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Washington State University Graduate School

Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities

A. Office of the University Ombudsman

The ombudsman is designated by the university to function as an impartial and neutral resource to assist all members of the university community. The ombudsman provides information relating to university policies and procedures and facilitates the resolution of problems and grievances through informal investigation and mediation. The office does not replace or supersede other university grievances, complaint or appeal procedures but is another avenue available to graduate students who wish to seek assistance in resolving concerns related to their graduate program. The contact information for the University Ombudsman’s Office may be accessed here.

B. Student Conduct

The University seeks fair and expeditious action on academic and conduct issues. Resolutions must uphold the highest standards of academic freedom and integrity, while honoring the rights and dignity of all individuals in the University community. The Graduate Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities describes policies and guidelines pertaining to academic advancement and related grievance procedures, and provides links to important resources regarding student conduct, academic dishonesty, discrimination, sexual harassment and drug and alcohol policies. Student disciplinary proceedings for misconduct, including plagiarism and cheating, are covered by the policies and procedures in the Student Conduct Code.

The Standards of Conduct for Students, WAC 504-26, can be downloaded at the Center for Community Standards website:

The Graduate Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities appears in its entirety in Section E at the end of this chapter.

C. Student Rights of Appeal Related to Academic Work

Read Section.

D. Student Rights to Privacy

Information specific to students’ rights and protections under the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as implemented by Washington State University may be found at here.

E. Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities

The Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities document describes procedures for channeling graduate student complaints, grievances, and concerns to faculty, staff and administrators for appropriate action. In conjunction with this document, graduate students must adhere to the Graduate School’s Policies and Procedures available on the Graduate School’s website:  While these rights and responsibilities outline the complaint process, students are encouraged to seek guidance and advice from the Graduate School Associate or Assistant Deans on conflicts that may arise at any point during their course of study at the University.

This document covers policies and guidelines pertaining to academic advancement and grievances only. Student disciplinary proceedings for misconduct including plagiarism and cheating are covered by the policies and procedures in the Standards of Conduct for Students contained in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Chapter 504-26. For disciplinary matters, please view the information at the following links:

Read Full Section on Rights & Responsibilities.

Back to Polices and Procedures Manual