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Professionalism and Standards of Conduct for Students


Classification: University - Student
Approval Authority: Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Responsible Entity: Associate Provost for Educational Affairs and Student Life
Policy Owner: Darlene Shaw, PhD
Original Effective Date: April 12, 2019


I. Policy Statement

All MUSC students are expected to demonstrate professional behaviors and adhere to the ethical standards of their professions. This policy identifies standards of behaviors that demonstrate professionalism, but it is not intended to be all-inclusive. The colleges and programs may have additional policies and requirements related to professionalism, and students are responsible for being knowledgeable about and complying with the professionalism standards set forth by their colleges and programs. This policy also sets forth the requirement that each college will establish a policy, which includes the elements described below, for addressing allegations of student unprofessional behavior. The processes across colleges may vary.


II. Scope

This policy applies to all individuals registered for one or more MUSC courses. It is applicable to distance-based students, students who are also employees, and returning former students.



III. Approval Authority


The Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost is the approval authority for this policy.


IV. Purpose of This Policy


Ethical, professional behavior promotes trust in the health care and research professions, respect of others, and high standards of service. The Policy on Professionalism and Standards of Conduct for Students identifies the expectations for student behavior and serves as the framework for the professional growth of our future biomedical scientist s and healthcare providers. Students are expected to demonstrate the values of compassion, collaboration, respect, integrity, and innovation set forth by the MUSC enterprise. This policy aligns with the Policy on Professionalism and Standards of Conduct for Student Organizations and is intended to be consistent with enterprise-wide policies related to student, faculty, and staff conduct.


V. Who Should be Knowledgeable of This Policy

All students, the Title IX Coordinator, the Department of Public Safety, and faculty and staff engaged in educational services, programs, and activities should be knowledgeable about this policy.


VI. The Policy

Students are expected to demonstrate the values of compassion, collaboration, respect, integrity, and innovation set forth by the MUSC enterprise. Degree and non-degree seeking students who violate this policy are to be reported t o t he office of the dean in the college in which they are registered. Non-degree seeking students registered only for lnterprofessional (IP) courses are to be reported to the Executive Director of the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity. Students who are also employees at one or more of MUSC's entities are held to this policy as well as all other applicable MUSC employee policies.


Behaviors that demonstrate professionalism include, but are not limited to, the following actions as related to the five enterprise-wide values:



•    Advocate for the well-being and concerns of those MUSC serves

•    Demonstrate an attitude of service by putting the needs of those MUSC serves above their own

•    Be attentive, respectful, empathetic, and responsive in caring for the needs of those MUSC serves


•    Promote inter-professional and interdisciplinary collaboration and understanding

•    Communicate in a direct and respectful manner

•    Hold each other accountable for appropriate behavior


•    Respect the individuality, privacy, and dignity of each other and those MUSC serves

•    Demonstrate regard for persons in authority

•    Demonstrate regard for differing values and abilities among peers, other healthcare professionals, and those MUSC serves

•    Demonstrate respect by responding to requests (written, verbal, e-mail, telephone) in a timely fashion and complying with established verbal and written deadlines

•    Provide a welcoming environment for all

•    Show respect for all colleagues

•    Support equality and inclusion


•    Maintain an ongoing dedication to honesty and responsibility

•    Be trustworthy by acting in a reliable and dependable manner

•    Recognize the limitations of their expertise

•    Demonstrate stewardship by exercising custodial responsibility for MUSC resources

•    Demonstrate accountability for decisions and actions


•    Support and create a culture of discovery and innovation by asking and accepting questions

•    Encourage ideas from others

•    Contribute new ideas and encourage discovery for the purpose of continuous improvement, problem solving, and learning


VII. Special Situations

The University-wide Honor Code Committee is responsible for adjudicating all allegations of academic dishonesty.  Students who violate this policy in the context of a recognized university-wide or college-specific organization may also be subject to individual sanctions in accordance with this policy.


The Title IX Officer is responsible for adjudicating all matters related, but not limited to, Title IX, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination.

VIII. Sanctions for Non-compliance

Each college will determine appropriate sanctions for policy violations committed by students. In the event of a conflict of interest, the college will designate this responsibility.


Sanctions can include, but are not limited to, no action, supportive intervention, mandatory leave of absence, monitoring, or dismissal.

IX. Related Information


A.    References, citations


College-Specific Professionalism and Standards of Conduct


Dental Medicine


Graduate Studies


Health Professions


College of Medicine


College of Nursing


College of Pharmacy


Student Complaint Policy


South Carolina Code of Laws Section 59-101-200 (hazing sanctions)


South Carolina Code of Laws Section 59-101-210 Tucker Hipps Transparency Act


X. Communication Plan


The policy will be published in The Bulletin and distributed to the Dean’s offices.


XI. Definitions


MUSC Students                                     
MUSC degree or non-degree seeking individuals registered for 1 or more MUSC courses; includes individuals on an approved Leave of Absence upon his/her return; includes accepted students who violate this policy during that time period between payment of matriculation fees and the first day of class.


Behaving in an ethical manner while assuming and fulfilling one's responsibilities in every situation every time


Professionalism Committee/ Professional Standards Committee                      
A committee established individually by the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity and each of the colleges (or division or program within a college) to adjudicate alleged violations of this policy. Colleges may appoint multiple committees to adjudicate cases at the program and department levels.



XII. Review Cycle

This policy will be reviewed every 3 years.




XIII. Approval History

Original approval date and subsequent review dates:


Approval Authority

Date Approved

Education Advisory Committee

December 17, 2018

Provost Council

February 8, 2019

Board of Trustees

April 12, 2019


XIV. Approval Signature     


Lisa K Saladin, PT, PhD, FAPTA                                                             
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
April 12, 2019