Standards and Discipline

As members of the Columbia University community, all Columbia College students are expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity, civility, and respect. Students are therefore expected to conduct themselves in an honest, civil, and respectful manner in all aspects of their lives. Students who violate these standards of behavior interfere with their ability, and the ability of others, to take advantage of the full complement of University life, and are subject to Dean’s Discipline.

The continuance of each student upon the rolls of the University, the receipt of academic credits, graduation, and the conferring of any degree or the granting of any certificate are strictly subject to the disciplinary powers of the University. Although ultimate authority on matters of students’ discipline is vested in the Trustees of the University, the Dean of Columbia College and his staff are given responsibility for establishing standards of behavior for Columbia College students beyond the regulations included in the Statutes of the University and for defining procedures by which discipline will be administered.

A full list of behavioral and academic violations can be found through Student Conduct and Community Standards.

Behavioral Violations

Behavioral violations of University policy include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • knowingly or recklessly endangering the health or safety of others;
  • participating in any activity involving arson, firecrackers, explosives, or firearms;
  • throwing or dropping items out of University buildings;
  • threatening, harassing, or abusing others, whether directly or indirectly, in person or via electronic means;
  • manufacturing, possessing, using, or distributing illegal drugs;
  • intentionally or recklessly destroying, damaging, or stealing property;
  • failing to respond to legitimate requests from University officials; 
  • violating any local, State, or Federal laws.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity defines an intellectual community and its educational mission. As members of such a community, Columbia College students are expected to honor intellectual work and respect its origins. A Columbia College education has two complementary elements: mastery over intellectual material within a discipline and overall development of moral character and personal ethics.

Engaging in violations of academic integrity severely inhibits a student’s opportunity to mature academically, professionally, and socially. Consequently, a violation of academic integrity is one of the most serious offenses a student can commit at the University.

Violations of academic integrity may be intentional or unintentional and can include, but are not limited, to:

  1. plagiarism (the use of words, phrases, or ideas belonging to another, without properly citing or acknowledging the source);
  2. self-plagiarism (the submission of one piece of work in more than one course without explicit permission of the instructors involved);
  3. cheating on examinations, tests, or homework assignments;
  4. violating the limits of acceptable collaboration in coursework established by a faculty member or department;
  5. receiving unauthorized assistance on an assignment;
  6. copying computer programs;
  7. obtaining advance knowledge of exams or other assignments without permission;
  8. unauthorized distribution of assignments and exams;
  9. facilitating academic dishonesty by enabling another to engage in such behavior;
  10. lying to an instructor or University officer;
  11. falsification, forgery, or misrepresentation of information in coursework or lab work, and on any applications, petitions, or documents submitted to Columbia College or a University official; 
  12. fabrication of credentials in materials submitted to the University for administrative or academic review.

Dean's Discipline Overview

It is expected that all students act in an honest way and respect the rights of others at all times. Dean’s Discipline is the process utilized by Columbia College to investigate and respond to allegations of behavioral or academic misconduct. The Dean's Discipline process aims to educate students about the impact their behavior may have on their own lives as well as on the greater community and, as a result, is not meant to be an adversarial or legal process.

The process is initiated when an allegation is reported that a student has violated Columbia College or University policies. Students may be subject to Dean’s Discipline for any activity that occurs on or off campus that impinges on the rights of other students and community members. This also includes violations of local, State, or Federal laws.

 Student Conduct and Community Standards is responsible for all disciplinary affairs concerning Columbia College students that are not reserved to some other body.

Columbia College students are expected to familiarize themselves with the Handbook of Standards and Discipline and the comprehensive list of policies and expectations available on the Student Conduct and Community Standards website.