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 does not allow anyone except for authorized visiting scholars and field instructors to audit courses. Field instructors 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.

a. Students can monitor their semester and cumulative GPA in WebSTAC.

b. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.

c. 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.

Any student on academic probation for more than one semester may be referred 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.

a. This is an ad hoc committee consisting of three faculty members who do not have a conflict of interest.

b. The student whose academic progress is under review has the right to present their case to the committee with or without representation by another student or faculty member.

c. Once the committee completes its deliberations, it forwards a recommendation to the dean for a final decision. The dean communicates in writing the decision to the student, the chair of the Academic Progress Committee, their associate dean, and the student's adviser.

Professional Integrity

Social Work and Public Health 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. The Brown School requires that students entering the professions possess the skills to manage these relationships responsibly. The school maintains policies on academic integrity and academic progress that allow it to implement sanctions, including suspension and dismissal, to address deficiencies related to those areas. The faculty of the Brown School also understands that sometimes conduct that does not necessarily fall under the rubrics of academic integrity or academic progress provides sufficient indication that a student's behavior is not appropriate for the professional practice of social work or public health. The faculty has developed a statement of expectations and procedures that will help them address issues of conduct that raise serious concerns about a student's capacity for responsible social work and public health practice.

Statement of Minimal Expectations

The Brown School minimally expects that students will do the following:

  • 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 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, 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.
  • Appreciate and value diversity and demonstrate an ability to suspend personal biases in interactions with others, including not inappropriately imposing personal, religious, and 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.
  • Not engage in behavior that is exploitative of others' vulnerabilities or lack of power.

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, in the field practicum, in interactions with fellow students, faculty and staff, personal statements, self assessments, recorded interview situations, and feedback from students, staff or community members.

Leave of Absence (LOA)

The Brown School accepts two types of leaves: personal and medical. 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. Additionally, a Medical LOA must be approved by the Washington University Student Health Services and must be submitted prior to the last day of classes in that semester. All policies and procedures regarding a Medical Leave of Absence are listed on the Student Health Services 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 any 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 takes a Medical or Personal LOA after the 12th week of classes may have to take the subsequent semester off, which can include summer.

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

Voluntary Withdrawal

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 determines grades and any tuition refund.
  2. Meet with the assistant director of Financial Aid, who will advise student on next steps regarding tuition and financial aid.
  3. Meet with the registrar, who will advise student on course drop ramifications.
  4. Submit form to the director of Student Affairs, who ensures notification and approval to the following: associate dean, student's academic faculty/concentration adviser, registrar, Financial Aid, Field Education and the 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

The Course Repeat Option provides students who have done poorly in a course the opportunity to repeat it, if there is space in that course. Courses taken at the Brown School can only be repeated for a better grade at the Brown School.

Repeating graded courses:

  • Course Repeat Option may only be applied a maximum of two (2) times for the same course.
  • Students must register for the same course number* (instructor may be different) and pay tuition for that course.
  • 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.

*If a course is no longer offered, students may not substitute an alternative course.

Students who have been dropped from a degree program may not use the course repeat process to gain readmission into that degree program. A course taken for undergraduate credit may not later be changed to graduate credit. Courses taken for undergraduate credit may not be taken for graduate credit.

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.