Washington University has various policies and procedures that govern our faculty, staff and students. Highlighted below are several key policies of the university. Web links to key policies and procedures are available on the Office of the University Registrar website and on the university's Compliance and Policies page. Please note that the policies identified on these websites and in this Bulletin do not represent an entire repository of university policies, as schools, offices and departments may implement policies that are not listed. In addition, policies may be amended throughout the year.
On this page:
Nondiscrimination Statement | Student Health | Student Conduct | Undergraduate Student Academic Integrity Policy | Graduate Student Academic Integrity Policies | Statement of Intent to Graduate | Student Academic Records and Transcripts
Washington University encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid and employment. The university does not discriminate in access to, treatment during, or employment in its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, disability or genetic information.
Policy on Discrimination and Harassment
Washington University is committed to having a positive learning and working environment for its students, faculty and staff. University policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, disability or genetic information. Harassment based on any of these classifications is a form of discrimination; it violates university policy and will not be tolerated. In some circumstances, such discriminatory harassment may also violate federal, state or local law. A copy of the Policy on Discrimination and Harassment is available on the Human Resources website.
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that violates university policy and will not be tolerated. It is also illegal under state and federal law. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) in the university's educational programs and activities. Title IX also prohibits retaliation for asserting claims of sex discrimination. The university has designated the Title IX Coordinator identified below to coordinate its compliance with and response to inquiries concerning Title IX.
For more information or to report a violation under the Policy on Discrimination and Harassment, please contact the following individuals:
Discrimination and Harassment Response Coordinator
Apryle Cotton, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
Section 504 Coordinator
Title IX Coordinator
Jessica Kennedy, Director of Title IX Office
Title IX Coordinator
You may also submit inquiries or a complaint regarding civil rights to the United States Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights at 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-1100; by visiting the U.S. Department of Education website; or by calling 800-421-3481.
Drug and Alcohol Policy
Washington University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for members of the university community by promoting a drug-free environment as well as one free of the abuse of alcohol. Violations of the Washington University Drug and Alcohol Policy will be handled according to existing policies and procedures concerning the conduct of faculty, staff, and students. This policy is adopted in accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.
Washington University is committed to providing a healthy, comfortable and productive work and learning environment for all students, faculty and staff. Research shows that tobacco use in general, including smoking and breathing secondhand smoke, constitutes a significant health hazard. The university strictly prohibits all smoking and other uses of tobacco products within all university buildings and on university property, at all times. A copy of our complete Tobacco-Free Policy is available on the Human Resources website.
Entering students in Danforth Campus programs must provide medical information to the Habif Health and Wellness Center. This will include the completion of a health history and a record of all current immunizations.
If students fail to comply with these requirements prior to registration, they will be required to obtain vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella at the Habif Health and Wellness Center, if there is no evidence of immunity. In addition, undergraduate students will be required to obtain meningitis vaccinations. Students will be assessed the cost of the vaccinations. Students will be unable to complete registration for classes until all health requirements have been satisfied.
Noncompliant students may be barred from classes and from all university facilities, including housing units, if in the judgment of the university their continued presence would pose a health risk to themselves or to the university community.
Medical and immunization information is to be given via the student portal on the Habif Health and Wellness Center website. All students who have completed the registration process should access the student portal on the website. Students should fill out the form and follow the instructions for transmitting it to the Habif Health and Wellness Center. Student information is treated securely and confidentially.
The Student Conduct Code sets forth community standards and expectations for Washington University students. These community standards and expectations are intended to foster an environment conducive to learning and inquiry. Freedom of thought and expression is essential to the university's academic mission.
Disciplinary proceedings are meant to be informal, fair and expeditious. Charges of non-serious misconduct are generally heard by the student conduct officer. With limited exceptions, serious or repeated allegations are heard by the campuswide Student Conduct Board or the University Sexual Assault Investigation Board where applicable.
Complaints against students that include allegations of sexual assault or certain complaints that include allegations of sexual harassment in violation of the Student Conduct Code are governed by the procedures found in the University Sexual Assault Investigation Board Policy, which is available online or in hard copy from the Title IX coordinator or the director of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
Students may be accountable to both governmental authorities and to the university for acts that constitute violations of law and the Student Conduct Code.
For a complete copy of the Student Conduct Code, visit the university website.
Effective learning, teaching and research all depend upon the ability of members of the academic community to trust one another and to trust the integrity of work that is submitted for academic credit or conducted in the wider arena of scholarly research. Such an atmosphere of mutual trust fosters the free exchange of ideas and enables all members of the community to achieve their highest potential.
In all academic work, the ideas and contributions of others must be appropriately acknowledged, and work that is presented as original must be, in fact, original. Faculty, students and administrative staff all share the responsibility of ensuring the honesty and fairness of the intellectual environment at Washington University.
Scope and Purpose
This statement on academic integrity applies to all undergraduate students at Washington University. Graduate students are governed by policies in each graduate school or division. All students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of behavior. The purpose of the statement is twofold:
- To clarify the university's expectations with regard to undergraduate students' academic behavior; and
- To provide specific examples of dishonest conduct. The examples are only illustrative, not exhaustive.
Violations of This Policy Include but Are Not Limited to the Following:
Plagiarism consists of taking someone else's ideas, words or other types of work product and presenting them as one's own. To avoid plagiarism, students are expected to be attentive to proper methods of documentation and acknowledgment. To avoid even the suspicion of plagiarism, a student must always do the following:
- Enclose every quotation in quotation marks and acknowledge its source.
- Cite the source of every summary, paraphrase, abstraction or adaptation of material originally prepared by another person and any factual data that is not considered common knowledge. Include the name of author, title of work, publication information and page reference.
- Acknowledge material obtained from lectures, interviews or other oral communication by citing the source (i.e., the name of the speaker, the occasion, the place and the date).
- Cite material from the internet as if it were from a traditionally published source. Follow the citation style or requirements of the instructor for whom the work is produced.
- Cheating on an Examination
A student must not receive or provide any unauthorized assistance on an examination. During an examination, a student may use only materials authorized by the faculty.
- Copying or Collaborating on Assignments Without Permission
When a student submits work with their name on it, this is a written statement that credit for the work belongs to that student alone. If the work was a product of collaboration, each student is expected to clearly acknowledge in writing all persons who contributed to its completion.
Unless the instructor explicitly states otherwise, it is dishonest to collaborate with others when completing any assignment or test, performing laboratory experiments, writing and/or documenting computer programs, writing papers or reports, or completing problem sets.
If the instructor allows group work in some circumstances but not others, it is the student's responsibility to understand the degree of acceptable collaboration for each assignment and to ask for clarification, if necessary.
To avoid cheating or unauthorized collaboration, a student should never do any of the following:
- Use, copy or paraphrase the results of another person's work and represent that work as one's own, regardless of the circumstances.
- Refer to, study from or copy archival files (e.g., old tests, homework, solutions manuals, backfiles) that were not approved by the instructor.
- Copy another's work or permit another student to copy one's work.
- Submit work as a collaborative effort if they did not contribute a fair share of the effort.
- Fabrication or Falsification of Data or Records
It is dishonest to fabricate or falsify data in laboratory experiments, research papers or reports or in any other circumstances; to fabricate source material in a bibliography or "works cited" list; or to provide false information on a résumé or other document in connection with academic efforts. It is also dishonest to take data developed by someone else and present them as one's own. Examples of falsification include the following:
- Altering information on any exam, problem set or class assignment being submitted for a re-grade.
- Altering, omitting or inventing laboratory data to submit as one's own findings. This includes copying laboratory data from another student to present as one's own; modifying data in a write-up; and providing data to another student to submit as one's own.
- Other Forms of Deceit, Dishonesty or Inappropriate Conduct
Under no circumstances is it acceptable for a student to do any of the following:
- Submit the same work, or essentially the same work, for more than one course without explicitly obtaining permission from all instructors. A student must disclose when a paper or project builds on work completed earlier in their academic career.
- Request an academic benefit based on false information or deception. This includes requesting an extension of time, a better grade or a recommendation from an instructor.
- Make any changes (including adding material or erasing material) on any test paper, problem set or class assignment being submitted for a re-grade.
- Willfully damage the efforts or work of other students.
- Steal, deface or damage academic facilities or materials.
- Collaborate with other students planning or engaging in any form of academic misconduct.
- Submit any academic work under someone else's name other than one's own. This includes but is not limited to sitting for another person's exam; both parties will be held responsible.
- Engage in any other form of academic misconduct not covered here.
This list is not intended to be exhaustive. To seek clarification, students should ask the professor or the assistant in instruction for guidance.
Faculty and instructors are strongly encouraged to report incidents of student academic misconduct to the academic integrity officer in their school or college in a timely manner so that the incident may be handled fairly and consistently across schools and departments. Assistants in instruction are expected to report instances of student misconduct to their supervising instructors. Faculty members are expected to respond to student concerns about academic dishonesty in their courses.
If a student observes others violating this policy, the student is strongly encouraged to report the misconduct to the instructor, to seek advice from the academic integrity officer of the school or college that offers the course in question, or to address the student(s) directly.
Exam Proctor Responsibility
Exam proctors are expected to report incidents of suspected student misconduct to the course instructor and/or the Disability Resource Center, if applicable.
This policy covers all undergraduate students, regardless of their college of enrollment. Cases will be heard by school-specific committees according to the school in which the class is listed rather than the school in which the student is enrolled. All violations and sanctions will be reported to the student's college of enrollment.
Individual undergraduate colleges and schools may design specific procedures to resolve allegations of academic misconduct by students in courses offered by that school, so long as the procedures are consistent with this policy and with the Student Conduct Code.
Student Rights and Responsibilities in a Hearing
A student accused of an academic integrity violation — whether by a professor, an assistant in instruction, an academic integrity officer or another student — is entitled to do the following:
- Review the written evidence in support of the charge
- Ask any questions
- Offer an explanation as to what occurred
- Present any material that would cast doubt on the correctness of the charge
- Receive a determination of the validity of the charge without reference to any past record of misconduct
When responding to a charge of academic misconduct, a student may do the following:
- Deny the charges and request a hearing in front of the appropriate academic integrity officer or committee
- Admit the charges and request a hearing to determine sanction(s)
- Admit the charges and accept the imposition of sanctions without a hearing
- Request a leave of absence from the university (however, the academic integrity matter must be resolved prior to re-enrollment)
- Request to withdraw permanently from the university with a transcript notation that there is an unresolved academic integrity matter pending
A student has the following responsibilities with regard to resolving the charge of academic misconduct:
- Admit or deny the charge. This will determine the course of action to be pursued.
- Provide truthful information regarding the charges. It is a Student Conduct Code violation to provide false information to the university or anyone acting on its behalf.
If Found Not in Violation of the Academic Integrity Policy
If the charges of academic misconduct are not proven, no record of the allegation will appear on the student's transcript.
If Found in Violation of the Academic Integrity Policy
If, after a hearing, a student is found to have acted dishonestly or if a student has admitted to the charges prior to a hearing, the school's academic integrity officer or committee may impose sanctions, including but not limited to the following:
- Issue a formal written reprimand
- Impose educational sanctions, such as completing a workshop on plagiarism or academic ethics
- Recommend to the instructor that the student fail the assignment (a given grade is ultimately the prerogative of the instructor)
- Recommend to the instructor that the student fail the course
- Recommend to the instructor that the student receive a course grade penalty less severe than failure of the course
- Place the student on disciplinary probation for a specified period of time or until defined conditions are met. The probation will be noted on the student's transcript and internal record while it is in force.
- In cases serious enough to warrant suspension or expulsion from the university, refer the matter to the Student Conduct Board for consideration.
Additional educational sanctions may be imposed. This list is not intended to be exhaustive.
Withdrawing from the course will not prevent the academic integrity officer or hearing panel from adjudicating the case, imposing sanctions or recommending grade penalties, including a failing grade in the course.
A copy of the sanction letter will be placed in the student's academic file.
If a student believes the academic integrity officer or the committee did not conduct a fair hearing or if a student believes the sanction imposed for misconduct is excessive, they may appeal to the Student Conduct Board within 14 days of the original decision. Appeals are governed by Section VII C of the Student Conduct Code.
Administrative Record-Keeping Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the academic integrity officer in each school to keep accurate, confidential records concerning academic integrity violations. When a student has been found to have acted dishonestly, a letter summarizing the allegation, the outcome and the sanction shall be placed in the student's official file in the office of the school or college in which the student is enrolled.
In addition, each school's academic integrity officer shall make a report of the outcome of every formal accusation of student academic misconduct to the director of Student Conduct and Community Standards, who shall maintain a record of each incident.
When a student is formally accused of academic misconduct and a hearing is to be held by an academic integrity officer, a committee, or the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, the person in charge of administering the hearing shall query the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards about the student(s) accused of misconduct. The director shall provide any information in the records concerning that student to the integrity officer. Such information will be used in determining sanctions only if the student is found to have acted dishonestly in the present case. Evidence of past misconduct may not be used to resolve the issue of whether a student has acted dishonestly in a subsequent case.
Reports to Faculty and Student Body
School and college academic integrity officers are encouraged to make periodic (at least annual) reports to the students and faculty of their school concerning accusations of academic misconduct and the outcomes, without disclosing specific information that would allow identification of the student(s) involved.
For graduate student academic integrity policies, please refer to each individual graduate school.
Students are required to file an Intent to Graduate via WebSTAC prior to the semester in which they intend to graduate. Additional information is available from school dean's offices and the Office of the University Registrar.
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) — Title 20 of the United States Code, Section 1232g, as amended — current and former students of the university have certain rights with regard to their educational records. Washington University's FERPA policy is available via the Office of the University Registrar's website.
All current and former students may request official Washington University transcripts from the Office of the University Registrar via either WebSTAC (if they remember their WUSTL Key) or Parchment (if they do not have or cannot remember their WUSTL Key). Students may print unofficial transcripts for their personal use from WebSTAC. Instructions and additional information are available on the Office of the University Registrar's website.
Washington University does not release nor certify copies of transcripts or other academic documents received from other schools or institutions. This includes test score reports and transcripts submitted to Washington University for purposes of admission or evaluation of transfer credit.