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, the confirmation of graduation, and the conferral of any degree or the granting of any certificate are strictly subject to the disciplinary powers of the University. Ultimate authority on matters of students’ discipline is vested in the Trustees of the University, which is delegated to the Dean of Columbia College and his staff, who establish standards of behavior for Columbia College students beyond the regulations included in the Statutes of the University, and who define 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 have been identified for the purposes of maintaining a safe and healthy educational environment. Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Access/Egress, Unauthorized
  • Alcohol, Prohibited use of
  • Collusion
  • Columbia University Identification Card, Prohibited use of
  • Columbia Identity (or affiliated organizations), Unauthorized use of
  • Copying and/or Distribution, Unauthorized
  • Disruptive Behavior
  • Endangerment
  • Failure to Comply
  • Falsification
  • Federal, State or Local laws, Violation of
  • Fire Safety Policies, Violation of
  • Harassment
  • Hazing
  • Illegal Drugs Policy, Violation of
  • Information Technologies Policies, Violation of
  • Retaliation 
  • Smoking Policy, Violation of University
  • Surveillance/Photography, Unauthorized
  • Theft
  • University Policies, Violation of
  • Vandalism/Damage to Property
  • Weapons

Academic Integrity

A Columbia College education has two complementary elements: the intellectual development of bodies of knowledge and habits of mind, and the overall development of moral character and personal ethics. These elements are supported by a commitment to academic integrity.

Academic integrity defines an intellectual community and its educational mission. As members of the intellectual community of Columbia College, students are expected to respect and acknowledge the intellectual work of others and denote clearly how their own work relates to that of others.

Violating the standards 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:

  • Academic Dishonesty, Facilitation of
  • Assistance, Unauthorized
  • Bribery
  • Cheating
  • Collaboration, Unauthorized
  • Dishonesty
  • Ethics, Honor Codes, and Professional Standards, Violation of
  • Failing to Safeguard Work
  • Giving or Taking Academic Materials, Unauthorized
  • Obtaining Advanced Knowledge
  • Plagiarism
  • Sabotage
  • Self-Plagiarism
  • Test Conditions, Violation of

Academic Integrity in the Virtual and Hybrid Class Environment

The Columbia undergraduate classroom, whether real or virtual, is a vital and dynamic space for learning, sustained by the expectation that the class experience is shared only by participants in the course. The free and respectful exchange of ideas is the foundation of teaching and learning and can occur only if all course participants agree as a matter of academic integrity (subject to standard penalties) to respect the guidelines established below.

To support and sustain the class experience, the Columbia undergraduate Committee on Instruction sets forth the following expectations, pertaining both to course materials and to course meetings:

  • Course materials, including handouts, readings, slides, and attendant materials must not be broadly shared, distributed, or sold outside the course environment (including on social media) without permission of the instructor. They must be understood as the product of instructors’ intellectual work, and treated as their property.
  • The contents of class discussion and breakout rooms may not be circulated outside the classroom, in whole or in part, for non-educational purposes (e.g., on social media) or outside the Columbia community. Students are expected to respect the complex dynamics of class discussion and use discretion when repeating the ideas of others outside of the classroom. The audio and visual recordings of class discussion and breakout rooms belong to the course participants and must be understood in the context of the course. This is especially crucial to protect the identity of speakers; in certain circumstances, failure to do so could be a form of bullying and could endanger course participants.
  • Recordings of class sessions must not be shared, in whole or in part, with those outside the class. Students are not permitted to record any portion of class sessions without the explicit consent of the instructor.

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 Standards and Discipline and the comprehensive list of policies and expectations available on the Student Conduct and Community Standards website.