Program Standards

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The following standards apply to all students in the Milgard School of Business. These standards may be in addition to other academic standards at the University of Washington Tacoma.

  • Students must complete all upper-division business courses at UW Tacoma with a minimum 1.7 grade. If a grade below 1.7 is received, the student must repeat the course. Course credit will be awarded only once, and both grades will be computed into the grade-point average.
  • Courses in the Business core and option may not be taken by correspondence (distance learning).
  • Courses in the Business core and option may not be taken S/NS (satisfactory/not satisfactory).
  • Upper-division Business courses completed at other accredited four-year institutions may not be more than seven years old in order to substitute for a course in the Business major. If a course is more than seven years old, the student will be required to repeat the course at UW Tacoma. Credit will not be awarded twice for an equivalent course. There is no time limit on prerequisite coursework.
  • Upper-division business courses used for transfer credit are held to the 1.7 grade standard required for all courses by the Milgard School of Business.
  • All full-time students must complete the required six core courses during their first year at UW Tacoma. Part-time students are required to complete the Business core before beginning more advanced option courses. To develop a degree plan, students are required to meet with a Business School advisor during their first quarter at UW Tacoma.
  • Students are limited to one option and two core transfer courses. The Business School will accept no equivalents to TBUS 300 and TBUS 400.

Removal from Program

An undergraduate Business major who is dismissed from the University for low scholarship is removed from the Business Administration major. A letter of dismissal is sent to the student. Students removed from the Milgard School of Business who wish to re-enter the program must re-apply for admission. The Milgard School of Business Admissions Committee evaluates the student's file, statement requesting re-admission and any extenuating circumstances, and then recommends action.

What is academic misconduct?

You are guilty of cheating whenever you present as your own work something that you did not do. You are also guilty of cheating if you help someone else to cheat.


One of the most common forms of cheating is plagiarism; using another's words or ideas without proper citation. When students plagiarize, they usually do so in one of the following six ways:

Using another writer's words without proper citation. If you use another writer's words, you must place quotation marks around the quoted material and include a footnote or other indication of the source of the quotation.

Using another writer's ideas without proper citation. When you use another author's ideas, you must indicate with footnotes or other means where this information can be found. Your instructors want to know which ideas and judgments are yours and which you arrived at by consulting other sources. Even if you arrived at the same judgment on your own, you need to acknowledge that the writer you consulted also came up with the idea.

Citing your source but reproducing the exact words of a printed source without quotation marks. This makes it appear that you have paraphrased rather than borrowed the author's exact words.

Borrowing the structure of another author's phrases or sentences without crediting the author from whom it came. This kind of plagiarism usually occurs out of laziness: it is easier to replicate another writer's style than to think about what you have read and then put it in your own words. The following example is from A Writer's Reference by Diana Hacker (New York, 1989, p. 171).

Original: If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also startling news for animal behaviorists.

Unacceptable borrowing of words: An ape who knew sign language unsettled linguists and startled animal behaviorists.

Unacceptable borrowing of sentence structure: If the presence of a sign language-using chimp was disturbing for scientists studying language, it was also surprising to scientists studying animal behavior.

Acceptable paraphrase: When they learned of an ape's ability to use sign language, both linguists and animal behaviorists were taken by surprise.

Borrowing all or part of another student's paper or using someone else's outline to write your own paper.

Using a paper writing "service" on the web or elsewhere, or having a friend write the paper for you. Regardless of whether you pay a stranger or have a friend do it, it is a breach of academic honesty to hand in work that is not your own or to use parts of another student's paper.

You may think that citing another author's work will lower your grade. In some unusual cases this may be true, if your instructor has indicated that you must write your paper without reading additional material. But in fact, as you progress in your studies, you will be expected to show that you are familiar with important work in your field and can use this work to further your own thinking. Your professors write this kind of paper all the time. The key to avoiding plagiarism is that you show clearly where your own thinking ends and someone else's begins.


Another common form of cheating involves exams. Consulting a cell phone or another electronic device, texting others for answers, copying from someone else's paper, using notes (unless expressly allowed by the instructor), altering an exam for regrading, getting an advance copy of the examination, or hiring a surrogate test-taker are all flagrant violations of University policy.


Educators recognize the value of collaborative learning; students are often encouraged to form study groups and assigned group projects. Group study often results in accelerated learning, but only when each student takes responsibility for mastering all the material before the group.

Group projects require careful division of responsibility and careful coordination to control the quality of the final product. Collective work quickly degenerates when some students see it as a way to get through an assignment with the least amount of effort. Group work calls for a different kind of effort, not less of it. Students make a mistake when they think of the finished product (presentation or paper) as the outcome of the group. When group projects are assigned, the instructor is usually interested in your mastery of group process as well as the subject. Ask the instructor to clarify individual responsibilities and suggest a method of proceeding.

In summary, when a professor says, "Go ahead and work together," don't assume that anything goes. Professors often don't state the limits of collaboration explicitly. It is your responsibility to avoid crossing the line that turns collaboration into cheating. If you are not sure, ask.

What happens in a case of suspected misconduct?

Instructors are advised to discuss the matter with the student and the Program Director or Dean. If after speaking to the student the misconduct is still suspected, the instructor may submit a Student Conduct Incident Report to the Department of Student Services (either informational purposes or as a request for action). Instructors who believe they have discovered cheating and have not resolved the issue before grades are due will submit a grade of X (the equivalent of an unreported grade) for the course until the academic misconduct charge is resolved. The student will be contacted to participate in an informal hearing with a hearing officer and will have the opportunity to present information and answer questions about the allegations.

If the student is found responsible for violating the Student Conduct Code, they may be issued one of the following disciplinary sanctions (note: repeat offenses will result in more serious disciplinary action):

Disciplinary warnings and reprimands - action may be taken to warn or to reprimand a student for violation of university rules, regulations, procedures, policies, standards of conduct, or orders.

Restitution - an individual student may be required to make restitution for damage or other loss of property and for injury to persons.

Disciplinary probation - a student may be placed on disciplinary probation (meaning formal conditions are imposed on a student's continued attendance) for violation of university rules, regulations, procedures, policies, standards of conduct, or orders. The time period and conditions, if any, for the disciplinary probation shall be specified.

Suspension - a student may be suspended from the university for violation of university rules, regulations, procedures, policies, standards of conduct, or orders. The time period and conditions, if any, for the suspension shall be specified.

Dismissal - a student's enrollment in the university may be terminated for violation of university rules, regulations, procedures, policies, standards of conduct, or orders.

A student may, by written request to the Department of Student Services (usually at time of graduation), request that the disciplinary record be expunged. The decision is based on the severity of the violation and the sanction that was imposed and may not be granted for all students.

NOTE: Review the Student Conduct Code (WAC 478-120) for complete details on the student judicial system.


The temptation to cheat can be eliminated by learning good time and stress management skills and sound study habits, by making good use of the academic support resources at the University, and by engaging in educational planning with the help of academic counselors. Certain common patterns in student behavior increase the temptation to cheat: falling behind in coursework or leaving large projects until the last minute; working too many hours to keep up with courses; taking too many difficult courses at once; encountering emotional or health problems that distract from studies and interfere with concentration.

Get in the habit of planning your education. Academic counselors can help you determine your educational goals, plan your classes, keep your quarterly load manageable, and find a reasonable balance between work and school. Advising sessions are confidential and the privacy of your student record is guaranteed by federal law.

In conclusion...

You will be expected to live up to the University's standards of academic honesty no matter what temptations you face. The good news is that this standard is not hard to maintain. It only requires that you clarify assignments and procedures with your instructors, that you study diligently, and that you seek help when you need it.