Statement of Professional Conduct

This page outlines the standards of professional conduct expected of graduate students in the Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy. Adherence to these principles of conduct -- together with good academic standing -- maintains a student’s “good standing” status in the Department.

As a community, we respect the dignity, individuality, and freedom of each member. At the same time, we strive to be a place where individuals and groups learn with and from each other. We aim to foster a sense of shared experience and common purpose, along with a collective responsibility for each other’s well-being, and for the well-being of the University as a whole. Although we acknowledge the difficulties inherent in creating a community of individuals who are different from each other, we remain unwavering in our commitment to both diversity and community in a context of academic excellence.

We seek to enable all members of this community to pursue their educational, scholarly, and career interests in an environment that recognizes both the distinctiveness of each person’s experience and the common humanity that unites us all, and permits us to take full educational advantage of the variety of talents, backgrounds, and perspectives of those who live and work here. In all activities each graduate student is expected to be respectful of the rights and interests of the community and of the others in the community and to be personally honest. All students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the University’s function as an educational institution, and with the rights of all members of the University community to attend, make use of, and enjoy the facilities and benefits of the University without undue interruption or disruption. With their professional conduct, graduate students are expected to contribute to School climate in which all community members feel personally safe, listened to, valued, and treated fairly and with respect.

The key principles of professional conduct include:

1. Professional Competence and Responsibility: As scholars, we strive to maintain the highest level of competence in our work. Members of the UCI academic community are committed to engage in teaching, learning, research, and community service and to assist one another in the creation and maintenance of an environment that fosters a professional atmosphere. This includes communicating in a manner that is respectful and in no way discriminates against or harasses others, and treats the ideas, scholarship, and interests of others with respect.

2. Integrity: UCI is an institution of learning, research, and scholarship that is strengthened by the existence of an environment of integrity. As members of the academic community, students are responsible for maintaining this environment, and subscribe to the practice of academic integrity and accept individual responsibility for their work and actions. Violations of academic integrity are unacceptable and will not be tolerated, because they devalue the teaching and learning experience for the entire community. Observing basic honesty in one’s work, words, ideas, and actions is a principle to which all members of the community are required to subscribe.

3. Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity: Respect for the rights, privileges, and sensibilities of each member are essential to maintain the spirit of our academic community. Actions that make the atmosphere intimidating, threatening or hostile to individuals are therefore regarded as serious offenses. Free speech and peaceful assembly are basic requirements of the University as a center of free inquiry and the search of knowledge and insight. These rights involve a concurrent obligation on the part of all members of the University, guests, and visitors to maintain on the campus an atmosphere conducive to scholarly pursuits and to respect the rights of all individuals.

4. Respect for Diversity: UCI seeks to promote full inclusion of all members and groups in every aspect of University life. Diversity -- on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, ancestry, religion, physical or mental disability, veteran status, marital or domestic partnership status, affective or sexual orientation, socio-economic background, and other protected characteristics -- is a source of strength for the Department and contributes to a positive work environment. We do not tolerate any discriminatory and/or harassing behavior based on protected characteristics, and will take immediate action to end hostile environment if one has been created, prevent its recurrence, and remedy the effects of any hostile environment on affected members of campus community.

5. Appropriate Sexual Conduct: UCI does not tolerate sex or gender discrimination, including sexual misconduct such as sexual harassment and sexual assault, stalking, and intimate partner violence. Graduate students must undergo mandatory sexual harassment compliance training.

6. Appropriate Use of Electronic Media: When acting as representatives of the Department or interacting on official UCI platforms, students must be responsible in their use of social media and should not violate our professional and academic standards in their social media activities.


Allegations of improper behavior will be treated seriously and promptly. PPD will maintain a clear structure to review and address complaints involving professional conduct of graduate students, staff or faculty.  Allegations of professional misconduct should be submitted in writing to the PPD Chair, and the Chair will notify the appropriate school or campus offices when immediate attention is required.  The PPD Committee on Professional Conduct (comprised of the PPD Chair, Vice-Chair and Director of the student’s graduate program) will make an assessment, gather information, and work as needed with other campus units (including the Associate Dean of the School of Social Ecology, Graduate Division, and the Office of Academic Integrity & Student Conduct) to ensure allegations receive a timely, fair, and meaningful evaluation, that appropriate actions are taken per school and campus procedures, and to share available support services.

Observance of University Policies

No set of rules can possibly address all situations that may arise. The Department reserves the right to find that other conduct not specified in this Code or UCI policies constitutes a violation of good academic or professional standing. If situations arise that seem ambiguous, please consult with departmental graduate advisors, chairs, the Graduate Office, or the Associate Dean. The UCI Student Code of Conduct defines behavior expected of all UCI students. It is each student’s responsibility to know and comply with the university’s Student Code of Conduct. In addition, the violation of the laws of any jurisdiction, whether local, state, federal, or foreign, may subject an individual to disciplinary action.


1.) The Office of Academic Integrity & Student Conduct provides information regarding student rights and responsibilities including the Academic Integrity Policy, Code of Student Conduct, and Student Conduct Procedures:

2.) Graduate Division provides graduate student service information at:  See “Keeping The Balance: A Resource Guide for Well-Being for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars”.