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Fielding Graduate University    
  Sep 22, 2017
Academic Catalog 2017-2018


Return to: Student Rights and Responsibilities  


Academic Honesty


The ideal of academic honesty is crucial to the integrity of a university, college or institute; conversely, academic dishonesty undermines the very basis upon which institutions of higher education are organized and function. All students, faculty, and staff at the Fielding Graduate University are expected to meet the highest standards of honesty in the performance of their academic work. Students, faculty and staff are expected to report observed cases of academic dishonesty in others to school leadership, and may not do so anonymously. All reported allegations will be treated with an appropriate level of confidentiality. Toward that end, Standards of Academic Honesty and procedures to enforce these standards fairly are hereby adopted by the Academic Policy Committee on behalf of Fielding.

Standards of Academic Honesty

The Standards of Academic Honesty proscribe (but are not limited to) the giving or receiving of unauthorized help in examinations or other assignments, plagiarism and other unacknowledged or undocumented use of source material, and forgery. Students may not re-use their own work without explicit disclosure regarding the nature of its original use and subsequent permission from the faculty assessor.

Violations of Standards

A student shall be subject to discipline for any violation of the Standards of Academic Honesty. Faculty and staff members shall be subject to reprimand for any violation of the Standards of Academic Honesty.

Disciplinary Sanctions

Sanctions available would be those appropriate to the violations and will include, but not be limited to, any one of the following: an official reprimand; a requirement to repeat an assignment, an examination, or a course; a requirement to complete an alternative assignment or examination; a failing grade for an assignment, an examination, or a course; suspension; or expulsion from Fielding. In the case of a faculty or staff member, an official reprimand or dismissal may occur.

Committee on Academic Integrity

  1. A Committee on Academic Integrity (CAI) is established.
  2. The CAI’s primary purposes shall be, in accordance with the procedures outlined below, to receive and evaluate evidence of alleged violations of the Standards of Academic Honesty and to make decisions regarding the disposition of such cases. The CAI shall also make recommendations to the Provost and to the appropriate governance bodies for changes in standards and procedures, as it deems appropriate, and shall report annually to the Provost.


In cases of an alleged student violation, these general procedures will be followed:

  1. A faculty member who believes that a student has violated one or more of the Standards of Academic Honesty will promptly so inform the student and present the student with the reasons for this belief. Such an allegation can be in reference to a student’s current coursework submitted for review, the student’s prior coursework, or both. The faculty member will inform the school’s designated Associate Dean for academic affairs, who in turn will inform the student’s assigned faculty advisor/mentor or the program director.
  2. If, after learning the student’s response, the faculty member continues to believe that a violation has occurred, the faculty member shall proceed in one of two ways:
    1. If the faculty member deems the alleged violation to be minor, the faculty member may attempt to resolve the matter in a manner satisfactory to both the faculty member and the student. If the matter is so resolved, the faculty member shall report the matter and its resolution to the Provost, and the school’s designated Associate Dean for academic affairs. If the student is not satisfied with the faculty member’s proposed disposition of the allegedly minor violation, the student may independently appeal the issue to the CAI.
    2. If the faculty member deems the alleged violation to be more serious, the faculty member will refer the matter to the CAI, within five calendar days, giving reasons for the faculty member’s belief that a violation has occurred. In that report, the faculty member may recommend a penalty. The faculty should make a reasonable effort to discuss the allegation directly with the student (i.e., give the student 14 calendar days to respond to a message, etc.) before referring the matter to the CAI. Throughout this and any subsequent processes, the school’s designated Associate/Assistant Dean for academic affairs will keep the student’s assigned faculty advisor/mentor or program director informed of the process.
  3. If a faculty member refers an alleged violation to the CAI, or if a student dissatisfied with the penalty imposed by a faculty member for an alleged minor violation appeals to the CAI, the chair of the CAI will inform the student and the faculty member in writing within 10 calendar days, and will consult with them as to the necessity for or desirability of a hearing. If a hearing results from this consultation, the CAI will schedule one as soon as possible, normally within 14 calendar days.
  4. The CAI will establish its own procedures for the conduct of a hearing. No attorneys will be present for either party. The hearing process will continue even if a student elects to self-withdraw from Fielding Graduate University.
  5. Following the hearing, or in the absence of one, the CAI will promptly decide whether the alleged violation has or has not occurred and will submit a written report of its findings to the student, the alleging faculty member, the student’s assigned faculty advisor/mentor or program director, and the Provost, within 10 calendar days from the CAI’s decision having been made. The report should address whether or not the CAI believes a violation has occurred and the decision of a penalty, if any, that it deems appropriate. If it decides that a violation has occurred, the CAI will include in its report its decision of a penalty that it considers appropriate. This penalty may be the one recommended by the alleging faculty member or some other penalty in conformity with the disciplinary sanctions aforementioned. The CAI will also transmit the relevant files to the Provost.
  6. If the CAI decides to impose a penalty (of whatever kind), the student, within 7 calendar days, may appeal this decision to the Provost.
  7. If the student appeals, within 7 calendar days the Provost must either: concur with the decision of the CAI; choose to modify the decision; dismiss the appeal, or remand the case to the CAI for further deliberations. In all actions but the last, the case will be considered closed.

Degrees Awarded/Revoked

If evidence arises that an academic degree was earned in violation of the Standards of Academic Honesty, the CAI may recommend to the Provost that the degree be revoked. The decision of the Provost is final.

Plagiarism Prevention

All academic work submitted to the faculty of Fielding Graduate University is subject to checking through The decision whether or not to submit such work for checking is in the discretion of the individual faculty member, and some may elect to not submit such student work. It is recommended for faculty who choose to regularly use this service, that their assessment guidelines and/or syllabi reflect this choice and duly inform students that they must provide electronic copies of their papers.

Any student who objects to such submissions and is subsequently accused of plagiarism based on a hard copy of their work, bears the responsibility for proposing an alternative means of verifying that their work is original work in a manner satisfactory to the faculty concerned/Academic Integrity Committee. Students may also check their own work prior to submission to the faculty, if they so desire, either through their assessing faculty’s account, or through the account of a faculty mentor/faculty advisor.

Policy Revised 12/01/2012


Free Speech

There shall be no restrictions placed on the fundamental rights to free speech except those necessary to protect the rights of others and to preserve the order necessary for the university to function as an institution of higher learning. Given the diverse cultural backgrounds of users, Fielding cannot protect individuals against exposure to materials that they may consider offensive. Nevertheless, Fielding reserves the right to take restrictive actions in response to complaints that posted material creates a hostile environment for individuals or classes of individuals. Fielding also has the responsibility to take restrictive action when a user violates Fielding policy or federal, state or local laws.

Policy Revised 07/01/2001


Involuntary Leave Policy

It is the policy of Fielding Graduate University that if any student, because of an apparent medical or psychological condition, poses a threat to the physical well-being of him/herself or any other member of the Fielding Graduate University community, or a threat of serious destruction of property, such student may be placed on an involuntary leave of absence. This policy applies to medical and psychological problems only, and not to matters solely of a disciplinary nature.


  1. When evidence is brought to the program director of any of the Fielding program (hereafter the “Program Director”) that the behavior manifested by a Fielding student poses a threat to the physical or psychological wellbeing of him/herself or another individual, or a threat of serious damage to property, the Program Director may place the student on an involuntary leave of absence for an appropriate period of time. The student will be notified in writing of this action. Again, this policy applies to medical and psychological problems only, and not to matters solely of a disciplinary nature.
  2. If the student agrees with the decision made by the Program Director, no further action is necessary and procedures (5) through (6) will be followed.
  3. If the student believes that an error in judgment was made in issuing the involuntary leave, he/she must so state in writing within three days following receipt of notice (sent through “certified-return receipt requested”) of the suspension. A hearing must be held by the Dean of Student Development within five working days after receipt of the aforementioned notice provided by the student (or as soon thereafter as the student is available). The purpose of such a hearing is to allow the student the opportunity to present evidence indicating that a leave is unwarranted. Evidence to the contrary may also be presented by the faculty, staff, administration, and/or students of Fielding. The following individuals must be given written notice of the date, time, place, and purpose of the hearing: the student, the Graduate Dean, the Registrar, the student’s Graduate Program Advisor, and the student’s Faculty Advisor (if applicable), and each of the faculty members in whose classes the student is currently enrolled. After all evidence has been presented, the Dean of Student Development must notify all parties listed above in writing of his/her final decision within three days of the hearing.
  4. A student who has been on involuntary leave of absence may apply for reinstatement at the end of the leave period and will be subject to the official reinstatement procedures found in the Fielding Graduate University Policy Bulletin.
  5. Questions regarding appropriate refund of tuition and fees paid for the term in which the leave began, payment of outstanding tuition/fees, and the like, are left to the discretion of the Program Director and the Chief Financial Officer in cases such as those described herein. In general, students will be held responsible for tuition incurred through the effective start date of the involuntary leave.
  6. The transcript of such a student will be annotated in the following manner: “Involuntary Leave “MM/DD/YYYY.”

Policy Effective 06/01/2013


Research Ethics


The decision to undertake research rests upon a considered judgment of the researcher about how best to contribute to the advancement of science and of human welfare. The researcher has an obligation to carry out the research with respect and concern for the dignity and welfare of the people who participate and with cognizance of federal and state regulations and generally accepted professional standards governing the conduct of research involving individuals or groups of persons. In furtherance of that goal, the following policy is set forth to govern research in the Fielding Graduate University.


The Board of Trustees of Fielding Graduate University affirms the policy that all student dissertation research or other research involving individuals or groups of persons carried out under the aegis or sponsorship of the University should be in adherence to relevant professional ethical guidelines for research dealing with human participation and animal subjects. For human subjects this includes all data collection regardless of whether the contact with subjects is face-to-face, via mailed questionnaires or by a third party collecting the data. Proposals for all research must be reviewed and approved or granted exempt status by the Institutional Review Board of the Fielding Graduate University before the research is undertaken.


Fielding Graduate University will maintain an active Institutional Review Board (IRB), appointed by the Provost upon recommendation from the Deans of the academic programs. The procedures used will be in accordance with the Institutional Review Board Guidebook and the Policy Guidance set forth by the Office for Human Research Protections of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. It will be the responsibility of the IRB to develop and oversee all research ethics procedures, including education of the Fielding Graduate University academic community about the importance of research ethics and the guidelines for IRB application process.

Policy Revised 07/01/2006


Student Initiative

Fielding faculty and staff will assist you in planning your academic program. They are not authorized to change established policies of Fielding Graduate University. You are solely responsible for assuring that your academic program complies with the policies and requirements of Fielding Graduate University. For Fielding policy information and information on degree requirements, please contact the Registrar’s Office or the Office of Student Advising.

Policy Revised 01/01/2013


Truth in Information

Fielding relies upon the statements made and documents supplied by its applicants and students. If discrepancies appear between statements or documents provided to Fielding and information otherwise obtained, applicants may be rejected for admission and students may be dismissed without recourse.

Policy Revised 11/01/1997