Conduct Records

All student disciplinary files (paper and electronic formats) that involve matters resolved by the Division of Student Affairs are kept and maintained by the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution and are considered educational records subject to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and University policy. 

Please select from one of the following categories to learn more about conduct records:

Records Retention

Disciplinary matters that result in suspension, exclusion, expulsion, or degree revocation are kept permanently and will be reported to external third parties (such as graduate schools, employers, or licensing agencies) as required or permitted by law and University policy. Disciplinary matters that do not result in suspension, exclusion, expulsion, or degree revocation are kept until a student’s graduation plus an additional seven years, but will not be reported to external third parties unless required by law. Disciplinary matters resolved by the Office of Student Conduct are not recorded on a student’s transcript.

The University may also report disciplinary matters that remain unresolved and pending at the time a student left or withdrew from the University, as required or permitted by law and University policy. Records of pending matters are kept indefinitely; once resolved, they are kept and maintained according to the policies stated above. Any response to a request for student disciplinary records will include a statement explaining the University’s policy regarding retention and reporting of disciplinary records.

Dean Certifications

Alumni or current students who are applying to law school, medical school or other graduate programs, or, who want to work for the government, will likely be asked to report their disciplinary history. If you have a form for us to complete as part of the application (often called a “Deans Certification” form), you are welcome to drop off, mail, fax or scan and email your form(s) to us at:

Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution
Northwestern University
Scott Hall, Room 35
601 University Place
Evanston, IL. 60208
Fax: 847.467.2523

Please allow 5-7 business days for your response to be processed. Because of the volume of requests received, we cannot guarantee a response earlier than five business days, though we do our best to process requests sooner.

We will only respond to the questions asked on the form. If you need a generic letter describing your disciplinary history, please complete the Consent for Release of Personal Information/Education Records form and send us the signed document (click here for this form). If we no longer have any information on file for a student, we will send a letter stating that we are unable to confirm or deny that the student/alumnus has a record.

It is critically important that students/alumni be honest in sharing information about their disciplinary history, as universities/the government do follow up with us. One of the worst things you can do is minimize or lie about an incident in which you were involved. Often, a student's forthrightness about an incident, and an explanation of what they have learned from the incident, looks favorable to employers.

Discussing Conduct Action with Parents/Guardians

Due to privacy restrictions, our office cannot discuss a student involvement in alleged misconduct or the outcomes of meetings (with only a few exceptions involving drugs, alcohol, or there is danger to the student). If a parent or guardian would like to speak with a conduct administrator regarding their student's conduct, please have the student sign the General Consent form (click here to retrieve it) and submit it to our office.

For more information regarding Northwestern's policies on privacy, please go to the Registrar's home page by clicking on this link.