Student Conduct Violation

Professional schools and their application services will ask you to declare academic and criminal records. The HPAO will receive a report for all applicants that indicates whether a disciplinary record is currently maintained by the university. Any information reported by the Office of Student Conduct will be included with the Committee Letter. The Committee Letter will NOT include any of the following:

  1. Any record you may have from another institution you may have attended;

  2. Any criminal record you may have;

  3. Any record you may previously have had with the University of Maryland that has since been closed or expunged because we are legally not permitted to disclose this information without your permission.*

It is critical that the information you provide to the schools and the information we provide are the same. Minor infractions that you learn from will not keep you out of medical or dental school, but inconsistencies can be very damaging. You are entitled to check your record with the Office of Student Conduct and you should know what it says. We require a statement in the self reflection questions on any conduct issues so we may explain the action and the resolution in the committee letter.

Never change your response to the question of whether you have an institutional action or criminal record from one application cycle to the next, regardless of whether a record has been expunged in that time.  Common applications retain the information about these actions from one cycle to the next and a discrepancy will signal an irregularity and trigger an investigation.  

*It is clear from the wording in the common application services' instruction guides that the intent is that you report ANY action, regardless of whether or not the record has been expunged. It is a matter of personal responsibility and integrity how you choose to answer this question. Discuss this with your HPAO advisor if you are in doubt as to how to proceed. See the exact wording from AMCAS below:

© 2015 AAMC. Reproduced with the permission of AAMC. From 2016 Instruction Manual.

Institutional Action

"You must answer “YES” to this question if you were ever the recipient of any institutional action by any college or medical school for unacceptable academic performance or conduct violation, even if such action did not interrupt your enrollment or require you to withdraw. You must answer Yes even if the action does not appear on or has been deleted or expunged from your official transcripts due to institutional policy or personal petition.

If you answer Yes, you must briefly explain each instance, along with the date(s) of occurrence (MM/YYYY). Your response may be up to 1,325 characters or approximately one-quarter of a page in length.

Failure to provide accurate information in answering this question or, if applicable, in completing the form provided by the school[KP4], will result in an investigation. Medical schools require you to answer this question accurately and provide all relevant information. Medical schools understand that many individuals learn from the past and emerge stronger as a result. Full disclosure will enable the medical schools to more effectively evaluate this information within the context of your credentials.

If you become the subject of an institutional action after certifying and submitting the AMCAS application, you must inform your designated medical school(s) within 10 business days of the date of the occurrence. 

If you are not certain whether or not you have been the subject of an institutional action, contact the registrar, student affairs officer, or other appropriate party at the institution for confirmation of your record.

 Follow this link for the AADSAS integrity statement.

Criminal Background Checks


A criminal background check is often required by professional schools after they have admitted applicants or before they matriculate into professional school.  The background check can turn up any and all offenses, including minor traffic violations such as speeding, illegal U-turns or failure to stop at a traffic sign.  Any offense that is characterized as a misdemeanor on your record can show up on a crminial background check. The way traffic violations are characterized - as infractions or misdemeanors - varies by state.  In Maryland, all traffic violations are called misdemeanors, though the state distinguishes between a traffic offense and a criminal offense. If you live in another state, you need to research the way traffic violations are reported in your state and declare if the infraction is characterized as a misdemeanor or felony. For this reason, it is best to exercise an abundance of caution when responding to the prompt to declare any felonies or misdemeanors.  Admissions committees are human and recognize that these things happen.  They are concerned if a pattern of risky behavior emerges but understand minor infractions that occur.