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Student Handbook

The University of Baltimore's educational mission - one joining access and excellence - can succeed only within a framework of fair treatment, interpersonal respect and appropriate behavior. This framework makes it possible for members of the community to teach, learn freely and prevents community members from interfering with each other's strides toward learning and success, whether that interference appears as behavior disruptive of a classroom, unfair or arbitrary grading, or submission of work that does not fairly represent a community member's own intellectual effort.

These policies and procedures:

  • provide and clarify those standards of behavior by and toward students that are necessary to support the university's educational mission, and
  • provide processes for addressing failures to meet those standards.

The policies and procedures in this handbook apply to all students of the university unless the language of the handbook specifically indicates otherwise.

The University of Baltimore publishes this handbook annually, but the policies and procedures may be subject to change during the academic year.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

The Student Rights and Responsibilities Guide includes policies and procedures that govern student academic integrity and student conduct. Included in this guide are: the Academic Integrity Policy (Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, the Merrick School of Business, and the College of Public Affairs), Code of Conduct, alcohol and drug policy, student adjudication procedures, the non-discrimination policy and proceadure for complaints against students, and information about the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

For more information about the Student Rights and Responsibilities Guide contact the Office of Community Life: 410.837.4755 or communitystandards@ubalt.edu .

School of Law Honor Code

The School of Law Honor Code is available in it's entirety here.

Student Academic Grievances and Procedures

The University of Baltimore encourages students who feel they have been inappropriately treated to raise their concerns directly with the other person or people involved at the earliest possible time. Many problems can be understood and solved through direct discussion. Attempting to do so early increases the chance that any differences will be addressed in a healthy and constructive manner.

When it is not possible to resolve matters directly between the parties, students may use University grievance procedures to seek review of complaints. Students may file a grievance with regard to University academic policies, academic grades, and decisions made by or practices of faculty, administrators, or staff members.

Specific procedures for each type of grievance are outlined below.

  • Grading Challenges (Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, Merrick School of Business, and the College of Public Affairs)

    Students have the right to a grade based on their actual course performance as compared to an articulated standard that is applied to all those taking a course. Each instructor must therefore be able to articulate a uniform, identifiable standard that is applied in calculating any part of a student’s course grade. That standard must relate to the course syllabus, academic instruction, and the assignments and materials that were provided to the class. Students may seek review of any grading that is alleged to be arbitrary and capricious. Consistent with University System of Maryland policy, “arbitrary and capricious” grading means:

    • The assignment of a grade on some basis other than performance in the course,
    • The assignment of a grade in a nonuniform fashion, that is, by applying different standards to this student or by applying the standards in a different way than that in which they were applied to other students in the same course, or
    • The assignment of a grade in a way that represents a substantial and unreasonable departure from the instructor’s articulated standards.

    All requests for a review of grades must be made within 60 days after the relevant course grades have been posted within the University of Baltimore grading system.

    Informal Process: A student who believes that an instructor treated him or her unfairly in grading will initially consult with the instructor informally to discuss the concern. The student should request this meeting in writing (written communications by e-mail are acceptable for this purpose) and should keep a copy of the request.

    Within 14 calendar days after receiving such a request, the instructor will consult with the student informally and discuss the student’s concerns. This informal consultation will ideally be held in person, but may also take place by telephone conference or through an e-mail conversation if necessary to accommodate both participants.

    At the consultation, the student will explain his or her concerns about the grade and reason for believing the grade to be unfair. The instructor will refer the student to the portion of this handbook that provides the standards and processes for grading challenges. The instructor will also explain the standard he or she uses for grading in the particular course and how the student’s grade was determined based on application of that standard. If the student and instructor are able to reach an agreement about how to address the student’s grading concern during or as a result of the informal consultation, the matter will be considered resolved.

    If a student requests a meeting but the instructor does not respond within 14 calendar days after the request, or if the instructor is unavailable to consult in person, by phone, or by e-mail within that period, the student may proceed with the formal appeals process described below.

    Formal Process: If the student’s grade concern has not been resolved through informal consultation with the instructor, the student may present the matter in writing to the division or department chair of the academic program in which the course was taught. The division or department chair will serve as the decision-maker for the grade challenge. If the division chair has a conflict of interest with regard to the appeal, the dean of the relevant school will designate an unbiased decision-maker.

    The student’s written submission will:

    • state that the consultation requirements of the informal process have been met or could not be met, as described above
    • state clearly the reasons or grounds for challenging the grade, particularly the manner in which the grade is alleged to be “arbitrary and capricious,” as defined above
    • contain a concise statement of the facts relevant to the challenge and
    • contain the resolution sought.

    Within 14 calendar days after receiving a written submission from a student challenging a grade, the decision-maker will meet jointly with the student, the instructor who gave the grade, and any other person who can be helpful to a determination. It is preferable that this meeting be conducted in person; it may also be conducted by conference call, however, upon the agreement of all those involved or if it is not possible to hold the meeting in person within the 14-calendar-day time period. At the meeting, the decision-maker will confirm the student’s reasons for raising the challenge and will request that the instructor explain the standard he or she uses for grading in the particular course and how the student’s grade was determined under that standard.

    If the instructor declines to meet and provide the information described above or fails for respond to the decision-maker’s request for a meeting, the decision-maker will presume that the grade was given in an arbitrary and capricious fashion.

    Within 14 calendar days after meeting with the student, the instructor, and any other appropriate person(s), the decision-maker will make a written decision on the student’s claim and provide that decision to each of the parties. The issue to be decided is whether the grade was given in an arbitrary and capricious fashion, as defined above. If so, the grade challenge should be upheld and the grade changed in a fair and equitable manner, as determined by the decision-maker. If not, the grade should remain in place.

    Appeal of grading challenges: Either the student or the instructor may appeal the decision on a grade challenge in writing within 14 calendar days of the written decision. The appeal will be submitted to the dean of the school in which the course was taught or that dean’s designee. If appealing to the dean or the dean’s designee will create a conflict of interest in the judgment of the provost, the provost will designate an unbiased person to hear the appeal.

    The written appeal will state:

    • why the person appealing contends that the decision is unsupported by substantial evidence in view of the entire record
    • that there was a substantial departure from or denial of rights or procedures provided to the person appealing by these student academic grievance policies and procedures, or
    • that there is new evidence, previously unavailable, which if proven accurate would substantially alter the decision on the matter.

    The person considering the appeal will:

    • provide a notice of the appeal to the parties involved;
    • request a response from the party who did not appeal;
    • review all materials related to the appeal; and
    • make a final and binding decision as to whether the grade was given in an arbitrary and capricious fashion;
    • provide a written notice of the decision that was made on the appeal to each of the parties within 14 calendar days following the submission of the written response.
  • Grading Challenges (School of Law)

    I. Grading Policy

    There are several different mechanisms for evaluating a student's work, including examinations, classroom participation, papers, and performance in a clinical or simulation course. For all of these, students have the right to a grade that is based on their actual course performance as compared to an articulated standard applied to all those taking the course. Grading, however, is not and cannot be an exact science. The rights under this policy, therefore, are limited to ensuring that students receive the faculty member's good faith evaluation of their work. Moreover, in order for the protection of anonymous grading to be meaningful, students do not have the right to negotiate with a faculty member for a higher grade once an examination has been graded.

    II. Grading Standards

    A. A professor shall have a written uniform, identifiable standard which shall be applied to all examination answers and other student work used to calculate any part of a student's grade in the course. This standard may, but need not, quantify the precise allocation of points used to calculate the grade. A written copy of this standard must be shown, upon request, to the students who were graded under that standard.

    B. Grading student work other than examinations, such as papers, performance in a clinical or simulation course, and classroom participation, requires far greater flexibility. Accordingly, the uniform, identifiable standard for such work may be much more general than for examinations.

    C. A professor must keep for one year, from the date grades are posted on My UB, some record from which he or she can inform the student of the manner in which the student was evaluated and graded in the course.

    III. Grounds for Challenging a Grade

    A. As provided by the policies of the University System of Maryland, the only recognized grounds for challenging a grade are:

    1. that a clerical error, such as arithmetic, recording, or actual failure to have read a substantial part of a student's answer, was committed by the faculty member or an administrator, or

    2. that the grade was awarded in an arbitrary or capricious manner.

    B. Arbitrary and capricious grading is defined as the assignment of a grade without any reasonable basis or on the basis of a standard other than that described in Section II. A.

    IV. Procedures for Challenging Grades

    A. Challenges to a law school grade must be initiated by the student by consultation (discussion of the grade) with the faculty member responsible for the grade, within sixty (60) days after the first day of classes of the next semester (spring semester for fall semester grades and fall semester for spring semester and summer session grades). If the grade is not published on my UB by the first day of classes of the next semester, then the deadline shall be extended until sixty (60) days after it is published.

    Such consultation shall include a meeting with the professor and a review by the student of the graded bluebook or paper along with any other written explanatory material made available by the faculty member, such as the written standard used in the grading process, or model answers.

    B. If the faculty member is not available for consultation within the sixty (60) day period set forth above, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs may extend the period for challenging a grade for an additional reasonable period, or may permit the student to file the formal complaint without the consultation.

    C. The purpose of the consultation is for the faculty member to explain the basis of the student's grade. The faculty member is only permitted to change a grade due to clerical error. When submitting a change of grade form to change a student's grade on the basis of a clerical error, a faculty member shall identify with particularity on the change of grade form the exact nature of the clerical error. The faculty member is not permitted to change a grade on the basis of a revised view of the quality of the work.

    D. A student may meet with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to discuss what constitutes appropriate grounds to challenge a grade. Such meetings are for advisory purposes only. Nothing said by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs should be taken as agreement that a challenge is valid, nor will it have any effect on the decision of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

    E. After consultation or waiver of consultation by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, a student may present a formal written challenge to the grade to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. This challenge must be filed within twenty (20) calendar days after the consultation or the waiver, and must be on an official grade challenge form, available from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

    F. The student's written challenge shall state:

    1. that the student has complied with the consultation requirement of section IV. A

    2. facts which, if found to be true, would be sufficient to show the basis for the claim of clerical error or for the claim that the grade was awarded in an arbitrary or capricious manner, and

    3. the remedy or resolution sought.

    G.

    1. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs shall dismiss the grade challenge for failure to state a prima facie case for any of the following reasons:

    • failure to allege timely compliance with procedural requirements,
    • failure to allege one of the allowable grounds for appeal under section III., or
    • failure to state sufficient facts for the associate dean to determine whether the student has stated a prima facie case for one of the allowable grounds.

    2. If the challenge is dismissed for failure to state a prima facie case, the student may file an amended challenge within ten (10) working days of receiving the notice of dismissal.

    H. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs shall determine whether the student has complied with the above procedures and whether the student has stated a prima facie case, and, if so, meet with the student (or in the case of a group of students, a chosen representative of the group) and the faculty member. The Associate Dean may determine whether to meet with the student and faculty member together or separately. The Associate Dean may also conduct any necessary further investigation. The Associate Dean shall change a grade that is being challenged or award other appropriate relief, if he or she determines that the original grade is incorrect because of clerical error or was awarded in an arbitrary or capricious manner. At the request of the faculty member, the Associate Dean also has the discretion to decide whether to change a grade due to the discovery of an egregious error in grading, which, in the opinion of the faculty member, would amount to a constructive arbitrary and capricious grade if unchanged. Within twenty-five (25) working days from the receipt of the written challenge, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs shall issue a written decision to the student(s) and faculty member. Prior to issuing a decision, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs shall consult with the Dean and in that consultation the Dean shall review the entire record. The decision issued by the Associate Dean after that consultation shall be the final decision of the School of Law.

    V. Appeal

    A. The student or faculty member may appeal the decision of the Associate Dean to the Provost of the University of Baltimore in writing within ten (10) working days of receiving the written decision from the Associate Dean.

    B. The only basis for an appeal of a decision of the Associate Dean to the Provost shall be a clear error of substance or procedure by the Associate Dean. The basis for the appeal and the remedy sought must be clearly stated by the student or faculty member.

    C. The Provost, to the extent possible, shall rule on the appeal on the basis of the written pleadings and the written decision of the Associate Dean.

    D. The Provost shall render a binding, final decision on a grade challenge appeal within twenty (20) working days of receipt of an appeal.

    VI. Exclusivity of Procedure

    These rules state the only grounds and procedures for challenging a grade received in a course at the University of Baltimore School of Law. These rules implement the University of Baltimore Student Policies and Procedures for Grievances by students, are consistent with those grievance procedures, and are based upon student rights protected therein. These rules also implement and are consistent with University System of Maryland policies concerning grade appeals.

  • Other Academic Grievances

    Informal Process: A student who believes that a faculty member treated him or her unfairly in some respect other than in grading will initially consult with the faculty member informally to discuss the concern. The student should request this meeting in writing (written communications by e-mail are acceptable for this purpose) and should keep a copy of the request. All requests must be made within 14 calendar days of the incident that raised the student’s concern.

    Within 14 calendar days after receiving such a request, the faculty member will set up a time to consult with the student informally and discuss the student’s concerns. Although this consultation will ideally be held in person, it may also take place by telephone conference or through an e-mail conversation if necessary to accommodate both participants. If the consultation is held in person and if the parties agree, the Center for Negotiations and Conflict Management will provide a mediator to facilitate the discussion.

    If the student and faculty member are able to reach an agreement about how to address the student’s concern during or as a result of the informal consultation, the matter will be considered resolved.

    If a student requests a meeting but the faculty member does not respond within 14 calendar days after the request, or if the faculty member is unavailable to consult in person, by phone, or by e-mail within that period, the student may proceed with the formal appeals process described below.

    Formal Process: If the student’s concern has not been resolved through informal consultation with the faculty member, the student may present the matter in writing to the division or department chair for the academic program in which the course was taught, who serves as the decision-maker for the complaint. If the division or department chair has a conflict of interest with regard to the appeal, the dean of the relevant school will designate an unbiased decision-maker.

    The student’s written submission will:

    • state that the consultation requirements of the informal process have been met
    • state clearly the reasons or grounds for challenging his or her treatment as unfair
    • contain a concise statement of the facts relevant to the challenge, and
    • contain the resolution sought

    Within 14 calendar days after receiving a written submission from a student, the decision-maker will meet jointly with the student, the faculty member, and any other person who can be helpful to a determination. It is preferable that this meeting be conducted in person; it may also be conducted by conference call, however, upon the agreement of all those involved or if meeting in person within the time frame provided is impossible. At the meeting, the decision-maker will confirm the student’s reasons for raising the complaint and will request that the faculty member explain the situation as he or she sees it.

    Within 14 calendar days after meeting with the student, the faculty member, and any other appropriate person(s), the decision-maker will render a written decision on the student’s complaint and provide that decision to each of the parties.

    Appeal of Other Academic Grievances: Either the student or the faculty member may appeal the decision on an academic grievance, in writing, within 14 calendar days of the written decision. The appeal will be submitted to the dean of the school in which the course was taught or that dean’s designee. If appealing to the dean or the dean’s designee will create a conflict of interest, the provost will designate an unbiased person to hear the appeal.

    The person considering the appeal will:

    • provide a notice of the appeal to the parties involved
    • request a response from the party who did not appeal
    • review all materials related to the appeal, and
    • make a final and binding decision on the merits of the appeal or, if he or she is unable to make a decision, request that a hearing board be convened to hear the appeal and make a recommendation to him or her. In either case, a written notice of the decision made on the appeal shall be provided to each of the parties within 14 working days following the submission of the written response.

General Policy Statements

  • Accessibility Policy

    The University of Baltimore is committed to providing barrier-free education to disabled students and is actively working to bring its facilities and programs into full compliance with § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended. It is the policy of the University to reassign classes to accessible buildings whenever necessary to provide adequate access to the class for a disabled student.

  • Canceled Classes

    In general, the University will not close unless weather conditions make this action absolutely necessary. Decisions for morning closings will be made by 6:30 a.m. Decisions affecting evening classes will be made by 4:00 p.m. Closing announcements can be heard on the following radio/television stations:

    WBAL/WIYY (1100 AM/98 FM)

    WFBR/WLIF (1300 AM/102 FM)

    WJZ-TV (CH 13)

    WCAO (600 AM)

    WCBM (680 AM)

    WBSB (B104 FM)

    WITH (1230 AM)

    WQSR (105.7 FM)

    WFSI (107.9 FM) Annapolis

    WNAV/WHFS (1430 AM/99.1 FM) Annapolis

    WTOP (1500 AM) Washington

    You may also call the University weather line at 410-837-4201 to learn the status of classes and the closing of the University.

  • Disabilities Documentation Policy

    It is the policy of the University of Baltimore to provide reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. In order to provide academic adjustments, proper documentation is required and must be presented to the director of disability support services (for liberal arts and business students) or to the associate dean for student affairs (law school). Students with sensory (visual, hearing), physical (mobility) or other health impairments (epilepsy, AIDS) are required to provide medical reports or a letter from a physician responsible for treating the student. This documentation must be provided whether the condition is permanent or temporary (broken leg, etc.).

    Students with learning disabilities (LD) must provide current documentation (prepared within the past three years) of their LD diagnosis. Results of assessments conducted prior to college are deemed inadequate. This documentation will be reviewed by the Center for Educational Access for all undergraduate and graduate students and by the associate dean for student affairs for law students. Documentation for LD students must be prepared by a professional qualified to diagnose a learning disability, including but not limited to a licensed psychiatrist, learning disability specialist, or psychologist. Documentation from a licensed clinical social worker will not be considered as the sole criterion for providing services. Documentation for a learning disability must include the testing procedures followed, the instruments used to assess the disability, the test results and an interpretation of the test results.

    Documentation relating to all undergraduates and graduates in the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Science, the College of Public Affairs, and the Merrick School of Business will be retained in the Center for Educational Access; documentation relating to law students will be retained in the office of the associate dean for student affairs. Documentation will remain in these offices for the duration of the student’s academic career and will be kept confidential. Upon graduation, documentation will be destroyed unless the student requests that it be returned to him or her.

  • Elevators

    The elevators at the University are for general use, but disabled persons have priority in their use.

  • Emergency Measures

    In the event that an illness or an accident requiring first aid treatment occurs in the classroom or on University property at any time, notify a public safety officer.

  • Grades

    University policy forbids the public display of individual student grades in any form, including the use of the telephone and e-mail to inform students of their grades. At the option of the instructor, arrangements may be made to inform students of particular course grades by personal mail or through the Gradebook feature of Sakai/WebTycho course sites only. Students may use My UB to access their final semester grades.

  • I.D. Cards

    The University of Baltimore Campus Card (known as the Bee Card) is issued to all students by the Office of Campus Card Operations, which is located in Academic Center,Room 105.  Students must be fully enrolled in their semester classes twenty-four hours prior to obtaining their card. The Bee Card is essential as it not only acts as your student I.D. but is also needed to access materials from the libraries, utilize the campus recreation facilities, admission to University events, and much more. The card must be carried at all times while on University property. On weekends and holidays, when the University is not open for official business, students must present their Bee Card and sign the visitors’ log to enter University buildings. A lost Bee Card should be reported to the Office Campus Card Operations. A replacement card can be issued for $20. For more information please visit www.ubalt.edu/beecard.

  • Privacy Act

    The University complies with the requirements of both the Federal Education and Privacy Act of (FERPA), 34 CFR Part99, and the Maryland Public Information Act, State Governemnt Article 10-162.

    In compliance with these acts, the university will only release without your signature that information that is so designated as directory information. Directory information is defined as-the student's name, hometown, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and other similar information. The Maryland Public Information Act requires the university to provide directories of its students upon request. Consequently, directories may be released to commercial enterprises, such as credit card companies. If you do not wish to have directory information released, you are required to submit that request by filing a "Request to Withhold Directory Information" form in the Office of Records and Transcripts, prior to the start of each semester. FERPA provides students with the opportunity to review information contained in their "educational records." Offices where students' educational records are kept: Records and Transcripts, and in some cases as applicable Financial Aid, Veterans Affairs, Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions, Law Admissions, and the academic deans. Students who wish to review their records may do so my making an appointment with the appropriate head of the office housing the record.

  • Computer Misconduct

    The following acts will be considered computer misconduct if they involve the use of University-owned computer equipment, facilities, hardware, or software (including the University computer network) or the use of private computer equipment on campus or during organized activities of the University or of registered student groups.

    1. vandalism, including physical abuse of hardware and knowingly compromising software or data

    2. theft of hardware, software, or data

    3. theft of computer time, including but not limited to using an account other than one’s own or use of a computer for profit

    4. abuse in which a computer is used as a tool, including but not limited to consumer fraud, computer dating services, spam, launch of viruses, use of University email to threaten or intimidate any person or organization, or unauthorized accessing of other systems

    5. unauthorized use or possession of hardware, software, or data

    6. unauthorized access to information resources, hardware, software, data, or facilities in violation of any restriction or published guidelines on usage

    7. unauthorized alterations of software, programs or data, including but not limited to using the computer to create false records, to alter authentic records, or to reproduce confidential data

    8. intentional corruption, misuse, or stealing of software or data, including but not limited to the unauthorized copying of copyrighted programs or any other computing resource

    9. use of UB computing resources for personal or private financial gain without written authorization from the provost

    10. establishing an independent computer system that has not been authorized, including plugging personal computers into the University network without authorization from the chief information officer

    11. knowingly executing a program that may hamper normal computing activities at the University or elsewhere, without written authorization from the chief information officer

    12. retrieving or downloading images or information that promote conduct otherwise prohibited by any section of the Student Policies and Procedures Handbook

    13. violating the University’s Academic Computer Center’s or the University System of Maryland’s regulations with regard to computer usage

     

  • Smoking Policy

    Smoking can be hazardous to health for smokers and non-smokers alike. It can contribute to heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, emphysema, and several forms of cancer. The University of Baltimore has taken positive steps toward providing for all employees and students a smoke-free environment in which smoking is prohibited within all University buildings. This no-smoking policy stresses compliance on the part of employees and students. While it is best to rely on common courtesy for colleagues and classmates to ensure the success of this policy, the University is prepared to enforce it with formal sanctions. Visitors who refuse to comply with this policy will be required to leave University premises.

  • Parking and Traffic Regulations

    Parking and traffic regulations are formulated and enforced through the Office of Parking Services and the Department of Public Safety, which publish periodic revisions of regulations. Copies of these regulations are available in these offices and the Business Office. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with these regulations and abiding by them. Violations of these regulations may result in disciplinary procedures as described herein.

  • University Email

    UB requires use of the ubalt.edu e-mail account in all official University administrative and academic communications in order to:

    • Streamline campus communications
    • Increase security of University e-mails
    • Ensure that official University announcements are sent to active e-mail accounts
    • Enhance the student experience by maintaining a standard e-mail protocol and directory throughout the University.

      You may choose to redirect your University e-mail to an outside, personal account; please see the instructions on how to forward your ubalt.edu mail provided by the Office of Technology Services. Individuals who select this option assume full responsibility for maintaining their private accounts and remain accountable for any official University communication sent to the ubalt.edu address.

      It is important to check the ubalt.edu account on a regular basis, as e-mails constitute an official means of communication regarding University policies, deadlines and other important student information.

      Please contact the OTS Call Center, x 6262, with any questions or for further assistance.