Student Handbook

Standards of Conduct and Responsibility

These standards of conduct cover expectations specific to The College of Graduate Studies. Graduate Students are also bound by a set of university-wide policies that are applicable to all academic communities within the University of Central Florida. Alleged violations of these policies by graduate students are addressed using procedures established by the College of Graduate Studies.

The University of Central Florida expects and will require the cooperation of all its students in developing and maintaining high standards of scholarship and conduct.

Students are expected to meet academic requirements and financial obligations in order to remain in good standing. Certain non-academic rules and regulations must also be observed. Failure to meet these requirements may result in summary dismissal by the appropriate officer of the university.

The university wishes to emphasize its policy that all students are subject to the rules and regulations of the university currently in effect or which, from time to time, are put into effect by the appropriate authorities of the university. By accepting admission, graduate students indicate their willingness to subscribe to and be governed by these rules and regulations and acknowledge the right of the university to take such disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion, as may be deemed appropriate for failure to abide by such rules and regulations, or for conduct deemed unsatisfactory or detrimental to the university.

UCF, as a community of scholars, strongly relies upon the standard of academic integrity. Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty represent a corruption of this integrity and, as such, cannot be tolerated. Ignorance of what constitutes academic dishonesty is no excuse for actions that violate the integrity of the community. In a community that builds on the notion of academic integrity, the threat of academic dishonesty represents an intolerable risk.

Students and organizations are responsible for the observation of all policies and rules. Students have a responsibility to keep informed of all rules, regulations, and procedures required by the program and the university, so please read this student handbook and the Graduate Catalog carefully to ensure you have a good experience at UCF.

Some of the basic responsibilities of a graduate student are of a more general nature and apply to all students at UCF and they are:

  • Maintain appropriate student conduct as outlined in the Golden Rule.
  • Comply with university regulations as established in the Golden Rule, the Graduate Catalog, and this handbook and in other university publications and local, state, and federal laws.
  • Cooperate with university officials acting in an official capacity within established guidelines.
  • Maintain ethics in the conduct of research.
  • Do not download materials indiscriminately that avoids licensing fees.
  • Maintain classroom decorum appropriate to the educational environment.
  • Maintain a Knights Email account and use it often to officially communicate with the university. Also, notify the university of an emergency email address and cell phone number to be used in a campus crisis.

The following list describes some specific responsibilities for you as a graduate student.

  • Provide honest information on the graduate application and in all resumes and other materials that reflect your history.
  • Create a program of study by the second semester if you are a full-time master’s student and the third semester if a full-time doctoral student, or the equivalent time period for a part-time student.
  • Meet regularly with your faculty adviser, if you are engaged in a research program.
  • Take care of all transfer work by the first term in a new degree program.
  • Make satisfactory academic progress by not delaying important exams.
  • Comprehensive exams should be taken in the second year for master’s students. Most master’s students should graduate in two years if full-time and three to four years if part-time.
  • Qualifying exams should be taken in the first year to year and a half for masters students. Candidacy exams should be taken in the third year for doctoral students. Most doctoral students should graduate in four to five years.
  • Make up any incompletes in a timely manner.
  • Let the university know if you are discontinuing your graduate program or are requiring a (non)medical leave of absence. Also, do not walk away from your courses in the middle of the semester. These courses will more than likely be recorded as “F” grades and this may haunt you if you should try to attend graduate school elsewhere or reenter graduate school here.
  • Take responsibility for your education and your experiences. You want to receive the education that will prepare you to be the professional you aspire to and this means gaining the breadth and depth of knowledge in your discipline and related disciplines. It is important to get outside of your department, to talk with others, to network with professionals or those at other institutions that are interested in similar research. Take time to attend seminars, workshops, and other events. Be sure to present your research at appropriate venues. Be prepared and willing and able to discuss your research with other graduate students and faculty.
  • If you plan to become a professor, then you must teach as part of your graduate education and you must learn to document your teaching experiences. You also need to learn to teach an online course and there is training available to do this through the Center for Distributed Learning.
  • Maintain professional behavior as an instructor, avoiding harassment, favoritism, and conflict of interest and maintaining professional behavior with regard to student records.
  • Behave with integrity and professionalism, including referencing work obtained from others. This is most problematic in your thesis or dissertation where failure to keep organized records of where you obtained information can lead to problems with citations when the time comes to write your work.
  • Let the university know if you are leaving an assistantship earlier than the agreement period.
  • Disclose to the Office of Research any original work that is potentially patentable made in the course of university-supported efforts.

The Graduate Catalog has a broader description of student conduct and information in the General University Polices.

Students should review the Golden Rule Student Handbook for information on conduct regulations and related procedures and resources. Published annually by the Office of Student Conduct, the Golden Rule Student Handbook describes university standards for students regarding their conduct in the university community and their rights and responsibilities.

And in particular, for graduate students, Appeals of Graduate Program Actions or Decisions (Regulation UCF-5.017) outlines academic performance and grievance procedures.

Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities

The UCF Creed is: Integrity, scholarship, community, creativity, and excellence are the core values that guide our conduct, performance, and decisions.

The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR) promotes a campus climate of integrity, civility, accountability, and student well-being by providing a wide array of resources, education, and support services for the university community. The OSRR office is comprised of: Student Conduct, Integrity and Ethical Development and Student Care Services.

Student Care Services

Integrity and Ethical Development

Office of Student Conduct

Registration Academic Environment