Policies & Procedures

Academic and Professional Integrity Policy


Please review our academic and professional integrity policy. 


Access to Student Academic Records


In accordance with Section 99.3 of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, a student’s academic record as assembled by the Graduate School office and kept in the general files may be reviewed by the student upon written request. The Dean of the Graduate School will review petitions to amend a student’s record. All persons other than the student, the academic advisors, and the personnel of the Graduate School office in pursuance of their normal work assignments are denied access to student records. Potentially valid requests for access (e.g., by police officers or federal agents) are referred to the General Counsel’s Office and/or the Office of Student Records if they are not accompanied by a signed release from the student.

Alcohol Service at Events


Washington University in St. Louis has adopted a Drug and Alcohol Policy reinforcing our commitment to an education, work, living and patient care environment that is free of alcohol and drug abuse. Students have a responsibility to recognize alcohol impairment and the potentially dire social, physiological, and psychological consequences of substance use and abuse. If you have questions regarding the effects of alcohol and drug use and abuse or wish to seek counseling services, please visit the Habif Health and Wellness Center (https://students.wustl.edu/habif-health-wellness-center/) or the WU School of Medicine’s Student and Occupational Health Services (https://wusmhealth.wustl.edu/students/).   

As adults, students are expected to know and abide by all applicable state and federal laws and University policies and procedures. State law makes it illegal for a person under the age of 21 years to purchase, attempt to purchase or possess any intoxicating liquor. Section 311.325 RSMo. Violation can subject an individual to a fine between $50 and $1000 and/or imprisonment for a maximum term of one year. County and municipality ordinances contain similar prohibitions and sanctions. To review specific provisions of applicable ordinances and statues, contact the Office of the General Counsel (935-5152).

Washington University expects its students and community members to exercise responsible decision making if they choose to include alcohol as part of their activities, including making sound judgments about whether, when, and how much to drink.  Individual students are responsible for their own behavior and will be held to University and School policies should their behavior not conform to our standards of conduct.  Individuals may also be referred for criminal prosecution.

If a student organization provides alcohol as part of an event, student organizers share in the responsibility to provide a safe environment for all attendees and must prioritize the safety, health, and well-being of participants when planning and hosting an event.  Student organizations may also be held accountable for the actions of its members through University and School policies.   

Student organizations are expected to follow the guidelines below when hosting events with alcohol.  Individual schools and certain venues retain the discretion to impose additional guidelines on student organizations and events.  If your student organization has questions, contact your School’s Student Affairs office.


  1. Any on or off-campus event sponsored by a recognized student organization of the School or the University as a whole must comply with the Drug and Alcohol Policy of Washington University in St. Louis, the procedures set forth in these Guidelines and all other applicable University policies.
  2. Any on-campus event involving alcohol funded in part by the School that is not sponsored by the School itself must be sponsored by a recognized student organization.
  3. All events with alcohol need to be registered with and approved by the applicable Student Affairs office.  Please note that, depending upon the nature and location of the event, approval from multiple departments within the University or School may be required. Approval for the event should be obtained no less than one week before the event is scheduled to take place.  Failure to obtain approval for an event with alcohol in this time frame will likely lead to the event being rescheduled or canceled.  Events may not be publicized until the event is approved by the applicable Student Affairs office and any other applicable department (e.g., WUPD or Protective Services).
  4. To register your event, an event registration form must be submitted to the applicable Student Affairs office no less than two weeks before the proposed event.


  1. Organizations may not plan events that promote or encourage the consumption of alcohol as the main focus of an event. The theme of all events where alcohol is served must be primarily social, cultural, or educational.  Alcohol may be implied in campus advertising of the event to graduate and professional students, using conventional phrases such as "happy hour" or "cocktail reception", but alcohol may not be the primary focus of an event.
  2. Student Organization events marketed and open to the general public or to undergraduate students are not permitted to include alcohol.
  3. Persons planning events should remember that the vast majority of events at WU take place without alcohol, that most members of the undergraduate community are not of legal drinking age, and that many members of our community do not drink beverages that contain alcohol at all. 
  4. The following are examples of prohibited depictions of excessive alcohol consumption in advertisements or promotions of events:
  • Excessive or underage consumption or use of alcoholic beverages
  • All-you-can-drink activities
  • Drinking games
  • Price specials on alcohol
  • Promotions or prizes featuring alcohol

Event Location

  1. Student organizations should check in advance with the appropriate Student Affairs Office, WUSM Facilities, Danforth Event Management or the appropriate WU office for reservation of specific event locations regarding any separate guidelines (including reservation deadlines) applicable to that space.  Where separate guidelines are applicable and may conflict with the guidelines herein, the more restrictive guidelines should be followed.
  2. When alcohol is permitted, space must be secured (or roped off as is necessary for outdoor locations) to ensure that proper admittance and alcohol distribution can be regulated easily and effectively.
  3. There may be more specific guidelines and restrictions for the use of specific spaces on both the Danforth and Medical Campuses. Be sure to check in advance with the appropriate space reserving office. Contact Event Management (third floor of the Danforth University Center, 935-5234) for an updated list of contacts on the Danforth Campus.

Alcohol Types

  1. Only beer and wine are permitted. 
  2. Hard liquor, including but not limited to grain alcohol, punches or any mixed drinks, is not permitted at events.
  3. Glass bottles are not permitted on campus and are discouraged at off-campus venues.
  4. Kegs or other bulk containers of alcoholic beverages are not permitted.

Food and Alternative Beverages

  1. Food must be provided at all events where alcohol is served. The food options must include plentiful and appetizing non-salty foods that are readily available, free and displayed in an attractive manner.
  2. Non-alcoholic beverages, including water, also should be readily available and free.
  3. The food and non-alcoholic beverages should be replenished several times throughout the program so that they are continuously available.

Distribution of Alcohol

  1. In compliance with Missouri law and University policy, alcohol must be served in a controlled manner and may not be freely accessible. A central point of distribution must be designated to allow for proper identification.  
  2. Alcohol must not leave the confines of the event. The “Responsible Contacts” and security staff are responsible for ensuring alcohol does not leave the event.
  3. Under the law, no one who is under the age of 21 or who is disorderly, disruptive, visibly intoxicated, or known to be a “habitual drunkard” may be served.
  4. Regardless of who is managing distribution, the age of all attendees must be verified.  Acceptable forms of identification are limited to the following: (1) a current driver’s license from any state in the U.S.; (2) a U.S. military identification card; (3) a state of Missouri special identification card; or (4) a passport.  Please note a foreign driver’s license and any other state special identification card are not acceptable forms of identification.
  5. If the server is not checking IDs before serving each drink, and if persons under 21 are permitted at the event, those guests who are 21 years of age or older must be designated with a wristband or otherwise in a clear manner that is not easily replicated. For example, it is not permissible to mark hands with a marker or pen.       
  6. Those who serve alcohol and those who check proof of age and identification for any event may not consume or be under the influence of alcohol during the event.
  7. Only one drink at a time may be served to each person.  Each drink is not to exceed 12 ounces of beer or 5 ounces of wine.  Guests are limited to a total maximum of one drink for each hour of the event (e.g., if the event lasts 3 hours, the guest may be served 3 drinks over the entirety of the event).   
  8. Alcohol distribution must conclude 30 minutes before the event ends.
  9. Options for distribution must be discussed with and approved by the applicable Student Affairs office.  Depending upon the nature and location of the event, options may include:
    1. Student Organization Servers:  Student organization members may order, set up, and control distribution of the alcohol at the event independently in compliance with these guidelines if attendance is less than 40 guests, including members of the sponsoring organization(s).  Prior to the event, the student organization must designate which member(s) will act as Server(s).  Servers must always be present at the location where the alcohol is provided in order to monitor guests’ consumption and ensure that no persons under 21 receive alcohol.  The practice of “self-serve,” in which individual guests serve themselves from a common container or source, is prohibited.
    2. Third-Party Bartender:  Student members may purchase alcohol and a third-party bartending company with the requisite liquor license or permit may set-up and control the distribution of the alcohol at the event.  Bartenders will be responsible for checking the identification of the guests.
    3. Third-Party Caterer: Student organizations may contract with a third-party vendor with the requisite insurance and liquor license or permit (such as Bon Appetit or Aramark) to acquire, set-up and control distribution of alcohol at the event, including checking the identification of the guests.
  • Some University event spaces require a third-party caterer to be used for service of alcohol or food.  Check policies or guidelines in advance with the applicable Student Affairs office, WUSM Facilities, Danforth Event Management, or the appropriate WU office.
  • If there is any possibility that event attendees may be under 21, student organizers must use options b or c to distribute alcohol.
  • If alcohol is offered for sale (e.g. cash bar), admission is charged, or donations are solicited to attend the event, or money is otherwise changing hands between the guests and the organization for the event (e.g., charge for cups or glasses, charge for tickets), distribution of alcohol may only be provided through option c.  
  1. Off-campus events:  If an event is held at a venue off-campus and alcohol is being provided by the student organization, the student organization must use option c, unless such service is provided by the venue.  The owner of the event space must assume liability for the event, and the owner or caterer must have the requisite liquor permit and acceptable liability insurance.  Organizations should check with the applicable Student Affairs office to ensure all requirements are understood.
  2. The selling of alcohol may not be a fundraiser for the sponsoring organization.

Drinking Games and Other Games of Chance

  1. There may be no games of chance, drinking games, contests, or other similar activities that induce, encourage, or result in the consumption of alcohol.  Examples include but are not limited to beer pong, flip cup, quarters, or other games where binge drinking is encouraged.

Responsible Contacts

  1. At least one individual from the student organization per 25 attendees must be designated as the Responsible Contact(s) for the event. More Responsible Contacts may be required based on the size, type, and location of the event. Training for those wanting to serve as responsible contacts is available through the applicable Student Affairs office. 
  2. Responsible contacts are not to consume or be under the influence of any alcohol prior to or during any portion of the event, including set-up and clean-up.  The responsible contacts must remain the same individuals throughout the entire event. The contacts are responsible for overseeing and ensuring the safety of the event, the distribution of alcohol, and the implementation of this policy throughout the entire event.
  3. Responsible contacts are required to introduce themselves to the security guards, venue representative, and Washington University Protective Services. One responsible contact should serve as the primary liaison with these individuals/agencies.
  4. Responsible contacts should monitor the consumption of alcohol by guests and take appropriate action by calling the police for EMS if any guest displays signs of intoxication and needs medical attention.
  5. The responsible contacts must end an event where these guidelines are not being followed or other significant problems arise jeopardizing the security of the event or safety of students. Security staff, WUPD or Protective Services should be available to assist in closing down an event per the contacts’ request. University staff may close an event at any time if the security of the event is jeopardized or the safety of students is at risk. A university staff representative may be required to attend large scale events.

Attendance and Proper ID Identification

  1. For participants who intend to consume alcohol, they must show proof of minimum drinking age by presenting a government-issued, photo identification.  Washington University identification, with valid driver’s licenses or state/federal issued identification cards may be checked at the point of entrance. Fake identification will be confiscated, and the student risks student conduct disciplinary action and/or a referral to off-campus law enforcement authorities.
  2. A line for admission should be in a well-lit area and well-organized. A security guard may be responsible for checking for proof of legal age and affixing wristbands.

Guest Policy

  1. At events where guests are permitted, each Washington university student is allowed to bring one guest and is responsible for the conduct of his or her guest. Guests must enter with their hosts.
  2. Guest misconduct could lead student conduct disciplinary action for the Washington University student, and the guest could be subject to prosecution off-campus. Verification of age and identity will be required of all attendees at the entrance to the event (driver’s license or state/federal issued identification card).

Washington University Police Department (WUPD) or WUSM Protective Services

  1. The Washington University Police Department or WUSM Protective Services should be notified of all on-campus programs where alcohol has been requested and may require the presence of officers, security guards or the implementation of other security measures. Costs associated with security will be the responsibility of the sponsoring organization.


  1. Private security guards may be required to assist with the safety of participants and security of facility when total attendance involves more than 100 attendees, as determined by WUPD or the WUSM Protective Services. For all events requiring security, student organizations should anticipate that a minimum ratio of three guards plus one additional guard for every 50 attendees may be required. The sponsoring organization is responsible for contacting and arranging for guards or ensuring the venue provides appropriate security staff.
  2. WUPD or WUSM Protective Services should be involved in the planning for the most effective use of the contract security contingent prior to the event.  An example of how guards may be stationed is as follows:  At least one guard is stationed at the main entrance of the event to check for Washington University student identification, monitor guest policy, and help determine if anyone appearing to be intoxicated should be refused entry. A second guard would be assigned to the point of alcohol distribution and, depending on the security services provided, monitor or could check identification for proof of legal age and may assist with pulling drink tabs from wristbands, if applicable. Other guards would serve as a roamer and would be responsible for monitoring legal drinking, access to event space and monitoring all entrances. Additional guards may be required based on the nature of the event and expected attendance. Security costs are the responsibility of the sponsoring organization.
  3. Security staff will come from a licensed and bonded security company; however, some off-campus venues may prefer to have their own staff serve in this capacity.  The security guards, bartender, caterer, or designated organization members (depending on the nature of the event) are required to verify the age of each participant with identification that provides the date of birth. If the event is held outside, or in an unsecured area, distinct identification (such as wristband or stamp) is required to identify attendees 21 years and over; this is to ensure that those passing through an event do not receive alcohol.

Post-Event Cleanup of the Event with Alcohol

  1. For any event on campus where alcohol is being served, the student organization planning the event must plan for custodial services when the space reservation is made. Service requests should include additional trash cans and recycling bins. Large events must-have cleaning staff during the hours of the event to remove trash and clean restroom facilities. All expenses are the responsibility of the sponsoring organization.


  1. The sponsoring group will be held accountable for any and all violations of this policy. Sanctions for a violation may include but are not limited to, loss of space reservation privileges, loss of University student group registration, or other sanctions pursuant to the University Judicial Code (http://www.wustl.edu/policies/judicial.html)



Any on or off-campus event sponsored by a recognized graduate professional student group (registered by ProGradS or recognized by one of the eight schools) must comply with the Drug and Alcohol Policy of Washington University in St. Louis if it involves alcohol. Any on-campus event involving alcohol must have a recognized sponsoring group.

    View Drug and Alcohol Policy

    Bias-Related University Policies

    Change of Student Status


    Your student status may be changed by:

    • change in full-time/part-time status
    • degree completion
    • leave
    • withdrawal
    • other


    Please be aware that a change in student status may affect:​​​​

    • support/fellowship/external funds (NSF, for example)
    • tuition scholarships
    • student health insurance
    • immigration status
    • student loan deferral
    • income tax
    • university-owned housing
    • federal work study
    • possibly other aspects of your life

    Consensual Relationships

    Approved by University Council, November 2017

    Romantic or Sexual Relationships Between Faculty, Staff or Students

    Policy Statement

    When one partner to a consensual romantic, dating or sexual relationship holds a position of academic or professional authority with respect to the other partner in connection with their University roles, the potential may exist for favoritism, breach of trust, abuse of power, or conflicts of interest. Such situations may also raise questions concerning the consensual nature of the relationship.

    To avoid those potential concerns, the University requires that when a consensual relationship exists or has existed in which one partner currently holds a position of academic or professional authority with respect to the other partner in connection with their University roles, the partners must promptly report the situation to their supervisor, department chair or dean and arrangements must be made to eliminate the position of authority.

    For purposes of this policy, a person holds a “position of academic or professional authority” in situations including, but not limited to, those in which that partner controls or has influence over the other’s employment, assignments, evaluation, recommendation, compensation, discipline, admission, coursework, grading, financial aid, research funding, extracurricular participation, dissertation supervision, and other forms of control or influence over academic or professional matters.


    The University prohibits consensual relationships between undergraduate students and faculty members, and between undergraduate students and employees in administrative or staff roles having broad authority over undergraduate students (e.g., deans and other senior administrators, coaches, academic advisors), regardless of whether the faculty or employee holds a specific position of academic or professional authority with respect to the student.

    Noncompliance with Policy

    Violation of this policy may result in a range of remedial and disciplinary actions, including but not limited to mandatory training or counseling, reprimand, probation, suspension, loss of privileges, demotion, expulsion, dismissal or termination. 

    Faculty Rights

    Nothing in this policy is intended to abridge the rights of faculty as outlined in the Washington University Policy on Academic Freedom, Responsibility, and Tenure.

    Related Resources

    See Employment of Relatives policy in the Employee Handbook and the Discrimination and Harassment policy.

    Please contact the Office of Human Resources, Apryle Cotton for questions about this policy.

    View Discrimination and Harassment Policy

    Courses & Grades


    Since the beginning of the 1982-1983 academic year, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ departments and programs have graded coursework on a for credit scale of A, B, C, D, S (Satisfactory), and F, including pluses and minuses. Audit grades are L (successful audit) and Z (unsuccessful audit). Other auxiliary marks are S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory), I (Incomplete), X (no final examination), R (Repeat), and N (no grade reported).

    Zero-unit LGS 9xxx courses will have only the satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade option. A successful grade (S) will be assigned to these courses when a student is approved for subsequent registration, the student completes the degree, or with the Graduate School Dean’s approval of a special grade report submitted by the student’s advisor.

    Units taken for the credit option of S or for the S/U option successfully will count in cumulative units for the graduate degree but do not calculate into the GPA. Graduate students should maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Some graduate degree programs may require their students to have higher minimum cumulative grade point averages in order to graduate with their degrees.

    Students are expected not to carry at one time any more than 9 units of incomplete, N, or X grades. The Graduate School may deny a student with more than 9 unfinished units permission to register. Incomplete grades are considered permanent incompletes if a grade has not been submitted after one calendar year.

    Undergraduate courses (399 and below), University College courses, and courses taken for pass/fail or audit grade options do not count in cumulative units toward any graduate degree. Graduate courses (400 and above) taken in other graduate divisions of the University will count in cumulative units unless specified otherwise by the student’s home department or program.

    Grade Scale

    The following scale is used in the calculation of GPAs:

    A+    4.0

    A      4.0

    A-    3.7

    B+    3.3

    B     3.0

    B-    2.7

    C+    2.3

    C     2.0

    Dissenting Vote(s)

    Dissenting Vote(s) at a Dissertation Defense

    Faculty members of the Dissertation Examination Committee normally will examine the student candidate and vote to approve the dissertation. In the vast majority of cases these votes are unanimously for approval. In the rare case that there are faculty concerns that can not be resolved through subsequent revisions, and which therefore result in dissenting (negative) vote(s), the Committee Chair will refer the case to the Graduate Dean for resolution. In the case of a single dissenting vote, the Committee Chair and the dissenting voter will be asked to explain the reasons for the dissent in a letter to the Graduate Dean. After consulting with these and other members of the Committee, the Graduate Dean may then decide to accept the majority opinion and approve the Dissertation, or may seek the opinion of an additional reader. After considering this additional evidence, the Graduate Dean may approve, or may decline to approve, the Dissertation. In the case of two or more dissenting votes, the Committee Chair and the dissenting voters will again be asked to explain the reasons for the dissent. The Dean may then decide to decline to approve the Dissertation, or to ask the Department or Graduate Program to name a Resolution Committee, consisting of three tenured or tenure-track professors at Washington University or elsewhere who did not serve on the original committee, to reexamine the Dissertation and the candidate. A unanimous positive recommendation from this committee will be required in order for the Dean to approve the Dissertation. Failure of a Department or Graduate Program to identify three faculty members to serve on this Resolution Committee will be tantamount to a rejection of the Dissertation.

    --Approved by the Graduate Council, April 26, 2007

    Enrollment Status

    Full-Time Status

    Students enrolled for 9 or more units per semester are full-time students. Students enrolled in LGS 9000 Full-time Graduate Research/Study or LGS 9001 Full-time Graduate Research/Study in Absentia also have full-time status. Full-time status incurs the mandatory student health fee, defers student loans, and is required for internationals on student visas and also for those receiving University funding in the form of Fellowships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, etc.

    Part-Time Status

    Students taking between 1 and 8 units of coursework who are not also registered for Full-time Graduate Research/Study do not qualify for full-time student status.

    Interdisciplinary Opportunities

    Interdisciplinary Courses

    PhD students can discuss with their advisers individual courses available outside of their school that may advance their research or professional goals. A university tuition agreement signed by all of the deans of the university's graduate and professional schools fosters interdisciplinary study across the schools and allows enrollment in classes outside of the student's home school. Many undergraduate and graduate courses are available for graduate student enrollment, subject to the following eligibility guidelines:

    • Students must be enrolled full-time in graduate degree programs and have the approval of their faculty adviser or administrative officer to take a course outside of their home school.
    • Courses will be open to students outside of the discipline only if the students have met the required prerequisites and have the approval of both of their department and the course instructor.
    • Finally, courses in the evening divisions, including University College and its Summer School, are not part of this agreement. Courses that require individualized instruction and/or additional fees (e.g., independent studies, individual music lessons) are also excluded. 

    Joint and Dual Degree Programs

    The university has set up numerous programs that permit students to earn two graduate and/or professional degrees at the same time. One of these programs includes a PhD:

    • Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD in various disciplines)

    The Graduate School uses the term joint degree to refer to programs in which one or more credit units are counted toward both degrees. The Graduate School uses the term dual degree to refer to programs in which no credit units are counted 20 toward both degrees. Interested students must apply to and be admitted by each degree program separately, but ideally all applications should be made before beginning graduate or professional study. Joint and dual degrees are ordinarily conferred simultaneously, after all of the requirements for both degrees have been met.

    Students wishing to pursue joint or dual degrees other than these may be permitted to do so, but such requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Admission to an individualized joint degree program between two Graduate School disciplines on the Danforth Campus must be recommended by the directors of graduate studies for both disciplines and approved by the dean of the Graduate School. Admission to an individualized joint degree program involving another school of the university must be recommended by the directors of graduate studies for both disciplines and approved by the deans of both schools. Recommendations should address a variety of academic and administrative concerns, including the timeline for the completion of both degrees and the responsibility for funding the student and remitting the tuition. Students should not undertake study toward an individualized joint degree program until it has been fully approved.

    Inter-University Exchange Classes



    Students who wish to suspend their graduate study should apply for a leave of absence by filling out the appropriate leave of absence form.  A student’s application for a leave of absence must be endorsed by the degree program and then approved by the Graduate School. A leave will not be granted for less than one semester or for more than one calendar year. If a student requests a leave of absence beyond one year, the student’s status will be reviewed to determine whether an extended leave will be approved.

    A leave, with its loss of student status, may have implications in many areas which should be considered. These may include:

    • Student Health Insurance
    • Student loans and loan deferment
    • Legal status for F-1 and J-1 student visas
    • Student funding (fellowships, etc.)
    • The right to rent University-owned housing
    • Access to University facilities

    If students will need to use Olin Library during the leave, this can be arranged by having their department send an email to the Circulation Library requesting their access to the library for the period of the leave.

    Types of Leaves

    • Students requiring a leave of absence for family/dependent care, military service or other personal reasons should fill out the Leave of Absence form. 
    • Students needing a medical leave of absence should fill out the Medical Leave of Absence form after consulting with the appropriate Health Services office their campus.
    • Full-time graduate students in Arts & Sciences, including PhD students in Engineering, Business, and Social Work, may request a New Child Leave to assume care for a new child.

    Returning from Leave

    • At the end of any leave of absence, a student is reinstated into the Graduate School under the conditions prevailing at the time the leave was granted.
    • All students returning from leave or medical leave must submit a Request for Reinstatement form to their department or program.
    • There will be no reinstatement fee for students returning from approved leaves.

    Please Note

    • Benefits and funding support will vary by school. Please refer to the policies of your home department
    • All international students should consult with the Office of International Students & Scholars before applying for a leave of absence to determine how it may impact their visa status

    Involuntary Leave

    Adopted August 18, 2014

    Policy Statement

    The primary goals of this Involuntary Leave Policy ("Policy") are to protect the well-being and safety of University students and the University community and to preserve the integrity of the University's academic, residential and administrative functions. 

    This Policy is not intended to replace disciplinary actions taken in response to violations of other University policies, including the University Judicial Code (UJC). A student who commits a violation of any University policy before taking voluntary leave or being placed on involuntary leave may be required to defend such charges before being considered for re-admission. Temporary suspension may also be issued in accordance with the UJC. 

    Examples of circumstances where this Policy may be invoked include suicidal threats; self-starvation or purging behavior; substance abuse or addiction; threats of harm to self or others; or disturbing, disruptive or destructive behavior. This Policy will not be invoked unless the student's behavior is of such a serious nature that the continued presence of the student at the University is judged to threaten the safety, well-being or health of that student and/or others in the Washington University community, or the ability of that student or others to engage in customary functions and activities at the University. 

    Policy Procedures

     The Vice Chancellor for Students, the Dean of any school or the designees of any of the aforementioned (referred to herein as "Administrator") may be alerted to a student's inappropriate behavior from a variety of sources on campus including the student's advisor, a college dean, student services staff, health care providers, or other faculty members. If the Administrator deems it appropriate, the following procedures may be initiated. 


    Whenever possible, the Administrator will notify the student that involuntary leave is under consideration and attempt to meet with the student to discuss his or her behavior. The Administrator will provide the student with a copy of this Policy. During the meeting, the Administrator may choose to encourage the student to take a voluntary leave of absence, thereby eliminating the need to complete the procedures for involuntary leave. If the Administrator believes that the student's well-being may be in imminent danger, he or she may proceed with a case conference without notifying and/or meeting with the student. 

    Assembly of Case Conference Committee

    If the student is unable or chooses not to meet with the Administrator, or if the student chooses not to take a voluntary leave of absence and the Administrator still believes that involuntary leave may be appropriate, the Administrator will convene a Case Conference Committee ("Committee") of appropriate individuals or their designates to conduct a case conference regarding the need for an involuntary leave of absence. The Committee may include: o The Dean of the student's School.

    • Associate/Assistant Dean of the student’s School 
    • Assistant/Associate Vice Chancellors for Students 
    • Judicial Administrator 
    • Director of the Habif Health & Wellness Center 
    • Director of Mental Health Services 
    • Chief of Police 
    • Director of the Office of International Students & Scholars 
    • University Counsel 
    • The student's Advisor(s) and/or Director of Graduate Studies 
    • Professors, instructors, or staff who have observed the student's behavior of concern 

    Committee Consideration

    The Administrator should convene a Case Conference as soon as possible. During this conference, the Committee should address whether and to what extent the student engages in or is judged to be likely to engage in, the behavior described in this Policy. Where deemed necessary by the Committee to facilitate a more informed recommendation, the Committee may consult with other University administrators, faculty or staff familiar with the student. The Committee may seek additional information from the student or enlist the assistance of other University faculty or staff members familiar with the student to consult with the student on behalf of the Committee. If contacted, the student may refuse to provide information, but such refusal shall not limit the right of the Committee to make a recommendation under this Policy, nor limit the right of the University to mandate an involuntary leave. 

    Committee Recommendation

    Following the Case Conference and the review of relevant information, the Committee will make a written recommendation to the Administrator. In lieu of recommending involuntary leave, the Committee may make recommendations as to other conditions and/or requirements under which the student may remain at the University. 


    After review of the Committee's recommendation, the Administrator will decide whether to mandate an involuntary leave of absence, to mandate other requirements if the student remains at the University, or to permit the student to remain at the University with no additional requirements. The Administrator will give the student a written notice of this decision. This notice will provide (1) a brief summary of the reasons for the decision, (2) the duration of the leave or a description of the requirements for the student to remain on campus, and (3) the steps that the student must take to request readmission if involuntary leave is invoked. The Administrator may notify a parent or guardian, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act ("FERPA"). Pursuant to FERPA, the Administrator may also notify a spouse or partner upon obtaining the student's consent. Where an involuntary leave is mandated, the student must leave campus within the time frame established in the notice. In that event, the student's parent(s), guardian(s) or other persons may be asked to make arrangements for the safe removal of the student from the University community. 

    Option of Voluntary Leave

    At any time prior to the Administrator's decision, the student may choose to take voluntary leave. The University expects students to notify family members when they voluntarily withdraw from the University. However, when permitted by FERPA, the University retains the discretion to notify parents, guardians, spouses or partners if the student chooses to leave. 

    Transcripts & Tuition

    Leave may have an effect on academic grades, credits and access to University housing or other facilities. Tuition, financial aid, and housing costs will be refunded in accordance with University policy. Regardless of whether the leave is voluntary or involuntary, the following notation will be made on the student's transcript: "Leave of Absence." When involuntary leave is not mandated, but a student is required to fulfill certain requirements to remain on campus, no notation will be made on the transcript. 

    Safety and Security

    In cases involving serious and imminent threat to the safety, well being or health of the student or other members of the campus community, or to the ability of others in the University community to conduct their customary University functions and activities, the Administrator may take immediate action to remove the student from the University community. In such event, the Administrator may immediately notify the student's parent, guardian, spouse, partner, or other relevant individuals in accordance with FERPA. The parent, guardian or other people may be asked to make arrangements for the safe removal of the student from the University community pending a decision on involuntary leave. 

    Request for Re-Enrollment

    When a student is placed on involuntary leave or accepts voluntary leave, a letter from the Administrator to the student will outline the conditions for re-enrollment. Conditions for re-enrollment are at the discretion of the Administrator. If the leave was for health or medical reasons, the Administrator will work with the Director of Health Services or his/her designate to formulate appropriate conditions of return, which may include requirements and/or guidance regarding treatment. A copy of this letter will be forwarded to the Academic Dean of the student's College or School and, where health-related, to the Director of the Habif Health & Wellness Center. 

    When a student's voluntary or involuntary leave is not health-related, the procedures to request re-enrollment will be outlined in the Administrator's letter. 

    The following process will guide re-enrollment for all students taking an involuntary or voluntary leave of absence for a health-related reason: 

    1. The student must contact in writing both the Academic Dean and the Director of the Habif Health & Wellness Center to request re-enrollment between June 1 and July 1for the upcoming fall semester or November 1 and December 1 for the spring semester. 

    2. The student's health status must be reviewed by the Director of the Habif Health & Wellness Center or his/her designate. As part of the review, the student may be asked to present written evidence that the student has been evaluated and completed follow-up measures recommended by the student's treating health care professional. This evidence may include a recitation of the health care professional's credentials, a description of their contact with the student, the evaluation method, the diagnosis, the recommended follow-up measures and the student's efforts to complete them. The student's efforts to complete those follow-up measures will be evaluated to determine whether the student used the time away from the University to address the issues that led to the separation and to acquire skills to facilitate a successful return to the University. 

    3. A recommendation regarding medical eligibility for re-enrollment will be made by the Director of the Habif Health & Wellness Center or his/her designate and forwarded to the student's Academic Dean and the Administrator. The Academic Dean, in consultation with the Administrator, will determine academic eligibility for re-enrollment and will communicate in writing the final decision and any conditions to the student. 

    Appeal of Administrator Decision

    A student may submit, within 24 hours of receiving the written decision from the Administrator, a written appeal to the Provost who will review the written record only. A decision to affirm or reverse the Administrator's decision will be rendered within 48 hours. The decision of the Administrator will be affirmed if supported by substantial information appearing in the record of the case. The decision of the Provost is final. 


    The University will strive to protect, to the greatest extent possible, the confidentiality of students involved in matters of voluntary or involuntary leave. Because the University has an obligation to preserve the security of its community, the University cannot guarantee complete confidentiality where it would conflict with the University's obligation to investigate meaningfully matters which may threaten a student's health or safety or the safety and security of the University community. When some disclosure of the University's information or sources is necessary, that disclosure will be limited to the extent possible. Medical records of a student will be protected in accordance with the Washington University Habif Health & Wellness Center Notice of Privacy Practices. The University will, to the extent permitted by law, keep confidential all records of Committee reviews. The records maintained by the Case Conference Committee will be available only to the Administrator and other University officials in accordance with FERPA. All records will be destroyed after a period of ten (10) years from the date of final decision on involuntary leave or the student's decision to take voluntary leave or ten years from the date of graduation or last semester of enrollment.

    Leave of Absence (LOA)

    Students who wish to suspend their graduate study should apply for a leave of absence by filling out the appropriate leave of absence form.  A student’s application for a leave of absence must be endorsed by the degree program and then approved by the Graduate School. A leave will not be granted for less than one semester or for more than one calendar year. If a student requests a leave of absence beyond one year, the student’s status will be reviewed to determine whether an extended leave will be approved.

    Enrollment Status

    No Enrollment Status

    Course Code

    Milestone (not course)


    • Academic & funding clock pause
    • Student submits the form to their department; department submits the form to Graduate School
    • National Student Clearinghouse is notified of leave
    • Approval required from the department and Graduate School
    • LOAs are not counted as part of the student's program length 

    Student Considerations

    • Students who are enrolled in the health/dental insurance plan may retain coverage through the end of the policy year if the LOA is taken after the first 30 days of the fall semester
    • Arts & Sciences will not provide stipend support 
    • Depending on the date of the leave, students may or may not receive insurance subsidies

    Returning from Leave

    • At the end of any leave of absence, a student is reinstated into the Graduate School under the conditions prevailing at the time the leave was granted.
    • There will be no reinstatement fee for students returning from approved leaves.


    • Benefits and funding support will vary by school. Please refer to the policies of your home department
    • All international students should consult with the Office of International Students & Scholars before applying for a leave of absence to determine how it may impact their visa status



    Medical Leaves of Absence (MLOA)

    The purpose of medical leave (MLOA) is to allow students to suspend their studies for the treatment of a condition which interferes with their ability to be successful in their graduate program. All medical leaves must be recommended by the Health Services serving your program. Once you have secured the recommendation, please fill out the Medical Leave of Absence form.

    Enrollment Status

    No Enrollment Status

    Course Code

    Milestone (not course)


    • Academic & funding clock pause
    • Student submits the form to their department; department submits the form to Graduate School
    • National Student Clearinghouse is notified of leave
    • Both approval for the leave and reinstatement following the leave require a recommendation from Student Health Services
    • MLOAs are not counted as part of the student's program length 

    Student Considerations

    • Students may retain health/dental insurance based on enrollment of the previous team or if the student was enrolled for 30 days prior to the approval of the MLOA
    • Arts & Sciences will not provide stipend support 
    • Depending on the date of the leave, students may or may not receive insurance subsidies

    Procedures for Returning from Medical Leave

    Clearance from your Health Services office is required for return from medical leave.

    When you feel ready to return, please complete the two items numbered below to request consideration for reinstatement to Washington University.  Health Services requires all documentation be submitted between November 1 and December 1 for Spring semester returns, and between June 1 and July 1 for Fall semester returns. 

    1. Complete and return a Request for Reinstatement form to your department or program; 

     2. Have the physician/therapist who treated you while you were on leave provide to the Director of your Health Services area, a detailed accounting of your treatment that includes:

         a. your diagnosis;

         b. medications, dosage, length of time on this medication, and how long you have been stable on that dosage;

         c. why the physician/therapist feels you are ready to return to school;

         d. knowledge of any classes you have taken or employment you have maintained while you were on leave.

    This detailed accounting of your treatment is required so that the Director can best advise our office as to whether you are up to the rigors associated with your return to graduate studies.  The information provided by your physician/therapist is a confidential communication with Health Services and is not shared with our office.  Your physician/therapist may fax this information to either Student Health Services at (314) 935-8515 for Danforth campus students or to (314) 362-0058 for students on the Medical campus.  After the information is received, further consultation with your physician/therapist may be necessary before the Health Services Director can make an accurate recommendation. 

    Please send your request for reinstatement consideration to our office, AND your physician’s/therapist’s detailed accounting of your treatment to the appropriate Health Services office.  You must have clearance and a recommendation from Health Services for your return before our office can approve/deny your request for reinstatement.  Our office will advise you of our reinstatement decision as soon as possible.


    • Benefits and funding support will vary by school. Please refer to the policies of your home department
    • All international students should consult with the Office of International Students & Scholars before applying for a leave of absence to determine how it may impact their visa status



    Students requesting a Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA) must first contact Student Health Services.

    New Child Leave

    Full-time graduate students in Arts & Sciences, including PhD students in Engineering, Business, and Social Work, may request a New Child Leave to assume care for a new child. They should maintain full-time student status. Students on new Child Leave are not expected to participate in mentored teaching or research experience for up to 60 calendar days while they receive their current stipend support. Additional time off without receiving a stipend for up to a full semester will ordinarily be granted by the Graduate School if approved by the student’s Department.

    Unlike the leaves of absence discussed above, new child leave does not affect the student’s full-time status and will not appear on the student’s transcript. New child leave must be taken within the first year after the child’s birth or adoption. Students should contact their department to request a New Child Leave.

    To whatever extent is possible, a new child leave’s beginning and ending dates should coincide with those of the academic term (fall, spring, or summer).  If longer periods of leave are desired, students will be expected to apply for a Leave of Absence.  Students who receive support from external agencies should consult the policies and guidelines of the sponsor.

    Enrollment Status

    Full-time Enrollment

    Course Code

    Any full-time graduate registration


    • Academic & funding clock does not stop
    • Student notifies their department and department submits form to the Graduate School
    • Student does not participate in research or teaching activities while on New Child Leave

    Student Considerations

    • Provides 60 calendar days of paid leave
    • Students maintain health insurance


    • Benefits and funding support will vary by school. Please refer to the policies of your home department
    • All international students should consult with the Office of International Students & Scholars before applying for a leave of absence to determine how it may impact their visa status

    My Trips: International Travel Registry

    Travel Registry

    The university is launching a new policy for registering international travel. Beginning March 15, registration will be required for all university-related travel outside the U.S.

    View my Trips 

    Part-Time Employment


    Part-time Employment of Full-time Graduate Students


    Probation & Dismissal for Academic Reasons

    Registration & Enrollment

    Students newly admitted to the Graduate School receive from the University Registrar information on creating a WUSTL Key that is used to register for courses online via WebSTAC during open registration periods. All registrations require online approval by the student's faculty adviser and are monitored by the Graduate School.

    Regular Enrollment

    Students admitted to a PhD program in the Graduate School must maintain full-time continuous enrollment throughout the published length of their programs. Most of our PhD programs will be completed within five or six years. During those years students will be considered full-time if they are:

    • registered for 9 or more course units or
    • registered in a zero-unit course (LGS 9000 Full-time Graduate Research/Study or LGS 9001 Full-time Graduate Study in Absentia) that indicates the student's full-time engagement in research or academic writing.

    Students will be administratively registered in LGS 9000 based on recommendations from their advisers stating the students are making satisfactory progress toward their degrees.

    During a student's period of regular registration, they may have a need or opportunity to study away from Washington University. Recommendations from departments for students' registration in absentia will be considered by the Graduate School on a case-by-case basis. If approved by the Graduate School, these will be registered for LGS 9001 Full-time Graduate Study in Absentia. Students may be allowed to register for LGS 9001 for up to four consecutive or non-consecutive fall/spring semesters. Semesters in which a student is registered in absentia are counted as part of the student's program length.

    Full-time students registered within their program length and making satisfactory academic progress will receive full funding, tuition remission, and the 90 percent health insurance and wellness fee subsidies. Tuition each semester will be calculated based on the number of registered course units.

    Enrollment Extension

    Students may be permitted to register for one additional year beyond their program length. When recommended by their department and approved by the Graduate School, these students will be registered in a zero-unit course LGS 9002 Full-time Graduate Study Extension which confers full-time enrollment status. Students registered for LGS 9002 may or may not receive stipend support, but will receive other benefits available to full-time PhD students in the Graduate School including health insurance and wellness fee subsidies.

    Students may be registered for LGS 9002 for a maximum of two semesters. There will be no exceptions to this limit. Students who do not complete their programs within this time limit must either withdraw from the program or be designated as Degree Candidacy Extended.

    Degree Candidacy Extended

    Upon the recommendation of their departments and the approval of the Graduate School, students who do not complete their PhD degrees after the one-year enrollment extension may remain doctoral candidates for up to five years. Departmental recommendations and Graduate School approval are required for each year of extended degree candidacy. Extended degree candidates are not registered for any courses, have no enrollment status, and receive none of the benefits available to registered Washington University students, including student loan deferment. International students are not eligible for Degree Candidacy Extended status.

    Part-Time Students

    PhD candidates are not admitted as part-time students, and non-resident status will no longer be available to indicate part-time status. Part-time status will be calculated strictly on the basis of registration in fewer than 9 course units without LGS 9000 registration and will be permitted only in extraordinary circumstances.



    A student who has left the Graduate School for a period of time or has neglected to register for more than two semesters must apply for reinstatement. The reinstatement form must be endorsed by the student's department or program, signed by the department chair, and submitted four weeks prior to the start of the semester. A reinstatement fee will be charged based on the length of time the student was absent.

    A reinstatement from an approved medical leave of absence requires clearance from Student Health Services before it can be processed.

    Residency Requirement

    Master's Degree

    The residence requirement for master’s degree students is that each student must spend at least one academic year registered for full-time credits (9-12 in the Fall followed by 9-12 in the Spring) at Washington University. Any exceptions to this requirement must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. All daytime programs prefer that students remain full-time and in residence throughout their work toward the degree.


    Each student must spend at least one academic year enrolled full-time at Washington University. Any exceptions must be approved by the dean of the Graduate School.

    Retake a Course


    Graduate students may be allowed to retake a course with departmental or program permission.   The department has the authority to refuse the student's request and will not feel obligated to grant permission after the fact, if the student has enrolled on the assumption that the R will be granted automatically. 

    If permission to retake a course is granted, both registrations will show on the transcript.  The grade in the first enrollment will always be replaced by the symbol R regardless of whether or not it is lower or equal to the original grade.  The grade and units in the second enrollment will be used to calculate the GPA.  The grade in the first enrollment will not be replaced with an R until the second enrollment is completed and the second grade has posted. 

    No student may use the retake option to replace a grade received as a sanction for violation of the Academic Integrity Policy.  The R option may be invoked only once per course and the course must be retaken for the same grade option as the course originally was taken.

    Student Grievance


    From time to time, students may feel that they have legitimate complaints regarding academic matters or an interaction with a faculty member. It is important that students and faculty have a common understanding of how such complaints may be expressed and resolved. Students with complaints regarding academic matters should initially seek resolution from their faculty advisor, then from their Director of Graduate Studies, and finally the Chair of their degree program. Complaints which remain unresolved may be addressed to any of the deans in their School. The final court of appeal for all Ph.D. students at Washington University and for all graduate students in Arts & Sciences is the Dean of the Graduate School.


    Jessica Kuchta-Miller in the Office of the Ombuds can provide confidential, impartial, informal and independent conflict resolution and problem-solving assistance to graduate students.

    All complaints regarding academic integrity should be addressed to an Associate Dean of the Graduate School; see the Academic Integrity Policy


    Washington University policies state that members of the University community can expect to be free from discrimination and harassment. Students, faculty, staff, and outside organizations working on campus are required to abide by specific policies prohibiting harassment, which are printed in the Appendix and posted on the Compliance & Policies page of the University’s website.

    View Compliance and Policies Page



    Students working toward Arts and Sciences graduate degrees are entitled to all official University holidays. To the extent that responsibilities essential to the maintenance of research, such as replenishing liquid nitrogen stocks or feeding laboratory animals, must be done on University holidays, graduate students may be required to share in this responsibility.

    Faculty mentors should approve other planned absences, and unplanned absences should be reported to them. “Faculty Mentors” in the graduate years are Program Directors, and Research Rotation or Dissertation Advisors, as appropriate.

    The total amount of excused absence should be consistent with that of academic employees in the same area. (Assistantship or stipend payments are not subject to reduction as they represent agreed-upon financial aid.) Decisions regarding the granting of time off will not be based upon the existence of or source(s) of funding.

    The Program Director or Department Chair should address disagreements between faculty mentors and students over absences. If the Director cannot resolve the dispute, the Dean of the Graduate School, or his designee, will serve as the final arbiter.

    Transfer of Credit

    All transfers of credit are evaluated by the department or program which must recommend the transfer to the Graduate School Office.

    Master's Students

    A maximum of 6 semester hours may ordinarily be transferred from an in­stitution of recognized graduate standing toward fulfillment of requirements for the master's degree from Washington University.  Applications to transfer credits for a master's degree are not ordinarily approved until one full semester of study (12 se­mester hours) has been completed at Washington University. Academic credits applied to complete requirements for the bachelor's degree are ordinarily not transferable toward the fulfillment of advanced degree requirements at Washington University. Likewise, academic credits counted toward require­ments for any completed graduate degree are ordinarily not transferrable to­ward a subsequent degree of equivalent or lower level.

    PhD Students

    Credit for previous coursework will be transferred to a student’s WU record only to fulfill departmental course/credit requirements. Departments may request transfer credit from official transcripts after a student’s admission to a PhD program.

    Tuition and Fees


    Requests for refund of tuition paid by a student who is withdrawing from a degree program should be made by submitting a Withdrawal Form to the Graduate School Office.

    Students receiving financial assistance from the Graduate School (fellowships, assistantships, etc.) are required to maintain fulltime student status.

    Requests for refund of tuition paid by a student who is withdrawing from a specific course should be submitted in writing to the Graduate School Registrar. The last date of class attendance is ordinarily used in determining the amount that can be refunded. Students withdrawing within the first two weeks of classes will receive a full refund; those withdrawing before the end of the fourth week pay 20 percent; those withdrawing before the end of the eighth week pay 40 percent. Students who have had their full tuition remitted for them by the Graduate School or by a third party will not receive any refund.



    Students wishing to withdraw from their program must give notice in writing, preferably by filling out the Graduate School’s Withdrawal Form. This form, or any alternative style of written notice, must include the date when the withdrawal should be considered effective. Without such information, there may be serious financial repercussions for the student and/or the University

    Your Department

    While the Graduate School website offers relevant graduate school-wide information, the best place for specific information about your degree program is your department. Your mentors, including your advisor, Director of Graduate Studies, PI, Dissertation Committee and Department Chair, can give you specific information about departmental requirements, timelines, and procedures.

    View Departments

    Your Department as a First Stop

    Be sure to check your department's entry in the Graduate School's online Bulletin, and website for information such as:

    • Advising: change of advisor, registration, evaluation of progress
    • Department-specific degree requirements
    • Coursework requirements: breadth and depth, distribution, grades
    • Interdisciplinary programs and certificates, specializations
    • Qualifying exams or equivalent: format, content and evaluation
    • Residence requirement: how to fulfill it and your responsibilities
    • Independent study
    • Teaching: Mentored Teaching Experience preparation and other pedagogy, evaluation, grading
    • Teaching your own course
    • Research: Research Assistantship, labs, progress, evaluation
    • Research papers: including lab, seminar, publication, conference presentations, or other requirements
    • Dissertation: committee, proposal, content, progress, oral defense
    • Professional development opportunities for your discipline
    • Overall target timetable for program progress

    Communicate with the appropriate faculty and staff in your department to ensure you maintain a schedule appropriate to your anticipated graduation date and program requirements.  Make sure you speak with your academic advisor and with the Director of Graduate Studies for your program.  Introduce yourself to the department’s Graduate Student Coordinator and other administrative staff who keep things running smoothly.