General University Policies
Students are responsible for maintaining classroom decorum appropriate to the educational environment. When the conduct of a student or group of students varies from acceptable standards and becomes disruptive to normal classroom procedures, the instructor has the authority to remove the offending party from the room and refer the student to the Office of Student Conduct (SRC 155) for disciplinary action.
Students are subject to federal and state laws and local ordinances as well as regulations prescribed by the University of Central Florida and the Florida Board of Governors. The breach or violation of any of these laws or regulations may result in disciplinary action. Behavioral breaches of state law, UCF requirements, or program expectations are grounds for dismissal from the program of study and the university. Detailed conduct regulations and procedures are presented in The Golden Rule (www.goldenrule.sdes.ucf.edu).
A person applying for admission to UCF who has declared an adjudication of a violation of conduct policies at a previous college or university or a violation of the law that resulted in probation, community service, a jail sentence, or the revocation or suspension of their driver's license (including traffic violations that resulted in a fine of $200 or more) will have circumstances of the case reviewed by the Office of Student Conduct (SRC 155) to consider eligibility for admission.
Credit Hour Policy
Credit hour: A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than
(1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
(2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
It is the policy of the University of Central Florida to reasonably accommodate the religious observances, practices, and beliefs of individuals in regard to admissions, class attendance, and the scheduling of examinations and work assignments. A student who desires to observe a religious holy day of his or her religious faith will notify all of his/her instructors and be excused from classes to observe the religious holy day.
The student will be held responsible for any material covered during the excused absence, but will be permitted a reasonable amount of time to complete any work missed. Where practicable, major examinations, major assignments, and university ceremonies will not be scheduled on a major religious holy day.
Students who are absent from academic or social activities because of religious observances will not be penalized. A student who believes that he/she has been unreasonably denied an educational benefit due to his/her religious belief or practices may seek redress under the Student Grievance Procedure, located in The Golden Rule.
In the event of some extraordinary event (such as a natural disaster or prolonged power outage), the President shall determine whether it is necessary to cancel classes and approve administrative leave for employees in affected areas. Department chairs, in consultation with their faculty and with the college dean, shall determine the effect on final examinations and other academic matters.
The University of Central Florida does not unlawfully discriminate in any of its education or employment programs and activities on the basis of an individual’s race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion (or non-religion), age, genetic information, sex (including pregnancy and parental status), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability (including learning and intellectual disabilities), political affiliations, prior conviction of a crime, protected veteran’s status or membership in any other protected classes as set forth in state or federal law. The University prohibits discrimination based on these protected classes, which includes the prohibition of discriminatory harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, relationship violence, stalking, sexual or gender-based harassment, and retaliation against a person for the good faith reporting of any of these forms of conduct or participation in or party to any investigation or proceeding related to a report of these forms of conduct.
Discriminatory harassment consists of verbal, physical, electronic or other conduct based upon an individual’s protected class as set forth above that interferes with that individual’s educational or employment opportunities, participation in a University program or activity, or receipt of legitimately-requested services under either Hostile Environment Harassment or Quid Pro Quo Harassment. Hostile Environment Harassment is discriminatory harassment that is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits, deprives, or alters the conditions of education (e.g., admission, academic standing, grades, assignment); employment (e.g., hiring, advancement, assignment); or participation in a University program or activity (e.g., campus housing), when viewed from both a subjective and objective perspective. Quid Pro Quo Harassment is discriminatory harassment where submission to or rejection of unwelcome conduct is used, explicitly or implicitly, as the basis for decisions affecting an individual’s education; employment; or participation in a University program or activity.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, when the conditions for Hostile Environment Harassment or Quid Pro Quo Harassment are present. Gender-based harassment includes harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, which may include acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility, whether verbal or non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature, when the conditions for Hostile Environment Harassment or Quid Pro Quo Harassment are present. Sexual assault consists of sexual contact and/or sexual intercourse that occurs without consent. Sexual exploitation is purposely or knowingly doing or attempting to do any of the following: recording or photographing private sexual activity and/or a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) without consent; disseminating or posting images of private sexual activity and/or a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) without consent; allowing third parties to observe private sexual activity from a hidden location (e.g., closet) or through electronic means (e.g., Skype or livestreaming of images); subjecting another person to human trafficking; or exposing another person to a sexually transmitted infection or virus without the other’s knowledge. Relationship violence includes any act of violence or threatened act of violence that occurs between individuals who are involved or have been involved in a sexual, dating, spousal, domestic, or other intimate relationship. Stalking occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person under circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others, or to experience substantial emotional distress.
A student or employee determined by the University to have committed an act of discrimination as described above is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including permanent separation from the University. Third Parties who commit these acts may have their relationships with the University terminated and/or their privileges of being on University premises withdrawn.
Most University faculty and staff (including professors, lecturers, instructors, academic advisors, trainers coaches, and resident assistants) are not confidential employees and are required to immediately report to the University’s Title IX Coordinator (Dawn Welkie) all relevant details (obtained directly or indirectly) about an incident of sexual assault, relationship violence and/or stalking that involves any student. Confidential employees (including Health Services employees, Counseling and Mental Health Services employees, Ombuds Office employees, Student Legal Services employees and Victim Services employees) are not required to make these reports and will not disclose information without the permission of the student (subject to limited exceptions). More information about UCF’s resources and reporting options for individuals who have experienced sexual harassment (including sexual violence) and related policies can be found at http://shield.ucf.edu.
Employees, students, contractors, vendors, visitors, guests or third parties may obtain further information on this policy, including grievance procedures, from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Programs (EOAA). Nancy Myers (EOAA Director) is responsible for the University’s response to all forms of discrimination based on a protected class, and Dawn Welkie (EOAA Assistant Director) is the Title IX Coordinator who is responsible for the University’s response to reports of sex discrimination. For more information about EOAA, please visit EOAA’s website at www.eeo.ucf.edu or call 407-UCF-1EEO.
Sexual Harassment Policy
The University of Central Florida values diversity in the campus community. Accordingly, discrimination on the basis of race, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital status, parental status, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information is prohibited.
Sexual harassment, a form of sex discrimination, is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or enrollment;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or enrollment decisions affecting such individual; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or enrollment, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.
Sexual harassment is strictly prohibited. Occurrences will be dealt with in accordance with the guidelines above and university rules. Employees, students, or applicants for employment or admission may obtain further information on this policy, including grievance procedures, from the Equity Coordinator. The Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Programs is the campus Equity Coordinator responsible for concerns in all areas of discrimination. The office is located on the main campus, in Millican Hall 330, Orlando, FL 32816-0030. The phone number is 407-UCF-1EEO. Policies and guidelines are available online at http://www.eeo.ucf.edu.
The Golden Rule is the university's policy regarding nonacademic discipline of students and limited academic grievance procedures for graduate (grade appeals in individual courses, not including thesis and dissertation courses) and undergraduate students. Information concerning The Golden Rule can be found at www.goldenrule.sdes.ucf.edu/. Section 11, "Student Academic Behavior," addresses appeals of graduate program actions or decisions.
This catalog contains a description of the various policies, academic programs, degree requirements, course offerings, and related matters intended to be in effect at the University of Central Florida during the 2014 - 2015 academic year. However, any matter described in this catalog is subject to change. As a result, statements in this Graduate Catalog may not be regarded in the nature of binding obligations on the institution or the State of Florida, or as an irrevocable commitment from the University to the reader.
Drug-Free Workplace/Drug-Free Schools Policy Statement
Standards of conduct and disciplinary sanctions will be imposed for the unlawful possession, misuse or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by UCF students and employees on UCF property or as part of any of its activities. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or misuse of a controlled substance, prescription medication or the unlawful possession and use of alcohol is harmful and prohibited in and on UCF owned and controlled property or as part of any of its activities. Any UCF employee or student determined to have violated this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action for misconduct, action which may include termination/expulsion and referral for prosecution. No employee/student is to report to work/class or attend any university activity while under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol. Violation of these policies by an employee/student will be reason for evaluation/treatment for drug/alcohol disorder and/or for disciplinary action up to and including termination/expulsion and/or referral for prosecution consistent with local, state and federal law.
Academic Behavior Standards
The University of Central Florida is committed to a policy of honesty in academic affairs. Examples of conduct for which students may be subject to academic and/or disciplinary penalties including expulsion are:
- Cheating, whereby non-permissible written, visual, or oral assistance including that obtained from another student is utilized on examinations, course assignments, or projects. The unauthorized possession or use of examination or course related material may also constitute cheating.
- Plagiarism, whereby another's work is deliberately used or appropriated without any indication of the source, thereby attempting to convey the impression that such work is the student's own. Any student failing to properly credit ideas or materials taken from another has plagiarized.
- Unauthorized assistance: communication to another through written, visual, or oral means. The presentation of material which has not been studied or learned, but rather was obtained solely through someone else's efforts and used as part of an examination, course assignment or project. The unauthorized possession or use of examination or course related material may also constitute cheating.
- Commercial Use of Academic Material: Selling notes, handouts, etc. without authorization or using them for any commercial purpose without the express written permission of the university and the Instructor is a violation of this rule.
NOTE: A student who has assisted another in any of the aforementioned breach of standards shall be considered equally culpable. In cases of cheating or plagiarism, the instructor may take appropriate academic action ranging from loss of credit for a specific assignment, examination, or project to removal from the course with a grade of "F." Additionally, the instructor may request disciplinary action through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities as outlined in The Golden Rule.
Student Use of Technology
The University of Central Florida expects all students to have ready access to a personal computer and software appropriate to his or her field of study. Students can meet this expectation by purchasing or leasing a computer, sharing a computer with family or roommates, or using a UCF computer lab.
All UCF students should expect to use a personal computer in many university activities, including course work, accessing library information, registering for classes, and e-mailing correspondence to instructors or fellow students. In addition, many UCF courses require the use of the Internet.
The University of Central Florida has developed one of the nation's most advanced campus technology environments, and all UCF students are provided free e-mail accounts and Internet access. Students wishing to acquire a personal computer are strongly advised to consider a laptop equipped with a wireless networking card. Recommended configurations can be found on the university's website at www.cstore.ucf.edu
Student Responsibility for University Communication
UCF uses e-mail as the official means of notifying students of important university business and academic information concerning registration, deadlines, financial assistance, scholarships, student accounts (including tuition and fees), academic progress and problems, and many other critical items for satisfactory completion of a UCF degree program. The university sends all business-related and academic messages to a student’s Knights E-mail address to ensure that there is one repository for that information. Every student must register for, and maintain a Knights E-mail account at http://www.knightsemail.ucf.edu and check it regularly to avoid missing important and critical information from the university. Any difficulty with establishing an account or with accessing an established account must be resolved through the UCF Computer Services Service Desk so that a student receives all important messages.
Additionally, each student must have an up-to-date emergency e-mail address and cell phone number by which to be reached in case of a crisis on campus. This emergency contact information will be used only for emergency purposes. Also, both permanent and local mailing addresses must be on record, so that any physical documents that must be mailed can be delivered.
It is critical that students maintain and regularly check their Knights E-mail account for official announcements and notifications. Communications sent to the Knights E-Mail address on record will be deemed adequate notice for all university communication, include issues related to academics, finances, registration, parking, and all other matters. The University does not accept responsibility if official communication fails to reach a student who has not registered for, or maintained and checked on a regular basis, their Knights E-Mail account. Please ensure that this information is current and that any changes in contact information are made online through the myUCF portal at https://my.ucf.edu/.
The University of Central Florida supports the right of students to file grievances, lodge complaints, and make appeals in a safe environment free of fear, retaliation, or other adverse consequence. The university has a number of offices and committees that are responsible for implementing the institution's established procedures for addressing written academic and nonacademic student complaints.
In most cases, the recommended strategy for complaints of any nature is to ask the concerned individual to first contact the person or office most directly connected to the issue, unless there are compelling reasons not to do so. If the concerned individual does not want to contact a faculty or staff member directly, he or she begins with the next highest level of authority, which typically is the department chair or director. If the problem or complaint is unresolved or the individual is not satisfied with the resolution, he or she may file a written grievance or appeal. Specific procedures are included in specific sections of this catalog and the Golden Rule.
Student records submitted to the university become the property of the university and cannot be returned to or copied for the student or released to a third party. Student records are digitally scanned.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The procedures for protecting the confidentiality of student records are based on state regulations and the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 30 days of the day the University receives a written request for access. Students should submit to the University Registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they desire to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed;
- The rights to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. The student may ask the University to amend a record that he or she believes is inaccurate or misleading. The student should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record to be changed, and specify why the current record is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing;
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility; and
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by a State University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington DC, 20202-4605.
FERPA authorizes the University to classify certain information concerning students as "directory information," which means that it may be released to anyone upon request. In accordance with Florida Statutes Section 228.093, the University is required to release student directory information to independent vendors upon request. Directory information at UCF includes
- current mailing address,
- telephone number,
- date of birth,
- major field of study,
- dates of attendance,
- enrollment status,
- degrees and awards received,
- participation in officially registered activities and sports
- athletes' height and weight.
All other student information will be released in accordance with FERPA; in most cases this requires the student's prior written and signed consent. The University extends to students the opportunity to withhold any or all information, including directory information. Students can do this online at https://my.ucf.edu > Student Self Service > Student Center > Personal Information > FERPA/Directory Restriction or complete the Directory Disclosure/Release Authorization form available at the Registrar's Office (Millican Hall 161) or at http://www.registrar.sdes.ucf.edu, requesting that this information be withheld. The Golden Rule outlines the University procedures for confidentiality. For additional information describing FERPA policy, go to the Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office website.
Higher Education Act
Lists, descriptions, and sources of information required for disclosure under the Higher Education Act may be obtained from the Registrar's Office (Millican Hall 161) or from the Registrar's website (Higher Education Act).