Carnegie Mellon University

Disciplinary Records

In addition to determining course level action, both the undergraduate and graduate policies require that instructors report the incident and outcome to the student’s associate dean and department head, the instructor’s associate dean and department head, and the Dean of Student Affairs. For graduate students, a disciplinary report could likely result in departmental or program-level action in addition to any course-level action but you should consult your department handbook for specific details. Common outcomes for graduate students at the departmental level range from being prohibited from serving as a teaching assistant (TA) to loss of funding.

Reports of both undergraduate and graduate cases are forwarded to the Dean of Student Affairs. The Office of Community Standards and Integrity is responsible for maintaining the centralized records of all academic integrity cases. Staff members in the office also coordinate the adjudication process for any undergraduate appeals or second-level reviews that are heard by an Academic Review Board (ARB). Undergraduate and graduate students who are reported for academic integrity violations can expect to be contacted by a staff member from the Office of Community Standards and Integrity for a follow-up meeting to discuss their disciplinary record, the ability to appeal, and a second-level review if applicable.

A student’s disciplinary record consists of the official notification from the instructor, any supporting documentation, and any subsequent correspondence. Disciplinary records are protected by FERPA and are not released to parents, employers, or graduate schools without the written consent of the student. Records are maintained for three years after the student graduates or withdraws from the university at which point they are expunged. They may become part of a background check if the student provides the necessary permission to access the records.

Students who fail a course as a result of a disciplinary violations or who otherwise receive point deductions that impact their final grade will see that grade appear on their transcript. However, the reason why that grade was assigned will not appear. So while it will not explicitly state that a student failed a class due to an academic integrity issue, a failing grade that is an outlier on a transcript with otherwise solid grades will warrant further explanation.
Employers and graduate schools often perform background checks that require candidates to authorize the release of full academic records from all institutions previously attended. A full academic record includes a student’s transcript and their disciplinary records. An academic integrity report will appear as part of a background check.

In order for the Office of Community Standards and Integrity to release information about a student’s disciplinary record to a prospective employer or graduate school, the student must authorize the release of that information in writing.

Student Affairs is notified of the authorization and once it is received, the Office of Community Standards and Integrity contacts the student to confirm that the authorization has been received.

Student Affairs provides the employer or graduate school with a letter that notes the number of violation(s), the course in which each violation occurred, the policy violation, and the outcome. It will also note the status of the case.

Students are considered to be in good standing if there is no disciplinary record or if they have fulfilled the terms of any sanctions from a policy violation. Students are not considered to be in good standing if there are any outstanding penalties.

If you have any questions or need more information about a background check, please contact ocsi@andrew.cmu.edu or call 412-268-2140.