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Frequently Asked Questions

Academic Integrity

It has been said that "ideas are to a university what money is to a bank." This means that for us to function as a university, we must be scrupulously honest about ideas, and carefully distinguish between what are our own ideas and what ideas we have borrowed from others. Academic integrity is at the heart of our mission and reputation as a university. A Villanova education is not just an end-product; it is the whole process of learning how to think critically and gain important skills. Trying to shortcut this process by cheating deprives one of the very education one has come here to receive.

The instructor may impose a grade penalty up to an including failure in the course. The School of Business has specific penalties. Students who commit an academic integrity offense will also be asked to complete an academic integrity educational program, which will be supervised by the dean of the student’s college. If there are no further academic integrity violations by the time the student graduates, the record of an academic integrity violation will be expunged. For the second offense, the student may be dropped from the university, and the reason will be noted on the student’s permanent record.

Ask your instructor for clarification. If you do not have time to ask your instructor, add a written explanation to your paper that explains clearly what you have done.

Before submitting an academic integrity penalty grade for you, your faculty member will review the situation with you, explaining what the problem with your work is. You can express your own position at that time. If you still think that you are not guilty of an academic integrity violation, you have a right to have your case heard by a panel of students and faculty members. A detailed description of Villanova’s policy is available from the office of your dean or from the Office of the Provost. For a more detailed discussion, please consult the I've been accused page.


Dismissal Policy

Dismissed from the University? Now what? Each year a few students are dismissed from the University for academic reasons. The following frequently asked questions address some of the issues that students may have at this difficult time. For additional questions, please contact the office of the Dean of the college that dismissed you.

If you are dismissed from the University for academic reasons you may not take any further courses at the University or remain in a Residence Hall.

In most cases, you will be given an opportunity to appeal the dismissal decision in your original letter of dismissal. In some cases where the academic record is extremely poor, or where the student has had a history of academic difficulties, there may be no right of appeal whatsoever. If you are granted a right to appeal, your college will review your appeal. The decision of your college is final. There is no appeal beyond the Dean of your college.

In some special cases a student who has been dropped from one college may be able to continue at the University if he or she is accepted into another college at the University. If you wish to enroll in another college, you may apply at any time. If you are accepted for admission into one of the other colleges, you will be reinstated into the University. If you do wish to apply to another college you should contact the office of the dean of that college immediately. The dean's office will tell you what you need to do.

If you are immediately accepted into another college at Villanova, you will be able to continue at Villanova without interruption. Normally, to stay at Villanova, you should make application within a few days of receiving the dismissal notice. In that case, you will start to take courses required for a degree in the new college and continue living in the Residence Halls (assuming that you are eligible for University housing).

Unless you have been notified otherwise, you would be eligible to apply for readmission to the college that dismissed you after two semesters away (including the summer). In other words, if you were dismissed at the end of the spring semester, you could apply for readmission for the following spring semester; if you were dismissed at the end of the fall semester, you could apply for readmission for the following fall semester.

First, what matters is not when you received the letter but when it was sent to you. If you were dismissed at the end of the fall semester, you may not take spring semester courses. If you are already enrolled in spring semester courses, you will be withdrawn from those courses and your tuition payments will be refunded.


Only you can decide how to answer this question. If the problem that you encountered was that you were in a program that just was not right for you, it may make sense to apply to a different college at Villanova. For example, if you were an Engineering student who did poorly in Engineering courses but did well in non-Engineering courses, you may want to consider transferring to Liberal Arts and Sciences or to Business. If, on the other hand, you are doing poorly in all of your courses, you may want to take some time off to try to figure out what has gone wrong so that you can address it before continuing with your studies, whether at Villanova or elsewhere.

Generally speaking, the college will want to see that the problems that caused you to be dismissed in the first place have somehow been addressed. You may, for example, wish to take courses at another four-year university. Successful performance in such courses would certainly be considered. Employment during your absence can also be a positive factor. You may also wish to document other ways that you have changed the conditions that led to your original dismissal.

Your transcript will indicate that you were dismissed by the Academic Standing Committee of your college.

The fact that you were admitted to the University in the first place indicates that you have high academic potential. At the same time, the fact that you did so poorly that you were dismissed indicates that you did not live up to that full potential. The first and most important task for you is to come to some understanding of what problems prevented you from fulfilling your promise. After you have isolated those problems, you need to find creative ways to address those issues so that you can move beyond them. Some students find that after a few semesters away, they come back to excellent academic careers at Villanova. Others transfer to another University altogether and find a better fit there. Still other students find that they need to take a longer period to find themselves. We are confident that you will eventually find your way to a very satisfying educational program and a good subsequent career, but the process may take time. In that context, then, we offer you best wishes for the future.

Office of the Provost

Tolentine Hall, Room 103
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.4520
Fax: 610.519.6200

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