Student Policies

Course Information & Policies

Student Conduct

The University seeks an environment that promotes academic achievement and integrity, that is protective of free inquiry, and that serves the educational mission of the University. Similarly, the University seeks a community that is free from violence, threats, and intimidation; that is respectful of the rights, opportunities, and welfare of students, faculty, staff, and guests of the University; and that does not threaten the physical or mental health or safety of members of the University community.

As a student at the University you are expected adhere to Board of Regents Student Conduct Code.

Note that the conduct code specifically addresses disruptive classroom conduct, which means “engaging in behavior that substantially or repeatedly interrupts either the instructor’s ability to teach or student learning. The classroom extends to any setting where a student is engaged in work toward academic credit or satisfaction of program-based requirements or related activities.”

Scholastic Dishonesty, Plagiarism, Cheating, etc.

You are expected to do your own academic work and cite sources as necessary. Failing to do so is scholastic dishonesty. Scholastic dishonesty means plagiarizing; cheating on assignments or examinations; engaging in unauthorized collaboration on academic work; taking, acquiring, or using test materials without faculty permission; submitting false or incomplete records of academic achievement; acting alone or in cooperation with another to falsify records or to obtain dishonestly grades, honors, awards, or professional endorsement; altering, forging, or misusing a University academic record; or fabricating or falsifying data, research procedures, or data analysis (As defined in the Student Conduct Code). For additional information on an instructor’s requirement to report scholastic dishonesty, see the Teaching and Learning: Instructor and Unit Responsibilities policy.

The Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity has compiled a useful list of Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to scholastic dishonesty.

If you have additional questions, please clarify with your  instructor. Your instructor can respond to your specific questions regarding what would constitute scholastic dishonesty in the context of a particular class-e.g., whether collaboration on assignments is permitted, requirements and methods for citing sources, if electronic aids are permitted or prohibited during an exam.

Indiana University offers a clear description of plagiarism and an online quiz to check your understanding.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Minnesota is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. The Disability Resource Center is the campus office that collaborates with students who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange reasonable accommodations.

If you have, or think you may have, a disability (e.g., mental health, attentional, learning, chronic health, sensory, or physical), please contact DRC at 612-626-1333 or to arrange a confidential discussion regarding equitable access and reasonable accommodations.

Sexual Harassment

“Sexual harassment” means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment in any University activity or program.

Makeup Work for Legitimate Reasons

If you experience an extraordinary event that prevents you from completing coursework on time and you would like to make arrangements to make up your work, contact your instructor within 24 hours of the missed deadline if an event could not have been anticipated and at least 48 hours prior if it is anticipated. Per University policy, legitimate reasons for making up work may include:

  • illness
  • serious accident or personal injury
  • hospitalization
  • death or serious illness within the family
  • bereavement
  • religious observances
  • subpoenas
  • jury duty
  • military service
  • participation in intercollegiate athletic events

Circumstances that qualify for making up missed work will be handled by the instructor on a case-by-case basis; they will always be considered but not always granted.

Mental Health and Stress Management

As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance and may reduce your ability to participate in daily activities. University of Minnesota services are available to assist you. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus via the Student Mental Health Website.

Use of Personal Electronic Devices in the Classroom

The University establishes the right of each faculty member to determine if and how personal electronic devices are allowed to be used in the classroom.

Appropriate Student Use of Class Notes and Course Materials

Instructor-provided notes and transcripts should not be distributed without instructor consent.

The Office of Student Affairs at the University of Minnesota

The Office for Student Affairs provides services, programs, and facilities that advance student success, inspire students to make life-long positive contributions to society, promote an inclusive environment, and enrich the University of Minnesota community.

Units within the Office for Student Affairs include, the Aurora Center for Advocacy & Education, Boynton Health Service, Central Career Initiatives (CCE, CDes, CFANS), Leadership Education and Development –Undergraduate Programs (LEAD-UP), the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life, the Office for Community Standards, the Office for Student Engagement, the Parent Program, Recreational Sports, Student and Community Relations, the Student Conflict Resolution Center, the Student Parent HELP Center, Student Unions & Activities, University Counseling & Consulting Services, and University Student Legal Service.

Academic Freedom and Responsibility

Academic freedom is a cornerstone of the University. Within the scope and content of the course as defined
by the instructor, it includes the freedom to discuss relevant matters in the classroom and conduct relevant
research in courses in which students are conducting research. Along with this freedom comes responsibility. Students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth. Students are free to take reasoned exception to the views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.*

When conducting research, pertinent institutional approvals must be obtained and the research must be
consistent with University policies.

Reports of concerns about academic freedom are taken seriously, and there are individuals and offices available for help. Contact the instructor, the Department Chair, your adviser, the associate dean of the college, (Dr. Kristin Anderson,, SPH Associate Dean for Learning Systems and Student Affairs), or the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs in the Office of the Provost.

* Language adapted from the American Association of University Professors “Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students”.

Grading Policies

UMN Uniform Grading & Transcript Policy

Information about the UMN policy on grading and transcripts.

Grade Option Change

For full-semester courses, students may change their grade option, if applicable, through the second week of the semester. Grade option change deadlines for other terms vary (i.e. summer and half-semester courses); students should reference Refund and Drop/Add Deadlines for specific deadlines.

Course Withdrawal

Students should refer to the Refund and Drop/Add Deadlines for information and deadlines for withdrawing from a course. As a courtesy, students should notify their instructor and, if applicable, advisor of their intent to withdraw.

Students wishing to withdraw from a course after the noted final deadline for a particular term must contact the School of Public Health Student Services Center at for further information.

Incomplete Contracts

A grade of incomplete “I” shall be assigned at the discretion of the instructor when, due to extraordinary circumstances (e.g., documented illness or hospitalization, death in family, etc.), the student was prevented from completing the work of the course on time.

The assignment of an “I” requires that a contract be initiated and completed by the student before the last official day of class, and signed by both the student and instructor. If an incomplete is deemed appropriate by the instructor, the student, in consultation with the instructor, will specify the time and manner in which the student will complete course requirements. Extension for completion of the work will not exceed one year (or earlier if designated by the student’s college). The maximum time allowed for a student to fulfill incomplete course requirements is one year or as specified on the incomplete contract, agreed upon by the instructor and student.

Students who fail to meet incomplete contract deadlines as determined by instructor and student will receive a grade of F or N (depending on grade option). For more information and to initiate an incomplete contract, students should go to SPHGrades.

Course Evaluations

Student feedback on course content and faculty teaching skills are an important means for improving our work. The SPH collects anonymous student course evaluations electronically using a software system called CoursEval. Students who complete their course evaluations will be able to access their final grade as soon as the faculty member submits the grade in SPHGrades before it is recorded on an official transcript. All students will have access to their final grades through MyU two weeks after the last day of the term regardless of whether they completed their course evaluation or not.

Note: This is School of Public Health procedure—not a University-wide policy—and therefore applies to Public Health courses only.

Technology Readiness

Moodle and Canvas

Course-related materials are on your course site, which is either in Moodle or Canvas during Spring and Summer 2019, with all courses moving to Canvas as of Fall 2019. You are expected to access the course site at least once per week; be sure to check the announcements and discussion forums often for the most up-to-date course information.

To access Moodle course sites:
Log into Moodle using your UMN Internet ID and password
Scroll down the Moodle homepage to the link for your course; click it to access the course site.

To access Canvas course sites:
Log into Canvas using your UMN Internet ID and password.
The first time you log into Canvas, you will need to accept the “terms of use” to gain access to your courses.
Review your Canvas Dashboard for the link for your course; click it to access the course site.

If it has been more than 24 hours since you have registered and the semester has started and you have problems accessing Moodle or Canvas course sites, email UMN technology help at

More assistance with Canvas is available via the Student Help Resources page.

Computer and Internet Expectations and Access

SPH courses require use of the Internet for access to the course site and University email. Students are expected to have reliable access to a computer and high-speed Internet.

If you don’t have reliable computer and/or Internet access at home, computers with reliable Internet for general use are available at most campus and community libraries.

University of Minnesota Technology Support

The University of Minnesota provides technical support services to students through the Office of Information Technology (OIT). UMN technical support can help with any questions about your University accounts (Email/Google Apps, Moodle or Canvas access, MyU Portal, passwords, etc.); you can also search for answers or chat live with a support staff member. You can also call the Help Desk (612-301-4357 or 1-HELP on campus) or stop by Tech Stop.

Note: UMN Tech, Moodle & Canvas support are not able to access or make any changes to your Moodle or Canvas course sites. If you have issues within the course site, visit SPH Quick Help.

Web Browser

SPH recommends using newer versions of Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome as your web browser when accessing content via your Canvas or Moodle course site. Both of these web browsers can be downloaded for free:

Note: We do not recommend using Internet Explorer as your web browser.

UMN Student Resources

Important Dates

The University’s academic calendar lists important University dates, deadlines, and holidays

Housing and Financial Instability

Any student who has difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day or who lacks a safe and stable place to live, and believes this may affect their performance in the course, is encouraged to utilize local housing and financial resources, the Nutritious U Food Pantry, the Student Emergency Loan Fund, or emergency funding through the Student Parent HELP Center (for students with a child/children). Furthermore, please notify your instructor or TA if you are comfortable in doing so they can provide any other resources they may be aware of.

Student Writing Support

Student Writing Support (SWS) offers free writing instruction for all University of Minnesota students—graduate and undergraduate—at all stages of the writing process. In face-to-face and online collaborative consultations, SWS consultants from across the disciplines help students develop productive writing habits and revision strategies.

Consulting is available by appointment online and in Nicholson Hall, and on a walk-in basis in Appleby Hall. For more information, visit the SWS website or call 612-625-1893.

In addition, SWS’s web-based resources offer support on a number of topics such as avoiding plagiarism, documenting sources, and planning and completing a writing project.

Student Academic Success Services (SASS)

Students who wish to improve their academic performance may find assistance from Student Academic Support Services.

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