Office of the Academic Ombud -- A neutral, independent and confidential resource for UK students and faculty

109 Bradley Hall • 859-257-3737 • Confidential FAX 859-257-5346 • Email:

student with backpack

Academic Rights of Students

Students attending the University of Kentucky have rights, and sometimes the rights afforded to them are violated. If a student believes his or her rights have been violated, first review the Senate Rules. Below are some highlights of students' academic rights. For the exact Senate Rules, see S.R. 6.1.0.

  • Instructors must provide students with a written class syllabus by the first or second class meeting outlining the nature of the course — the content, the activities to be evaluated, and the grading practice to be followed.
  • Students are allowed to express a reasoned contrary opinion in a class without being penalized.
  • Grades must be based only upon fair and just evaluation measured by the standards outlined in the syllabus, and undergraduate students must be given a mid-term grade based on the criteria in the syllabus.
  • A student's performance in a course must be based on a fair and just academic evaluation.
  • Grades must never be based on "irrelevant considerations," such as sex, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, religion, age, etc.
  • Students have the right to have their academic records kept confidential unless authorized by University personnel for official use.

If a student believes his or her rights are violated, first talk with the instructor or the chair of the department where the course is taught. The student may contact our office for clarification on his or her concerns and assistance in resolving violations.