Apr 13, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2015-2016 
USC Catalogue 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

University Policies

Return to: Academic and University Policies  

Academic Integrity at USC

The university as an instrument of learning is predicated on the existence of an environment of integrity. As members of the academic community, faculty, students and administrative staff share the responsibility for maintaining this environment. Faculty have the primary responsibility for establishing and maintaining an atmosphere and attitude of academic integrity such that the enterprise may flourish in an open and honest way. Students share this responsibility for maintaining standards of academic performance and classroom behavior conducive to the learning process. Administrative staff are responsible for the establishment and maintenance of procedures to support and enforce those academic standards. Thus, the entire university community bears the responsibility for maintaining an environment of integrity and for confronting incidents of academic dishonesty.

Guidelines governing academic integrity can be found on the Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards Website at usc.edu/student-affairs/SJACS.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The University of Southern California maintains the privacy of student education records and allows students the right to inspect their education records as stated in the university’s Student Education Records policy, consistent with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The entire text of the university’s policy is located in the Office of the General Counsel, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Registrar’s Office. Additional information regarding FERPA is also available on the Registrar’s Website, usc.edu/ferpa.

Faculty and staff who request access to student academic records in order to execute their normal duties must first review the information found on the FERPA Website and complete the tutorial before access will be granted.

Students wishing to review or seeking to amend their education records should submit a written request to the university office in which the record is maintained.

At the discretion of university officials, USC may release certain information classified as directory information unless the student requests that such information not be released. A complete listing of directory information is in the FERPA section of the Registrar’s Website, usc.edu/ferpa.

Students wishing to restrict release of directory information may do so by completing the appropriate form provided by the Registrar’s Office (Trojan Hall 101). Such requests remain in effect for the academic year. Students wishing only to have their information withheld from the online USC Student Directory should contact the Registrar’s Office (Trojan Hall 101).

Recognizing that many students wish to share information from their educational records with their parents and family members, USC has developed an online system that will accomplish the following:

  • allow students to grant their parents access to education and medical records in one step;
  • allow parents to view elements of the education records that are available in USC’s central student information system.

Students may log in to my.usc.edu and click on OASIS, USC’s Web-based student information system, and use the “Establish Guest Access” feature to grant others permission to education and medical records. Instructions for logging into OASIS and granting access are provided on the university’s FERPA Website at usc.edu/ferpa.

Parents who wish to gain access to information from the education records of their son or daughter will not be provided the information unless the student has granted access through OASIS or has completed the appropriate release form authorizing the university to release specific information from their education records to approved individuals.

If students grant access through OASIS, parents and family members may access education records information online through the OASIS for Guests Website. For more information regarding FERPA, including forms and instructions to log in to OASIS or OASIS for Guests, parents and students should visit the university’s FERPA Website at usc.edu/ferpa.

Policy on Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

The University of Southern California is committed to full compliance with the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). As part of the implementation of this law, the university will continue to provide reasonable accommodation for academically qualified students with disabilities so that they can participate fully in the university’s educational programs and activities. Although USC is not required by law to change the “fundamental nature or essential curricular components of its programs in order to accommodate the needs of students with disabilities,” the university will provide reasonable academic accommodation. It is the specific responsibility of the university administration and all faculty serving in a teaching capacity to ensure the university’s compliance with this policy.

The general definition of a student with a disability is any person who has “a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities,” and any person who has “a history of, or is regarded as having, such an impairment.” Reasonable academic and physical accommodations include but are not limited to: extended time on examinations; use of academic aides in the classroom such as notetakers and sign language interpreters; accessibility for students who use wheelchairs and those with mobility impairments; and need for special classroom furniture or special equipment in the classroom.

Procedures for Obtaining Accommodations

Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact Disability Services and Programs (DSP) prior to or during the first week of class attendance or as early in the semester as possible. The office will work with the course instructor and his or her department, and the student to arrange for reasonable accommodations. It is the student’s responsibility to provide documentation verifying disability in a timely way.

See dsp.usc.edu for documentation guidelines, policies and procedures.

Academic Accommodations

Students seeking academic accommodations due to a disability should make the request to the course instructor prior to or during the first week of class attendance or as early in the semester as possible. Course instructors should require that a student present verification of documentation of a disability from Disability Services and Programs if academic accommodations are requested. The USC Gould School of Law has a unit-specific policy for handling requests for academic accommodations; however, all students with disabilities should register with DSP. Refer to the Law School Student Handbook.

For assistance in how to provide reasonable accommodations for a particular disability, course instructors are encouraged to consult with the staff at DSP. Students requesting academic accommodations must have verification of disability.

Grievance Procedures

Detailed information about processing a grievance can be found at dsp.usc.edu.

Non-Discrimination Policy

The University of Southern California is an equal opportunity employer and educator. Proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing equal opportunity for outstanding men and women of every race, creed and background, the University of Southern California strives to build a community in which each person respects the rights of other people to live, work and learn in peace and dignity, be proud of who and what they are, and to have equal opportunity to realize their full potential as individuals and members of society. To this end, the university places great emphasis on those values and virtues that bind us together as human beings and members of the Trojan Family. The university enthusiastically supports this policy in its entirety, and expects that every person associated with the university will give continuing support to its implementation.

The university is committed to complying with all applicable laws and governmental regulations at the federal, state and local levels that prohibit discrimination against, or which mandate that special consideration be given to, students and applicants for admission, or faculty, staff and applicants for employment, on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical disability, mental disability, marital status, veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic that may be specified in such laws and regulations. This policy also shall apply to the administration of any of the university’s educational programs and activities. Gender includes both the actual sex of an individual and that person’s gender identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that identity, appearance or behavior is traditionally associated with that person’s sex at birth. An otherwise qualified individual must not be discriminated against or excluded from admission, employment or participation in educational programs and activities solely by reason of his or her disability. This policy applies to all of the university’s educational programs and activities including admissions, and all personnel actions including but not limited to recruiting, hiring, promotion, demotion, compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, return from layoff, provision of leaves, training, education, tuition assistance and other programs. In addition, an otherwise qualified individual must not be discriminated against in, or excluded from, admissions, participation in educational programs and activities, or employment solely due to his or her disability.

University policies and procedures will ensure that students and student applicants with a disability will not, on the basis of a disability, be denied full and equal access to and enjoyment of academic and co-curricular programs or activities or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under programs or activities offered by the university. For more information on accommodations for any student or student applicant with a disability, contact the Office of Disability Services and Programs, (213) 740-0776.

The university seeks compliance with all statutes prohibiting discrimination in education, including Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 which respectively prohibit discrimination. This good faith effort to comply is made even when such laws and regulations conflict with each other.

The university will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. Further information is available from Human Resources Administration at uschr@usc.edu or (213) 821-8111.

The Disabled/Veterans Affirmative Action Plan may be reviewed by employees and applicants upon request. For further information or to make an appointment during regular business hours, contact OED (see below).

Questions regarding the application of the various rules and regulations concerning equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and non-discrimination should also be addressed to OED (see below). The university’s Title IX Coordinator, ADA Coordinator, and AgeDA Coordinator is Jody Shipper, Executive Director of the OED, University Park Campus, Los Angeles, California 90089.

Responsible Office: Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), usc.edu/dept/hr/equity_diversity, oed@usc.edu, (213) 740-5086