FAQs

What does it mean to be in good standing?

Every student enters the College "in good standing." However, if they are involved in a disciplinary case or subject to academic review, and the outcome is either "probation," "required to withdraw," they experience a change of status to either "on probation" or "withdrawn." 

Practically speaking, a student who is not in good standing is not eligible for certain fellowship opportunities or programs offered at the College, including study abroad, cross-registration or independent study. Before applying, a student should check to see if the opportunity requires a student to be in good standing.

A student must be in good standing to receive a degree from the College.

When do the Administrative Board and Honor Council meet?

The Administrative Board meets on Tuesday afternoons during the academic year (it does not meet during the summer or during winter or spring break). The Honor Council meets on Monday afternoons during the academic year (it does not meet during the summer or during winter or spring break). 

What does "change of status" mean?

A change of status occurs as the result of specific responses from the Honor Council and Administrative Board.

  • If a student is placed on probation, that signifies a change of status from “in good standing” to “on probation,” meaning that the student should pay close attention to meeting the expectations and following the rules and regulations laid out in the Handbook for Students.
  • The response of “requirement to withdraw” also changes a student’s status from “in good standing” to “withdrawn.”

What is the difference between the Ad Board and the Honor Council?

There are several differences between the Administrative Board and the Honor Council. First, they deal with different matters. The Administrative Board is responsible for academic review, petitions (exceptions to the rules) and disciplinary cases related to social misconduct. The Honor Council deals solely with disciplinary cases involving academic integrity or violations of the Harvard College Honor Code. 

Second, their memberships differ. The Administrative Board is composed of approximately thirty members including: the Dean, who serves as Chair; several of the Associate and Assistant Deans of the College; the thirteen Allston Burr Assistant Deans and the four Resident Deans of Freshmen; the Registrar; the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid; and senior members of the Faculty. The Honor Council is composed of equal numbers of undergraduate students and staff (which includes Teaching Fellows, Faculty, and Allston Burr Assistant Deans and Resident Deans of Freshmen). 

What happens if I disagree with a particular outcome?

If you disagree with the outcome of a particular petition or a case, you can ask the Board or Council to review the matter. See here for more details.