sources, including observation of student behavior in the classroom; the field practicum; interactions with fellow students, faculty and staff; personal statements; self-assessments; recorded interview situations; and feedback from students, staff, community members or other sources.

Leave of Absence (LOA)

The Brown School accepts two types of leaves: Personal and Medical.

  • Personal leave* is used for any non-medical (e.g., pregnancy, death in the family) emergency.
  • Medical leaves must be authorized by Habif Health and Wellness Center.
    • Students taking a Medical LOA are eligible to maintain health insurance and access to Habif Health and Wellness Center.
    • Policies and procedures are listed on the Habif Health and Wellness Center website.

For either a Personal or Medical LOA from the Brown School, the student must complete the appropriate LOA form prior to leaving. Completed forms must be submitted to the director of student affairs. The Brown School does not approve LOA paperwork submitted after the last day of classes of the semester.

A Personal LOA can be approved for up to one academic year. If a student anticipates being on leave for longer than one academic year, they must request an extension of their leave for up to one additional academic year and must complete a new LOA form with the new anticipated date of return.

A student who anticipates being on leave in any semester should discuss their situation with the director of student affairs to consider all options and assess the potential consequences to their academic record. The timing of a Leave of Absence (LOA) may impact both academic credits and tuition charges. Prior to a student taking an LOA they must meet with the registrar and the assistant director of financial aid to discuss how taking a leave may affect their record.

A student who takes a Medical or Personal LOA after the 12th week of classes may have to take the subsequent semester off, which can include summer.

Depending on the length of leave and the structure of the current curriculum, previous credits may not count toward the degree. If, due to an extended LOA, a student cannot complete their degree within four years of the initial matriculation date of their program, the student must reapply for admission and may be required to retake courses and/or practicum hours.

* International students requesting a personal leave of absence must leave the country within 15 days after submitting their request and are responsible for their visa. They must also meet with a staff member in the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS).

Voluntary Withdrawal

A student may request a voluntary withdrawal if they no longer wish to pursue their degree at the Brown School.

Before considering a voluntary withdrawal from the Brown School, a student should consult with the director of student affairs to consider all options and assess consequences to their academic record. The timing of a withdrawal may impact both academic credits and tuition charges. If a student then wishes to voluntarily withdraw from the Brown School, the following formal procedure is required:

  1. Complete Request to Withdraw form. The effective date of withdrawal will determine grades and any tuition refund.
  2. Meet with the assistant director of financial aid, who will advise student regarding tuition and financial aid implications.
  3. Meet with the registrar, who will advise student on implications resulting from a voluntary withdrawal.
  4. Submit Request to Withdraw form to the director of student affairs, who may approve and notifies: associate dean, student's academic adviser, registrar, financial aid, Office of Field Education, and office of Information Technology.

Administrative Withdrawal

In any semester, a student who has not enrolled for fall or spring courses, or has not attended classes for which they are enrolled, and has not initiated a leave of absence or a voluntary withdrawal, will be administratively withdrawn from the Brown School by the fourth week of the current semester.

Repeating a Course

Students who have done poorly in a course have the opportunity to repeat it, following these guidelines:

  • There must be space in that course.
  • Courses taken at the Brown School may only be repeated at the Brown School.
  • This option may only be applied a maximum of two times for the same course.
  • Students must register for the same course number (instructor may be different). If a course is no longer offered, students may not substitute an alternative course.
  • Tuition will be assessed.
  • On the transcript, the original course will remain on the transcript, but be designated with an R next to the original grade, indicating that the course was repeated.
  • All courses designated with an R (repeat note) will not be included in grade point average calculations and are not applicable toward graduation requirements.
  • The letter grade earned in the most recent attempt will be included in cumulative credit totals and a new grade point average will be calculated.
  • All subsequently repeated courses and grades will be recorded on the transcript and noted that the course has been repeated.
  • A course taken for undergraduate credit may not later be changed to graduate credit (Washington University undergraduate students only).
  • Courses taken for credit toward an undergraduate degree may not be taken for graduate credit (Washington University undergraduate students only).
  • If a student repeats a course after their degree has been awarded, the original course grade will not be excluded from the degree GPA nor will the new grade be included in the degree GPA.
  • Students who have been dropped from a degree program may not use the course repeat process to gain readmission to that degree program.