Jun 17, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Policies and Procedures

Generally, the policies and procedures contained in this University Catalog must be followed by students currently enrolled for the fall 2022 and the spring and summer 2023 semesters. The procedures and policies contained in this section are subject to change as the University deems necessary. If you have a concern, please check with the appropriate office.

Definition of a Student

The term student includes persons admitted to or enrolled at the University, and those who may not be currently enrolled but who have a continuing relationship with the University. All students will adhere to the Student Code of Conduct as included in the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of the Catalog.

Student academic records are protected under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Academic record protection begins no later than the time a student has begun attending class at the University. Attendance includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Attendance in person or by paper correspondence, videoconference, satellite, Internet, or other electronic information and telecommunications technologies for students who are not physically present in the classroom; and
  2. The period during which a person is working under a work-study program.

More information regarding educational records can be found below and on the Office of the Registrar’s website, msudenver.edu/registrar.

Academic Integrity

As students, faculty, staff and administrators of Metropolitan State University of Denver, it is our responsibility to uphold and maintain an academic environment that furthers scholarly inquiry, creative activity and the application of knowledge. We will not tolerate academic dishonesty. We will demonstrate honesty and integrity in all activities related to our learning and scholarship. We will not plagiarize, fabricate information or data, cheat on tests or exams, steal academic material, or submit work to more than one class without full disclosure.

Academic Dishonesty occurs when utilizing unauthorized resources in violation of expectations for honesty and integrity on an assignment or assessment. This includes plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, falsification or other violations of academic expectations.

  • Plagiarism occurs when presenting another’s work (professional, academic, or personal) as one’s own. In its most common form, it manifests itself as not citing sources.
  • Cheating occurs as an intentional act of unethical behavior where a student receives or provides unauthorized assistance on academic work or takes credit for work that is not their own
  • Fabrication is the construction and/or addition of data, observations, or characterizations that never occurred in the gathering of data or running of experiments. Fabrication can occur when “filling out” the rest of experiment runs, for example. Claims about results need to be made on complete data sets (as is normally assumed), where claims made based on incomplete or assumed results is a form of fabrication.
  • Falsification is the changing addition or omission of internship hours and/or research results (data) to meet program requirements, support claims, hypotheses, other data, etc. Falsification can include the manipulation of hours worked or supervised. In addition, it may include the manipulation of research instrumentation, materials, or processes. Manipulation of images or representations in a manner that distorts the data or “reads too much between the lines” can also be considered falsification.

Academic Responsibilities

Students have the responsibility to:

  1. Graduate students have the responsibility to respect and uphold all relevant university policies regarding professional conduct, including but not limited to the University Code of Conduct, and the Sexual Harassment policy.
  2. Graduate students have the responsibility to respect and uphold all of the aforementioned rights of other fellow graduate students.
  3. Graduate students have the responsibility to not discriminate against students, faculty, staff, or administrators on the basis of race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, or status such as Vietnam-era or disabled veteran
  4. Graduate students have the responsibility to provide accurate and honest reporting of research results and to uphold ethical norms in research methodology and scholarship.
  5. Graduate students have the responsibility to communicate with individual faculty, departments, and the university administration in a timely manner.
  6. Graduate students have the responsibility to conduct themselves, in all educational and professional activities, in a manner befitting an academic colleague.
  7. Graduate students have the responsibility to devote a sufficient amount of time and energy to making progress towards achieving their advanced degree, except when special circumstances apply.
    1. These special circumstances could include, but are not limited to, the particular nature of the research, financial hardship, physical or mental illness or disability, civil obligations, family obligations, and religious obligations.
  8. Graduate students have the responsibility to understand their role in the development of their relationships with faculty mentors.
    1. Graduate students will demonstrate an awareness of the time constraints and other demands imposed on faculty members and program staff.
    2. Graduate students will communicate regularly with faculty mentors and advisors, especially in matters related to research, progress, and concerns.
  9. Graduate students have the responsibility to take the initiative in reading program materials and asking questions that promote their understanding of the academic requirements and financial particulars of their specific graduate program.
    1. This may include but is not limited to: the recruitment and retention of fellow graduate students and faculty members; the hosting of, attending, and participating in colloquia and conferences; and other relevant decision-making committees.
    2. Graduate students will endeavor to contribute to the administration and ongoing improvement of their graduate program, graduate student government, and the university.
    3. When providing such service, graduate students will do so with the same care, consideration, diligence and professionalism demonstrated by their faculty colleagues.

Academic Rights

Students have the right to:

  • Be informed of course expectations and requirements.
  • Be evaluated fairly on the basis of academic performance.
  • Participate in free and open discussion, inquiry and expression, both in the classroom and in conference.
  • Receive competent instruction and advisement.
  • Expect protection against professors’ improper disclosure of students’ personal information, views, beliefs, and political associations when such information has become known as a result of professors’ instructions, advisement, or counsel.
  • Expect protection, through established procedures, against prejudicial or capricious evaluation.
  • Assess the value of a course to make suggestions as to its direction and to evaluate both the instructor and the instruction they have received.
  • Have input in University policy-making, which may include, but shall not be limited to, course scheduling distribution of night and day classes, calendar arrangements, library policy and development, grading systems, course development, and curriculum.
  • Expect instructors to conduct themselves professionally in the classroom in accordance with University policies and directives.
  • Expect instructors to maintain office hours as required by University policy.
  • Expect reasonable academic assistance from the appropriate department.
  • Be informed of academic standards expected of them in the classroom through a syllabus and/ or course outline. Academic standards shall include, but not be limited to, classroom civility, class attendance requirements, objectives to be achieved, and the grading criteria that will be applied to a particular course of study.

Academic Rigor

Metropolitan State University of Denver is committed to offering graduate programs that are more advanced in academic content than its undergraduate programs. The utilization of the rigor statements ensures such academic rigor exists.


  • Faculty teaching graduate coursework should be broadly and deeply conversant within the field of study.
  • Faculty should also be knowledgeable in the state-of-the-art information available in scholarly articles and textbooks or electronic networks in their field. Faculty should hold a terminal degree determined by their discipline and have achievement appropriate for the graduate program. Tested experience, as defined by the graduate program, may substitute for earned credentials or portions thereof.


  • While our graduate students come from a wide variety of diverse backgrounds to study an equally widearray of subjects, our goal to ensure that they all find the experience of being a graduate student at Metropolitan State University of Denver rigorous, thought provoking and rewarding.


The purpose of graduate studies is to provide accessible, high quality degree programs that respond to the needs of our community, bolster our city and state economy, and find solutions to the issues of our nation’s increasingly urbanized society. This requires intensive study, research, and analysis of content. The graduate curriculum is structured to support students knowledge of the literature of the discipline and engage them in research or advanced practice. When appropriate, students are required to engage in professional practice and training experiences.


Graduate level courses should:

  • Provide content knowledge beyond the undergraduate level
  • Make maximum use of modern technology and other available resources
  • Emphasize the analysis and synthesis of information and should expand the student’s knowledge base and prepare the student for a career in the chosen field at a more advanced level than those
  • with a baccalaureate degree
  • Provide knowledge of scholarly writing techniques and of research methodologies appropriate to the discipline
  • Prepare the student for pursuing more advanced degrees

Class Attendance

Attendance during the first week of class is required. It contributes greatly to teaching and learning. Some departments determine a student’s enrollment in a course based upon attendance during the first week of class. Consult the department for more information about the attendance policy for the class that you are attending. Students who drop classes are financially responsible for those classes in accordance with the withdrawal/refund policies stated on the Web class schedule available via the Student Hub.

Students are expected to attend all sessions of courses for which they are registered. Each instructor determines when a student’s absences have reached a point at which they jeopardize success in a course. When absences become excessive, the student may receive a failing grade for the course. If students anticipate a prolonged absence, they should contact their instructors. If they find that they cannot communicate with the instructor, they should contact the chair of that department, who will inform the instructor of the reasons for the anticipated absence. Whenever an instructor determines that a student’s absences are interfering with academic progress, the instructor may submit a letter to the department chair informing that office of the situation.

Students at MSU Denver who, because of their sincerely held religious beliefs, are unable to attend classes, take examinations, participate in graded activities or submit graded assignments on particular days shall, without penalty, be excused from such classes and be given a meaningful opportunity to make up such examinations and graded activities or assignments provided that proper notice and procedures are followed.

Crime Awareness and Campus Security

In 1990, Congress enacted the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act, which requires all post-secondary institutions participating in Title IV student financial aid programs to disclose campus crime statistics and security information. This information is available at msudenver.edu/campussafetyandcrime.

Equal Opportunity and Americans with Disabilities Act

Metropolitan State University of Denver is an equal opportunity employer; applications from minorities and women are particularly invited. Metropolitan State University of Denver does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation or disability in admissions or access to, or treatment or employment in, its educational programs or activities. Inquiries concerning the University grievance procedures may be directed to the designated MSU Denver officials. Inquiries concerning Title VI and Title IX may be referred to the MSU Denver Office of Equal Opportunity, Campus Box 63, P.O. Box 173362, Denver, CO 80217-3362, 303-615-0036. Inquiries concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or 504 may be referred to Amanda Berry, Director of Total Rewards, MSU Denver, Campus Box 67, P.O. Box 173362, Denver, CO 80217-3362, 303-605-5321; Raul Sanchez, Executive Director, Office of Equal Opportunity, Title IX Coordinator, & ADA Coordinator, 303-615-0036; Greg Sullivan, Director Access Center, MSU Denver, Campus Box 56, P.O. Box 173361, Denver, CO 80217-3361, 303-615-1204. Otherwise, all inquiries may be referred to the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 Speer Boulevard, Denver, CO 80204, 303-844-3723.

Equal Access for Students with Disabilities

Metropolitan State University of Denver is dedicated to ensuring equal access and inclusion for all students with disabilities by abiding by the letter and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The University shall endeavor to ensure that all programs, services, and educational resources are accessible to individuals with disabilities t. This includes working as a partner with the Auraria Higher Education Center to ensure campus (facilities) accessibility. The University does not discriminate against persons with disabilities and strives to provide an inclusive academic experience by providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations for equal access. Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Access Center is the designated office to coordinate equitable access services for students with disabilities. The Access Center collaborates with students and faculty to coordinate reasonable accommodations. Students seeking accommodations are invited to visit the Access Center in the Plaza Building, Suite 124. Contact information: 303-615-0200, accesscenter@msudenver.edu, www.msudenver.edu/access.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. A copy of the University’s policy on student educational records can be found here: https://www.msudenver.edu/policy/policylibrary/policiesa-z/privacy-student-records-policy/.

Student Rights

Metropolitan State University of Denver maintains educational records for each student who has enrolled at the University. A copy of the University’s policy on student educational records may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), 20 USC 1232g, and the implementing regulations published at 34 CFR part 99, each eligible student has the right to:

  1. Inspect and review his/her educational records;
  2. Request the amendment of the student’s education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights;
  3. Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent (see Nondisclosure and Exceptions); and
  4. File a complaint under 34 CFR 99.64, concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA, with the Family Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.

Procedure for Inspecting and Reviewing Educational Records

Students may inspect and review their education records upon a written request submitted to the Office of the Registrar, Jordan Student Success Building, Suite 160 (#3), or by mail to Campus Box 84, P.O. Box 173362, Denver, Colorado 80217- 3362.

  1. The request shall identify as precisely as possible the record or records the student wishes to inspect.
  2. The record custodian or an appropriate staff person shall make the arrangements for access as promptly as possible and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Access must be given within 45 days from the receipt of the request.
  3. When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records that relate to that student.

Procedure for Amending Educational Records

A student may make a written request to amend a record.

  1. In the request, the student should identify the part of the record to be changed and specify why the student believes it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights.
  2. Metropolitan State University of Denver shall comply with the request or notify the student that the University will not comply with the request and advise the student of the student’s right to a hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s rights.
  3. Upon written request, Metropolitan State University of Denver will arrange for a hearing, and notify the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place, and time of the hearing.
  4. The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer who is a disinterested party, but who may be an official of the institution. The student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the student’s education records. The student may be assisted by one or more individuals, including an attorney.
  5. Metropolitan State University of Denver will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.
  6. If Metropolitan State University of Denver decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s right of privacy or other right, it will notify the student that the student has a right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision.
  7. The statement will be maintained as part of the student’s education records as long as the contested portion is maintained. If Metropolitan State University of Denver decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights, it will amend the record and notify the student, in writing, that the record has been amended.

Nondisclosure and Exceptions

Pursuant to FERPA, the University will not disclose a student’s education records without the written consent of the student except to University officials with legitimate educational interests, to officials at other institutions in which the student seeks to enroll; in connection with providing financial aid to the student; to accrediting agencies in carrying out their functions; to authorized representatives in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs; in compliance with a judicial order or subpoena; to other outside providers who may be subject to a contractual obligation to maintain confidentiality of student information (e.g. Auraria Higher Education Center, National Student Clearinghouse, or legal and debt collection services); may release educational records to parents of dependent children in accordance with IRS code of 1986; and in connection with a health or safety emergency involving the student. However, the University may release directory information without the prior written consent of the student unless an enrolled student has notified the University’s Office of the Registrar in writing that any or all types of directory information shall not be disclosed without the consent of the student. A request for nondisclosure will remain in effect until the student cancels the request for nondisclosure.

A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position, including Auraria law enforcement personnel; or a person elected to the Board of Trustees; or a person employed by or under contract to the University to perform a special task, such as attorney, auditor or consultant; or a student or other person serving on an official University committee or assisting a school official in performing the official’s professional duties and responsibilities. A legitimate educational interest is the need of a school official to review educational records to fulfill that official’s professional duties and responsibilities.

Other than Directory Information, which may be released to the general public, the University will not release educational records without a student’s written consent, signed, and dated by the student.

Directory Information

Metropolitan State University of Denver has designated the following categories of personally identifiable information on students as directory information under section 438(a)(5)(B) of FERPA:

  • Dates of attendance at the University
  • Date of birth
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Enrollment status
  • Last educational institution attended
  • Major and minor fields of study
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Physical and email addresses
  • Student classification
  • Student Identification Number (only provided in certain circumstances with special approval)
  • Student name
  • Telephone number
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams

If you wish to keep your entire record private-including directory information-you can submit a Request for Non- Disclosure of Directory Information. This form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar in the Jordan Student Success Building 160, along with a photo ID.

If you submit this form, Metropolitan State University of Denver will not release any of your information unless faced with an extenuating circumstance (e.g., subpoena or health emergency).

Final Examinations

It is the general policy of MSU Denver to require final examinations of all students in all courses for which they are registered for credit, with the possible exception of seminar courses or special projects.

Freedom of Speech

Students shall have the right to assemble, to select speakers and guests, and to discuss issues of their choice. An invitation to a speaker shall not imply endorsement of the speaker’s views by either the student organization or the University.

Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations shall not be used to the detriment of students and their institutional standing.

The right of peaceful protest is granted within the University community. The University retains the right to assure the safety of individuals, the protection of property, and the continuity of the educational process.

The student press shall be free of censorship and shall provide editorial freedom. The editors and managers shall not be arbitrarily suspended because of student, faculty, administration, alumni, or community disapproval of editorial policy or content.

All student communications shall explicitly state on the editorial page or in broadcast that the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the University and/or members of the University.

Graduation Rates

MSU Denver’s latest, three-year graduation rate for the 2017 cohort of first-time, full-time, graduate-degree-seeking students is 69%.

Jury Duty

The University will not impede a student called to jury duty. If a student’s jury duty conflicts with an MSU Denver class, lab or exam, faculty must cooperate with the student to reschedule the missed course obligations. Jury duty takes precedence over class attendance policies. The student has the responsibility to provide verification of attendance at jury duty to the faculty member.

Respect for Rights of Others

The student assumes certain obligations of performance and behavior while attending MSU Denver. Based on this premise, reasonable policies, procedures and regulations have been developed to guarantee each student’s opportunity to learn and to protect the fundamental rights of others. MSU Denver students neither gain nor lose any of the rights and responsibilities of other citizens by virtue of their student status.

As members of an academic community, students are expected to conduct themselves in a mature and responsible manner. Students should try at all times to promote a sense of cooperation and civility within the University and work to build an atmosphere that will be most conducive to the goals of higher education within the institution.

Students, while within University facilities or while participating in University sponsored activities (on-campus and/or off-campus), are expected to comply with University rules and regulations and with the regulations of off-campus sites.

Right of Appeal

Students may have the right to appeal academic policy or requirements. Refer to the Graduate Catalog, Graduate Policy Manual, and Graduate Program Handbooks for more information about the appeal process.

Student Code of Conduct

Students are required to follow the Student Code of Conduct  available in this Catalog.

Student Complaint Policy

For information on MSU Denver’s student complaint policy, visit msudenver.edu/deanofstudents/studentcomplaintsappeals.

Student Rights

  1. Graduate students have the right to a high-quality education and the best possible preparation for their future careers.
  2. Based on the level of contribution graduate students may have the opportunity for co-authorship or proper acknowledgment
    1. The order of authorship should be assigned according to the standards of the discipline.
    2. Faculty and graduate students should agree as early as possible upon authorship positions.
  3. Graduate students have the right against discrimination based on race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, or status such as Vietnam-era or disabled veteran
  4. Graduate students have the right to be incorporated in the decision-making process of their graduate program, their department, the graduate school, and the university on issues that directly or indirectly affect their ability to complete their degree via a graduate student representative on the graduate council who serves as a voting member.
  5. Graduate students have the right to be respected as a person of merit and junior colleague upon gaining admission to a graduate program.
  6. Graduate students have the right to pursue professional training for academic and/or nonacademic careers.
  7. Graduate students have the right to organize at the program, department, school or college and university level and be recognized by the campus faculty and administration, provided they follow university policies and guidelines.
    1. Recognition includes the right to discuss relevant issues and negotiate as a unit with the faculty and administration through duly elected or appointed graduate student representatives.
  8. Graduate students have the right to timely communication with individual faculty, departments, and the university administration.
  9. Graduate students have the right to specific and concrete requirements for achieving an advanced degree.
    1. These requirements should be communicated clearly to the graduate student, both upon entrance to the graduate program and after any significant changes or updates.
    2. Prospective and currently enrolled graduate students have the right to be kept up to date on the availability of courses required for their graduate studies.
    3. Currently enrolled students have the right to petition that required courses be taught with sufficient frequency.
    4. Prospective and currently enrolled graduate students have the right to know a program’s acceptance rate and attrition rates at major program milestones (i.e. thesis defense and graduation).
  10. Graduate students have the right to have their progress toward achieving an advanced degree be evaluated in an objective manner and based on criteria that are understood by the graduate advisor and the student.
    1. Evaluations should be factual, specific, and should be shared with the student within a reasonable period of time.
    2. Explicit written evaluations should include, but are not limited to: progress reports, split decisions on qualifying examinations, and unusual or additional program requirements.
    3. The reasons for unsatisfactory performance on programmatic examinations should be stated clearly and promptly to the student in a written evaluation.
  11. A graduate student has the right to regular feedback and guidance concerning academic progress.
    1. Graduate students are protected by their FERPA rights on academic confidentiality.
    2. When applicable a graduate student and major professor should arrive at and maintain a mutually agreeable schedule of evaluative/supervisory conferences.
    3. Any intent to dismiss a graduate student from a graduate program for academic reasons must follow procedures outlined in the applicable program’s handbook to include specific and timely written communication.
    4. Before any graduate student is compelled to leave their program and the university, especially in cases where there is no option to return, the graduate student shall be provided with reasonable time and opportunity to appeal the decision (to the applicable program and College or School Dean). This process is outlined in the handbook of the applicable program.
  12. Graduate students have the right to clearly defined official grievance and informal complaint procedures at the Office of Graduate Studies and at the departmental or program level.
  13. As employees, graduate students have the responsibility.
    1. To carry out their job responsibilities in a conscientious and timely manner.
    2. To perform their duties in accordance with all relevant University, state government, and federal government rules and regulations.
    3. To accurately report their hours worked and level of effort whenever requested or required to do so.
    4. To work or be available to work on the days and at the times outlined in their appointment letter or contract, or at times explicitly discussed and agreed upon with their faculty advisor or supervisor.
    5. To recognize that failure to perform their job responsibilities in a satisfactory manner may constitute cause for disciplinary action or dismissal.
    6. To fulfill their teaching and research obligations to the best of their knowledge, training, and ability.


Page Revised July 28, 2022