Course Related Policies
Know Your Rights
Know the University of Maryland Policies for Undergraduate Students
This guide was developed to provide you with resources and information relevant to your participation in a UMD course.
In the course syllabus you will learn about expectations and resources that are specific to that course. Here you will learn about policies and resources that apply to your experience in all UMD courses.
The University expects each student to take full responsibility for their academic work and academic progress.
As a student you have the responsibility to be familiar with and uphold the Code of Academic Integrity and the Code of Conduct, as well as for notifying your course instructors in a timely fashion regarding academic accommodations related to absences and accessibility as indicated below.
You have the right to know the expectations set by University Policy. The University of Maryland values the diversity of its student body and is committed to providing a classroom atmosphere that encourages the equitable participation of all students. University Policies outlined below are particularly relevant to your experience in academic courses.
The University of Maryland provides many resources to support your success and wellbeing. Listed below are those that may be of most relevance to supporting you as you engage in your academic mission.
For a complete listing of UMD Policies refer to the Office of the President
For a complete guide to the Undergraduate student experience refer to the Undergraduate Catalog
For a summary of policies and resources related to Academic Regulations refer to the Student Success Office
Academic Integrity What is cheating? What is plagiarism? What is the Honor Pledge?
UMD maintains a commitment to the principles of truth and academic honesty. Accordingly, the Code of Academic Integrity is designed to ensure that the principle of academic honesty is upheld. While all members of the University share this responsibility, the Code of Academic Integrity is designed so that special responsibility for upholding the principle of academic honesty lies with you as a student.
To promote academic honesty on campus you will be asked by your course instructors to write by hand and sign the following pledge on every examination, paper or other academic exercise. Writing this pledge will serve as a reminder of your commitment to academic integrity.
I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this examination.
Failure to sign the pledge is not a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity, but neither is it a defense in case of violation of this Code. Students who do not sign the pledge will be given the opportunity to do so. Refusal to sign must be explained to the instructor. Signing or non-signing of the pledge will not be considered in grading or judicial procedures. Material submitted electronically should contain the pledge, submission implies signing the pledge. On examinations, no assistance is authorized unless given by or expressly allowed by the instructor. On other assignments, the pledge means that the assignment has been done without academic dishonesty, as defined below.
The pledge is a reminder that you as a University of Maryland student carry the primary responsibility for academic integrity. The meaningfulness of your degree depends on it. Academic dishonesty is a corrosive force in the academic life of a university. It jeopardizes the quality of education and depreciates the genuine achievements of others. All members of the University community-students, faculty, and staff share the responsibility and authority to challenge and make known acts of apparent academic dishonesty.
Code of Academic Integrity defines four major types of Academic Dishonesty:
CHEATING: fraud, deceit, or dishonesty in any academic course or exercise in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage and/or intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic course or exercise.
FABRICATION: intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic course or exercise.
FACILITATING ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate any provision of this Code.
PLAGIARISM: intentionally or knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in any academic course or exercise.
The Office of Student Conduct will contact you if you have been reported for a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity. Your course instructor may or may not mention the report to you. The instructor may not grade or record the grade of an assignment that is related to the report. Information about the resolution options are outlined in the University of Maryland Code of Academic Integrity. Note that the normal sanction for a violation is the grade of "XF" for the course.
Course Syllabi Review carefully the syllabi for each of your academic courses. Look for specific instructions regarding expectations for academic integrity. For example: what are the guidelines for working in teams and for collaboration on class work and home work? What are the guidelines for citing sources? If you have questions, ask your professor about expectations.
The Student Honor Council
For information on academic integrity, what to do if you are referred to the Honor Council by a faculty member, how to report an act of academic dishonesty, how to volunteer as a member of the Student Honor Council.
Office of Student Conduct
For information about Academic Integrity, Honor Pledge, XF petitions.
Student Legal Aid Office
For answers to questions about legal proceedings and assistance with the disciplinary process.
Code of Student Conduct What behavior is prohibited?
The purpose of this policy is to set standards of conduct for all undergraduate and graduate students.
As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards. A complete list of prohibited conduct as well as procedures for resolving allegations of misconduct may be found in the University of Maryland Code of Student Conduct. It is very important for you to familiarize yourself with the policies set forth by the University and be aware of the consequences of violating these policies.
Sexual Misconduct What to do in case of sexual harassment or sexual assault.
The Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibits a broad range of behaviors including, but not limited to sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking and dating and domestic violence. The Sexual Misconduct Policy also prohibits retaliation against any individual who files a complaint or participates in an investigation under the Policy.
The Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct (OCRSM) responds to all complaints of sexual misconduct. To file a complaint go to OCRSM and under Reporting, complete the online sexual misconduct complaint form. For more information please contact OCRSM by phone at 301-405-1142, or email at email@example.com
Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct For information about the University's compliance with Title IX as well as other federal and state civil rights laws and regulations.
Office of Student Conduct
Use Anonymous Ask for a safe, anonymous space to ask about the Code of Academic Integrity, the Code of Student Conduct, or any conduct-related questions through the Office's.
Resident Life, Office of Rights & Responsibilities
Confidential Resources A confidential resource keeps whatever information you share private. The resource provider will not share your information with others. CARE to Stop Violence, 24 hour call/text: 301-741-3442 Campus Chaplains, 301-405-8450 or 301-314-9866 University Counseling Center, 301-314-7651 University Mental Health Services 301-314-8106
Non-Discrimination Procedures to prohibit discrimination, complaints about discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
The Non-Discrimination Policy prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of “protected classes.” Protected classes include: race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, and any other legally protected class. The Non-Discrimination Policy also prohibits retaliation against any individual who files a complaint or participates in an investigation under the Policy.
The Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct (OCRSM) responds to all complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on a protected class. To file a complaint go to OCRSM and under Reporting, complete the online complaint form. For more information please contact OCRSM by phone at 301-405-1142, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statement of Classroom Climate: Undergraduate Catalog: Repeat Guidelines Prior to Fall 1990, Statement of Classroom Climate
Accessibility Information about disability-related academic support accommodations.
The University of Maryland is committed to creating and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive educational, working, and living environment for people of all abilities. The University of Maryland is also committed to the principle that no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of the University, or be subjected to discrimination. The University of Maryland provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals. Reasonable accommodations shall be made in a timely manner and on an individualized and flexible basis.
Discrimination against individuals on the grounds of disability is prohibited. The University also strictly prohibits retaliation against persons arising in connection with the assertion of rights under this Policy.
Accessibility & Disability Service (ADS) facilitates reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals. For assistance in obtaining an accommodation, contact Accessibility and Disability Service at at 301.314.7682, or email@example.com. More information is available from the Counseling Center.
After receiving an Accommodations Letter from ADS, as a student you are expected to meet with each course instructor, in person, to provide them with a copy of the Accommodations Letter and to obtain their signature on the Acknowledgement of Student Request form. You and your instructors will discuss a plan for how the accommodations will be implemented throughout the semester for the course. Specific details regarding the implementation of certain ADS approved accommodations agreed upon between you as the student and the individual course instructor must be documented on an Acknowledgment of Student Request Addendum, signed by the instructor, and submitted to ADS. You as the student are responsible for submitting the signed original forms to ADS and retaining a copy of the signed Acknowledgment of Student Request for your records.
Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct
Where to file a complaint for students who believe that they have been denied reasonable accommodations.
Attendance, Absences, or Missed Assignments Read this prior to Schedule Adjustment date.
The Excused Absence Policy is listed in full below.
Do's and Don'ts related to this policy:
At the start of each semester: review the course schedules for all of your classes, including the Final Exam Schedule. If you know of an instance (for example religious observance) that will cause you to miss class or an exam, make an appointment to discuss the absence with your instructor BEFORE the end of the schedule adjustment period. Meet with your instructor in an office appointment; do not have this discussion in the classroom.
Make every effort to come to class: course attendance is linked to learning and academic success.
If you miss class or an assignment due date, inform your instructor as soon as possible.
If you miss class or an assignment due date, collect documentation to support your absence – see details in the policy.
If you miss class or an assignment due date as a result of an excused absence, meet with your instructor to discuss the appropriate academic accommodation.
Do not provide false information to your course instructor; providing false information to University officials is prohibited under Part 9(h) of the Code of Student Conduct (V-1.00(B) University of Maryland Code of Student Conduct) and may result in disciplinary action.
An excused absence is an absence for which the student has the right to receive, and the instructor has the responsibility to provide, academic accommodation.
Students are expected to take full responsibility for their own academic work and progress. Students, to progress satisfactorily, must meet all of the requirements of each course for which they are registered. Students are expected to attend classes regularly. Consistent attendance offers students the most effective opportunity to gain command of course concepts and materials. Excused absences must be requested promptly and must be supported by appropriate documentation.
Excused absences do not alter the academic requirements for the course. Students are responsible for information and material missed on the day of absence. Students are within reason entitled to receive any materials provided to the class during the absence. Students are responsible for making provision to determine what course material they have missed and for completing required exercises in a timely manner.
Events that justify an excused absence include:
- Religious observances
- Mandatory military obligation
- Illness of the student or illness of an immediate family member
- Participation in university activities at the request of university authorities
- Compelling circumstances beyond the student's control (e.g., death in the family, required court appearance)
Absences stemming from work duties other than military obligation (e.g., unexpected changes in shift assignments) and traffic/transit problems do not typically qualify for excused absence.
II. Notification and Documentation
To receive academic accommodation for an excused absence:
1. The student must notify the instructor in a timely manner. The notification should be provided either prior to the absence or as soon afterwards as possible. In the case of religious observances, athletic events, and planned absences known at the beginning of the semester, the student must inform the instructor during the schedule adjustment period. All other absences must be reported as soon as is practical.
2. The student must provide appropriate documentation of the absence. The documentation must be provided in writing to the instructor by the means specified in the syllabus.
a. For medically necessitated absences: Students may, one time per course per semester, provide a self-signed excuse as documentation of an absence from a single class (e.g., lecture, recitation, or laboratory session) that does not coincide with a major assessment or assignment due date. For all other medically necessitated absences, a course instructor may request that students provide documentation from a physician or the University Health Center to verify an absence. In cases where students are asked to provide verification, the course instructor may request the dates of treatment or the time frame that the student was unable to meet academic responsibilities, but may not request diagnostic information.
b. For all other absences students must provide verifiable documentation upon request (e.g., religious calendar, court summons, death announcement, etc.).
3. Providing false information to University officials is prohibited under Part 9(h) of the Code of Student Conduct (V-1.00(B) University of Maryland Code of Student Conduct) and may result in disciplinary action.
III. Academic Accommodations
In keeping with the USM III-5.10 Policy Concerning the Scheduling of Academic Assignments on Dates of Religious Observance, "Students shall not be penalized because of observances of their religious holidays and shall be given an opportunity, whenever feasible, to make up within a reasonable time any academic assignment that is missed due to individual participation in religious observances." For all other excused absences, the student must be provided reasonable accommodation. The accommodation provided should, within reason, neither advantage nor disadvantage either the student or the rest of the class.
If the accommodation is a makeup assessment, it must be timely, at a time and place agreed upon by the instructor and student, cover the same material, and be at the same level of difficulty as the original assessment. In the event that a group of students requires the same makeup assessment, one time and place may be scheduled. The makeup assessment must not interfere with the student's regularly scheduled classes, and must be consistent with the V-1.00(A) University of Maryland Policy on the Conduct of Undergraduate Classes and Student Grievance Procedure. If makeup work is not feasible, an alternate accommodation for excused absences will be provided. Alternate accommodations will be according to the principles established by the unit offering the course.
Students who miss a substantial number of class sessions or course assignments should seek guidance from an academic advisor with respect to academic options. Extended absences stemming from active military duty are addressed in the USM V-7.00 Policy on Students who are called to Active Military Duty during a National or International Crisis or Conflict. Absences related to a student's disability are addressed in the VI-1.00(D) University of Maryland Disability & Accessibility Policy and Procedures.
Students who feel that they have unfairly been denied either excused absence or appropriate accommodation for an excused absence should first seek to resolve the disagreement with the course instructor. If the student and instructor are unable to find a mutually agreeable resolution, the student may file an appeal with the head of the administrative unit offering the class. In most cases this will be the Chair of the Department. In the case of non-departmentalized units and interdepartmental programs, this role will be taken by the Dean (or the Dean's designee). The unit head should use procedures similar to those specified in the III-1.20(B) University of Maryland Procedures for Review of Alleged Arbitrary and Capricious Grading – Undergraduate Students – but with clear indication that the appeal is with regard to excused absence, not arbitrary and capricious grading.
Dean's Office of Your Academic Major
A student who wishes to contest a decision by the instructor should consult with the course instructor's department chair and, if necessary, the Dean's Office of your academic major.
Medical Excused Absence
Template for a self-signed note for medical excused absence.
UMD Undergraduate Catalog
Detailed information about UMD attendance and absences policies.
Faculty Affairs Handbook
Information on dates where tests and due dates of other significant assessments must not be scheduled
Student Rights Regarding Undergraduate Courses What should I find in the course syllabus? Am I allowed to see my exams after they are graded?
The University of Maryland Policy on the Conduct of Undergraduate Courses and Student Grievance Procedure sets the basic expectations for faculty and academic units in providing courses and academic programs that contribute to undergraduate education.
The policy outlines the expectations for an undergraduate course and provides a grievance procedure.
The following are considered to be reasonable expectations of faculty in conducting academic courses:
a. There shall be a complete course syllabus for the current term made available to students no later than the first day of class at the beginning of each undergraduate course. Any changes to the syllabus made after the first day of class must be announced and must be clearly represented with the date of the revision. The course syllabus will specify in general terms:
Course description including course objectives
Content and nature of assignments
Schedule of major graded assessments (e.g., examinations and due dates for projects and papers)
Examination and/or assessment procedures
Mode of communication for excused absences
Basis for determining final grades, including if the plus/minus grading system will be used and the relationship between in-class participation and the final course grade
In cases where all or some of this information cannot be provided at the beginning of the course, an explanation of the delay and the basis of course development shall be provided.
b. There shall be a reasonable number of graded assessments or progress reports to permit evaluation of student performance throughout the course. These assessments shall be returned to the students in a timely manner. Faculty shall issue mid-term grades for undergraduate students when required, in accordance with III-6.00(B), University of Maryland Policy and Procedures Concerning Mid-Term Grades for Undergraduate Students.
c. There shall be a final examination and/or assessment in every undergraduate course, unless written permission is granted by the unit head. Changes to exam scheduling and location must be approved by the chair of the department, or the dean of the College, or the appropriate designee. Final examinations or assessments may not be rescheduled to the final week of classes or to the Reading Day. Each faculty member shall retain, for one full semester (either fall or spring) after a course is ended, the students' final assessments in the appropriate medium. If a faculty member goes on leave for a semester or longer, or leaves the university, the faculty member shall leave the final assessments and grade records for the course with the department chair, the program director, or the dean of the College or School, as appropriate.
d. There shall be academic accommodations for students in accordance with University policies, including policies on disability and accessibility, excused absences, and sexual misconduct.
e. There shall be a reasonable opportunity for students to review papers and examinations, including the final examination or assessment, after evaluation by the instructor, while materials are reasonably current.
f. There shall be reasonable access to the instructor during announced regular office hours or by appointment.
g. There shall be regular attendance by assigned faculty unless such attendance is prevented by circumstances beyond the control of the faculty member.
h. There shall be reasonable adherence to the course syllabus.
i. There shall be reasonable adherence to the published academic calendar, campus schedules, and location of classes and examinations.
Classes not specified in the schedules are to be arranged at a mutually agreeable time on campus, unless an off-campus location is clearly justified.
Changes to final examination schedules and locations must be approved by the chair of the department, or the dean of the College, or the appropriate designee. However, final examinations or assessments may not be rescheduled to the final week of classes or to the Reading Day.
No class meetings or required activities may be held on Reading Day. However, individual meetings and makeup exams may be scheduled at the explicit request of the student.
j. Faculty shall endeavor to maintain student privacy with respect to information shared in the course of the student-faculty relationship, subject to legal obligations to report certain information to state authorities and University officials, including child abuse and neglect and sexual misconduct.
k. There shall be public acknowledgement of significant student assistance in the preparation of materials, articles, books, devices and the like. Students retain their intellectual property rights as set forth in the University of Maryland Policy on Intellectual Property.
l. Assigned course materials should be readily available. Faculty must ensure that eligible students receive reasonable accommodations relative to their coursework in accordance with federal and state disability laws, subject to the University's disability and accessibility policies and procedures.
m. The instructor of record is responsible for the overall management of the course, including management of the aspects of the course and coursework delegated to teaching assistants and laboratory assistants.
If as a student in a course you have a concern or complaint relative to one of the expectations provided in the policy, the policy also describes the process for you to follow. The first step is to meet with your course instructor to share your concern and work with them to find a resolution. If the instructor is not reasonably available to discuss the matter, you as a student may present a grievance directly to the instructor's supervisor, department chair, or program director. In order to be considered timely under the procedures for Formal Resolution, a grievance must be submitted within twenty (20) working business days after the first day of instruction of the next regular semester.
Testudo: Refer to the course listing — many courses will now also include a link to the course syllabusi
Undergraduate Program Director in the Department offering the course (see the Department web page) or the Assistant Dean in the College offering the course (see the College web page).
Undergraduate Student Ombudsperson
For additional information on university policies and procedures.
Official UMD Communication Use of email, communication with faculty, communication about cancelled class meetings, and weather-related or other urgent notifications.
The University has adopted email as the primary means for sending official communications to students. Academic advisors, faculty, and campus administrative offices use email to convey important information and time-sensitive notices. All enrolled students are provided a University email address. Students are responsible for keeping their email address up to date or for forwarding email to another address. Failure to check email, errors in forwarding email, and returned email due to mailbox full or user unknown will not excuse a student from missing announcements or deadlines.
Suggestions for communication with faculty:
- Use an informative subject line, for example: "UNIV555 student request for meeting."
Naming the course in the subject line helps the faculty member scan/search their email for notes from students.
- Address the email note, for example: "Dear Dr. Smith."
Naming the faculty member will indicate to whom you are addressing the message.
- Sign your message with a complete name and other important information.
For example: "Your Name, UNIV555 student, firstname.lastname@example.org." Signing a message will help the faculty member identify you as a student in the class and provide the method to return a message to you.
UMD Official closures and delays are announced on the campus website at umd.edu and are sent to the campus community via alert emails.
For email account information and help with email.
Learn about UMD Alerts and how to edit your alert settings.
Course grades are determined by faculty in accordance with information found in the course syllabus. Mid-term grades are submitted for undergraduate students enrolled in their first year, enrolled in 100 and 200 level courses, and all student athletes. Mid-term grades are used to inform students of their performance in a course during roughly the first half of the semester; they are used for advising purposes and are not recorded on a student's academic transcript.
Talk to your course instructor about any questions that you may have about course grades. It is very important that you keep track of your performance in your courses. If you have any questions about how work is graded, or how the final grade will be calculated, read the course syllabus and then ask your instructor. Do not wait until the last day of classes.
If you have a concern after you receive your final course grade, contact your course instructor.
If after meeting with your course instructor you continue to have a concern about your final grade, see the Policy on Arbitrary and Capricious Grading.
Any questions about course grades should first be addressed to the course instructor.
In the case of Final Course grades the University of Maryland has a procedure for you to follow if you believe that your final course grade was assigned on some basis other than performance, or that the grade was assigned according to unreasonable standards different from those which were applied to other students in the course, or that the grade was assigned in a manner that was a substantial, unreasonable, or unannounced departure from the instructor's previously articulated standards.
According to the policy the grade appeal must be filed within 20 working days after the first day of instruction of the next regular semester.
The grade appeal procedure is outlined in the policy. Note that the policy encourages you to begin by attempting an informal resolution with your course instructor and/or the administrator of the academic unit offering the course.
If you have questions about this policy you may want to speak to your academic advisor or the Undergraduate Student Ombudsperson.
Undergraduate Program Director in the department offering the course
Undergraduate Student Ombudsperson
Information on university policies and procedures.
Copyright and Intellectual Property Who owns the work that I produce in class.
Class lectures and other course materials are copyrighted and may not be reproduced for anything other than your personal use without the permission of the course instructor. Course materials are the property of the course instructor – do not sell them, do not post them on a website. Be aware that copyright infringements may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.
As a student, you own the work that you create as part of your University academic and research activities. Full details and a few limitations are found within the IV-3.20(A) University of Maryland Policy on Intellectual Property.
There will be a final exam or assessment in all undergraduate courses. Final exams are scheduled by the University, and the exam schedule is available for you to review.
Students may seek to reschedule final examinations so that they have no more than three examinations on any given day. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate the rescheduling or be responsible for taking the examination as originally scheduled. When rescheduling is desired, students should first contact their instructors (see Academic Deadlines). Students who encounter difficulty rescheduling examinations with their instructors are advised to contact the dean's office of their academic program for help. Faculty members are expected to accommodate students with legitimate rescheduling requests.
Students are strongly encouraged to check the final exam schedule before registering for courses. Exam schedules are based on, but not the same as, the start time of the lecture period for the individual class.
Course Evaluations: The University of Maryland sponsors an official course evaluation system: CourseEvalUM. As a student you have the opportunity to complete course evaluations for your courses using this system. Your feedback has significant value to faculty, to departments and to other students.
Please take the time to complete course evaluations using CourseEvalUM for all of your courses. Consider this opportunity to provide constructive and meaningful feedback to your course instructors and to the Department that hosts the course. Faculty sincerely valuable constructive suggestions.
Registered students are able to see course evaluation results for the student items, and then only if 70% or more of the students enrolled in that course section participated in the evaluation. Student access to course evaluation results is via ELMS; choose Course Eval from the sidebar on the left edge of the screen.
Campus Resources ELMS, counseling, learning workshops, tutoring, writing help, questions about graduation, adding or dropping classes, withdrawing from the semester.
Resources for Academic Success
Use of ELMS
Resources that will help you navigate ELMS.
Strategies for Building Academic Skills
Academic counseling, workshops for time management and how to study, and helpful hints.
For tutoring services on campus.
For help in writing papers.
For citation tools.
Resources for Counseling, Mental Health and Physical Wellness
For peer to peer support or call the HELP Center hotline 301-314-4357 where you can confidentially speak to a trained UMD student (peer-counselor) about any matter that concerns you.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 800-273-8255 or the Maryland Crisis Hotline at 800-422-0009. These resources are both available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Resources about Academic Regulations: Where do I go if I want to drop a class?
Student Success Office
Information on withdrawing from a course, repeating courses, dismissal, and withdrawal from all courses, and resources for student success including academic support, and campus life