6.0 Student Responsibilities

6.1 Student Declaration and Responsibility

Upon registering, a student has initiated a contract with the University and is bound by the following declaration:

“I hereby accept and submit myself to the statutes, rules and regulations, and ordinances (including bylaws, codes, and policies) of The University of British Columbia, and of the faculty or faculties in which I am registered, and to any amendments thereto which may be made while I am a student of the University, and I promise to observe the same.”

The student declaration is important. It imposes obligations on students and affects rights and privileges, including property rights. You must not enrol as a student at the University if you do not agree to become bound by the declaration above. By agreeing to become a student, you make the declaration above and agree to be bound by it.

Each student is required to furnish the information necessary for the University record and to keep Enrolment Services informed of changes in name and contact information.

Students are required to inform themselves of the statutes, rules and regulations, and ordinances (including bylaws, codes, and policies) and to any amendments thereto applicable at the University. For more information , please see the Index of Board of Governors Policies and Senate Policies.

The University authorities do not assume responsibilities for others that naturally rest with adults themselves. This being so, the University relies on the good sense and on the home training of students for the preservation of good moral standards and for appropriate modes of behaviour and dress.

The University and University authorities are not obligated to enforce any statutes, rules, regulations, or ordinances (including bylaws, codes, or policies) if discretionarily enforceable by law or made under its, or their, power or authority.

6.2 Academic Freedom

The members of the University enjoy certain rights and privileges essential to the fulfilment of its primary functions: instruction and the pursuit of knowledge. Central among these rights is the freedom, within the law, to pursue what seems to them as fruitful avenues of inquiry, to teach and to learn unhindered by external or non-academic constraints, and to engage in full and unrestricted consideration of any opinion.

This freedom extends not only to the regular members of the University but to all who are invited to participate in its forum. Suppression of this freedom, whether by institutions of the state, the officers of the University, or the actions of private individuals, would prevent the University from carrying out its primary functions.

All members of the University must recognize this fundamental principle and must share responsibility for supporting, safeguarding, and preserving this central freedom. Behaviour that obstructs free and full discussion, not only of ideas that are safe and accepted but also of those that may be unpopular or even abhorrent, vitally threatens the integrity of the University’s forum. Such behaviour cannot be tolerated.

6.3 Academic Honesty and Standards

Academic honesty is essential to the continued functioning of the University of British Columbia as an institution of higher learning and research. All UBC students are expected to behave as honest and responsible members of an academic community. Failure to follow the appropriate policies, principles, rules, and guidelines of the University with respect to academic honesty may result in disciplinary action.

It is the student’s obligation to inform himself or herself of the applicable standards for academic honesty. Students must be aware that standards at the University of British Columbia may be different from those in secondary schools or at other institutions. If a student is in any doubt as to the standard of academic honesty in a particular course or assignment, then the student must consult with the instructor as soon as possible, and in no case should a student submit an assignment if the student is not clear on the relevant standard of academic honesty.

If an allegation is made against a student, the Registrar may place the student on academic hold until the President has made his or her final decision. When a student is placed on academic hold, the student is blocked from all activities in the student system.

6.4 Academic Misconduct

Students are responsible for informing themselves of the guidelines of acceptable and unacceptable conduct for graded assignments established by their instructors for specific courses, and of the examples of academic misconduct set out below. Academic misconduct that is subject to disciplinary measures includes, but is not limited to, engaging in, attempting to engage in, or assisting others to engage in any of the actions described below.

  1. Cheating, which may include, but is not limited to:
    1. falsification of any material subject to academic evaluation, including research data;
    2. use of or participation in unauthorized collaborative work;
    3. use or possession in an examination of any materials (including devices) other than those permitted by the examiner;
    4. use, possession, or facilitation of unauthorized means to complete an examination (e.g., receiving unauthorized assistance from another person, or providing that assistance); and
    5. dishonest practices that breach rules governing examinations or submissions for academic evaluation see Student Conduct during Exmainations).
  2. Plagiarism, which is intellectual theft, occurs when an individual submits or presents the oral or written work of another person as his or her own. Scholarship quite properly rests upon examining and referring to the thoughts and writings of others. However, when another person’s words (i.e., phrases, sentences, or paragraphs), ideas, or entire works are used, the author must be acknowledged in the text, in footnotes, in endnotes, or in another accepted form of academic citation. Where direct quotations are made, they must be clearly delineated (e.g., within quotation marks or separately indented). Failure to provide proper attribution is plagiarism because it represents someone else’s work as one’s own. Plagiarism should not occur in submitted drafts or final works. A student who seeks assistance from a tutor or other scholastic aids must ensure that the work submitted is the student’s own. Students are responsible for ensuring that any work submitted does not constitute plagiarism. Students who are in any doubt as to what constitutes plagiarism should consult their instructor before handing in any assignments.
  3. Submitting the same, or substantially the same, essay, presentation, or assignment more than once (whether the earlier submission was at this or another institution) unless prior approval has been obtained from the instructor(s) to whom the assignment is to be submitted.
  4. Impersonating a candidate at an examination or other evaluation, facilitating the impersonation of a candidate, or availing oneself of the results of an impersonation.
  5. Submitting false records or information, orally or in writing, or failing to provide relevant information when requested.
  6. Falsifying or submitting false documents, transcripts, or other academic credentials.
  7. Failing to comply with any disciplinary measure imposed for academic misconduct.

Additional information on Academic Misconduct can be found in the Academic Calendar.


Academic misconduct often results in a one-year suspension from the University and a notation of academic discipline on the student’s record. However, disciplinary measures which may be imposed, singly or in combination, for academic misconduct include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. a letter of reprimand;
  2. a failing grade or mark of zero on the assignment or in the course in which the academic misconduct occurred;
  3. suspension, cancellation, or forfeiture of any scholarships, bursaries, or prizes;
  4. suspension from the University for a specified period of time1;
  5. expulsion from the University;
  6. denial of admission or readmission to the University for a specified or indefinite period of time;
  7. a notation of academic discipline on the student’s record in the Student Information System, which will appear on the student’s Transcript of Academic Record;
  8. revocation of a degree or other academic credentials dishonestly or improperly obtained.

The laying of criminal charges or the commencement of civil proceedings does not preclude the University from commencing disciplinary proceedings or taking disciplinary measures against a student who has committed academic misconduct.

1During the period of suspension, a student may not participate in activities of the University, including, but not limited to, attending or auditing classes. Students will not receive credit for courses taken at another institution during a suspension.

6.5 Discipline for Non-Academic Misconduct: Student Code of Conduct

The University is a community of students, faculty, and staff involved in learning, teaching, research, and other activities. In accordance with the UBC Statement on Respectful Environment for Students, Faculty and Staff, all members of this community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that contributes positively to an environment in which respect, civility, diversity, opportunity, and inclusiveness are valued, so as to assure the success of both the individual and the community.

The purpose of this Student Code of Conduct is to define the general standard of conduct expected of students, provide examples of conduct that may be subject to disciplinary action by the University, provide examples of disciplinary measures that may be imposed, and set out the process and procedures that the University will follow when an allegation of non-academic misconduct is made. Students are expected to be aware of, and to conduct themselves in accordance with, this Code.

The University respects the right of students to conduct their own personal lives. This Code governs conduct only to the extent necessary to protect the integrity and proper functioning of the academic and non-academic activities of the University, the peaceful and safe enjoyment of University facilities by other members of the University and the public, the freedom of members of the University to participate reasonably in the programs of the University and in activities in or on the University’s premises, or to protect the property of the University or its members.

Please refer to the full Student Code of Conduct in the Academic Calendar.

6.6 University Policies

University-wide policies approved by the Board of Governors are available at the Index of all Policies.

Policies approved by the UBC Okanagan Senate are available at Okanagan Senate Policy Abstracts.

6.7 Intellectual Property

All members of the UBC community must be knowledgeable about intellectual property so that they can protect their own rights and respect the rights of others. Intellectual property issues are best understood within a framework that includes: (1) the research policies of the University (Policy 85Policy 87Policy 88); (2) the standards and traditions of the relevant academic discipline(s); (3) Canadian law; and (4) the terms of applicable contracts (from Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Intellectual Property Guide). The Intellectual Property Guide articulates the complexity of Intellectual Property and should serve as a useful guide to students and supervisors, along with the three key policies noted above. Intellectual property rights should be discussed with the student right from the start of the research/creative endeavor and this discussion should be formally documented.

6.8 Scholarly Integrity

The UBC Policy 85 on Scholarly Integrity applies to all course work and all thesis/ dissertation work. Plagiarism and fabrication or falsification of research data will be considered academic misconduct. UBC Policy 85 stipulates that the principal investigator is responsible for “ensuring that the research conditions applicable to the research project, including compensation and practices around supervision, authorship and recording data, are properly articulated in writing and disseminated to all members of the research team prior to engagement in the project”. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at UBCV provides a Sample Letter to Graduate Students that supervisors can use to set up expectations.

For more information, see Policy 85.

6.9 Research And Ethics

All research involving human participants, animals or biohazards must first be reviewed by, and receive approval from, the appropriate Research Ethics Board before research can commence. Failure to obtain the appropriate ethics approvals prior to conducting research may result in an outcome of “fail” on the thesis/dissertation examination.

6.10 Copyright

For a complete understanding of copyright and copyright issues, refer to the Copyright at UBC webpage. 


Students hold copyright to their theses or dissertations regardless of the method of submission.



Electronic theses and dissertations are subject to the same copyright protection as paper documents.


Copying material that was produced by persons other than the thesis or dissertation author may violate the law of copyright.


A student may obtain permission to use copyrighted material in their thesis or dissertation, provided the copyright holder(s) agrees to the cIRcle Non-Exclusive Distribution License.


Since a student owns copyright to their thesis or dissertation as a whole, they are free to publish it if they wish. Students are advised to conduct due diligence and publish with a reputable academic publisher.

If the thesis or dissertation includes any work (e.g., figures, tables, etc.) that is copyrighted by a third party, permission from that party is required to publish the thesis or dissertation.

6.11 Review for Authenticity

All work submitted by students (including, without limitation, essays, dissertations, theses, examinations, tests, reports, presentations, problem sets, and tutorial assignments) may be reviewed by the University for authenticity and originality. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, such review may include the use of software tools and third-party services, including Internet-based services such as TurnItIn.com. By submitting work, students consent to their work undergoing such review and being retained in a database for comparison with other work submitted by students. The results of such review may be used in any University investigation or disciplinary proceedings (see Student Discipline).

6.12 Attendance

Students are expected to:

  1. Attend all classes regularly, including lectures, labs, tutorials, seminars, etc.
  2. Speak with the relevant course instructor and with their supervisor if falling behind in coursework.
  3. Report absences due to illness or disability to their instructors upon returning to class.

Students may not, concurrently with their University attendance, take studies for University degree credit through any other institution by correspondence, evening, or regular session class without the approval of their Graduate program coordinator and the College of Graduate Studies.

6.13 Academic Accommodation Process

The College of Graduate Studies (CoGs) recognizes the moral and legal duty of the University to provide academic accommodation to students with disabilities by removing barriers, providing opportunities, and welcoming them as participating members of the university community. CoGs adheres to the UBCO Board of Governors Policy 73, Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities. This policy provides for students to receive reasonable academic accommodations while maintaining the academic standards of the university. Academic accommodations cannot remove the need for evaluation or the need for students to meet essential learning outcomes.

Graduate students seeking academic accommodations should consult Policy 73 and meet with the staff at the Disability Resource Centre (DRC). The DRC is responsible for assessing the disability related needs of students and recommending appropriate academic accommodations. This process applies for graduate students who require an accommodation in a specific course, during any part of a Master’s examination, doctoral comprehensive examination, or the oral defense component of completing a research proposal, thesis, or dissertation.

Policy 73 stipulates that a request for accommodations be brought to the attention of appropriate personnel in a timely manner. In the case of accommodations for a specific class, the policy makes clear that students need to give their accommodation letter to the instructor during the first two weeks of class; this policy holds for graduate students. For any component of Master’s examinations and doctoral comprehensive examinations, CoGS similarly requires notice of an accommodation request at least two weeks in advance of that component of the examination taking place. The process of scheduling the oral defense of a thesis or dissertation begins when a student submits their final draft to CoGS. CoGS requires that students seeking academic accommodation for oral defenses submit their letter of request at the same time that they submit their final thesis or dissertation draft. Because administration of these examinations is time sensitive, there must be allowance for all parties to adequately prepare for an appropriate accommodation as recommended by the DRC.

6.14 Academic Concession

The University is committed to supporting students in their academic pursuits. Students may request academic concession in circumstances that may adversely affect their attendance or performance in a course or program. Generally, such circumstances fall into one of two categories: conflicting responsibilities and unforeseen events.

Academic concession is different from academic accommodation for a disability. Students with disabilities may apply for an academic accommodation. See  and UBC Policy 73: Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities.

Conflicting responsibilities include, but may not be limited to: representing the University, the province, or the country in a competition or performance; serving in the Canadian military; observing a religious rite; working to support oneself or one’s family; and having responsibility for the care of a family member.

Unforeseen events include, but may not be limited to: ill health or other personal challenges that arise during a term; and changes in the requirements of an ongoing job.

Students who intend to or must, as the result of circumstance, request academic concession should notify their instructor, dean, or director as specified below.

Students with conflicting responsibilities have a duty to arrange their course schedules so as to avoid as much as possible any conflicts with course requirements. Students with such responsibilities are also required to discuss with their course instructor(s) at the start of each term, or as soon as a conflicting responsibility arises, any accommodation that may be requested. Instructors may not be able to comply with all such requests especially if the academic standards and integrity of the course or program could be compromised.

Religious observance may preclude attending classes or examinations at certain times. In accordance with UBC Policy 65: Religious Holidays, students who wish to be accommodated for religious reasons must notify their instructors in writing at least two weeks in advance, and preferably earlier.

Students who, because of unforeseen events, are absent during the term and are unable to complete tests or other graded work, should normally discuss with their instructors how they can make up for missed work, according to written guidelines given to them at the start of the course (see Grading Practices). Instructors are not required to make allowance for any missed test or incomplete work that is not satisfactorily accounted for. If ill health is an issue, students are encouraged to seek attention from a health professional. The Health & Wellness Centre will normally provide documentation only to students who have been seen previously at these offices for treatment or counselling specific to conditions associated with their academic difficulties. Students who feel that requests for consideration have not been dealt with fairly by their instructors may take their concerns to the office of their dean or director.

Students who, because of unforeseen events, experience a prolonged absence during a term or who miss a final or term-end examination, must report to their dean or director to request academic concession as close as possible to the time when attendance is adversely affected. The University, in considering these requests or any appeals of decisions on academic concession, will not normally take into account untimely notifications. The occurrence of adverse personal circumstances that cannot be anticipated may necessitate that a student seek academic concession more than once. Each request for academic concession will be considered on its merits. Repeat requests based on the same or similar reasons may require a different response than de novo requests.

Before responding to a student’s request, the dean or director may require supporting documentation and may also ask the student to formulate and follow an academic plan which would include: a reduction in course load; a commitment to an ongoing program of medical care, counselling services, or support from the Disability Resource Centre; or other appropriate actions. The student’s personal circumstances will be taken into account in the development of such a plan. Ongoing support from the academic unit may require periodic updates from the student on his/her academic plan and/or the submission of documentation from a treating health professional or other source of personal support. The documentation might be a “Statement of Illness” form obtained from the Health & Wellness Centre or an informative letter from their attending physician, from a counsellor at the Health & Wellness Centre, or from another recognized counsellor.

The academic concessions that may be granted include the following: permission to drop or withdraw from a course after the normal deadlines (see Change of Registration), Aegrotat standing or Deferred standing (see Standings), and withdrawal from the University (see Change of Registration).

Students who are denied academic concession from their dean or director may have grounds to appeal the decision. See Senate Appeals on Academic Standing.

Additional information is available in the Academic Calendar.

6.15 Senate Appeals On Academic Standing


Students who wish to protest decisions relating to their academic studies may do so. The protest should be made initially as near the source of difficulty as possible, presumably to an instructor, and progress to the head of the Department concerned and then to the Dean of the Faculty. There is a standing committee of the University Senate – the Committee on Appeals of Standing and Discipline – that reviews all appeals made to the Senate, the senior academic authority in the University. Following are the policies and procedures of this Committee.

For information concerning the procedure for appeals, students should consult the policies and procedures outlined in the Academic Calendar.