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Course Related Policies

Graduate Course Related Policies and Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities

The Graduate School has prepared this guide in order to provide you with information about graduate course policies, other policies related to graduate study, and relevant on-campus resources. Your syllabus applies specifically to a given course. The following applies in general to your graduate coursework and experience at UMD.

For a complete guide to graduate studies at UMD refer to the Graduate Catalog

For a complete listing of UMD Policies refer to the Office of the President

Download the Graduate Course Related Policies (PDF)

The University is an intellectual community. Its fundamental purpose is the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Like all other communities, the University can function properly only if its members adhere to clearly established goals and values. Essential to the fundamental purpose of the University is the commitment to the principles of truth and academic honesty. The Code of Academic Integrity is designed to ensure that the principle of academic honesty is upheld. While all members of the University community share this responsibility, The Code of Academic Integrity is designed so that special responsibility for upholding the principle of academic honesty lies with students.

Honor Pledge

On every examination, paper or other academic exercise not specifically exempted by the instructor, the student will write by hand and sign the following pledge:

I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this examination.

Failure to sign the pledge is not an honors offense, but neither is it a defense in case of violation of this Code. Students who do not sign the pledge will be given the opportunity to do so. Refusal to sign must be explained to the instructor. Signing or non-signing of the pledge will not be considered in grading or judicial procedures. Material submitted electronically should contain the pledge; submission implies signing the pledge.

On examinations, no assistance is authorized unless given by or expressly allowed by the instructor. On other assignments, the pledge means that the assignment has been done without academic dishonesty, as defined in the Code of Academic Integrity, available online.

The pledge is a reminder that at the University of Maryland students carry primary responsibility for academic integrity because the meaningfulness of their degrees depends on it. Faculty are urged to emphasize the importance of academic honesty and of the pledge as its symbol.

Penalties for Violations of Academic Integrity

Students who are found to have falsified, fabricated, or plagiarized in any context, such as course work, laboratory research, archival research, or thesis / dissertation writing--will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. The Office of Student Conduct has some discretion in determining penalties for violations of the University’s standards of academic integrity, but the normal sanction for a graduate student found responsible for a violation of academic integrity will be dismissal (suspension or expulsion) from the University.

University Policy

University of Maryland Code of Academic Integrity


The Student Honor Council

Office of Student Conduct

Graduate School Writing Center

UM Libraries Reference

Student Legal Aid Office

The purpose of this policy is to set standards of conduct for all students (graduate and undergraduate).

As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards. A complete list of prohibited conduct as well as procedures for resolving allegations of misconduct may be found in the University of Maryland Code of Student Conduct. It is very important for you to familiarize yourself with the policies set forth by the University and be aware of the consequences of violating these policies.

University Policy

V-1.00(B) University of Maryland Code of Student Conduct


Office of Student Conduct

Legal Aid Office

The Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibits a broad range of behaviors including, but not limited to sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking and dating and domestic violence. The Sexual Misconduct Policy also prohibits retaliation against any individual who files a complaint or participates in an investigation under the Policy.

The Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct (OCRSM) responds to all complaints of sexual misconduct. To file a complaint go to OCRSM and under Reporting, complete the online sexual misconduct complaint form. For more information please contact OCRSM by phone at 301-405-1142, or email at

University Policy

VI-1.60(A) University of Maryland Sexual Misconduct Policy & Procedures
Summary of Sexual Misconduct Policy


Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct

For information about the University’s compliance with Title IX as well as other federal and state civil rights laws and regulations.

Office of Student Conduct
Use Anonymous Ask for a safe, anonymous space to ask about the Code of Academic Integrity, the Code of Student Conduct, or any conduct-related questions through the Office’s.

Resident Life, Office of Rights & Responsibilities

Confidential Resources A confidential resource keeps whatever information you share private. The resource provider will not share your information with others. CARE to Stop Violence, 24 hour call/text: 301-741-3442 Campus Chaplains, 301-405-8450 or 301-314-9866 University Counseling Center, 301-314-7651 University Mental Health Services 301-314-8106.

The Non-Discrimination Policy prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of “protected classes.” Protected classes include: race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, and any other legally protected class. The Non-Discrimination Policy also prohibits retaliation against any individual who files a complaint or participates in an investigation under the Policy.

The Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct (OCRSM) responds to all complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on a protected class. To file a complaint go to OCRSM and under Reporting, complete the online complaint form. For more information please contact OCRSM by phone at 301-405-1142, or email

University Policy

VI-1.00(B) University of Maryland Nondiscrimination Policy and Procedures

Summary of Non-Discrimination Policy


Office of Graduate Diversity and Inclusion (OGDI)

Hate Based Incidents Resources and FAQs

Office of Diversity & Inclusion

Office of Civil Rights and Misconduct

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Equity Center

Nyumburu Cultural Center

Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education (OMSE)

The University of Maryland is committed to creating and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive educational, working, and living environment for people of all abilities. The University of Maryland is also committed to the principle that no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of the University, or be subjected to discrimination. The University of Maryland provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals. Reasonable accommodations shall be made in a timely manner and on an individualized and flexible basis.

Discrimination against individuals on the grounds of disability is prohibited. The University also strictly prohibits retaliation against persons arising in connection with the assertion of rights under this Policy.

Accessibility & Disability Service (ADS) facilitates reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals. For assistance in obtaining an accommodation, contact Accessibility and Disability Service at at 301.314.7682, or More information is available from the Counseling Center.

After receiving an Accommodations Letter from ADS, as a student you are expected to meet with each course instructor, in person, to provide them with a copy of the Accommodations Letter and to obtain their signature on the Acknowledgement of Student Request form. You and your instructors will discuss a plan for how the accommodations will be implemented throughout the semester for the course. Specific details regarding the implementation of certain ADS approved accommodations agreed upon between you as the student and the individual course instructor must be documented on an Acknowledgment of Student Request Addendum, signed by the instructor, and submitted to ADS. You as the student are responsible for submitting the signed original forms to ADS and retaining a copy of the signed Acknowledgment of Student Request for your records.

University Policy

VI-1.00(D) University of Maryland Disability & Accessibility Policy and Procedures


Accessibility & Disability Services
Call 301-314-7682 or email at

Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct
Where to file a complaint for students who believe that they have been denied reasonable accommodations.

Excused Absences

An excused absence is an absence for which the student has the right to receive, and the instructor has the responsibility to provide, academic accommodation. Students are expected to take full responsibility for their own academic work and progress. Students, to progress satisfactorily, must meet all of the requirements of each course for which they are registered. Students are expected to attend classes regularly. Consistent attendance offers students the most effective opportunity to gain command of course concepts and materials. Excused absences must be requested promptly and must be supported by appropriate documentation.

Excused absences do not alter the academic requirements for the course. Students are responsible for information and material missed on the day of absence. Students are within reason entitled to receive any materials provided to the class during the absence. Students are responsible for making provision to determine what course material they have missed and for completing required exercises in a timely manner.

Events that justify an excused absence include:

  • Religious observances
  • Mandatory military obligation
  • Illness of the student or illness of an immediate family member
  • Participation in university activities at the request of university authorities
  • Compelling circumstances beyond the student’s control (e.g., death in the family, required court appearance)

Absences stemming from work duties other than military obligation (e.g., unexpected changes in shift assignments) and traffic/transit problems do not typically qualify for excused absence.


To receive academic accommodation for an excused absence the student must notify the instructor in a timely manner. The notification should be provided either prior to the absence or as soon afterwards as possible.

Academic Accommodations

In keeping with the USM III-5.10 Policy Concerning the Scheduling of Academic Assignments on Dates of Religious Observance, “Students shall not be penalized because of observances of their religious holidays and shall be given an opportunity, whenever feasible, to make up within a reasonable time any academic assignment that is missed due to individual participation in religious observances.” For all other excused absences, the student must be provided reasonable accommodation. The accommodation provided should, within reason, neither advantage nor disadvantage either the student or the rest of the class.

Students who miss a substantial number of class sessions or course assignments should seek guidance from an academic advisor with respect to academic options. Extended absences stemming from active military duty are addressed in the USM V-7.00 Policy on Students who are called to Active Military Duty during a National or International Crisis or Conflict. Absences related to a student’s disability are addressed in the VI-1.00(D) University of Maryland Disability & Accessibility Policy and Procedures.

University Policy

V-100(G) University of Maryland Policy on Excused Absence


Medical Excused Absence
Template for a self-signed note for medical excused absence.

Faculty Affairs Handbook
Information on dates where tests and due dates of other significant assessments must not be scheduled

Course and Credit Changes

Graduate School Policy

Exceptions to the published deadlines require a petition to the Graduate School which must include the written approval of the instructor and the Graduate Director of the program. Petitions should be submitted by email to The graduate program stamp must be placed on the change of grading option/credit level form.

Withdrawal from Classes

Graduate School Policy

Arbitrary and capricious grading is constituted by the assignment of a course grade to a student on some basis other than performance in the course, or the assignment of a course grade to a student by unreasonable application of standards different from standards that were applied to other students in that course, or the assignment of a course grade by a substantial and unreasonable departure from the instructor's initially articulated standards.


Policy and Procedures for Review of Alleged Arbitrary and Capricious Grading in Courses

University Policy on Arbitrary and Capricious Grading

Ombuds Office

Graduate School Policy

In order to maintain good academic standing, every graduate student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for all courses taken at the University.

Academic Record

Leave of Absence for Childbearing, Adoption, Serious Health Condition, Dependent Care, or Financial Hardship

Leave of Absence for Military Service

For the Graduate Student Parental Accommodation Policy, which enables students to maintain full-time enrollment status rather than take a leave of absence, see the Parental Accommodation Policy

It is the policy of the University of Maryland to maintain the campus as a place of study and work for students, faculty, and staff in which all parties are expected to uphold the values of the University by conducting themselves in accordance with University policies and procedures. Such an environment must be free of intimidation, fear, coercion, reprisal, harassment, bullying or other unacceptable behaviors. Graduate students can expect to be treated fairly and with dignity and respect as outlined in the VI-1.00(B) University of Maryland Nondiscrimination Policy and Procedures.

The University is an academic and collegial community. Graduate students are subject to a range of policies and procedures relating to academic standards, as well as rules and regulations of behavior set forth by the University and the Office of Student Conduct. Graduate Assistants are subject primarily to the Policy on Graduate Assistantships. If a graduate student believes that they have experienced treatment that is unethical, grossly unjust, uncivil, or otherwise creates a hostile learning or working environment from a faculty member, a staff member, or another student, the student should attempt to resolve the matters locally, collegially, and informally. If the issue has not been resolved to the graduate student’s satisfaction or the treatment cannot be stopped through informal means, the graduate student may elect to file a formal grievance.

Read the full policy.

For links to a wide range of additional services and resources please visit the Graduate School’s Student Support Services.

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