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Student Handbook

See also:
KU Policy Library
KU Medical Center Student Handbook
KU Medical Center Graduate Studies Handbook

KU Lawrence campus graduate studies policy library

KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences:
Graduate Policies

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Table of Contents

Administrative Offices & School Directory
   • Chancellor, KU-Lawrence
   • Executive Vice Chancellor, KU Medical Center
   • Dean, School of Health Professions

Letter to Students from the Dean
About the School and its Academic Programs
Diversity Statement

Honors and Awards
Scholarships for Current Students
Dean's List
Phi Kappa Phi
The Stata Norton Distinguished Teaching Award

School-Related Organizations
Health Professions Alumni Association
School of Health Professions Student Senate

Academic Policies
Advising and Enrollment
Learning Resources and Performance Enhancement

Departmental Policy Information

Performance Standards and Policies
Professional Conduct
Notification and Scheduling Activities
End of Semester
Grade Policies
Academic and nonacademic misconduct
Alcohol and Drug Use

Actions related to academic and nonacademic misconduct

School Appeals Procedure For Academic
and Non-academic Misconduct

Procedure for filing an appeal
School Appeals Committee
Other Matters
School Appeals Committee Process and Hearing Procedures
Committee Responsibilities

Childbirth Accommodation Policy Statement

Letter to Students from the Dean

Welcome to the KU School of Health Professions!

We are delighted that you are here with us. We wish both new and returning students every success in their academic endeavors.

Nearly 40 years ago, the KU Medical Center faculty voted to form the schools of Allied Health, Medicine and Nursing. From those beginnings, the School (since renamed School of Health Professions) has grown to include nearly 600 students, 80 full-time faculty and more than 25 health care professions programs in eight academic departments.

This is an exciting time to be at the School of Health Professions. Five of our programs are ranked in the top 25 in the nation in the latest rankings by U.S. News & World Report’sBest Graduate Schools.” KU is also among the Midwest’s largest schools of health care education in both student population and the number of programs offered.

The School of Health Professions continues to grow and adapt to meet the changing needs of our students. You can find more information at the School of Health Professions website and “like” the school's page on Facebook to share the latest news and events with your peers and colleagues on campus and around the world. 

Our faculty members are actively involved in cutting-edge research and clinical care. And while they are leaders in their professions, our faculty's most important focus is educating and preparing future health care professionals. The time you spend learning at KU will be challenging, but we hope you will also find it stimulating, exciting and rewarding.

Abiodun Akinwuntan, Ph.D., MPH, MBA
Dean, School of Health Professions

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Diversity Statement

The School of Health Professions encourages and supports ethnic and cultural diversity and promotes a campus where there is understanding and respect for the unique differences of all of the stakeholders. The School promotes and accomplishes this by:

  • Respecting all forms of diversity and multiculturalism and acknowledging the various beliefs, attitudes, behaviors and customs of our diverse environment.

  • Encouraging and promoting an appreciation for communication and understanding between and among people with different beliefs, languages and backgrounds.

  • Recruiting and retaining a diverse student body, faculty, and staff with an increased presence of underrepresented groups.

  • Promoting diversity education and cultural competence in all of our professional education programs.

  • Accommodating the needs of the physically disabled at events and activities.

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Honors and Awards

Special scholarship opportunities are available for current students in the School of Health Professions.

Dean's List
Undergraduate students who are enrolled full-time and have maintained for the semester (fall, spring) a minimum 3.5 grade point average are included on the Dean's List. A notation of the honor is recorded on the student's transcript.

Phi Kappa Phi
Undergraduate seniors who rank in the top 10% of the School of Health Professions, and graduate students nearing completion of their degree who rank in the top 10% of their class, are nominated for membership in the University of Kansas Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. This honor society recognizes academically outstanding students and initiates new members each year in a formal ceremony in the spring semester.

The Stata Norton Distinguished Teaching Award
Current students and faculty in the School of Health Professions are invited to submit nominations for "The Stata Norton Distinguished Teaching Award." Letters of nomination are requested in early spring. Students who will not be on campus during the spring semester may submit their nominations early to the Office of the Dean. Call Moffett Ferguson (extension 8-5275) for details.

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Health Professions Alumni Association

The Health Professions Alumni Association was established in 1982 to promote and maintain the high quality of professional expertise of its members, to provide opportunities for the exchange of ideas, new theories and techniques affecting the members and to promote the education and fellowship among the graduates and former students of the School of Health Professions at the University of Kansas.

Each year membership dues provide much-needed support for student scholarships. In 1991 the association established the James P. Cooney Leadership Award to recognize a graduate who has served as a leader in his/her program, profession, community and school. Meritorious students are nominated by faculty members. The association's board members review submissions and select an honoree annually.

See also: KU Medical Center Office of Alumni & Community Relations

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Academic Policies

The University of Kansas Medical Center has established general guidelines regarding matters of academic policy. Each program in the School of Health Professions has policies and procedures specific to the respective program. Students are directed to his or her program area for more specific information.


In the School of Health Professions, admission procedures for bachelor's degree programs are handled through the office of the program director of the sponsoring department. Admission procedures for graduate programs are accomplished through the sponsoring department and coordinated by the Office of Graduate Studies.


Every student (except employees involved in in-service training programs) involved in any education or training program at the KU Medical Center must be registered either in the Office of the Registrar or in the Office of the Division of Continuing Education according to the following guidelines:

  1. Every student involved in a program or course giving academic credit or leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate from the University will register with the Registrar's Office.

  2. Every student involved in an adult or continuing education program that does not award academic credit or lead to a degree, diploma, or certificate will register with the Division of Continuing Education.

Advising and Enrollment

For School of Health Professions students, advising and enrollment services are provided through the department or program in which the student is enrolled.

Personal Counseling Services

Counseling (individual, group, pre-marital, couple, family, crisis intervention, psychological testing) is available through the Counseling Center, 1st floor Student Center Building at no cost to the student. Access your student health account and make appointments online (network log-in required) or at (913) 588-6580.

Learning Resources and Performance Enhancement

The Counseling and Educational Support Services Office offers free assistance with reading comprehension, written expression, identification of learning style differences, note-taking skills, test-taking skills, test anxiety, memory improvement, study strategies, time management and presentation skills. Make an appointment with a learning specialist online (network log-in required) or at (913) 588-6580. 


The University of Kansas has no policy on class attendance, however, students are responsible for material presented in class and for any announcements made in class regarding changes in schedule, class content, location or similar information. The various programs in the School of Health Professions are allowed to establish their own regulations regarding class attendance and attendance at clinical and community sites. Please see your department or program student handbook for this information.

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Departmental Policy Information

Each department or program in the School of Health Professions has responsibilities for informing students in writing about the following:

  1. Department/program policies and procedures, including:

    1. Academic standing required for continuation and/or satisfactory completion of the program

    2. Attendance requirements

    3. Dress code

    4. Technical standards

  2. Expectations for student performance

  3. Features of academic and nonacademic misconduct

  4. Potential consequences resulting from not meeting expectations, up to and including dismissal

  5. Grievance and appeals procedures

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Performance Standards and Policies

Professional Conduct

The University of Kansas Medical Center/University of Kansas Hospital is at once both a campus for education and a hospital complex devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of the sick. Thus, it is imperative that students conduct themselves in such a manner as to maintain both the professionalism which typifies those who dedicate themselves to maintenance of health through education, service and research, and the hygienic conditions most conducive to that maintenance of health. Since the student has chosen to become a health care professional, it is the administration's view that such professionalism reflected by appropriate behavior, appearance, and personal hygiene should begin on the first day of school and continue throughout the career.

Notification and Scheduling Performance Activities

The department chair or program director, in collaboration with faculty, has the responsibility and discretion to schedule all tests, examinations, other performance requirements and activities and final examinations with due regard for any procedures of the School of Health Professions, the Office of Graduate Studies and/or any school offering a particular course. At the beginning of a course, students should receive a schedule of all evaluation activities, including performance requirements, observations, papers, major examinations, any final examination or other required activity, as well as a statement of the policies governing the use of individual performance results in computing and assigning grades.

Students are responsible for keeping track of their grades each semester and for recognizing when their anticipated course grade is below course and program standards, or places them in academic jeopardy in any way. Students are expected to seek assistance from the course instructor at such times, or sooner if they feel they need support from faculty to be successful. Course instructors provide students with information about performance standards in the course syllabus; they are not expected to provide additional warnings concerning a particular student's prospects for an unacceptable course grade.

End of Semester

The program will notify the student in writing if semester grades result in a change of status in the program (i. e., good standing, probationary status, dismissal).

Grade Policies

  • Undergraduate Programs - The letters A, B, C, D, I, F (and S and U for certain approved courses) are used in the School of Health Professions. Departments may have specific policies about the requirements and outcomes for particular grades; students are responsible for this information. All other regulations on grading specified in the Handbook for Faculty PDF document.

  • Graduate School - The minimum criteria for grading is outlined in the Handbook for Faculty PDF document; the department may select higher criteria for graduate school performance.

Academic and Nonacademic Misconduct

Each program has rules regarding academic and nonacademic misconduct. Students have the responsibility to know these rules. In addition to program rules, the School of Health Professions has its own rules regarding academic and nonacademic misconduct:

Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to

  • Giving, receiving, or utilizing unauthorized aid on examinations, assignments, preparation of notebooks, themes, reports, projects, and/or other assignments or undertakings

  • Misrepresenting the source of academic work

  • Copying from a textbook or class notes during a closed book exam

  • Taking a test or writing a paper for another student

  • Securing or supplying in advance a copy of an exam without the knowledge and consent of the instructor

  • Using non-approved technology during an exam

  • Falsifying clinical hours or student data

  • During clinical education, engaging in any unprofessional behavior, inappropriate acts or omissions which place the patient in jeopardy

  • During clinical education concealing and not reporting any illegal, unethical, fraudulent or incompetent acts of others

  • During clinical education, committing any breach or violation of the confidence of a person being served

  • Committing unethical practices in conducting and/or reporting research.

Nonacademic Misconduct, Definition

Students and student organizations are expected to conduct themselves as responsible and professional members of the University community. Nonacademic misconduct includes any violation of the University policy on prevention of alcohol abuse and drug use on campus and in the workplace as well as any other published University policies applicable to School of Health Professions students. While on University premises or at University sponsored or supervised events, students and organizations are subject to disciplinary action for violations of published policies, rules, and regulations of the University and Regents, and for the following offenses:

A. Offenses Against Persons include, but are not limited to:

    When a student:
  1. Threatens the physical health of another person; places another person in serious bodily harm; uses physical force in a manner that endangers the health, welfare, or safety of another person; or willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or attempts to make unwanted contact with another person (students, patients, visitors, faculty, staff, co-workers).

  2. Exhibits inappropriate sexual behaviors with students, patients, visitors, faculty, staff, or co-workers.

  3. Possesses or carries any firearm, weapon, or explosive on University premises.

  4. Falsely reports a bomb, fire, or other emergency.

  5. Is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony involving crimes against persons (e.g. assault, battery, physical or sexual abuse).* (See below)

  6. Is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony related to moral turpitude (e.g. prostitution, public lewdness/exposure, etc.).* (See below)

    *In this context, “conviction” is intended and understood to include pleas of guilty, pleas of nolo contendere, and diversion agreements.

B. Offenses Against Property include, but are not limited to:

    When a student:
  1. Knowingly and without proper consent or authorization has in his or her possession the property of another person, the University, or any clinical site.

  2. Knowingly and without proper consent or authorization removes, uses, misappropriates, or sells the property of another person, the University, or any clinical site.

  3. Willfully or maliciously damages or destroys property owned or in the possession of another person, the University, or any clinical site.

  4. Obtains the property of another person by misrepresentation or fraudulent means.

  5. Misuses, damages, or alters any fire fighting or other safety equipment.

  6. Enters the facilities of, or uses the property of another person, the University, or any clinical site without proper consent or authorization.

  7. Knowingly, and without proper payment, uses the services of the University or any clinical site that require payment of a charge.

C. Offenses Against the Orderly Process of The University may be committed, but are not limited to:

    When a student:
  1. Intentionally causes or attempts to cause a substantial disruption or obstruction of classroom or clinical teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other University learning activities, or other authorized, permitted, or constitutionally protected activities on University premises, including employment, recruitment, and public service functions.

  2. Knowingly furnishes false information to the University, faculty, or staff; or a student, applicant, or former student forges, alters, misrepresents, or misuses University documents, records, or instruments of identification.

  3. Misuses computing resources in violation of university policy

D. Offenses by a Student Organization or Campus Organization.

Organizations may be held responsible for conduct in accordance with guidelines applicable to individual students. Organizations may be held responsible for their conduct determined to be a recognized group activity regardless of location (on or off University premises) or University supervision or sponsorship. Organizations may be sanctioned in a manner suitable to circumstances, similar to those outlined for individual students.

E. Other offenses include, but are not limited to:

      When a student:
    1. Is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony for the sale, possession, distribution, or transfer of narcotics or controlled substances. * (See below)

      *In this context, “conviction” is intended and understood to include pleas of guilty, pleas of nolo contendere, and diversion agreements.

    2. Is impaired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs while in clinical settings or on University premises.

    3. Displays unprofessional dress including visible tattoos.

    4. Misses a clinical experience without notice and a valid reason, or leaves a clinical experience without notice and a valid reason.

    5. Uses University broadcast email for personal purposes (e.g., to sell a personal item or promote a non-KUMC event. (Per the University of Kansas Medical Center Operational Protocol: Email)

    6. Commits any other acts or omissions which, if the student were a credentialed practitioner, could result in discipline by the credentialing agency.

Alcohol and Drug Use

The KU Medical Center alcohol and drug use policy PDF icon is in effect for all students. Currently, the School of Health Professions requests a drug screen only when the student’s clinical site requires one, or if there is a questionable violation of the KU Medical Center drug and alcohol policy. If a drug screening is found to be positive for drugs or alcohol, the Office of the Dean, the SHP Office of Student Affairs and a member of the SHP academic affairs committee will review the results and may refer the student to the Student Counseling Office. (Students in the nurse anesthesia program will follow the protocol as outlined in the NA program handbook.) See also: KU Medical Center policy on drug screening PDF document

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Actions related to academic and nonacademic misconduct

If, following the program policies and procedures regarding due process, a student is found to have violated regulations or to have engaged in academic or nonacademic misconduct, the student may receive admonition, warning or censure and/or be subject to reduction of grade, academic or disciplinary probation, suspension, or dismissal.

Sanctions for Academic or Non- Academic Misconduct

Sanctions for academic misconduct or non-academic misconduct should be determined and imposed to maintain the integrity of the academic program and the rights of all individuals; maintain the mission of the University and its intellectual environment and to assist in the education of the student responsible for the academic or non-academic misconduct.

    Types of sanctions include:
  1. Warning: A formal written warning for the student’s acknowledgement and signature; the signed warning to be placed in the student’s department or program record

  2. Probation: Probationary status imposed with or without restrictions for a definite period of time not to exceed one calendar year. A student is subject to suspension or dismissal if involved in any academic or nonacademic misconduct, including violations of the terms of the probation, while on probation.

  3. Suspension: Involuntary separation of the student from the University for a definite period of time after which the student is eligible to return. The student is subject to immediate dismissal if involved in any subsequent act of misconduct after the suspension has been imposed and/or lifted.

  4. Dismissal: Involuntary separation of the student from the University. See section on Due Process.

Informing Students

During the orientation period each student will sign and date a statement indicating they have access to and have read the department/program policies, the regulations and conditions related to academic misconduct and nonacademic misconduct, and the School of Health Professions student handbook.

At the beginning of each course, every instructor shall make clear the rules for the preparation of classroom assignments, collateral reading, notebooks, or other outside work so that students may not, through ignorance, subject themselves to the charge of academic misconduct.

Due Process

"Due Process" constitutes the procedural safeguards that insure students receive fair and impartial treatment.

Faculty are expected to deal directly with students when an action that occurs in their courses causes concern. Course materials (i.e., syllabus) should outline expectations and consequences.

The department chair or program director will implement the program policies and resources to address alleged situations of academic or nonacademic misconduct and to provide for due process when the situation is not resolved with the faculty.

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School Appeals Procedure For Academic and Non-academic Misconduct

Appeals procedures apply to situations in which the student wishes to appeal a proposed suspension or dismissal due to alleged misconduct. Grades are the purview of the instructor and department or program, and will not be considered in the school's appeals process. Each program in the School of Health Professions has policies that are pertinent to that program. Students are responsible for following the procedures within the program before they may file an appeal with the School.

Proposals to suspend or dismiss a student for misconduct shall be sent from the department chair or program director, in writing, to the dean of the School of Health Professions, the vice chancellor for academic affairs, and to the student. The letter shall specifically recite those facts and circumstances relied upon by the program for recommending the proposed discipline. To access the SHP appeals procedure, the student must file, in writing, a Notice of Appeal to the dean of the School of Health Professions within two (2) weeks of the date of the chair's or program director's recommendation of discipline.

Procedure for filing the Notice of Appeal

  • The student must submit the written Notice of Appeal after completing all steps to attempt resolution through department or program procedures.

  • The written appeal must include a statement regarding why the student wishes to appeal the proposed suspension or dismissal, including a description of efforts to resolve the matter within the program. The dean of the school will initiate the appointment of an appeals committee and charge the committee as specified in this policy.

Composition of the School Appeals Committee

  • There will be five members on the appeals committee.

  • No one directly involved with the grievance will be eligible to serve on the appeals committee.

  • The dean of the school will appoint a chair and two persons from the faculty to serve on the appeals committee. The dean will request that the student and the program each select an additional faculty member to serve on the committee.

Other Matters

The chair or program director of the department will decide if the student will be allowed to continue in the program until the appeals procedure is complete, providing such continuance in the School or in a clinical experience will not seriously disrupt the University or clinical site or constitute a danger to the health, safety, or welfare of patients, staff, faculty or other persons.

Should any final appeals decision occur after the first day of classes in a subsequent semester, and the final appeals decision is grounds for the student's discontinuance in the program, the policies of the KU Medical Center Office of the Registrar will determine whether or not a tuition refund will be allowed. No part of this procedure is meant to preempt University policy.

School Appeals Committee Responsibilities

The committee is responsible for determining whether the student’s proposed suspension or dismissal was for proper cause and was reasonable. The committee will make this determination by conducting a fair and impartial hearing, including a review of materials and information related to the student appeal. Since each program has policies and rules governing its particular program, it is not the purview of the appeals committee to evaluate the department's or program's policies.

School Appeals Committee Process and Hearing Procedures

1. Committee Process

  1. The committee will meet within two weeks of their appointment to consider the Notice of Appeal.

  2. Each party associated with the appeal will submit materials and the name of the individual that they have asked to serve on the committee to the associate dean in the School of Health Professions. The associate dean will provide copies of the materials to the committee, the department/program representative and to the student(s). The program and the student(s) should also provide the associate dean names of individuals who will provide testimony at the hearing. This information will be provided to the chair of the committee.

  3. Neither the student nor the program will be allowed to have legal counsel participate in the hearing. However, the student will be allowed to have a faculty or faculty advisor present at the hearing to assist in the student’s appeal presentation to the committee.

  4. Each party will have the right to present testimony, call witnesses and question witnesses related to the appeal.

  5. The hearing will be audio recorded and this will be part of the record which will be held for five (5) years.

2. Conduct of the Hearing.

The designated chair shall preside at the hearing; call the hearing to order; introduce the student(s), program representative and the committee members; review with the student that he/she has waived his/her FERPA rights to confidentiality based on the appeal request; and review with the committee any extraordinary procedures to be employed during the hearing. The chair of the committee shall be responsible for assuring the hearing proceeds in an orderly and fair manner.

  1. General Rules

    1. The chair of the committee shall preside over the hearing and shall make appropriate introductions of the parties and provide a description of the hearing procedures.

    2. All requests to address the committee shall be addressed to the chair.

    3. The chair will rule on all requests, evidentiary matters, witness concerns, and procedural points of order. In appropriate circumstances regarding hearing procedures and evidentiary matters, the chair shall have the right to declare an executive session in order to confer with committee members

    4. Common courtesy, respect, professionalism, and decency shall be observed at all times.

    5. The student shall bear the burden of persuading the committee that the proposed discipline is without proper cause and is unreasonable.

  2. Opening Statements.

    1. The chair shall make opening remarks outlining the general nature of the student’s appeal.

    2. The student may make an opening statement to the committee regarding the reasons for the appeal.

  3. Department Evidence.

    1. The department/program shall present its evidence in whatever form it chooses, including testimony from witnesses.

    2. The committee may question witnesses at any time.

    3. The student may question each witness at the conclusion of his/her initial testimony.

  4. Student Evidence

    1. If the student has not elected to make a statement earlier under b.ii. above, the student shall have the opportunity to make a statement to the committee about the suspension or dismissal charge prior to presenting evidence.

    2. The student may present evidence in whatever form he or she chooses, including testimony from witnesses.

    3. The committee may question the student’s witnesses at any time.

    4. The department/program may question each of the student's witnesses at the conclusion of his/her initial testimony.

    5. The student shall have the right to offer his/her own testimony but shall not be required to do so.

  5. Rebuttal Evidence

    The committee may permit the program and the student to offer rebuttal evidence or testimony to the other’s presentation.

3. Rights of the Committee.

The committee shall have the right to the following:

  1. Hear cases involving more than one student proposed for discipline which arise out of the same action or occurrence; provided however, the committee shall make separate findings and recommendations for each student;

  2. Permit the incorporation into the record by reference of any documentation produced and desired in the record by the program or the student;

  3. Question witnesses or challenge other evidence introduced by either the program or the student at any time;

  4. Call additional witnesses or require additional investigation;

  5. Exclude any person from the hearing who interferes with or obstructs the hearing or fails to abide by the rulings of the chair of the committee.

4. Rights of the Student(s).

The student(s) shall have the right to:

  1. Be present at the hearing;

  2. Examine evidence presented to the committee prior to the hearing;

  3. Question witnesses present and testifying;

  4. Present evidence by witnesses or documentation; and

  5. Make a statement to the committee in mitigation or explanation of the conduct in question.

5. Determination by the Committee.

The committee shall make its factual findings and recommendations in executive session out of the presence of the department or program representative and the student(s) charged. The committee will deliberate on the merits of the case based on fair and impartial review of the information presented: A vote will be taken to determine the recommendation that will be put forward to the dean of the school.

6. Official Report of Findings and Determinations.

The committee will provide the dean with the results of its vote, along with a written report of its findings within three working days of completing deliberations. The dean has the responsibility to consider all of the underlying information and the recommendation of the committee and to make a final decision regarding the matter. The dean will notify the student and the program in writing about the decision within one week of receiving the committee’s summary and recommendations. The decision of the dean is not appealable.

7. Record of the Hearing.

The notice, exhibits, audio record, and the findings and determination of the committee and the dean’s letter to the student shall become the “Record of Case” and shall be filed in the Office of the Dean of the School of Health Professions for five (5) years.

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For corrections to this page, please e-mail Thank you.

Last modified: Oct 31, 2019