Students are expected to engage in their academic studies with integrity, treat one another with respect, contribute to the learning community of the University, and abide by all policies related to student conduct. When students fall short in any of these areas, the university follows a specific process to protect the student and the academic community.

Academic Probation

In cases of serious academic concern or in cases where advisor recommendations have not resulted in improved performance, the advisor places the student on Academic Probation.

Academic Probation is defined as a time period during which the student's academic status is conditional. The student’s advisor imposes conditions that must be completed within a specific time period for the Academic Probation status to be removed. Failure to complete the conditions of probation as specified will result in sanctions that may range from continuation of the Academic Probation Status to Dismissal from the University.

Grounds for Academic Probation

Students will be placed on Academic Probation for any of the following causes:

  • Failure to maintain minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), that is, successful completion of 75% of units attempted
  • Failure to fulfill particular requirements or follow a particular course of learning that the advisor deems necessary and has communicated to the student in writing. This could include remediation of skills, registering in particular courses, completing Incomplete work, or meeting with the advisor at specified intervals to discuss academic progress
  • Persistent difficulties completing academic work on time; or a pattern of Incomplete evaluations, especially if these result in No Credit for one or more learning activities
  • A pattern of No Credit evaluations or of consistent critical feedback on evaluations that in the advisor’s judgment indicates persistent academic problems that warrant remediation
  • Documented plagiarism, academic dishonesty, and ethical violations including conduct problems or violations of school policy. (Note that depending on severity, these issues may also be grounds for Dismissal.)
  • Seriously inappropriate or unprofessional behavior in classes, on campus, in field work settings or in clinical training settings. (Note that depending on severity, these issues may also be grounds for Dismissal.)
  • For BA students: 6 units of No Credit in a quarter, when awarded by instructors or evaluators on Student Learning Evaluation forms.
  •  For MFA in Creative Writing students: One Project Period of unsatisfactory faculty evaluation
  •  For MFA in Creative Writing students: Failure to follow a course of learning deemed necessary by the Program Chair, including satisfactory completion of residency requirements, full participation in and completion of the work of the Project Period, completion of Incomplete work, and/or satisfactory completion of Self-Evaluations and Student Learning Analyses
  • For USMA students: Failure to complete residency requirements

Plan of Remediation

When the student receives written notification that she or he is being put on Academic Probation, it is the student's responsibility to respond within 10 days by contacting the advisor to set up a meeting to work out a Plan of Remediation.

At this meeting, the student and advisor develop a detailed written Plan of Remediation that includes specific steps the student must take in order to have Academic Probation status removed, specific deadlines for accomplishment of these steps, and consequences of failure to meet conditions by the stated deadlines.

Remediation may include, but is not limited to:

  • Successful completion of all coursework without any Incomplete or No Credit evaluations; completion of Incomplete work by stated deadlines;
  • Registration limited to half-time, to a single course or to any other specified registration status; (Note: Consider financial aid implications; policy should be in-sync with SAP reg’s policy even if student is not on financial aid.)
  • Completion of particular courses during a specified time period;
  • And/or meeting specific requirements for contact with the advisor and/or participation in the Teaching and Learning Center.

Consequences of failure to meet conditions may include, but are not limited to: continuation of the Academic Probation status or Dismissal from the program. Both advisor and student sign the Plan of Remediation.

The advisor prepares a written summary of the meeting and of the Plan of Remediation. Copies are provided to the student, to the Office of Financial Aid, and to the Office of Integrated Student Services to be placed in the student’s file. The advisor’s decision to place a student on Academic Probation and the conditions of the Probation may not be appealed.

Every student on Academic Probation is required to meet with the faculty advisor before registering for the following term. The advisor's written approval is required, and the student may not register without it. Students on a Plan of Remediation may have their Satisfactory Academic Progress and their Financial Aid eligibility jeopardized. Students may not be approved for Candidacy for Graduation while on Academic Probation. MAP students may have approval delayed for entering Clinical Training. MPIC students may have approval delayed to enroll for Master’s Document units. MANM students may have approval delayed to enroll in Capstone. USMA students may have approval delayed to begin their capstone projects.

The Division/Department Chair notifies students on Academic Probation who have not met the stipulations of their Plan of Remediation of the specific consequence, which may include Dismissal from the program.

Remediation Process for MFA in Creative Writing Students

Students in the MFA in Creative Writing Program who receive one Project Period of unsatisfactory faculty evaluation receive no credit for that semester and are placed on Academic Probation. The student must repeat the semester and pay tuition and applicable fees. In consultation with the student, the Project Period Mentor develops a Plan of Remediation. The Department Chair must approve the Plan. If the student earns credit for the subsequent term, she or he will be removed from Academic Probation.

Removal from Academic Probation

A student is removed from Academic Probation when, in the advisor's judgment, the student's current work or conduct demonstrates remediation of the problem(s) that led to Probation. Upon notification from the advisor, the University Registrar formally removes the student from Academic Probation.

Academic Dishonesty

Forms of Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty is any attempt to obtain credit for academic work through deceptive or dishonest means. Examples of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to the following:

  • Submitting work previously used in another course
  • Using surrogates to prepare required course materials or acting as a surrogate for others’ work
  • Misrepresenting the extent of one’s contribution to a group effort in order to claim academic credit
  • Misrepresenting the extent of another student’s contribution to a group effort so that that student can claim academic credit
  • Any attempt to defraud the academic process (e.g., misrepresenting what a faculty member or administrator has said in order to further one’s own interest in order to bypass a requirement)
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty of others
  • Coercion in reference to the evaluation of course work
  • Plagiarism


Plagiarism is the representation of someone else's writing, graphics, research, or ideas as one’s own. Paraphrasing an author’s ideas or quoting even limited portions of the work of others without proper citation are also plagiarism, as is cutting and pasting materials from the Internet into one's academic papers. Extreme forms of plagiarism include submitting a paper written by another person or purchased from a commercial source. Students should be aware that AULA has access to software for detecting plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a violation of the principle of intellectual integrity and inquiry, and the faculty takes plagiarism seriously when it occurs. If a student has any questions about the nature of plagiarism, the student is encouraged to meet with her or his advisor or course instructors for clarification. Each program faculty also provides students with access to appropriate resources for avoiding plagiarism. Ignorance of correct standards for referencing is not an acceptable excuse for plagiarizing academic work.

Process and Consequences for Academic Dishonesty

When a faculty member suspects a student of academic dishonesty: 

1. The faculty member speaks with the student about the incident.

2. The faculty member may request evidence to determine whether academic dishonesty has occurred. For this reason, students are encouraged to keep all drafts and notes pertinent to the development of a paper  until the paper has been reviewed and returned and credit has been awarded for the course.

3. If the faculty member determines that there is sufficient evidence to pursue a formal complaint of academic dishonesty, the faculty member submits a written record of the suspected violation to the Division/Department Chair or designee.

4. If needed, the Division/Department Chair or designee undertakes further investigation of the incident.

5. If Division/Department Chair determines that academic dishonesty has occurred, the Division/Department Chair imposes academic and/or administrative sanctions.

6. The Division/Department Chair prepares a report documenting findings and sanctions. Copies are sent to the student, the student’s advisor, and to the Office of the University Registrar through the ISS office to be placed in the student’s file.

7. The student may appeal a determination of, or sanctions for, academic dishonesty to the Provost within 10 days of receipt of notification.

8. The Provost investigates the appeal, convening an Academic Review Board as an advisory committee if deemed appropriate. The Provost provides a written ruling within 30 days. The decision of the Provost is final.

9. A second confirmed incident of academic dishonesty results in automatic Dismissal from the University.

Academic and Administrative Sanctions

One or more academic and administrative sanctions may be placed on any student who is considered in violation of any one of the University standards described in this section.

Academic sanctions include but are not limited to:

  • Requiring that particular assignments be redone (including a potential requirement for supervision through the Teaching and Learning Center)
  • Assigning alternative or additional work that must be completed in order to obtain credit
  • Denying credit on the particular assignment
  • Denying credit for the course (as noted in the student learning evaluation)
  • Academic Probation

Administrative Sanctions include but are not limited to:

  • Formal reprimand
  • Suspension
  • Dismissal from the University

Formal Reprimand is a written document prepared by the Division/Department Chair or Provost that describes the nature of the misconduct or violation that has occurred. The document becomes part of the student’s permanent record.

Suspension is an institution-initiated separation of the student from student status for a particular length of time depending on the nature of the offense. The student may be eligible to return if she or he meets all stipulated conditions for return. No credit is awarded while a student is under suspension. A Suspension is communicated to the student in writing and is noted on the student’s record.

Dismissal is an institution-initiated withdrawal of the student from student status. The University reserves the right to dismiss students who do not meet the requirements of their Academic Probation. The Division/Department Chair authorizes Dismissal from the University and notifies the student in writing. See: AU Student Academic Integrity Policy