Duke Community Standard and Student Conduct

Duke Community Standard

Duke University is a community dedicated to scholarship, leadership, and service and to the principles of honesty, fairness, respect, and accountability. Citizens of this community commit to reflect upon and uphold these principles in all academic and nonacademic endeavors, and to protect and promote a culture of integrity.

To uphold the Duke Community Standard:

  •     I will not lie, cheat, or steal in my academic endeavors;
  •     I will conduct myself honorably in all my endeavors; and
  •     I will act if the Standard is compromised.

"Duke University has high expectations for students’ scholarship and conduct. In accepting admission, students indicate their willingness to subscribe to and be governed by the rules and regulations of the university, which flow from the Duke Community Standard. These policies reflect the Duke Community Standard’s fundamental values—honesty, fairness, respect, and accountability.  Undergraduates acknowledge the right of the university to take disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion, for failure to abide by the regulations or for other conduct adjudged unsatisfactory or detrimental to the university community.  Students and groups may be held accountable for any violation of university policy that may or may not be included in this guide, whether on or off campus." from page 16 of The Duke Community Standard in Practice: A Guide for Undergraduates 2016-17.

For information on expected academic and nonacademic conduct and the range of sanctions imposed for violation of these, see:

Academic Integrity

Intellectual and academic honesty are at the heart of the academic life of any university. It is the responsibility of all students to understand and abide by Duke's expectations regarding academic work.  Students found guilty of plagiarism, lying, cheating or other forms of academic dishonesty may be suspended.  For more information see:

Compliance with Academic Regulations

It is the responsibility of all students to understand the academic regulations and requirements of Trinity College, to take care to conform to them, and to seek official clarification of policies if they are in doubt as to their meaning or reach.  Ignoring official rules and requirements is a breach of the Duke Community Standard and a “failure to comply".   Students who fail to comply may have their registration for the next academic semester blocked by their academic dean until after the close of the last window of that registration period. They may also be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for possible disciplinary action and could be subject to involuntary withdrawal for a period of two semesters.  The deadlines that Duke Undergraduates are held to during the academic year are published on the academic calendar.

Appropriate Student Communication  

It is expected that all students communicate with Officers of the University (faculty, instructors, deans, staff, administrators etc.) in a respectful and professional manner.   This includes verbal communication as well as written communication.  When a breach of this conduct occurs, students will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct in Student Affairs for appropriate conversation and disciplinary action if the conduct rises to a violation of University policy.  Note of this meeting will be recorded on the student’s internal disciplinary record and reported externally per policies of the Office of Student Conduct. 

Appropriate Student Conduct

It is the responsibility of all students to understand and exhibit appropriate and responsible conduct at all times, whether on campus or off.  The policies on alcohol and drugs, fire/safety measures, harassment, noise, weapons, classroom disruption, disorderly conduct, bridge painting, and others are described in the guide.  Students and groups may be held accountable for any violation of university policy that may or may not be included in the guide, whether on or off campus, in addition to local ordinances and state and federal laws.

Exclusion of Disruptive Students

The successful conduct of a course depends upon a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation among its participants. If a student disrupts a class in such a way that it seriously compromises the educational experience of the course for other students and/or prevents the instructor from accomplishing the goals of the course as outlined in the syllabus, the instructor may require the student to leave the class meeting.  The instructor will notify the student’s academic dean of this action.

The following process will then be implemented as necessary and appropriate (from the Faculty Handbook):

  • It is expected that the instructor and the student will meet to discuss and agree in writing the conditions under which the student may return to the course. The student may not return to the course until the matter has been resolved. The student's academic dean will receive a copy of this written agreement.  
  • If the instructor and the student fail to reach an agreement, then the matter is referred to the student's academic dean who will begin the process of removing the student from the course.  If the student is permanently excluded from the course, a grade of W will be assigned.
  • If an agreement is reached but the disruptive behavior continues, the instructor may again require the student to leave the class meeting and refer the matter to the student's academic dean who will begin the process of removing the student from the course.  If the student is permanently excluded from the course, a grade of W will be assigned.
  • If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the permanent removal, an appeal is to be directed to the academic appellate officer of Trinity College.  The decision of the senior associate dean in such a case is final.
  • In addition the academic dean may determine that the matter should also be referred to the Office of Student conduct for consideration of formal charges in violation of university policies including "Classroom Disruption," "Disorderly Conduct," and/or "Failure to Comply."

Office of Student Conduct

The Office of Student Conduct, in Duke Student Affairs, oversees Duke's student conduct policies and is responsible for investigations and resolution of alleged violations of university policies.  The office encourages honesty, integrity, and respect within the undergraduate community and strives to help students recognize their mistakes and learn from them.  

For more information see: