Policies & Procedures

Academic & Professional Integrity

Academic & Professional Integrity Policy for Graduate Students

Discrimination & Harassment Policy

Policy Statement
Washington University is committed to having a positive learning and working environment for its students, faculty and staff. This Policy prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, disability or genetic information. Such conduct may also violate federal, state or local law.

What is Discrimination?

Discrimination is generally defined as a materially adverse action affecting the terms and conditions of employment or academic status that is taken because of an individual’s race, color, national origin, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, disability or genetic information.

What is Harassment?

Harassment is a form of discrimination. It is generally defined as unwelcome conduct, on or off campus, that is based on race, color, national origin, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, disability or genetic information, that (1) is subjectively and objectively offensive, (2) is severe or pervasive, and (3) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance and creating an abusive, hostile or intimidating environment for work or learning. Whether particular conduct constitutes harassment often depends on the totality of the circumstances.

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on sex. It may include unwelcome sexual advances or other nonconsensual conduct of a sexual nature, when 
(1) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis or threatened basis for employment decisions or for academic evaluation, grades, or advancement, or (2) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance and creating an abusive, hostile or intimidating work or academic environment. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment and includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or when, due to a person’s use of drugs and/or alcohol, cognitive impairment or other disability, it would be apparent to a reasonable observer that the person is incapable of giving consent.

Harassment can be written, oral, visual or physical. Some conduct obviously constitutes harassment, such as a threat that a grade or promotion will depend on submission to a sexual advance. But whether particular conduct constitutes harassment will often depend upon the specific context of the situation, including the participants’ reasonable understanding of the situation, their past dealings with each other, the nature of their professional relationship (e.g., supervisor-subordinate, professor-student, colleague), the frequency and severity of the conduct, and the particular setting.

The inquiry can be particularly complex in the classroom and the broader academic community, where the free and open exchange of ideas and viewpoints reflected in the concept of academic freedom may sometimes prove distasteful, disturbing or offensive to some. Indeed, the examination and challenging of assumptions, beliefs or viewpoints that is intrinsic to education may sometimes be disturbing or unwelcome to the individual. Allegations relating to the content of academic instruction and classroom discussion must be evaluated in the context of the subject matter and pedagogical purpose. This Policy is not intended to compromise the University’s traditional commitment to academic freedom or to education that encourages students to challenge their own views of themselves and the world.


The University will strive to protect, to the greatest extent possible, the confidentiality of persons reporting discrimination and harassment and of those accused of such conduct. However, the University cannot guarantee complete confidentiality where it would conflict with the University’s obligation to investigate meaningfully or take corrective action. Even when some disclosure of the University’s information or sources is necessary, it will be limited to the extent possible. The University will, to the extent permitted by law, keep confidential all records of complaints, responses and investigations.

If you believe you might have been subjected to discrimination or harassment and want to discuss the matter in a more confidential setting or clarify your feelings about whether and how you wish to proceed, you may want to consult a social worker, therapist or clergy member who may be permitted by law to assure greater confidentiality. Information about counseling and clergy resources can be found in the University’s Safety and Security brochure (available at www.police.wustl.edu). In addition, students may contact the Student Health Services (935-6666 on Danforth Campus; 362-3523 on School of Medicine Campus) and employees may contact the Employee Assistance Program (1-844-365-4587) for confidential assistance and, if desired, referral to other resources. Discussions with Student Health Services and the Employee Assistance Program are confidential and are not considered notice to the University.

Options for Resolution

If you believe that you have been subjected to discrimination or harassment, you have a number of options. You should select the route you feel most appropriate for your circumstances. However you wish to proceed, you may consult at any time with a Discrimination and Harassment Response/Title IX Coordinator (listed in the Appendix), whose responsibilities include assisting students, faculty and staff with questions regarding this Policy and options for addressing concerns about discrimination or harassment. Regardless of how you choose to address your concerns, the University may be required, or may otherwise deem it necessary and protective of the University community, to commence its own investigation and take further action as described below.

If you prefer to address the situation without assistance, you can communicate either orally or in writing with the person whose behavior is of concern. Your communication should clearly identify the conduct that is of concern and indicate that it was unwelcome and offensive and should cease. Such a communication often will cause the unwelcome behavior to stop, particularly where the person may not be aware that the conduct is unwelcome or offensive.

If you would like to discuss other options for addressing the concern, there are a number of resources available to you. As noted above, the Discrimination and Harassment Response/Title IX Coordinators listed in the Appendix can provide information about steps that might remedy the situation and can discuss University policy and procedures for initiating and resolving complaints. There are a variety of options for addressing and resolving concerns that may be appropriate for the particular circumstances. For example, intervention of Human Resources, the Title IX Coordinator, supervisors (where the behavior of a faculty or staff member is at issue), the Judicial Administrator (where the behavior of a student is at issue), or other University officials can often resolve the issue. Likewise, in certain situations a facilitated discussion between the individuals involved can be an effective means of addressing concerns.

Faculty and staff members also have the option of consulting with the appropriate University ombudsperson.(1) If you would like to report an incident involving a student, you also may contact the University’s Bias Report and Support System and meet with a BRSS team member, who can make referrals to appropriate resources and explain what to expect from each resource.

You may also initiate a more formal complaint process, which may involve a committee hearing, by submitting a written complaint to a Discrimination and Harassment Response/Title IX Coordinator. The Coordinator will forward the complaint to the appropriate committee or administrator: for complaints against faculty, to the Discrimination and Harassment Hearing Committee; for complaints against staff, to the Vice Chancellor for Human Resources; for complaints against students, to the Judicial Administrator. Procedures for addressing such complaints are posted online.

Complaints against students that include allegations of sexual violence, as well as some complaints that include allegations of sexual harassment in violation of the Judicial Code, are governed by the procedures found in the University Sexual Assault Investigation Board Policy, or in hard copy from the Title IX Coordinator or the Judicial Administrator.(2)

Other University Action

The University reserves the right, independent of other complaint or reporting processes, to review allegations of discrimination and harassment and impose disciplinary or remedial actions where warranted. The University also reserves the right, independent of or in conjunction with other complaint or reporting processes, to take interim or remedial measures appropriate to the situation, in accordance with applicable University policies. Examples of such measures include administrative leave, alteration of reporting structures or job duties, temporary suspension, no-contact orders, temporary housing or course/classroom assignment changes, medical and counseling services, restriction of campus activities, or other academic support services and accommodations.

Disciplinary and Remedial Actions

Potential disciplinary and remedial consequences for violations of this Policy include but are not limited to the following:

  • an apology to the victim
  • required counseling or training
  • oral or written reprimand
  • loss of salary or benefit, such as sabbatical or research or travel funding
  • fine
  • transfer or change of job, class or residential assignment or location
  • suspension, probation, demotion, termination, dismissal or expulsion

For student offenders, any of the other sanctions set forth in the University Judicial Code may also be invoked.

Retaliation and Protection of Rights

The University will not tolerate retaliation against persons who report discrimination or harassment or against those who testify, assist or participate in any investigation, proceeding or hearing involving a complaint of discrimination or harassment. In this context, retaliation means behavior engaged in because of a person’s participation in the reporting or investigation of an allegation of discrimination or harassment that adversely affects that person’s terms or conditions of employment or education. Any such retaliation – or any encouragement of another to retaliate – is a violation of this Policy, regardless of whether the particular claim of discrimination or harassment is substantiated. If you believe you have been subjected to such retaliation, you may use the procedures described above to seek redress.

The University seeks to protect the rights of all persons, accusers and accused, to fair procedures. Accusations of discrimination or harassment may have injurious far-reaching effects on the careers and lives of accused individuals. Allegations of discrimination or harassment must be made in good faith and not out of malice. Knowingly making a false or frivolous allegation of discrimination or harassment, whether in a formal or informal context, will be treated as a serious offense under this policy. If you have a reasonable basis to believe that a complaint of discrimination or harassment against you was not made in good faith, you may use the procedures of this policy to seek redress.

Obligations of Vigilance and Reporting

The University can respond to specific instances and allegations of discrimination and harassment only if it is aware of them. The University therefore encourages anyone who believes that he or she has experienced discrimination or harassment to promptly come forward with inquiries, reports or complaints and to seek assistance from the University. In addition, any University employee who becomes aware of instances or allegations of discrimination or harassment by or against a person under his or her supervisory authority, and any faculty member who becomes aware of instances or allegations of discrimination or harassment against a student, must report it to those charged with responding to such reports, such as a Coordinator, department head, director, or other similar administrator. It shall be the responsibility of these individuals to respond to reports of discrimination and harassment or refer them to other University officials for such response.

Any department head, director, or other similar administrator who becomes aware of information indicating a significant likelihood of discrimination or harassment must report such information to the Coordinator. These administrators must respond not only when they receive a specific complaint or report alleging improper activity, but also when such matters come to their attention informally. Unconfirmed or disputed allegations should be clearly labeled as such and reports should indicate any steps already taken to investigate or otherwise respond. Administrators may wish to consult with a Coordinator prior to investigating or otherwise responding to any situation involving alleged discrimination or harassment.


Education is the best way to prevent discrimination and harassment. Please contact the Coordinator to find out more about available training programs and for information and guidance on how to handles issues involving discrimination and harassment.

Other Policies and Procedures

This Policy and its associated procedures supersede any existing University, school, departmental or other policies and procedures concerning prohibited discrimination and harassment.

A Statement Regarding Title IX

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 in the Appendix to coordinate its compliance with and response to inquiries concerning Title IX. You may also submit a complaint or inquiry regarding Title IX by contacting the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights at 400 Maryland Avenue S.W., Washington, DC 20202-1100 or by visiting www2.ed.gov or calling 1-800-421-3481.


(1) Communications with ombudspersons are confidential unless there is an imminent risk of serious physical harm or disclosure is compelled by a court. Communicating a concern to an ombudsperson does not constitute notice to Washington University.

(2) If the complaint alleges a sexual assault or other crime, the complainant may also file a criminal report with the Washington University Police Department or other appropriate law enforcement agency and may simultaneously pursue criminal and University disciplinary processes. The University will ordinarily not delay its investigation if criminal charges are filed. At the request of law enforcement authorities, however, the University may postpone the University investigation and proceeding while the authorities gather evidence. 

Appendix: Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment Coordinators and Advisors

(as of March 2017)

Alcohol Service at Events

Policy Governing Alcohol Service at Events sponsored by Graduate Student Organizations


Philosophy on Alcohol Service at Washington University in St. Louis
The Washington University in St. Louis Drug and Alcohol Policy affords recognized student groups the privilege of serving alcohol at certain events. As adults, students are expected to know and abide by all applicable state and federal laws and University policies and procedures. Ultimately, students are responsible for their own behavior; however, if a student group provides alcohol as part of their event they share in the responsibility to provide a safe environment for all attendees. If your group has questions, contact the Dean of your school or the Office of the Graduate School.

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. This policy is available online at: http://hr.wustl.edu/policies/Pages/DrugandAlcoholPolicy.aspx.  Any on campus event involving alcohol must have a recognized sponsoring group.

Distribution of Alcohol
In compliance with Missouri's Liquor Control Law*, alcohol must be served in a controlled manner and not freely accessible. No one who is under the age of 21 or visibly intoxicated may be served. Alcohol must not leave the confines of the event.

Options Regarding Serving Alcohol

  1. Third Party Vendor - Student groups may contract with a third-party vendor, such as Bon Appetit, to acquire and serve alcohol. The third party vendor uses its own liquor license and provides bartenders.
  2. Group Purchases the Alcohol - Student group members may order, set up, and control distribution of the alcohol at the event independently in compliance with this policy.

See Responsible Contact section.

Some University common spaces require a third party vendor; check Guidelines in advance with the appropriate reserving office,  Event Management, or school Dean's office.

Student groups should check in advance with Event Management, school Dean's office, or the appropriate reserving office for specific location guidelines. When alcohol is permitted, the 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.

Alcohol may be mentioned or implied in campus advertising of the event to graduate students, using conventional phrases such as "happy hour," "beer & pizza," "wine and cheese," etc., but alcohol may not be the primary focus of an event. Events open to the general public and/or advertised off campus are not permitted to include alcohol.

School Deans or the ProGradS chair or their designees must be notified at least one week in advance of the event. At the discretion of Dean or Dean's designee, University police may be notified, and private security guards may be required, to assist with safety of participants and security of facility, when total attendance involves more than 100 students. The cost of private security guards is the responsibility of the sponsoring Student group. The guards or designated group members are required to verify the age of each participant with identification that lists 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.

Responsible Contacts
At least one person (preferably two) from the sponsoring group must be designated as the Responsible Contact(s) for the event. Responsible contacts should not consume alcohol immediately prior to or during the event. The contacts are responsible for overseeing and ensuring the safety of the event, the distribution of alcohol, and the implementation of this policy. Contacts are to introduce themselves to the University Police as well as any security guards and serve as the point persons with these agencies. Responsible contacts, with the assistance of University police and security guards as needed, must be able to shut down an event if this policy is not being implemented effective or if other problems arise.

Food and Beverages
Food must be provided at all events where alcohol is served. Among the food there should be non-salty options readily available, free and displayed in an attractive manner. Non-alcoholic beverages also should be readily available and free. Water should be one of the non-alcoholic beverages provided. The food and non-alcoholic beverages should be replenished several times throughout the program so that they are constantly available.

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)

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.

*"Missouri's Liquor Control Law makes it illegal for a person under the age of twenty-one years to purchase, attempt to purchase, or possess any intoxicating liquor. Section 311.325 RSMo. Violation of this provision can subject one 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 Policies and Procedures, Drug and Alcohol Policy: http://hr.wustl.edu/policies/Pages/DrugandAlcoholPolicy.aspx.

Policy approved by the University Council 1/26/04; effective immediately.

(This policy was also reviewed and approved by Professional and Graduate Coordinating Committee; the Deans and graduate student associations of the eight graduate schools; an ad hoc committee of the Professional and Graduate Student Coordinating Committee drafted the original proposal 2002-2003.)

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


General Information on Leaves

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.

All international students should consult with the Office of International Students & Scholars before applying for a leave of absence.

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

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.

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.

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.

Medical Leaves of Absence

The purpose of a medical leave (MLOA) is to allow students to suspend their studies for 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.

Procedures for Returning from Medical Leave

A 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.

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 policies and guidelines of the sponsor.

Involuntary Leave

Involuntary Leave Policy for Graduate Students in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Part-Time Employment

Guidelines for Part-time Employment of Full-time Graduate Students

Probation & Dismissal for Academic Reasons

The Graduate School Policy on Probation and Dismissal for Academic Reasons

Student Grievance

Student Grievance Procedures


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.

Time Off

Time off for Graduate Students Who Are Engaged in Research

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

Transfer of Credit Policy

For 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.

For Ph.D. 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.

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

Washington University Policies and Procedures

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.


University Bias-Related Policies


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 date of graduation or last semester of enrollment.

Consensual Relationships

Washington University Policy on Consensual 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.

Approved by University Council, November 2017

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 of 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

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.

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 reenrollment 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 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 followup 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.


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.

My Trips: International 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.