Academic Policies

The Office of the Vice Provost of Educational Affairs oversees university policies that encompass both graduate and undergraduate education. It is recommended that members of the university community consult these policies and procedures whenever academic issues necessitate review and consideration.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity has an important role in the success of our students, faculty, staff and our institution. Members of the UB community achieve academic excellence through honest and fair learning experiences, research endeavors and service opportunities that not only benefit current educational study, but lay the groundwork for ethical work in various disciplines across the globe.

In cases of academic integrity violations, the university will pursue appropriate sanctions subject to official policy.

Admissions Integrity

The University at Buffalo annually welcomes tens of thousands of applications for admission from students around the globe. This process provides applicants a comprehensive means to fully and effectively present their academic records and experience for a sensitive and holistic review and determination of admissibility.

UB expects and assumes all applicants will adhere to the highest standards of integrity by fully and accurately providing the information and documentation required for this full and fair review. If, in the course of the admissions process or subsequent to a student’s enrollment, questions arise regarding the completeness or accuracy of any aspect of the an individual’s application to UB, the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Affairs should be notified and a review of the circumstances will result following the process delineated in the appropriate Undergraduate Admissions Integrity policy (below) or Graduate Admissions Integrity policy.

Undergraduate Admissions Integrity Policy

The University at Buffalo Student Code of Conduct – University Standards and Administrative Regulations cites in the General Conduct Rules and Regulations that:

Any student found responsible for committing the following misconduct is subject to disciplinary sanctioning:

Article 3, Item 12 – Dishonesty - the following is noted under section D: iv. Knowingly falsifying application information

Students found to have knowingly falsified application information may be subject to suspension, dismissal or other administrative penalties.

Informal Procedure

From time to time, students apply and are admitted to UB, but they omit a transcript for prior college-level work. Then, after the student is enrolled, the transcript is received and the student seeks the credit for their record. The following will be applied to such cases:

  1. If a student is not yet enrolled, the Office of Admissions will determine if any admission decision should stand or be withdrawn.
  2. If after a student is enrolled, and a previously omitted transcript is presented, the student will be notified of the lapse and asked for an explanation. Based on this information, the process will follow these guidelines:
    1. If the quality of the prior work would not have altered the admissions decision, credit will be granted if — the omission is determined to be an honest error, and the credit would not have changed their applicant type from a freshman to transfer.
    2. If the quality of the prior work would not have altered the admissions decision, but the omission is determined to be intentional or the credit would have changed the student’s applicant type from freshman to transfer, the student will be allowed to continue at UB as the original applicant type (e.g., applied as freshman despite prior work), but the credit will not be awarded to the student.
    3. If the student is denied the credit, but allowed to remain at UB, he or she may petition this decision to the vice provost for educational affairs. The formal procedure will then ensue.
    4. If the quality of the prior work would have altered the admissions decision, the student will be subject to a vice provost for educational affairs Admissions Integrity Committee review and may be considered for dismissal or other administrative penalties. The formal procedure will then ensue.

Formal Procedure

Step 1

The Office of Admissions submits a written request to the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Affairs to initiate formal proceedings or a student petitions the decision of the Office of Admissions regarding credit for prior unreported work at another institution.

Step 2

The Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Affairs will officially notify the student (via certified, return receipt mail), of the allegation of admissions dishonesty and the institution of these proceedings. If it is a petition, the vice provost for educational affairs will notify the student of the committee hearing process.

Step 3

The vice provost for educational affairs will convene the Admissions Integrity Committee to hear the case. The committee shall convene within 20* academic days from the date which the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Affairs received written notification from the Office of Admissions requesting the initiation of these formal proceedings or receipt of the student’s petition.

The Admissions Integrity Committee will consist of members from the Office of Admissions, the Office of Judicial Affairs, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Affairs.

The Admissions Integrity Committee shall give the student at least 72 hours’ notice of the hearing. The student shall provide the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Affairs with a written statement including evidence supporting his/her position.

Step 4

At the hearing, the Admissions Integrity Committee shall provide the student sufficient opportunity to present his/her position. The student shall have the right to be present and to have one advisor present at hearing. In no case shall the advisor be an attorney, unless he or she is a member of the faculty not acting in his/her capacity as member of the bar. The advisor may not speak. Such hearings shall be conducted in confidence. The technical and formal rules of evidence applicable in a court of law are not controlling, and the Admissions Integrity Committee may hear all relevant material and reliable evidence that will contribute to an informed result. The chair of the committee may exclude irrelevant or unduly repetitious evidence.

Step 5

Once the hearing has adjourned, the committee will review all applicable evidence and submit a written statement of recommendations and reasons for recommendations to the vice provost for educational affairs. The written statement of recommendations shall be submitted within 10 academic days* after the final meeting of the committee.

Recommendations may include:

  • Dismissal of Case: Insufficient evidence shall be grounds for dismissal of the case. No file shall be kept.
  • Not Responsible for Breaching Admissions Integrity: No sanctions shall be imposed, and no file shall be kept.
  • Responsible for Breaching Admissions Integrity Sanctions Imposed: If a majority of the Admissions Integrity Committee is convinced that the student committed a violation, the committee has the right to recommend to the vice provost for educational affairs one or more of the following sanctions:
    • Admonition: An oral statement that he or she has violated a university standard of integrity.
    • Warning: Written notice to the student that the repetition of the wrongful conduct may be cause for more severe sanctions including: suspension, expulsion, or other appropriate sanctions. [Please note: Only the university president, or designee, may suspend or expel students.]
    • Adjudication through the Student Wide Judiciary.
    • Suspension from the University: For a definite term upon stated conditions. [Please note: Only the university president or his/her designate may suspend a student from the university.]
    • Expulsion from the University: With comment on the transcript. [Please note: Only the university president or his/her designate may expel a student from the university.
    • Other as Appropriate to the Individual Situation.

Step 6

Upon thorough consideration of the committee’s findings and recommendations, the vice provost for educational affairs shall, if he/she finds the student responsible for breaching admissions integrity, keep a file of the matter consisting of all written communications, all written evidence, an audiotape or other record of the hearing, and its decision letter in the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Affairs.

The vice provost for educational affairs shall, if he/she finds the student not responsible for breaching admissions integrity, expunge the student’s record regarding this matter.

Step 7

The final decision (Statement of Decision) and sanctions imposed shall be submitted in writing from the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Affairs to the student within 10 academic days* of receiving the Admissions Integrity Committee’s statement of recommendations.

The decision of the vice provost for educational affairs is final. The only ground by which a student may challenge the decision of the vice provost for educational affairs is based upon limitations of due process.

If found responsible, the Statement of Decision shall be included in the student’s confidential file maintained in the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Affairs.

*Academic days are defined as weekdays when classes are in session.

Additional policy information pertaining to UB’s undergraduate and graduate populations can be accessed on our Undergraduate Policies page and the Graduate School’s Policy Library.