USD’s Policy on Student Disciplinary Action/Criminal History during the Admissions Process

At the University of San Diego, the undergraduate admissions process is a highly personal experience. We ask students to provide a lot of information – academic and personal – that is thoroughly reviewed by our staff. Every effort is made to look at the information presented in the context of the student’s experience and background.

Our process for reviewing student disciplinary cases/criminal history is equally as personal and contextual. All students who have a disciplinary or criminal issue during high school or college will go through the following process.

  1. Reporting. We expect students to be proactive and honest is letting us know about the situation that resulted in the disciplinary action. On the Common Application, there is a place for students to report this, but if the situation happened after the application was submitted, we would expect the student to notify the admissions office by email.

  2. Context. In addition to telling us what the disciplinary action was, we would expect the student to provide some background. We want to know what the student did, but also why. Was there a situation the student felt strongly about? Was there a lapse of judgment? What lessons did the student learn as a result and did the student take responsibility for their actions? Has the student had a history of disciplinary issues or was this the first time? Not every disciplinary action is considered the same so understanding the why is important.

  3. Review. Our Director of Admissions will convene a small committee made up of members of the admissions team and other campus members as appropriate. A full evaluation of the student’s file, including the information provided as context, will be conducted. The student is often interviewed by either the Director or members of the admissions team. If appropriate, we may reach out to the high school counselor for more information, although individual high school policy may prevent them for providing any additional information.

  4. The student will be notified in writing of our decision – whether the disciplinary action results in a revocation of the admission offer, no action at all, or some conditional decision in between.

We strive to treat every prospective student with fairness and respect during this important process. We also need to ensure that we are protecting the safety and well-being of our campus community. Both our admissions process and the student disciplinary review process are intended to balance both of those important considerations.